NashVegas Insider

Music Tradition, Past, Present and the Unwritten Future

By: T. David Taylor


Tradition.

It’s how we believe things were, or at least how we want to remember them.
It’s also how we believe things should be.  


Country Music is the quintessential American music that reflects sacred ideals, morals and speaks to the reflections of our lives that make us, well, us. And it’s not just American, it’s Universal. The music is that expansive. It is what we believe, as a people and a culture, that we feel we had in the past and what we yearn for today. Some folks may say it represents a time past that is gone, forever gone, but I bet my last dollar it’s what almost all of us say is our Time Present. The world of today will look alien to our children. And tradition is what we yearn for because we all know, deep down inside, that our current way of life is slipping away...


It sure is the music of both my time past and present time today. The future is unwritten.


It truly is a calm lake on a warm summer night with my cousins and friends while my grandparents looked on us. And they smiled. I was lucky enough to grow up on two West Texas lakes. And let me tell ya, there weren’t many more than two lakes in West Texas. Sadly, there’s one less of those lakes today.


It is driving my ‘94 K-5 Blazer, 4” lift and 35” bogger tires, to pick up my lady for an evening in downtown Nashville or on that Texas lake to show her off in the bonfire light to my buddies and even to my Grandma. And the lady and my Grandma loved my truck because I did.

It is meeting with an old high-school friend I haven’t talked to in a fifteen years to share his heartache over the loss of his wife and kids I never met, and I can hold and cry with him like we never missed a day.


It is the memory of being on that lake with my Grandpa as he pulled hard on a trot-line in the West-Texas morning. His eyes sparkled and his grin widened and I didn’t understand until he pulled and tugged and brought up an 80 pound mud catfish to the surface, when it whipped and splashed and I froze in wonder at what was happening. Grandpa laughed out loud – that was the only time I ever heard him laugh like that. And boy was that catfish good later that night with butter and salt, cooked over Grandpa’s wood fire pit. With my family.


It is for the love of my child. I want my little girl to experience these simple, magical times because I believe those experiences have made me into the man I am. I want her to know life through those experiences like I was so lucky to have. I think those experiences are important for who she is going to be as a woman – and I think they will make her a better woman when she’s ready to share traditions and way of life with her little daughter or son. And I think her husband will be better for her and those kids if he feels similarly. Heck, he may not love Country Music, but if he has these similar experiences and understandings, he just may, maybe, be almost good enough to love my little girl.


I don’t have that ’94 K-5 Blazer anymore and I don’t have that pretty girlfriend. I don’t have my Grandmas or Grandpas either. And that second West Texas lake has all but dried up, too, but I sure lived those times and have those memories. And I’m not waxing nostalgic, either. They were real. They happened.


I’ll never apologize for wanting that for my little girl, or for anyone, for that matter.

Country Music will never be about burying a face in a computer screen, because that ain’t livin’.


Tradition.
It’s how we believe things were, or at least how we want to remember them.
It’s also how we believe things should be.  


No doubt the times,
they are a-changin’.