Country Artists 101

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Congratulations to Samantha Who star Christina Applegate who’s announced she’s preggers. Ditto congrats in that department for Heroes headliner Ali Larter. Speaking of cool moms, there’s a brand new show bowing on CBS that’ll apparently be along the lines of The View: several cool/smart/funny ladies sharing stories and opinions (and hopefully arguments because that’s what everyone seems to love most) plus they’ll have the usual high profile guest stars. CBS also pointed out that each one of the co-hosts is a mom, which I guess is what gives them that TV-That-Moms-Can-Watch cred. In fact, I would be surprised if there’s much difference between the two shows, because if you have a formula that works (the panel /roundtable conceit ) and zillions of people enjoy it, why not replicate it? I like the genre already; I’ll certainly check it out. The ladies sharing their views in this nonView View will be: Julie Chen, Sara Gilbert, Sharon Osbourne, Holly Robinson Peete, Leah Remini and Marissa Jaret Winokur. Now today I’d also like to talk about music; a cursory glance to the Billboard charts reveals that Eminem is still atop the heap with his Recovery album, and that makes four straight weeks  (which hasn’t happened since Susan Boyle worked her magic with “I Dreamed a Dream”). But last week I decided that while I truly love music I am         quite naive when it comes to country music. Oh sure, I love Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline, and I can usually tell you who today’s big names are. But often I can only ID them visually, and don’t always know what tune goes with which crooner. So, to remedy this and not feel quite so ignorant about the genre, I have undertaken an experiment.  Last week I decided to leave one of those country music stations playing on my TV at home 24/7 (typically when I go out my dogs are left with, and I guess seem to enjoy, Alternative Rock). I began to listen, I paid close attention, I watched the videos, and a few things started to dawn on me. So today here are the first two things I learned about contemporary country music:  1) Be prepared to spend money. No sooner had I turned on the country channel when the single most heartbreaking two-minute ASPCA commercial I have ever seen aired.  And ten minutes later, it aired again. They know their audience. Within twenty minutes of my introduction to country music I had pulled out a credit card and made a donation to the animals. The next thing I learned watching country music for an entire day? 2) The coolest men are the cads. I have never heard/seen so many (good-looking & quite charismatic) male artists sing lyrics which detailed their boozing, their smoking, their womanizing, and all manner of other unsavory things they’ve done – for which they are absolutely in no way sorry. But hell, they all proclaim in dulcet tones, they sure learned a lot! And then most of them go on to suggest they’d do it all over again, given the chance. Next week I will share with you some of the other lessons I’ve learned from my submersion into the country music world, but first I want to get a feel for some of the artists you like best. So I’ve picked out four acts which seem to be ruling the charts. Voice your choice in today’s featured poll and tell us which of these popular contemporary country artists is your favorite:

1)    Carrie Underwood

2)    Brad Paisley

3)    Lady Antebellum

4)    Luke Bryan

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