Country Music used to be known as "Country Western" music. It was synonymous with Dolly Parton, Merle Haggard and Conway Twitty. It conjured up images of sequined button up shirts and belt buckles big enough to hold a Thanksgiving meal. Then came the 90s version of Country Music. A new kind of country music for a new generation.
Garth Brooks started his climb to country immortality in the early 90s, and is widely believed to be the major piece of the "Country is cool" puzzle. Brooks released his self titled album as his initial effort, and had good success, but he truly stormed (pun intended) onto the music scene with "The Thunder Rolls" and one of the greatest beer drinking, crowd swayingsongs of all time, "Friends in Low Places," both off his hugely successful
second album (1991) "No Fences." Brooks went on to produce several other albums that decade, including "Ropin the Wind," "The Chase," "In Pieces” and . . . eeeesh . . . "The Life of Chris Gaines" (let’s just pretend that never happened).
Garth Brooks wasn’t the only country commodity that bloomed in the 90s. Brooks and Dunn were Boot Scootin’ (1992), Tim McGraw was "Down on the Farm" (1994) and Shania (1995) was asking "Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?" However, this wouldn’t be a true 90s Country article without a mention of Billy Ray Cyrus and the 1992 Achy Breaky Heart-attack that infected the country. Armed with jeans so tight they may have been painted on and the meanest mullet around, Hannah Montana’s dad had the country botafogo-ing to the beat.
|Brooks & Dunn||Shania Twain||Tim McGraw|
You couldn’t be in a bar without being trampled by screaming line dancers as soon as a line-danceable song blared over the speakers. It became almost as annoying as the drunk college sorority girl who ALWAYS shouted "That’s my song!" when the DJ played "Girls Just want to Have Fun," but this is a 90s article, so enough with the 80s songs. The fad expanded outside the country scene, and everything from hip hop to rock fell victim to the foot kicking frenzy. Still "kicking" today, people are "lining up" for line dancing. It has helped develop Soulja Boy into a dance floor essential and the Cha Cha slide as a repeated wedding reception request. As hard as I may try, I unfortunately cannot do the Electric Slide for the life of me; so I am forced to do the Chicken Dance with the 4 year olds at every wedding I attend. But now that I have kids that age, it is a lot more fun — and, I look a lot less lame to the ladies than when I did it by myself years ago.
. . . think I’ll slip on down to the oasis.