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Sex and videos

Country Standard Time Editorial, September 2003

Much has been made in recent weeks and months about the increasing presence of sexuality in country music. The most recent example was the brouhaha involving guitarist Joe Don Rooney of Rascal Flatts, whose back side could be seen quite clearly in a video for the band's current hit, "I Melt." Then he hops into bed and passionately kisses the object of his desires.

Some folks didn't like the depiction of nudity in the video.

Rascal Flatts has defended the video saying they wanted something that made sense to go with the lyrics and were not looking for any hype about the video. Rascal Flatts has not had the only hot video lately. Deana Carter certainly did with "There's No Limit," the hit single from her last album. Carter was romping around her bed scantily clad, oozing sexuality.

Of course, sexual overtones are not only the humble abode of television. Just take a look at album art over the years. Lorrie Morgan was not exactly afraid to cash in on her good looks.

Country music fans can complain all they want obviously, but the bottom line is music lovers ought to be worried about the music, not some video or album cover, which is selling a particular image.

That's the whole problem with much of music of any genre today. There's way way too much emphasis on image and appearance than whether the music happens to be of any quality. Can anyone say "hat act?" For some artists, any type of controversy is good because that focuses attention on them. And publicity good or bad - often is considered to be beneficial.

While not the least bit controversial, did the video with Shania Twain taking place in North Africa have anything to do with country music?

So, for those whose love of music is limited to videos and images instead of what's on the silver platter, our condolences. The sexual implications of the videos at some level will create, if not designed to do so, a reaction and get people talking and writing about the particular artist.

But if that's what music is about in this day and age, we have a whole lot to be worried about. Maybe shut off the videos, check out some music and see what's behind the image.