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Songwriter Larry Cordle has numerous hits to his credit, including three that
went to the top of the charts. His awards include the 1992 Song of the Year,
which Cordle received from the International Bluegrass Music Association for his
"Lonesome Standard Time." The song also garnered a Grammy nomination.
Despite these high points that mark a successful career in the music business,
Cordle later made news with a song that some listeners thought might be biting
the hand that fed the songwriter. "Murder on Music Row," a song Cordle
co-wrote with Larry Shell, makes no bones about criticizing Nashville for drifting
away from the roots of country music.
Plenty of people in the industry were aghast and angry over the song's
condemnation of the town and of the turn country music had taken in recent
years. Probably just as many cheered it. The song wasn't released to radio as a
single, at least not officially, and there wasn't even any real promotion to speak
of. But the duet by George Strait and Alan Jackson raised the song's profile. It
hit a nerve and it hit deep. The song made it onto the airwaves, landed in the
Top 40, and made a lot of people sit up and take notice of the things Cordle had
to say about the state of country music.
The ripples that spread from the song's impact even led the very industry that
the song condemns to acknowledge and honor its honesty. The Country Music
Association bestowed a pair of nominations in 2000, one for Vocal Event of the
Year and another for Song of the Year.