In 2003, the Dixie Chicks got a dose of censorship when the lead singer Natalie Maines told an audience the band was embarrassed George W. Bush was from Texas. After that comment, radio stations bumped the Dixie Chicks from their playlists. Has the reemergence of politics in music suffered under the weight of this kind of corporate backlash?
In the article, Blowin' in the Wind: Where have all the protest songs gone? Lucinda Breeding explains that protest songs were born in a specific cultural moment, when the Beat Generation poets were challenging norms. Yet today, she explains, “music doesn’t get political and neither do most popular musicians. The music business and audiences seem to discourage political songwriting now.”
Historians and pundits keep saying America is as politically divided as ever. U.S. troops are deployed all over the world, in war zones like Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. News of protests are constant, but where are all the protest songs?
Well, local music professors and musicians say protest songs are still being written and recorded, but why aren’t they on the airwaves?
My covers and original protest songs are together in one album called The Protest Project and it’s available for free at kregmusic.com