Nashville

The city many people think of when they think of country music. Nashville is to country music what Hollywood is to the movie industry. Everything good and bad that’s ever happened to those seeking fame and fortune in Los Angeles has also happened here.

WSM, The Grand Ole Opry, Acuff-Rose – for decades, these and other entities established Nashville as the capitol of the country music industry. Keyword: industry. You could make it as a country artist from outside the industry but on the inside, they made the rules.

The following episodes of Cocaine & Rhinestones have much more to tell you about Nashville.

Tyler Mahan Coe Cocaine Rhinestones Season 1 Q&A

BONUS: Cocaine & Rhinestones Season 1 Q&A

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As promised, here is the bonus Q&A Episode for Season 1.

You might think, “How could anyone finish a season of a podcast like Cocaine & Rhinestones and have questions? That guy saturates every episode with details like he’s getting paid by the fact.”

There’s always more to know. Just remember, don’t ask a question if you don’t want the answer. From the FAQs down to the minutiae of, well, whatever anyone wanted to know, it’s all here. Like, how does one even go about making a podcast on such a huge subject as the history of country music? Whose “fault” is pop country, really? Is this Merle Haggard song communist? Is that Merle Haggard song racist? There had to be more men banned from country radio, right? One at a time, people. One at a time…

Who’s ready to learn some stuff? Let’s do it.

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CR013 Rusty & Doug Kershaw: Swamp Things

CR013 Rusty & Doug Kershaw: The Cajun Way

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Doug Kershaw is the most famous Cajun musician in history. His brother, Rusty, is not, though you may be more familiar with his work than you realize. 

These brothers come from a long tradition of surviving against the odds, against a world that would just as soon see you dead as see you succeed. Starting from nothing but a houseboat in Louisiana, they fought their way through an unscrupulous industry, through honky tonk stages screened off with chicken wire, onto the biggest stages in the business, in order to create some of the greatest music ever made. Then, they battled themselves, their past and their addictions.

Side note: what the hell is “Cajun”? Swamp stuff, right? Well, let’s talk about all of that.

This episode is recommend for fans of: Hardcore History, Neil Young, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan and discovering unbelievably good music that you’ve never heard.

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CR012 Wynonna

CR012 Wynonna

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Some people think we have all these “authenticity tests” in country music. We don’t. There’s only one test. Wynonna passed it. Then, everyone thought she’d cheated. The answers lie somewhere in her past…

From somehow surviving a childhood full of several types of abuse to a years-long reign over country music radio with her mother in The Judds, this path was not easy to travel and the end of it is only the beginning of another, much more treacherous road. Forget everything you think you remember. This isn’t a Lifetime movie. It’s rated R.

This episode is recommended for fans of: Harlan Howard, Merle Haggard, Charley Pride, Asleep at the Wheel, Ashley Judd, guns, dysfunctional families and liars.

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Harper Valley PTA, Part 3: Tom T. Hall

CR009 Harper Valley PTA, Part 3: Tom T. Hall

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They call him The Storyteller because he distills life into words. Behind any story worth telling, you’ll always find another story. Maybe if we can get behind some of his best stories, we can reverse engineer the alchemy of Tom T. Hall. Maybe we’ll find the story about who he is and how he’s able to do what he can do with the English language…

Probably not but, worst case scenario, it will be an incredibly entertaining waste of time. Beginning with a condensed history of country music radio, we follow Tom T. from his early days as a young DJ into a seemingly effortless realization of his destiny to become one of country music’s greatest songwriters ever.

This episode is highly recommended for fans of songwriting, arguing about music, Net Neutrality, the music business, Bobby Bare, Dave Dudley, Jimmy C. Newman, Hank Cochran and songs for children.

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Jeannie C. Riley

CR008 Harper Valley PTA, Part 2: Jeannie C. Riley

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Jeannie C. Riley’s debut single sold over a million copies within ten days of being released but she never wanted to record the song. She’s often considered a one-hit wonder. We can easily disprove that.

In the late ’60s, Jeannie C. Riley became country music’s most blatant sex symbol to date but she never wanted to wear those clothes. Small town girl with big dreams goes to the city and lets it break her in order to make her. Total cliche, right?

Sure.

Except Jeannie’s choice to bury the story in lie after lie turns it into a mystery tale of obscured identity, infidelity and blackmail. In this episode, some truth sees the light of day, maybe for the first time ever.

Recommended for fans of Johnny Paycheck, Johnny Russell, The Wilburn Brothers, Tom T. Hall, Little Darlin’ Records and mystery novels.

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