One of the strange things about reading this book is that you become increasingly both enamored with the cultural moment and confused as to what it meant. It was a raucous lapse in traditional Southern conservatism, but also largely a branding strategy. This is partly why “progressive country” always sounded like an oxymoron, but then, if anything, the paradox is what gave it its power.
With its haunting melody, pressing rhythms, and determination, in the face of the grief that inspired it, to look on the positive side of things, Hebb’s recording of “Sunny” captured the spirit of its time.
People get weird about school. When you’re a kid, you go where you’re told. But when you’re a parent, you care, because your choice will say a lot about you, and what god you love, and how comfortable you are with your children having friends who have witnessed a murder or know what a bail bondsman is.