Real country is heart and grit and sweat and illegal liquor in mason jars. Sinnin' on Saturday night and repenting on Sunday morning and, either way, having faith that you'll be forgiven in the sweet by and by. Country songs can tell a story or mourn a loss or just sound damn good picked out on a backporch while we all drink beers and stomp our feet.
Now, I'm not talking about that twang pop bullshit you see in videos on CMT these days. No frosted hair, booty bassline Trashville throwawauy crap. I'm talking about Johnny and June singing "Far Side Banks Of Jordan" and bringing tears to your eyes and raising goosebumps on your arms (And I'll be waiting on the far side banks of Jordan/I'll be waiting drawing pictures in the sand/And when I see you coming, I will rise up with a shout/And come running through the shallow waters reaching for your hand.). And I mean Dolly and Merle and, hell, even sketchy fuckers like David Allen Coe have had their moments.
We here in Tallahassee are blessed enough to get the best of both the old and the new on a real radio station, the kind not programmed by test groups or DJed by computers. WGWD, 93.3 FM, Classic Country, turns 20 this month. You can even listen online if you ain't from here. They play everything from bluegrass to country gospel, and their DJs even still do some of the ads ("Now, when you get on down to Quincy, you need to go ahead and stop by that country buffet..."). It's the real deal, and that's in short supply.
(And in case you're curious, that photo is of Red Foley, Little Jimmy Dickens, Minnie Pearl and Hank Williams, Sr. hitting Europe back in the day.)