Etta James said (in a live recorded album Red Hot and Blue from 1982) that "I'd rather go blind" is a country and western song. What makes it a country song ? what classifies a song as country in general?

closed as too broad by David Bowling, Tim, Dom Aug 27 '18 at 1:28

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    Got a feeling the answer to this is going to fill a big book. There are so many different facets to Country, which have developed over 60, 70+ years. Played that song many times, in a couple of styles, and never thought of it as country. – Tim Aug 26 '18 at 6:57

In my opinion the definition of country music has actually changed over the decades and aside from a rather commonly perceived country accent used by vocalists, modern country music bears little or no resemblance to early country music from Jimmie Rodgers or the Carter Family. Move to the '60s and '70s and the accent is still there but the instrumentation and production has changed completely, and predominate topics are bar rooms, drinkin, and cheatin. These days there are distorted guitars, dominant bass, cranked up drumkits, and performances much more associated with rock and roll acts in the '70s and '80s. The one constant in the definition of country music has been where the song was designated in the Billboard charts in America. I don't know if a version of "I'd Rather Go Blind" ever charted there, but I suspect most folks would call her version of the song "Blues".

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