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"The Keep It Country Oath"

I solemnly swear 
to never play more than three chords, 
to use only guitars, piano, bass, two fiddles, and light drums, 
and to never inject new ideas of any kind. 

I pledge that all my lyrics shall be about barrooms, 
honky-tonks, pickup trucks, and Mama. 

I promise that in the future I will play only waltzes and two-beat rhythms, 
and never even think about eighth notes. 

These are the music rules, 
and I agree to pick on anybody who doesn't follow them. 

I hereby apologize for all my past creativity. 

-Jack Blanchard 


I knew my "Keep it country" oath would stir things up. 
These were the first two responses: 

Dixon Devore wrote: 

    LOVE IT!!!!!!!!! 


    P.S. What's an eighth note?" 
     *     *     * 

Bill Littleton wrote: 

I understand your pursuit of humor, but that is not funny and it really doesn't reflect our
intelligence; those of us who go back to the serious roots of country know that some really
good things have evolved from some pretty creative ideas -- putting the fifth string on a
banjo, for example, had nothing to do with chart success and, if you get down to it, Webb
Pierce using a pedal steel was pretty gutsy because it HAD become a business and those
doing well wanted to continue to do well.  I'm not easily offended, but I found your
"pledge" less than pleasant. Some of these guys get a little overbearing with their
definitions of country and some of them get pissed at me because I go more for a feeling
than a sound, but, hey -- all any of us can do is the best we can do. 

I thanked Dixon and wrote this to Bill: 


I think it's funny, and your response was pretty harsh. 
It doesn't reflect the intelligence I expected from you. 

I've been creating country music for about 35 years, 
and some of us get tired of being carped at by self-appointed critics. 

I can't think of any other genre that has a slogan 
like "Keep it jazz", 
or "Keep it classical". 
If our music is good, we don't have to resort to slogans or censorship. 

On Dick Shuey's Twangtown message board 
some postings actually scold DJ's 
for including music that may not exactly fit the mold. 

DJ's should be able to choose the music they want for their audiences. 
It's not up to us to tell them what to play. 

Let's all lighten up and get on with the music. 

-Jack Blanchard 

Copyright  July 24, 2002 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved.


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