(NASHVILLE SKYLINE is a column by CMT/CMT.com Editorial Director Chet Flippo.)
Nobody asked me, but ...
Am I the only one who thinks that it's very unfortunate that Jamie Foxx and the Eagles will be on the CMA Awards show, but
the three new inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame will not be? Let me see, Vince Gill and Mel Tillis and Ralph Emery,
as the newest members of the Hall of Fame, will not even be mentioned during the show, but Foxx and the Eagles get prominent
screen time? Don't get me wrong. I love the Eagles' music and Foxx is a marvelous talent, but ... Foxx and the Eagles did
not build country music. Tillis, Gill and Emery were hugely important in the rise of country. I think there's an important
lesson here. As the wise University of Texas football coach Darrell Royal used to say, "Dance with who brung you."
For my money, the best country album of the year so far has to be Dirt Farmer by Levon Helm. The fact that he has returned
from throat cancer is miracle enough, but that he sounds this good is reason for thanks. It used to be a cliché that
you could hear America singing in someone's voice, but with this album, Helm truly does accomplish that. The America he conjures
up is the fast-vanishing America, the land of railroads and farms and factories and assembly lines. An honest, blue-collar
America. Not the America of hedge funds and online gossip and job outsourcing and billion-dollar CEOs and gutless politicians
and spineless journalists. Listen to America singing, for once.
I think it's a wonderful thing that occasionally
Little Big Town remind me of both Fleetwood Mac and the Eagles in their finest musical moments. Nothing at all wrong with
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss sound wonderful together on their CD Raising Sand. On such cuts
as "Killing the Blues" and "Stick With Me Baby," they sound like a classic duo from the '50s who were somehow lost to history.
And with "Your Long Journey," they evoke the sound of a lovely duo from the '30s, also now gone.
Did you see
those blips on so-called news sites claiming that Gretchen Wilson was issued an "in-flight citation" from American Airlines
for either: (a) over-drinking on a flight, (b) refusing to return her dog to its under-seat cage, or (c) cursing? I would
lean toward (c) there, although the point is this: Have you ever heard of an "in-flight citation"? Neither have I. As a rule
of thumb, I never print anything unless I know what it is. I don't know what an "in-flight citation" is, and I can't find
anyone at American Airlines who does either. So what about the credibility of all these "news sources" that rush to copy anything
that TMZ posts?
And did you see the headlines, including one in the The
Tennessean newspaper, resulting
from Time magazine's "exclusive" this week about Merle Haggard telling Time that he has written a song about
Hillary Clinton? "Has written" is the proper term here. Haggard wrote the song "Hillary" early this year. I wrote about it
in my column of Apr. 26 and quoted from its lyrics:
If we don't elect Hillary, then we'll never know/She is the
right lady, and her husband's a pro/Eight years in the White House with the know-how we need/When you walk with a leader,
you learn how to lead/And who kept her head high when it could have been down?/And who ran the show when the scandal hit town?/This
country needs to be honest, changes need to be large/Something like a big switch of gender/Let's put a woman in charge.
to know that Time magazine is catching up with the times.