In “Murder on Music Row,” Alan Jackson and George Strait critique modern country music

When it comes to the issue of modern country music versus tracks that have established a place in our hearts, there is no shortage of debate over whether current country music has surpassed the original sound that many have grown up with. Many musicians have spoken out against the controversy, but two big names in country music chose to criticize modern country music in the best way they knew how: through songs.

Alan Jackson and George Strait collaborated on the 2000 country smash “Murder On Music Row,” which was never published as a single but gained so much attention that it charted on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles! The song was a subtle criticism of the shift toward pop-influenced country music, which many old country artists thought was destroying the roots of the genre.

“For the steel guitars no longer cry/ And you can’t hear fiddles play/ With drums and rock ‘n’ roll guitars/ Mixed right up in your face,” the song begins.

The first version of this bold hit was done in 1999 by bluegrass band Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time, not Jackson & Strait.

This amazing duet went on to win a CMA Award for vocal event of the year in 2000 as well as song of the year in 2001.

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