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News? Check. Politics? Check. Music? Check. Random thoughts about life? Check. Readership? Ummm.... let me get back to you on that. Updated when I feel like I have something to say, and remember to post it.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Fake but Accurate!

First, some background.

Chely Wright is a country musician, with some past success, but struggling to keep the attention of the Nashville music scene. She was recently without a label. With her brother in the Marine Corps, she one day put a bumper sticker on her vehicle. One day, a friendly liberal driver showed some of that trademark liberal kindness, by honking at her, giving her the finger, pulling up alongside her, yelling at her, calling her a baby-killer, and so forth, all because of that bumper sticker. It inspired her to write a song, Bumper of my S.U.V., about the experience. After sitting on the song for some time, she played it while entertaining troops in Iraq. Their reaction encouraged her to record the song, which the Armed Forces Network played, working its way back Stateside, and gave her career a much needed bump. So being anti-war is profitable... for someone else. Ahhh, justice.

(The above is a slightly editorialized summary of a profile in Nashville Scene, Billboard magazine, December 18th... unfortunately, not available online unless you're a subscriber.)

Unfortunately, there's a negative continuation to the story. Without her knowledge, her fan club president encouraged promoters to write e-mails to radio stations, pretending to be members of their military or their families, encouraging play of the single because it touched them. To her credit, Ms. Wright has acted strongly to quash this, by dismissing the people involved.

But this gets me to thinking: There were quite a few members of the military touched by her song. Chely Wright heard them tell her personally. So even if these e-mails were fake, they accurately reflected the feelings of many people. Fake but accurate? That's good enough for CBS!

Ms. Wright's statement:

As a long time supporter of the US troops, Chely first performed “The Bumper of My S.U.V.” in front of the military men and woman overseas in late September. Responding to an overwhelming response and demand Chely recorded the single and sent it back to the Armed Forces Network. The single made its way back to the states without an incorporated plan, label support, or a promotion team behind it. Airplay in the U.S. was totally unexpected, unanticipated and unplanned—but it’s made its way up the industry charts. Country radio and its fans have made her current single, “The Bumper of My S.U.V.,”—The Year 2004 Phenomenon.

Expressing her gratitude in the unexpected reaction, Wright shares: “I really cannot describe the overwhelming response that I personally have received from radio, Country radio listeners and my fans. My management and publicity team can barely keep up with the number of e-mails and responses that they receive. All, in all, this is a clear demonstration that first and foremost Country music fans are the best ever and that this is a subject that we all have deep rooted feelings about. We don’t all understand the war and the reason for it, but we, as Americans, stand behind our fellow Americans—those individuals, whom we have never met that have made the decision to fight for us.”

“I wish to apologize on behalf of my organization and any representative of my organization that may have engaged in any activity that could be construed as unethical,” says Wright.

The success of “The Bumper of My S.U.V.” demonstrates the passion of the Country music fan. Chely continues, “The Country music fan is like no other. The Country music fan is passionate and Country music is an integral part of their lives. I’m proud to be in a music genre that has such personal and passionate support.”


At 5:23 PM, Blogger books said...

I'm linking this. Great post

At 10:29 PM, Blogger Greg said...

I appreciate the link, even though it surprises me. My take on the incident is vastly removed from the other links you have. For instance, I'm not bitter about her writing a pro-military song.


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