American Idol

Southern music 2

We Southerners know a little bit about music.

“American Idol,” for those who haven’t watched, is a reality-based music singing competition on the Fox Network. The very nature of what anybody would call “American music” is the definition of a blending of diverse American sub-cultures into one representative “sound,” and that alone is the definition of growing up Southern. The birth of rock ‘n roll itself was a unique blend of country, gospel, and r&b, and that’s why all the early major rock acts of the 1950’s were Southern. Elvis represented such a breakthrough for the rest of the nation, but for us Southerners, that’s how we all sounded.

“American Idol” knows all too well about the dominance of Southern singers in their competition. They keep shifting the audition cities as far away from the South as possible, but Southern singers keep infiltrating the competition and blow everybody else off the stage. Currently, the 13th season of American Idol is underway, but here is the geographic breakdown of the previous twelve winners. Season One – Texas. Season Two – Alabama. Season Three – North Carolina. Season Four – Oklahoma (runner-up from Alabama). Season Five – Alabama. Season Six – Arizona (what happened?). Season Seven – Missouri (still SEC country). Season Eight – Arkansas. Season Nine – Illinois (seriously?). Season Ten – North Carolina. Season Eleven – Georgia. Season Twelve – South Carolina. As if that’s not already bad enough, the Top 13 contestants on this season of American Idol are from Michigan (two contestants), California, New Hampshire, and the rest are all from The Land of Cotton – three each from Alabama and Florida, two from North Carolina, and one from Tennessee. That’s four Yankees vs nine Southerners.

Y’all give up yet?

About Tom Daniel

Tom Daniel holds a Ph.D in Music Education from Auburn University. He is a husband, father of four cats and a dog, and a college band director who lives back in the woods of Alabama with a cotton field right outside his bedroom window. His grandfather once told him he was "Scotch-Irish," and Tom has been trying to live up to those lofty Southern standards ever since. More from Tom Daniel

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