This Is The Album That Both Ruined Country Music And Saved It
A change occurred in 1980. Not just a change in country music. A change in the culture of the nation.
As if by magic, cowboy hats and cowboy boots were showing up on Wall Street, in Times Square, on yachts at Cape Cod, in BMW's speeding down Sunset Boulevard.
Three piece suits were replaced with Wrangler Jeans and open collar cowboy shirts. And if a person could, they'd set down the martini and find themselves a Lone Star beer.
But it wasn't magic. It was Urban Cowboy.
The movie, which followed the relationship between Bud (John Travolta) and Sissy (Debra Winger), became a huge Hollywood movie hit, largely fueled by the soundtrack album.
Suddenly, it was cool to be country in places where it had never been cool before.
But was it country? That depended on who you asked.
For the country 'purist', there was no way that real country album featured artist's like Boz Scaggs, Joe Walsh and Bob Seger. It might be somethin', but it ain't country! And that dastardly album ruined country music.
But that same album included some of country music's greatest hits, like Mickey Gilley's "Stand By Me," Charlie Daniels "Devil Went Down To Georgia" and the mega-hit by Johnny Lee, "Looking For Love."
Some called it "neo-country," others "Hill Boogie," and still others the "Urban Cowboy" movement. Or again, as some called it, the ruination of country music.
It wasn't the ruination of country music, of course, and many who got into country music because of Urban Cowboy may left after the craze had subsided. But others may have discovered something, something you and I have known all along.
This country music thing is good! And over the past 40 years or so they've stayed. It is a legendary album, not only because of it's massive sales, but because of the incredible expansive reach it had.
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