Several of my sources contacted me this week to inform me that “race music” is enjoying a major resurgence in America. I can’t say I was taken by surprise, especially after prominent members of the Republican Party, as well as Rush Limbaugh, saw fit to disparage President Barack Obama by “lampooning” him in a song entitled “Barack, the Magic Negro.” This type of music grew to become enormously popular in the 1930’s and flourished well into the civil rights period.
In researching the subject, I discovered that one of the most famous performers of this controversial genre was “Johnny Rebel”, a pseudonym of Cajun country musician Clifford Joseph Trahan, who was also known as Pee Wee Trahan. Trahan took the Johnny Rebel name to superstar status during the 1960’s while signed with J.D. “Jay” Miller’s “Red Rebel” label, which was based in Crowley, Louisiana. Trahan was a staunch supporter of both the Ku Klux Klan and segregation, and he constantly used the word nigger in his song titles and lyrics.
I knew it would pain me to do so, but I decided to try and locate a few of the Johnny Rebel tracks on the Internet and listen to them. It took a little time, but The G-Man was successful. I listened to what many KKK members and white supremacists regard as Rebel’s signature song, “Nigger Hatin’ Me”. To say I was stunned at what I heard would be an understatement. I didn’t stop there. I continued to listen to other songs in the legendary country singer’s catalog, such as “Ship Those Niggers Back”, “Who Likes a Nigger”, “Leroy, the Big-Lipped Nigger” and “Coon Town”.
The G-Man was livid over this situation, but if I were a betting man, and I am, I’d bet country music superstars Garth Brooks, Brad Paisley, Toby Keith, Tim McGraw, George Strait, Kenny Chesney and Trace Adkins, just to name a few, would be just as livid to learn that their names and music are linked directly to Johnny Rebel’s racist music page! I don’t know who at the host site, Dizzler.com, is directly responsible for setting the page up, but the stars, their management and public relations teams need to get busy and address this…and fast!
Now, usually, I would’ve laughed myself silly over the ridiculous, over-the-top lyrics and stereotypes featured in Trahan’s hate-laced songs, but the fact that these songs are being downloaded in record numbers by people across the country is deeply disturbing and frightening. It wouldn’t come as a shock if some of the people downloading the songs were actually “teabaggers” and “gunslingers” who often show up at President Obama’s town hall meetings. After all, recent news reports have cited that members of the KKK and white supremacist groups often crash the events while waving their Confederate flags.
I’m urging Brooks and others to issue a press release, collectively, indicating they do not support race music; that they had no knowledge of the fact that their names were listed on the page, and that the web page is grossly misleading. Ignoring this matter could severely damage their careers! People, especially those that have always regarded country music as being “purely white”, may be inclined to believe the stars actually support Johnny Rebel’s legacy and race music simply because their names are listed below the racist song catalog. It's time for “Nashville’s Nice-Guys” to cowboy up….and speak out.
If you would like to hear some of Johnny Rebel’s songs, just go to the following links:
Toby Keith Photo Source: http://www.defendamerica.mil/articles/june2006/a060506tj1.html. Transferred from en.wikipedia; transferred to Commons by User:Kelly using CommonsHelper.
Permission: Public Domain – USGOV
Johnny Rebel Photo Source: kazamate.blogspot.com/