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PRINT Summer 1992

UNDERTONE

Standing By Your Girl

The National Enquirerbroke the news this spring: “Garth Brooks stands by his two-fisted gay sister: She protected him from bullies, so he’s given her a job in the band.” Once cultural studies joined the age of post-Modernism, tabloid culture entered theoretical discourse as an equal. Good news for people like me. How else could the subject of lesbians and country-and-western music come so reputably to the pages of Artforum, via a column that itself testifies to several decades of secret affection for the wrong end of the radio dial?

Country-and-western music is hot these days. But way back in the ’60s and early ’70s, when I trudged around to fiddlin’ competitions and Bean Blossom Festivals, it was “white man’s blues” to me. “Love it or leave it” music to the long-haired antiwar boys I knew. “Lynching music” to my black friends. “Love ’em and leave ’em” music to long suffering women. The

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