Honky Tonk Hate

Florida Georgia Line sings to the Cheyenne Frontier Days crowd, where many can be seen wearing their cowboy hats and jeans on.

Michele Mannis, Rocky Mountain Entertainer

Florida Georgia Line sings to the Cheyenne Frontier Days crowd, where many can be seen wearing their cowboy hats and jeans on.

Steph Sommer, Features Editor

“Take me back to old Wyoming I’ve been away too long I want to hear the meadow lark singin’ this cowboy’s favorite song.” Take me back to Old Wyoming by Chris Ledoux.

Because Wyoming has been dubbed “The Cowboy State,” it is often assumed that many Wyoming residents enjoy country music. At East, however, most students opt out of the country music experience.

“Country music is boring. All it talks about is cooking catfish, the 4th of July and tailgate parties,” said junior, Jack Soto. “Old country is good, but new country sucks.”

According to Dictionary.com the official definition of country music is “a style and genre of largely string-accompanied American popular music having roots in the folk music of the Southeast and cowboy music of the West, usually typified by romantic or melancholy ballads accompanied by acoustic or electric guitar, banjo, violin, and harmonica.”

But according to many students, country music is defined as “Southern stuff. It’s mostly sad music. I don’t like that a lot of it’s really sad and about alcohol and such,” said senior, Aleksis Powers.

Other students seem to just think the overall feeling of country music is not for them.

“[Country music is] Boring. Most of the time it’s all about the same topic even if it is by different artists,” said junior Hayden Higgins.

But many students seem to disagree, and would place country music as their favorite genre of music.

“[Country music] shows a lot of love and compassion and all around good times. I’ve grown up listening to it.” said junior Zach Urban.

Being a Wyomingite also seems to have an effect on student views of country music.

“I think living in Wyoming gives me a different point of view on country music,” said junior EC Wells. “It’s what we are defined as, but I wouldn’t say I like the style of music because of where I live.”

“A lot of the songs by [artists] like Chris Ledoux are about Wyoming, and that makes it easier to relate to them,” said Urban.

Wyoming is only the start of the divide between country and non-country fans. According to Billboard.com’s story New Statistics About Country Music Fans Revealed at Billboard Country Summit in 2011, 42% of Americans state country music is their preferred choice, while 58% would rather listen to other genres. These statistics carry over here at East too. Only 38% of students surveyed would place country music as one of their favorite genres, while 62% would not.

In Cheyenne, country music may be even further forced upon residents. Cheyenne Frontier Days overtakes Cheyenne for the last week in July and includes concerts from country artists and many rodeos, parades, and meals that include aspects of country music as well.

So how does CFD influence students’ taste on country music?

“I still love to go to CFD concerts even though they are country, and it’s not my favorite. They’re still fun,” agreed Higgins.

So though we may live in “The Cowboy State,” country music is definitely not a favorite of everybody here. Country music is not what a lot of Wyomingites would prefer to identify themselves with.