Howdy, friends! Ryan Harmon here. In case you haven’t already heard, “Country Fried,” has come to an end.
Originally, the main point of this podcast mini-series was to accompany Ken Burns’ “Country Music.” I knew that, even in a 16-hour documentary, you couldn’t cover everything. Given its deep, rich history, I doubt anyone will ever be able to tell the whole story of country music. There’s just too much.
My goal wasn’t to tell the whole story of country music, but rather to tell some of the stories you might not hear anywhere else. I wanted to paint a picture of different eras and styles of country music, while also uncovering some information you might not have known about some of your favorite artists. I thought I was creating a podcast for country music fans, but we very quickly found out that we were filling a larger void that maybe we didn’t know existed.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, though. After all, Arkansas has always been big on music, particularly country music. I think that has a lot to do with what country music is and what it represents. It tells the story of common people, and that, along with these conversations I’ve had each week, seemed to fit right in with what AETN has always done best – storytelling.
This is one of the easiest things I’ve ever done. I got to spend some time talking to icons and legends about one big thing that we all have in common – our love of country music.
That love has been with me my whole life, not just as a fan, but as a singer-songwriter. I knew country music was part of what I was destined to do, ever since I was a little kid, riding around with my grandpa as we drove across his farm, just outside of Bluffton, listening to George Jones tapes. I knew from a young age that there was something special about this music. Even at four years old, it spoke to me like nothing else ever had.
It helped me understand life a lot better, and it’s shown me, through 24 years of being a country music fan and 10 years of being a country music artist, that regardless of your background or your current circumstances, you’re never alone. No matter what you’re going through, there’s a country song for that, and it’ll always be there for you, like an old friend.
So, I want to hear from you – what does country music mean to you? Tell us on Facebook, and we’ll pick one person at random to receive a Ken Burns’ “Country Music” poster, autographed by some of the guests you’ve heard on “Country Fried” and seen on “Talkin’ Country.”
Barbara Fairchild, Grammy award-nominated country singer
Roy Cash Jr., songwriter and nephew of Johnny Cash
Sylvia, 80s country icon
Darrell Scott, iconic Americana singer-songwriter
Charlie White, guitarist for Wynonna and The Big Noise
Heath Sanders, Arkansas singer-songwriter
Bobby Crafford, drummer and manager of Sonny Burgess and the Legendary Pacers
Lee Anthony, former studio owner and record producer
Although our time together was fairly short, remember – where one journey ends, another always begins. I sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed “Country Fried,” and I hope our paths cross again in the future. In the words of Roy Rogers, “happy trails to you, until we meet again.”
“Country Fried” Autographed “Ken Burns’ Country Music” Poster Giveaway
Oct. 22-28, 2019
This contest is open only to Arkansas residents. To enter, comment on the Facebook contest post and tell us what country music means to you. The contest will close at noon (CST) on Monday, Oct. 28, 2019.
The post can be found on the AETN Facebook page at: facebook.com/aetntv.
The winning commenters will be notified via replies to their Facebook comments on Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. The winner will have one business day to claim the poster. The winner will be asked to direct message or email to claim their prize and provide shipping information.