This morning looking at the news and then driving in listening to the radio I realized that I was completely ignorant of much that had been discussed. I did not recognize any of the the winners of the Country Music Awards. To be perfectly honest I never realize that any country music "artist" deserved any awards in the first place. I had never heard of any of the top 10 videos, the top ten best selling downloads, seen any of the top ten movies or heard any of the top ten cds or heard of any of their artists either. I didn't know what was a "twitter" or a "facebook". Yet later that morning I downloaded modern 5 cds from itunes and Amazon. Music is a passion of mine as is reading novels - mostly science fiction, military history and military fiction. Although I don't go to movies, I do purchase dvds to watch on long trips. When I take my annual bear hunting trip to Canada next month I will start to watch "Hill Street blues". I am also fond of film noire (The Grifters, Jackie Brown, Pulp Fiction, The Moderns, Choose Me and assorted Humphrey Bogart). So I like old stuff. But I do like new stuff too, its just the new stuff that is in the tradition of the old stuff like Branford Marsalis, the Clayton Brothers, Eliane Elias and Sean Jones. No hip hop. No rap. But no country either. Just music I understand and love. Does this mean I am old. Yes and no. When I was a teenager I listened to Monk, Miles, Mingus and Coltrane. My father thought it was just noise. Yet one of my fondest memories is that the year before he died he picked me up at the Atlanta airport and had Atlanta's only classical jazz station on the radio. They were playing Coltrane's Ballads when we pulled into the garage and we sat in the car listening until it finished. I also recalled playing John Lewis' Wonderful World of Jazz when my son was in middle school. He said "what is that"? I told him it was the first LP I had ever purchased and I bought it when I was his age. I said "do you think you will be listening to the same music when you are my age that you are listening to now"? His answer was "I hope not."
Harold A. Black is professor emeritus in the Department of Finance, University of Tennessee, Knoxville having retired after 24 years of service. He has served on the faculties of American University, Howard University, the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and the University of Florida. His government service includes the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and as a Board Member of the National Credit Union Administration. He also has served on the boards of directors Home Savings of America and its parent company, H. F. Ahmanson & Co., Irwindale, California prior to its merger with Washington Mutual Savings Bank, on the board of New Century Financial Corporation, Irvine, California, then the nation’s largest real estate investment trust and as director and later chairman of the Nashville Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. He writes an occasional article for the Knoxville News-Sentinel at http://www.knoxnews.com/staff/dr-harold-black/. His web page is haroldablackphd.com