Bobby Mackey

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“Country music is alive and well in Wilder still today.”

Sitting with his acoustic guitar in his lap, those are the first lyrics Bobby Mackey sang for his recent WCPO Lounge Acts session recorded at his music venue, Bobby Mackey’s Music World, in Wilder, Kentucky.

They couldn't be more true.

Mackey is a local country music legend and his music venue is just as iconic. That’s not hyperbole: Mackey was inducted into the Northern Kentucky Music Legends Hall of Fame in 2012, and signs for the city of Wilder proudly read “Home of Bobby Mackey’s Music World."

Mackey himself is classic, having been making country music for 50 years. Although the times and styles have changed, Mackey sees himself as a champion of classic country music — although he’d insist on calling it just “country.”

“What they’re calling country today, I resent the fact they call it country,” he explained during his Lounge Acts performance. “I’m not putting it down. Time goes on, but… it sure ain’t country.”

It’s a feeling Mackey explores in his tune “What They Call Country.”

Mackey’s rebellion against so-called “new country” motivates him to take a grassroots approach to keeping a place for classic country alive.

“The mainstream country radio stations don’t play country, so country music had to find a place to go, and little by little it has,” Mackey said. “There are more than 500 radio stations that play traditional country music and play independent artists like myself.”

Mackey kept things classic for his WCPO Lounge Acts performance, playing four news songs with just his acoustic guitar.

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