If I had a dollar for every time I've heard someone say, "I love every genre of music except country," I'd make a Saudi prince blush. Whenever I hear this trite phrase, I pose a follow-up question. "Oh, yeah, who have you listened to?"
To which they'll invariably respond, "I told you, I don't listen to country."
Part of me thinks that the memetic hatred for country music stems from the South's history of bigotry and religious zealotry. Since the South has a bad rap, so does everything else that emanates from the region. Which, ya know, I can kind of understand, but the music stands alone.
The artist I usually use to melt people's cold shoulder toward country music is Loretta Lynn. Lynn's ability to ensnare a listener into a lurid story of rural living is second to none in my book. In the song linked above, Lynn paints a picture of a woman marveling over the advancements in modern contraception—and, by extension, feminism—while reluctantly expecting her sixth or seventh child. The song is a fairly liberal idea packaged in a genre that's beloved by good ol' boys and rednecks.
Lynn's 90th birthday was yesterday, and a slew of country heavyweights helped her celebrate, and I intend to do the same. Happy belated birthday, Mrs. Lynn; thanks for the jams.