Both country legends in their own right, Alan Jackson and George Strait, did an unofficial version of “Murder on Music Row.” The song laments the rise of country-pop and the slow death of traditional music.
When Alan and George’s version came out, the song became more popular and people talked more about the current status of country music. In fact, it was not officially released as a single but it was able to enter the country charts.
George Strait and Alan Jackson Sing about the Truth
So, what is really happening to current country music? Do the songwriters, Larry Cordle and Larry Shell, have a point when they wrote it back in 1999? Music row symbolizes Nashville, Tennessee, which is considered to be the center of the country music industry. When the writers wrote the song, they are contemplating the rise of country-pop. Unfortunately, when people listen to country-pop, the traditional sounding country songs will be less played.
Country singers like Alan Jackson and George Strait definitely consider themselves as the older generation of country music. They still use banjo and steel guitar in their music and their sound is still that of traditional music. While they are beloved by the country fans, lesser-known country artists of the same sound are being lost in the sea of country-pop singers.
The rise of musicians like Dan + Shay, Kacey Musgraves, Lil Nas X, Florida Georgia Line shaped the modern country sound that we know and hear today. They have dominated the country charts for years now and we are less likely to hear an old country honky-tonk song.
The duet between the two is a good showcase of what traditional country music was back in the days. Whether we agree with it or not, it remains a fact that we less likely hear the Nashville sound today.
Watch the performance of Alan Jackson and George Strait here:
"Murder On Music Row", Alan Jackson, George Strait
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