COUNTRY music is often knocked by those with limited knowledge of the genre – the same people who would struggle to name anyone aside from Dolly Parton, when probed on the subject.
But those that love their sounds know there is more to Country than cliches, writes Sammy Jones.
And they are unshakeable in their passion for the genre.
Just look to the new city-based MK Divided Club for proof – this weekend it celebrates its 39th birthday!
Brian Holden, Gordon Ratnage and Melvin Cameron sowed the seeds of the club, and since that launch back in 1973, the club has missed not one fortnightly session.
Initially, meetings were held at Wilton Hall, before moving to British Rail Social Cluib.
In 2010, Bletchley Working Men’s Club became the new base. As for the name?
When the club launched, some members opted to dress in country attire, while others steered clear of the stetsons and fancy shirts.
Hence, MK Divided.
Husband and wife team John and Trish Case took over the running of MK Divided in 2008, keeping the collective and the ethos buzzing.
“Some people’s idea of country music is still stuck in the 50s and 60s,” John told GO! “But we have moved on from those days.
“Although we still play some of that style, we also have exciting new artists – like Brad Paisley, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood and Lady Antebellum.”
“Whether it’s old country music or new country music, for listeners, dancing or line dancing, MK Divided’s relaxed, inclusive approach accommodates most tastes and preferences in an easy, laid-back ‘come and join us’ style,” added John.
Thirty-nine years to the day since MK Divided first opened its doors, it will be business as usual on Sunday night, with a live set from Tony Rouse.
Which has got to be worth tipping those stetson’s for...
Make your way to the Chandos Place location in time for 7.30pm.
Admission is £5 for members, £6 for those not in the club, so to speak!