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Shaping SF Public Talk: Insurgent Country Music


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With the twang of a steel guitar, the whine of a fiddle and the plunk of a banjo comes an instant association; the pick-up truck, the cowboy boots, the rolling hills, dusty fields, lonesome highways and the flag. For many, it has also come to signify conservatism, “traditional values,” American chauvinism, and even racism, bigotry and the confederate flag.

Although one wouldn’t realize it from listening to today’s pop Country radio stations, Country music has been anything but a rightwing soundtrack. To the contrary, the roots of Country lie firmly in resistance to capital, freedom from government interference, and in defense of the right of workers, poor farmers, and the dispossessed to live their lives in dignity.

Jesse and Glenda Drew will discuss the radical roots of Country, and explain how California is historically more central to Country music than Nashville.

Also: special musical accompaniment!


This talk is FREE (donations appreciated).

These talks are meant

+ as an antidote to historical amnesia,
+ to change the climate of critical discussion in SF, and
+ as a place to meet and talk unmediated by corporations, official spokespeople, religion, political parties, or dogma.

Our Public Talks are partly underwritten by City Lights Foundation, Rainbow Grocery Cooperative, and The Seed Fund.

Image: Postcard of Bob Wills of the Texas Playboys, Wills Point Club in Sacramento, 1951