My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Classic Rewind: Charley Pride – ‘Kaw Liga’

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4 responses to “Classic Rewind: Charley Pride – ‘Kaw Liga’

  1. Luckyoldsun July 15, 2017 at 3:40 am

    Charley really hammers this one–Indian whoops and all!
    I guess if you’re going to sing “Kaw Liga,” you might as well go all-in and act like you don’t know how un-p.c. it is!

    • Ken July 15, 2017 at 11:22 am

      Once again you embarrass yourself with comments demonstrating how little you know of country music history or for that matter history in general. When examining vintage songs It helps to understand what the cultural attitudes were during that time period. You cannot look at everything through the lens of today’s perceptions and assume it to be valid back then.

      In the late 1960’s when Charley began to perform this song on his live concerts – and then recorded it for his “Charley Pride – In Person” album in 1968 – he obviously never intended to demean, insult or make fun of Native Americans. The added extra vocal embellishments to the song that you misconstrued were enjoyed and appreciated by the audiences of that time. I first saw Charley in concert in early 1969 when that song was his current single and it brought the house down! At that time no one remotely thought it to be negative toward Native Americans. They just thought it was a great performance of a classic Hank Williams song with Charley adding his unique interpretation,

      Years later Tim McGraw’s debut hit “Indian Outlaw” was equally innocent in it’s intent.

  2. Luckyoldsun July 16, 2017 at 5:39 pm

    Charley Pride came out with “Kaw Liga” in an era when cartoonish portrayals of Indians were already passe. The western movies of the era, like “Little Big Man” and “A Man Called Horse,” portrayed Indians as multi-dimensional people. Admittedly, country music may have been a little behind Hollywood in catching up with social trends.
    ..
    Oh, and “Indian Outlaw” was considered an embarrassment by socially conscious people, when it came out in 1994, because of its ludicrous and utterly anachronistic portrayal of Indians. That’s why the record, despite being a smash and extremely “catchy,”–and launching McGraw’s mammothly successful career–stalled at No. 8 on the country chart. A lot of stations stopped playing it because of the resistance that it generated. I guess you slept through that, so I’m glad to help you catch up. The pleasure’s mine.

    • Ken July 16, 2017 at 9:42 pm

      You obviously never listened to the lyrics or understood them because Kaw-Liga is about a cigar store wooden Indian statue – not a real person. It’s a lighthearted novelty song not social commentary.

      “Oh, and “Indian Outlaw” was considered an embarrassment by socially conscious people”

      I repeat my original statement that you obviously did not fully comprehend – that Tim McGraw’s debut hit “Indian Outlaw” was equally innocent in its intent. Another lighthearted novelty. Around the country there were a few people that took exception to some of the lyrics but it was not pervasive. “A lot of stations” did not stop playing it as you erroneously stated but only a few. If a significant number of stations did not play that song it could not have become a top ten hit. Even Native Americans were split in their opinion of the song – some liked it and some did not.

      For any artist’s first top ten song to “stall” at #8 on the country chart is still a pretty remarkable accomplishment. I’ll bet that Tim did not look at it from your usual negative “glass is half full” perspective but what a great achievement he had made. There are thousands of unknown acts that would love to have a #8 hit – or anything even close to a top ten record. If anything that record and Tim were both helped by the publicity caused by the controversy.

      Cannot imagine that anyone would use unluckyoldsun to “catch up” on anything unless they wished to catch up on erroneous Wikipedia entries.

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