(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘country music

“Three chords and the truth – that’s what a country song is”*…

 

FreqPlot_beer_and_truck

I’ve started working on a textual analysis of popular country music.

More specifically, I scraped Ranker.com for a list of the top female and male country artists of the last 100 years and used my python wrapper for the Genius API to download the lyrics to each song by every artist on the list. After my script ran for about six hours I was left with the lyrics to 12,446 songs by 83 artists stored in a 105 MB JSON file. As a bit of an outsider to the world of country music, I was curious whether some of the preconceived notions I had about the genre were true.

Some pertinent questions:

Which artist mentions trucks in their songs most often?

Does an artist’s affinity for trucks predict any other features? Their gender for example? Or their favorite drink?

How has the genre’s vocabulary changed over time?

Of all the artists, whose language is most diverse? Whose is most repetitive?…

John W. Miller dives deeply into Country lyrics: “Trucks and Beer.”

* Willie Nelson

###

As we parse the pain, we might recall that it was on this date in 1970 that Loretta Lynn’s epic “Coal Miner’s Daughter” hit #1 on the Billboard Country chart.  It mentions neither truck nor beer.

 

Written by LW

December 19, 2018 at 1:01 am

“The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity”*…

 

Nearly 30 years before Helena Rubenstein and Elizabeth Arden launched their beauty brands, a former servant girl from Canada created the American hair salon industry, designed the first reclining salon chair, and went on to establish retail franchising as we know it today. Along the way she empowered thousands of young women and amassed a fortune…

The remarkable story of “Martha Matilda Harper, the Greatest Businesswoman You’ve Never Heard Of” (who counted Susan B. Anthony among her friends and customers).

* Peter F. Drucker, Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Practice and Principles

###

As we give credit where credit is due, we might send melodic birthday greetings to Dolly Rebecca Parton (Dean); she was born on this date in 1946.  A singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, actress, author, businesswoman, theme park proprietor, and philanthropist, she’s known primarily for her work in country music (e.g., 25 Gold, Platinum, and Multi-Platinum albums; 25 #1 hits; induction in the Country Music Hall of Fame).

But for our purposes today, we might note that she is also warmly remembered for her first major film appearance: she co-starred in 9 to 5 (for which she also wrote and performed the title song), a film about sexism in the workplace.

 source

 

“I’m not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes because I know I’m not dumb… and I also know that I’m not blonde”*…

 

– Dolly Parton helped bring the seminal and beloved TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer into existence. Her production company, Sandollar Productions, will be familiar to you from the end credits.

– The Ku Klux Klan sent Dolly Parton death threats in the mid-2000’s because Dollywood hosted an annual “Gay Day.” Dolly: “God tells us not to judge one another, no matter what anyone’s sexual preferences are or if they’re black, brown or purple. And if someone doesn’t believe what I believe, tough shit.”

– Dolly Parton once lost a Dolly Parton drag contest.

“I just over-exaggerated—made my beauty mark bigger, the eyes bigger, the hair bigger, everything. All these beautiful drag queens had worked for weeks and months getting their clothes. So I got in the line and I walked across, and they just thought I was some little short gay guy. I got the least applause.”

… just some of  The Awl‘s “Facts about Dolly Parton” (on the occasion of her 70th birthday).

* Dolly Parton

###

As we swear our undying love,  we might also remark on Emmylou Harris.  A solo artist, bandleader, interpreter of other composers’ works, singer-songwriter, backing vocalist, and duet partner, she has collaborated with artists including Gram Parsons, Bob Dylan, John Denver, Linda Ronstadt, Roy Orbison, the Band, Patty Griffin, Mark Knopfler, Delbert McClinton, Guy Clark, Willie Nelson, Bright Eyes, Rodney Crowell, John Prine, Neil Young, Steve Earle, Ryan Adams…. and of course, Dolly Parton.  Harris became a member of the Grand Ole Opry on this date in 1992.

 source

 

Written by LW

January 25, 2016 at 1:01 am

Do as I say…

 

Dear Abby: What would you do with a man who refuses to use a deodorant, seldom bathes, and doesn’t even own a toothbrush?  — Stinky’s Wife

Dear Wife: Absolutely nothing!

From New York Magazine‘s The Cut, an appreciation of the lately-departed Pauline Phillips— better known to millions of readers as Abigail Van Buren, the “Abby” in  “Dear Abby.”

Dear Abby: Are birth control pills deductible? — Bertie

Dear Bertie: Only if they don’t work.

More witty wisdom at Cut Off His Hominy Grits’: Vintage Advice From Dear Abby.”

###

As we take our advice where we can find it, we might recall that it was on this date in 1957 that America met (then 25-year-old) Patsy Cline, the extraordinary vocalist whose songs were full of advice… or object lessons, anyway.  On January 21, 1957 she appeared as a contestant on Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts (a wildly-popular Fifties forerunner of American Idol that broke stars including Tony Bennett, Lenny Bruce, Marilyn Horne, and Pat Boone); Patsy sang “Walkin’ After Midnight.”  She won; shortly after which a recording of the song was released and rose to #2 on the Country charts.  A string of hits followed– “I Fall to Pieces”, “She’s Got You”, “Crazy,” and “Sweet Dreams”– until she was killed in a private plane crash at the age of 30.  Her records have sold millions of copies since, and (ten years after her death) she became the first female performer inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

 source

 

Written by LW

January 21, 2013 at 1:01 am

Urban Cowgirl…

From Diane Horner, the doyenne of Country and Western line dance instruction, “Cowboy Hip Hop Dancing.”

As we remind ourselves that “mullet” also refers to a fish, we might wish a dramatic Happy Birthday to Thornton Wilder, the only writer to win Pulitzer Prizes for both Drama (twice– Our Town and The Skin of Our Teeth) and Literature (The Bridge of San Luis Rey); he was born on this date in 1897 in Madison, Wisconsin.  In all, Wilder authored seven novels, three full-length plays, and a variety of shorter works including essays, one-act plays, and scholarly articles.  His third full play, The Matchmaker, while it did not win the Pulitzer, was adapted to become the stage and screen hit Hello, Dolly.

Thornton Wilder as Mr. Antrobus in The Skin of Our Teeth

source: Library of Congress

%d bloggers like this: