cowpunk (1979)

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU
Tue Oct 4 14:41:18 UTC 2005

On Tue, 4 Oct 2005 09:57:38 -0400, Jesse Sheidlower wrote:

>On Mon, Oct 03, 2005 at 06:57:29PM -0400, Benjamin Zimmer wrote:
>> cowpunk = performer of country/punk fusion
>> 1979 _Washington Post_ 28 Sep. E6/2 She is a daring new kind of rock
>> singer, one that could be called a Cowpunk.
>Indeed, this is the first quotation in the entry for _cowpunk_
>that the OED published three years ago.

Whoops, how'd I miss that? OK, here's another name for the "cowpunk" genre
that the OED doesn't have (though it's compositionally transparent).

* country punk

1979 _Los Angeles Times_ 11 Sep. (Orange Co.) V1/3 (photo caption) Country
punk - Texas' Joe Ely, left, joins England's Clash, featuring Joe
Strummer, during surprise encore at Tribal Stomp festival.

1980 _Los Angeles Times_ 26 July (Gold Coast advertising supplement) 29/1
Playing supercharged musics [sic] that has been categorized as anything
from bluegrass to country punk, Montezuma's Revenge will be on stage
Monday through Thursday.

1983 _Los Angeles Times_ 27 Nov. (Calendar) 68/1 None of the groups wants
to be called something like "country-punk" or, even worse, "cow-punk."

1984 _NME_ 11 Aug. ( As Rob Patterson wrote in Musician,
"most so-called country punk is directed at the early root forms of
country music rather than the 'Nashville sound'...what these musicians
seem attracted to is a framework that can support honest musical and
lyrical expression."

--Ben Zimmer

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