Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Merging Country Music, Politics.

"Speaking just for myself, I'm very, very much against the (Iraq) war," declared Bobby Braddock, a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame whose decades of hits stretch from Tammy Wynette's "D-I-V-O-R-CE" and George Jones' "He Stopped Loving Her Today," both co-written with Curly Putnam, to Toby Keith's rap chart-topper "I Wanna Talk About Me."

In Hollywood, some actors believe movie roles could be lost if their Republican loyalties were known, said Sherry Jeffe, senior scholar at USC's School of Policy, Planning and Development. And, citing the example of the Dixie Chicks, some country music singers believe Democratic leanings could cost them radio play.

"In Los Angeles, conservative voices feel more stifled and in Nashville liberal voices feel more stifled," said Titley.

Some singers have joined the Music Row Democrats. Emmylou Harris, Hal Ketchum, Pam Tillis, Rodney Crowell and Raul Malo of the Mavericks have performed at Democratic "Kerry-oke" fundraisers.

"But they're not currently on the radio much either," noted Braddock.

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