I go to see live music to be moved, enlightened, and inspired by the performers. This indeed happened when I recently saw the Cherryholmes Family. I was moved – but neither enlightened nor inspired – by the comments made by the band’s garishly adorned patriarch, Jere Cherryholmes.
Excuse me if I cut right to the chase. As the suspiciously “country dumb” emcee attempted to charm the audience with his innocent, unsmiling brood awaiting their introductions, he finally got around to his eldest and most prominently featured daughter. As he began, I thought we may hear at best a campy joke or an endearing, heartfelt praise of his first born, but no. Jerry Cherryholmes proceeded, foolishly and in a grotesquely articulate manner, to announce – and I paraphrase – that this young woman was not single and threatened to castrate anyone who dare try to change this. If that weren’t awkward enough he then went on and confessed to have the implement on his person. These statements, meant for whatever reason as a joke, are contemptible for several reasons.
For one, I heard laughter. Second, the statements make the assumption that we, every male audience member, are all lusting after and mentally undressing his daughter before his family and, up until that moment, an adoring audience. Third, it makes the assumption that we go to shows specifically to see, enjoy, and condem young performers being humiliated and degraded on stage.
Thanks, but no thanks, Mr. Cherryholmes, if that is even your real name. If you must and should know, I prefer women who think for themselves, have a sense of humor, and who have been brought up by a father who treated them with dignity and respect and not by a patriarchal dictator. Since when did crude emasculation under the guise of humor become acceptable in our culture and in this industry? Do awards give performers like Ricky Skaggs and Rhonda Vincent (who I could also indict for unforgivable stage banter) the right to cram their political, social, and religious views down our throats? Are we as onlookers immune to criticizing them? I think it’s disgusting and deplorable behavior. It’s not entertainment, and “Pops” betrays his profession and family while insulting his adulating fans that sit in awe of what they appear to behold as some picturesque version of the “American Dream”: a wholesome, talented family traveling together, working together, and making art together.
If this behavior is acceptable, then this critique will fall on the eyes and ears of a trusting public and Jerry Cherryholmes can read this with comfort, staunch impunity, and take solace in his new subjugation. But may I suggest, sir, before you sit down to read this, go fetch a dictionary and smoke, if you got ’em.
If you think we are as stupid as you appear and we have as warped a sense of humor as you appear to do, let me tell you some of us are not and do not. You and your wife are mediocre musicians at best and are clearly making your living off the talent, skill, and beauty of your children. If you think they should bare the brunt of crass, heartless rhetoric, then you should be ashamed of yourself. Finally, let me suggest you apologize to your children, then your fans, and then shut your mouth, take some bass lessons, and seek counsel for you and your family. Have a nice day.