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 NASHVILLE, Tenn., Aug. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Four-time Grammy winner, six-time Country Music Association award winner and Grand Ole Opry member Vince Gill today announced the results of a national survey sponsored by Opryland USA to determine the impact of country music on attitudes and lifestyles.
 The study is based on a nationally projectable sample of 610 adults and 201 teens. Survey respondents were asked questions on their attitudes, behaviors and values associated with country music.
 Gill reports that the research findings provide evidence of the cultural contribution of country music.
 "This study verifies what country music performers have known all along -- many country listeners believe their lives are better because of country music, it tells stories listeners can relate to, it stirs positive emotions, it brings people together and it may even improve their romantic lives," said Gill.
 Gill adds, "The music coming out of Nashville has always had this way of evolving while remaining true to its original form. Country is here to stay."
 Key survey findings support Gill's claim:
 -- Country music tends to bring people together, not isolate them. Listening to country music is a shared experience and often "runs in the family." Seven in 10 adults (68 percent) and eight in 10 teens (83 percent) say that someone else in their family also listens to country music. Among teen listeners, the majority (55.5 percent) have parents who listen to country music as well.
 "Clearly, country music is transcending the generation gap," according to Gill.
 -- Listeners recognize country music as a unifying influence in their families. Seven in 10 (70 percent) agree that "Country music brings families together more than other types of music. It is music the whole family can listen to."
 -- Contrary to its name, Country Music has no geographical or socioeonomic limits. Listeners are found in the South (62 percent), followed closely by the Midwest (56 percent), the West (52 percent) and the Northeast (50 percent). (Charts available.)
 -- Among adults, two in three (66 percent) say that country music has made a difference in their lives. And eight in 10 teens (80 percent) agree. For most (72 percent and 76 percent respectively), this difference has been a positive influence on their lifestyle.
 -- Country music is becoming more important to its listeners. Among adults who listen to country, more than half (53 percent) say they listened more in 1992 than ever before. Among teens, more than two in three (68 percent) say they are listening to more country music these days. In fact, country listeners spend an average of 12 hours a week listening to country music.
 -- Some listeners even credit country music with improving their romantic lives. Nearly half (48 percent) agree that "Country music has brought some romance into my life."
 -- Asked to describe how they feel as they listen to a favorite country song, listeners say "their song" makes them feel happy/good (40 percent), sad/melancholy (10 percent), sentimental (10 percent) and smooth/calm (14 percent).
 -- The character of country artists is important to the appeal of country. Two in three adult listeners (67 percent) agree that "Country music stars are more like my kind of people than other music stars that are popular today."
 -- Most Americans recognize that country has a specific home; they say that home is Nashville. Asked to locate the "center of country music," three in four (74 percent) country listeners named Nashville. Branson, Mo., was a distant second with mentions by only 6 percent, followed by Tennessee (3 percent), Memphis (2 percent) and Austin (2 percent).
 According to E.W. Wendell, president and CEO of Gaylor Entertainment Company (parent company of Opryland USA), this is the first time that anyone has explored the impact of country music and lifestyle and its influence on the American way of life.
 "We are excited that the results indicate country has such a positive impact on families," said Wendell. "It truly reflects that country music and the lifestyle of country performers touch people of all ages in a positive way."
 Recent findings by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Country Music Association (CMA) support the fact that country music's impact has great social breadth which continues to endure from generation to generation.
 According to the RIAA, country music is the only music form measured that increased its share of the market every year since 1989. In 1990, country album sales were $663 million and grew to more than $1.48 billion in 1992. Figures released by the CMA show that country radio gained nearly 10 million listeners during the 1990-92 period.
 The Grand Ole Opry spawned the music industry in Nashville, creating "Music City USA." Today, the Opry is the cornerstone of Gaylord Entertainment Company, which also encompasses the Opryland theme park, the Opryland Hotel, the Opryland Music Group, and on cable TV, TNN: The Nashville Network and CMT: Country Music Television.
 The Opryland USA survey was conducted by national research firm Leo Shapiro and Associates.
 -0- 8/30/93
 /CONTACT: Laura Podlesny or Kevin Cook for Opryland USA, 312-280-7000/

CO: Opryland USA ST: Tennessee IN: ENT SU:

TW -- NY049 -- 7093 08/30/93 12:36 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 30, 1993

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