Grammy-Nominated Band’s Concert Canceled over Alleged Racism
A Grammy-nominated band will no longer be performing in the Hudson Valley over allegations of racism.
Confederate Railroad has officially been dropped from a second fair due to its controversial name. Officials with the Ulster County Fair released a statement Thursday, calling the band's name a "symbol of division and racism,” confirming the Country-rock band’s free concert at the Ulster County Fair has been canceled
“The Ulster County Fair must be an event that everyone can enjoy while representing the values of all members of our community. Any showcasing of a symbol of division and racism runs counter to that principle and will be vigorously opposed by my administration. We are proud that we have come up with a solution addressing the concerns of many while still providing high-quality entertainment. Stay tuned, we are really excited about the act that will be headlining the fair Thursday night and that we will be announcing shortly," Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan said to Hudson Valley Post in an email.
The news comes just weeks after the band was dropped from performing at a fair in Illinois. Soon after some residents in the Hudson Valley asked officials in Ulster County do the same.
On Wednesday, a Change.org petition was formed asking the Ulster County Agricultural Society to cancel the band's performance in Ulster County. Nearly 400 people signed the petition, as of this writing.
The band then had a strong feeling, like in Illinois, their concert in the Hudson Valley would soon be canceled.
"Looks like we won’t be coming to New York next week," Confederate Railroad wrote on Facebook early Thursday morning.
Hours later the band was officially dropped from performing at the Ulster County Fair. The band doesn't seem happy with the news.
"I've done nothing wrong," Confederate Railroad frontman Danny Shirley told the San Francisco Chronicle on Thursday. "I love the part of the country I'm from, and I will never apologize for that."
According to Shirley, the Confederate Railroad name comes from a steam locomotive called the General, which was seized in Georgia by a Union during the Civil War.
That steam locomotive has been on display in Georgia, where Shirley was living when he signed his record deal.
"It seems that everybody kind of gets looking for something to get upset about," Shirley said. "And I guess I'm just the flavor of the month."
Confederate Railroad formed in the Atlanta area in the late 1980s and starting getting mainstream attention from their self-titled debut album in 1992, which had many hits including “Trashy Women,” "She Took It Like A Man,” “Jesus and Mama,” and “Queen of Memphis.” The group was nominated for a Grammy in 1993.
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