The movie Shut up and Sing was able to light a fire in my heart and feel for the girls in the band. This documentary followed the three members of the “Dixie Chicks” band, and the controversy that has followed the band over the years. The plot was guided by an uproar following a comment Natalie Maines (the lead singer of the Dixie Chicks), that was stated due some disagreements with President Bush at the time.
During this time in the American History, George Bush was in his first term as president. As the leader during the time of the 9/11 tower attacks President Bush had a quite a backing with him. After it was discovered that the Iraqi’s possibly had weapons of mass destruction on their land (they did not, it was a lie created to go to war), Bush decided it was best for him to send the American troops to war with the Iraqis. As with almost any war, there are backers and there are protesters.
At a concert in London, England, having seen crowds of protesters of the war in America, Natalie and the Dixie Chick’s knew how the crowd at the concert felt about the war. To fire them up Natalie proclaimed “Just so you know, we’re on the good side with y’all. We do not want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas.” This quote soon spiraled all over the media and across the nation. All stations were talking about it and former, current, and never fans of the Dixie Chicks were all soon discussing what was said. Many were in complete opposition of the girls and their group. People began calling them disgusting names and even some were telling their children to call the girls these names. There was a huge backlash from many Dixie Chick supporters and media outlets with comments full of hate towards the girls, and especially Natalie. But the girls ran with it. They backed their comments and all claimed that they would not take it back. Country music stations and TV stations began to boycott the girls’ music. They would not play their music and many stated it is because it is not what the listeners of the station wanted to hear. Although much of the music the Dixie Chicks made skyrocketed to the tops of the charts, the stations claimed it was best for their business to keep their listeners if they did not play the music the girls performed.
This went on until the end of the movie and everyone knew it was something that the Dixie Chicks will forever carry. Whether it tarnished their legacy or kept them relevant, it does not matter, it happened and now its part of their history. Their music in itself actually was surprisingly appealing to me. From what I hear throughout the documentary, I enjoyed listening to it. They played a nice brand of music and the mixture of their instruments is something I have not really heard in my history of listening to country music. I was surprised how well some of the girls could play their instruments, and Natalie’s voice is amazing. I am actually somewhat a fan of what they preach and what they perform. They have earned another casual fan.
And for the comment Natalie made, I do not see a problem with it at all, in fact, I’m behind hear. At the time of the incident I would have considered myself a Republican and a fan of George Bush, because my parents and family told me that was what was best. But I also agree with freedom of speech, and if that’s what they truly believe, then they should be able to say whatever they want about the president without repercussions. I am now an independent, but still have these same views, and I now know how the Bush family facilitates and has been.
Now as for the radio stations not playing their music, if they were contractually required to play their music, than they should have. But if they have the freedom to play whoever they want, I do not think they should have played their music if they did not want to. And my reasoning behind this is also citing freedom of speech. It was a great documentary and I am glad I had the chance to see this and learn about an inspiring band in this brand of music’s history. Learning about the history of music really helps understand why we are where we are in this point in history.