St. Lucia, Crazy for Country Music

Posted on August 12, 2014 • Filed under: Caribbean, Culture reported the Caribbean island of St Lucia is so crazy for country music, its buses are named after Jim Reeves songs and its radio stations blare out Tammy Wynette. St Lucia isn’t the only Caribbean island with a liking for the sounds of Nashville (last year, Kenny Rogers told the Guardian about his popularity in Jamaica) but it’s undoubtedly the most fervent in its devotion. In St Lucia, country isn’t so much a genre of music as a national obsession. There are buses named after Jim Reeves songs and radio stations that have been known to play 20 George Jones tracks in a row. There are dozens of country and western karaoke bars and club nights, running endless competitions to find the best local singer who can approximate a southern American twang. And there’s the St Lucia country festival, which kicked off in the late 90s with appearances from Tammy Wynette, Don Williams and the Charlie Daniels Band. In Dancing the Habanera Beats (In Country Music), a study of the island’s musical taste, sociologist Jerry Wever recounts a popular local joke suggesting that when police on the neighbouring island of Martinique want to catch illegal immigrants from St Lucia, they only have to put on a country and western dance, then arrest everyone who turns up. Read Article

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