IBMA Patriotic Concerns

It is a sad, sad day when the world of bluegrass feels that performing a patriotic set might offend someone and should not be allowed. This nation should be able to demonstrate its pride yet still have friends abroad. I’m a firm believer of respecting people for who they are and what they represent, but I’m getting a little tired of the notion that everyone has a freedom of speech and expression, except of course unless you’re Americans, then you expected to keep shut so you don’t offend anyone!

What’s next? Will my family bluegrass band have to stop playing bluegrass gospel because we might offend some atheist or a follower of a different religion?

  • gkoserowski

    Personally Im proud that Wayne Taylor stood by principle and his commitment to HIS COUNTRY FIRST and not an unreasonable request by IBMA to NOT PERFORM a patriotic medley which is Country Current’s reason for their existence. Afterall this was what they were originally contracted for because it tied in with Rhonda’s song with the soldiers. He is being much villified on both the IBMA and BGrass lists and there are few people sticking up for him.

    In addition to what has been pointed out here, initially a small group of IBMA posters wanted to eliminate Rhonda’s performance with the soldiers and even the National Anthem. When it was pointed out to them that this would be a public relations disaster the Board apparently met and came up with eliminating the Country Current medley as a compromise.

    Congrats Wayne! God,Country,Honor and doing what is right.

    Apparently as we see too often its okay to offend the majority so as not to offend a small but vocal minority. Anyone offended by asking the Navy band to not perform their patriotic medley? How about the folks that are saying our service people had no business being on the stage at the Awards show? This offend anybody? How about one major business owners diatribe that he dislikes seeing American flags on his way to work?

    This debate is politically driven. If they didn’t want a display of patriotism at a mostly US based event even though the sponsoring organization is termed INTERNATIONAL they should have decided this LONG LONG BEFORE the event occurred. Changing it at the final hour has been extremely messy and in poor taste really and THIS BUMBLING IS WHAT IS DEVISIVE. And it has not been good for the music that we love.

    I was at the show. Rhonda’s song BROUGHT THE HOUSE DOWN in the longest standing ovation I’ve ever seen. And both 3 Fox Drive’s National Anthem and Country Current’s medley were very well received.

  • jr18

    I did not attend tha IBMA show this year but had Ibeen there I would have cheered the songs the Navy band & Miss Vincent preformed. Had this event been in any other country they wouldn’t have had a second thought about singing their own nations praises. Is IBMA and bluegrass music going to go the way of our own government that only a few or minorities rule the masses?

  • bluegrassfan

    I too am proud of Wayne Taylor and Country Current. Would have loved to heard more.

  • My two cents worth….
    If someone gave their word that they would not play something, then they shouldn’t play it. I wasn’t there, but there’s probably more to this than I know from reading the posts here. That’s one issue. Another totally separate issue is the appropriateness of Rhonda’s tribute to the U.S. Military personal. A third issue is political correctness. It’s easy to get the wires crossed when people are discussing issues they’re passionate about, and it sounds like that may be happening here.

    There are only a few people that can give a valid account of why the first issue occurred, and until, and if, that happens, we won’t know why the Navy band played the medley of military songs after they said they wouldn’t. I don’t believe that anyone should resign over it.

    The second issue makes me mad. Bluegrass is American music, plan and simple. They may have moved the IBMA to Tennessee, but I don’t see it moving to France! As long as the show was on American soil and the majority of people listening, watching, and participating are American’s, there should be no question at all that the tribute was appropriate. If it was the International Russian Folk Music Association, it would not have been appropriate. This country needs more people like Rhonda. People who are not afraid to stand up for what they believe and who are good, strong role models. We have too many celebrities, sports stars, and artists who have no moral values and seek only to put more money in their bank accounts by doing whatever it takes to keep the media’s attention focused on them. Artists like Rhonda, who actually think about their action’s impact and effects on our youth, and who actually spend time with our youth are increasingly rare. Rhonda’s very smart so she probably knew that there would be some fallout from her tribute, but she obviously chose to follow her heart and her beliefs. I’m glad she did.

    Now for the third issue: as stated in the previous paragraph, bluegrass is American music, created here in this country. I think it’s great that citizens of other nations like bluegrass music, play bluegrass music, and join and attend things like the IBMA. But they have to realize that bluegrass is an American form of music. Unless they’ve never listened to much bluegrass, they must also realize that God, Jesus, and gospel music are a big part of it too. If they attended IBMA week, certainly they realize that they flew to the United States and were actually in this country. If I attended a similar event in another country, and keep in mind that I would not travel to a country that was an enemy of ours, I would enjoy watching an analogous tribute to their military men and women. I wouldn’t be insulted by it, even if they flashed up their old newspaper headlines showing how many Americans were killed in a previous war. We shouldn’t try to gloss over history and make it go away – or we’ll repeat it. I’m sick of political correctness. I’m sick of our nation sinking into a homogenized, neutral mess. I’m sick of having more than one language on every bottle, label, or sign I see these days. I’m sick of religious extremists, corrupt politicians, child molesters, cult leaders, and people that think they deserve a free ride from our government. And now I’m sick over political correctness working its way into one of the last bastions of true Americanism, bluegrass. Herb is correct; it should have never become an issue in the first place.

    Fred Black

  • cgroves2

    What was David Crow and the IBMA Board thinking? They ask the U.S. Navy Bluegrass Band to perform at the award show who were prepared to honor our military by playing their anthems then asked not to perform what was originally planned because some people might get offended. Are bands not going to be able to perform gospel songs, murder ballads, and cheating songs at the IBMA’s because some people that have been affected by these things(which is everybody) might get offended!!!

    David Crow needed to resign because who in their right mind would ask the U.S. Navy Band to perform and then tell them not to play military anthems. What a slap in the face to our military, country and these fine group of musicians!

    The Navy Band was started in the 70’s for the sole purpose of recruitment to the Navy and to entertain the sailors in the Navy. So why would they even ask them not to honor our military? The IBMA needs to reevaluate some things. Did they not hear the response from the crowd? They loved it. Do they not hear the response of the thousands of fans who are angry with them right now? I belive blogs, forums, and the response to The Tennesean’s article about the situation is evidence enough.

    I agree with Mr. Fred Black that if I was in another country I would respect their patriotism and wouldn’t expect them to change anything for a small percentage of Americans. It’s their country!!!! This is our country that this show is privileged to participate in and those are our countrymen who have sworn to protect us so please respect us when we love to honor them through our music and don’t try to quiet us in our country with the God given liberties we have been granted in this wonderful country the United States of America.


    Clint Groves