Should singers strike a political note?
''It's more dangerous now,'' said Merle Haggard, whose hippie-baiting, Vietnam-era songs Okie From Muskogee and Fightin' Side of Me still rank with his most popular works. ''It seems to be more damaging to the females: Seems like people don't want them to say anything.''
Entertainers —male and female — are speaking up, though.
Country singers Sara Evans and Darryl Worley (Have You Forgotten) will perform during the Republican National Convention in New York City, while the Chicks, Bruce Springsteen and others soon will embark on a pro-John Kerry ''Vote for Change'' tour.
Chat members on the conservative freerepublic.com Web site recently posted the names of artists who had participated in Music Row Democrats fund-raisers, urging a boycott of their music.
One posting referred to Democratic artists such as Griffith, Hal Ketchum, Emmylou Harris, Pam Tillis and Allison Moorer as ''traitors'' because of their participation in the organization.
Toby Keith, whose Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue song became a military rallying cry, is often assumed to be a Republican, though in a recent Tennessean interview he expressed mixed feelings about the Iraq war and said he was actually a registered Democrat.
Bash the Boss
August 16, 2004 -- MARILYN O'Grady, the long-shot Conservative Party candidate challenging Sen. Charles Schumer, has launched a TV ad campaign bashing Bruce Springsteen for his upcoming concert tour to unseat President Bush, reports The Post's Kenneth Lovett. "He thinks making millions with a song-and-dance routine allows him to tell you how to vote," O'Grady says in the ad. "Here's my vote: Boycott the Boss. If you don't buy his politics, don't buy his music." The commercials are set to run on Fox News Channel.
Electing to sing songs of protest