Opinion | Nov. 8 10:48 am EST

Apparently I don’t hate country music

Courtesy of Pilgram Productions

People make all kinds of discoveries about themselves in college, and this certainly isn’t my first since coming to Columbia. Since the student body here is so diverse, I’ve been exposed to some things I never thought I’d like, and have probably been on the other side of things too (put pasta on a sandwich).

However,  I have always said that I hate country music. I LOVE folk, some bluegrass—things that are VERY close to country—but nothing that I would consider country. Banjo and stuff is great, but once there is any trace of twang or talk of blue jeans, beer, or trucks, you can count me out.

Last year I did a lot of homework in my friends’ room, and they listened to a lot of mainstream country. I couldn’t begin to tell you the names of any of the male singers, but Taylor Swift was involved in a big way. Her lyrics are pretty hard for me to take seriously. For example, “The playful conversation starts, counter all your quick remarks / Like passing notes in secrecy.”

I don’t even really know what that means, but it seems so forced that I crack up every time I hear it. However, her songs themselves are undeniably, frustratingly catchy. It pains me a little bit to say that, but whatever, she seems like an okay human.

That was just the taster, though. The big awakening was on Monday. My friend came over with a record (which she got from WKCR, probably in exchange for her email address) perhaps unheard by other human ears, called “Ed & Jolene’s Third Country Album.” There is no arguing over the genre of this record. Besides clearly announcing itself as country, the album featured such classics as “Country Boy With A Country Song,” “Sing Me A Song About Log Cabins,” and everyone’s favorite, “Too Good For Ole Satan.”

I can’t lie—the record was amazing. I want to listen to it again right now. Unfortunately, there is almost nothing online about this duo. Assuming they can count, they have at least three records, but there might only be three living people who know they exist (me, my friend, and Jolene. I was able to find that Ed unfortunately passed a few years ago).

The record had an address on the back for the record company, “Coal County Country,” which is a tongue-twister if I’ve ever seen one. I wrote them a letter asking for more information about Ed & Jolene, which my friend allegedly mailed. I fully expect for the letter to come back to me..

This might be the only Ed & Jolene record left in existence, but I will never forget that it’s the reason I can no longer say “I hate country.” People at Columbia have broadened my taste in music before, but this one I did not see coming.

Katie Crane is a junior in SEAS who is too good for ole Satan and absolutely did wear pants while writing this post.




  1. reluctant country • November 8, 2012 at 11:53 am • Reply

    take class with aaron fox. he’ll blow your mind.

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  2. Taylor Swift • November 8, 2012 at 1:16 pm • Reply

    Is not country. Go listen to Merle Haggard and stfu

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  3. She left the suds in the bucket • November 8, 2012 at 2:35 pm • Reply

    and the clothes hangin’ out on the line!

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  4. midwesterner • November 8, 2012 at 3:39 pm • Reply

    this makes my blood run hot. you are into all the stuff it’s okay to be into. you “LOVE” folk and “some bluegrass,” because those are fun hip things to listen to, but you can’t love country. so then you piss on taylor swift, when she is far closer to justin bieber than country music.

    who does spec get to write these half-baked “opinion blogs”? jesus.

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  5. friend of Katie Crane • November 8, 2012 at 4:52 pm • Reply

    thanks for the heads up about this, gurl. i expect compensation in the form of candy and/or nutella. preferably and. – a

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  6. Anonymous • November 8, 2012 at 4:59 pm • Reply

    You should listen to some Steve Earle, Wilco, Robbie Fulks, Meat Purveyors, Reverend Horton Heat, Hank Williams III. Or, if you want to go old(er) time, listen to Hank Williams Sr., Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Lefty Frizell, Bob Wills. Taylor Swift is soft rock sung with a southern accent.

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  7. Anonymous • November 8, 2012 at 5:02 pm • Reply

    …and Dolly Parton > Taylor Swift

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  8. the diana • November 8, 2012 at 5:31 pm • Reply

    Wait, so you’re saying that there’s variety within genres? That we should listen closer before dismissing an entire overarching category of music? Wow thanks for sharing. You’re ever so cultured.

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    • midwesterner • November 8, 2012 at 7:08 pm • Reply


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  9. jason aldean • November 8, 2012 at 7:20 pm • Reply

    do it

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  10. dqueezy • November 8, 2012 at 9:36 pm • Reply

    i’m personally a fan of “country fried.”

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    • Anonymous • November 9, 2012 at 1:49 pm • Reply

      you mean chicken fried?

      zac brown concert on nov 17 and 18! woooohhoooo!!!
      and jason aldean is fucking awesome.
      so are toby keith and justin moore

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  11. Hannah • November 10, 2012 at 3:50 am • Reply

    Listen to Lucinda Williams! I only like two of her albums, the self-titled one and Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, but they’re pretty spectacular.

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