Friday, November 7, 2008

Oxford Questions Country Music outside USA

An online article in Oxford Analytica questions why country music has not has a huge impact outside the US.

The 42nd annual Country Music Association (CMA) Awards will be held on Wednesday in Nashville. While millions of Americans tune in to see if Kenny Chesney, nominee for seven awards and performer of such hits as She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy, takes home some gold, the rest of the world will be totally unaware -- despite the somewhat ironic award of an ‘International Artist Achievement Award’ during the course of the evening. Considering the US has given the world rock and roll, hip hop and jazz, why has its second-best selling musical genre failed to succeed overseas?

OK, yes, country music makes up only a tiny fraction of CD sales in most countries in Europe (generally about 1-3 percent). But the story (read full story here) does not mention the scores of country music festivals that draw tens of thousands of people, not to mention the numerous online European web sites. Nor the way that CW music has had an impact on local stars, from Johnny Halliday and Eddie Mitchell in France to Francesco De Gregori in Italy.

And the lively country music scene in Australia? Keith Urban, after all, is from down under.

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