Confederate Railroad Dropped From Another Fair Over ‘Racist’ Name
Confederate Railroad are under fire once again for their name. The country-rock and Southern rock band have been removed from the lineup of an upcoming fair in New York, just weeks after they were fired from another fair over allegations their name is racist.
Confederate Railroad were slated to perform at the Ulster County Fair in New Paltz, N.Y., on Aug. 1. In a statement Thursday (July 25), a spokesman for Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan says the band, whose logo features a steam train flying two confederate flags, will not perform at the event. Ryan says he opposes what he calls "a symbol of division and racism," the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The Hudson Valley Post reported earlier Thursday that someone had started a Change.org petition asking the Ulster County Agricultural Society to cancel Confederate Railroad's performance. March Gallagher, who is running for Ulster County Comptroller, also shared a letter she sent to Ulster County officials about the matter.
"Display and sale of the confederate flag is deeply offensive to people of color and their allies. The Ulster County Fair will not be able to serve as 'Your Ticket to Family Fun' to thousands of Ulster County families in light of both the name Confederate Railroad and their display of confederate symbols," she wrote. "My concerns extend further to the sale of confederate merchandise which I believe should be banned from the fair. There are many ways to share and appreciate county, rural and agricultural themes and ideas without paying homage to a dehumanizing symbol."
Confederate Railroad scored a string of hits in the early-to-mid '90s with songs including "Jesus and Mama," "Queen of Memphis," "Trashy Women," "Daddy Never Was the Cadillac Kind," "Elvis and Andy" and more. In early July, the group were dropped from the Du Quoin State Fair in Du Quoin, Ill., where they were slated to perform on Aug. 27, over concerns about their name. Singer Danny Shirley issued a statement afterward, which reads as follows:
As many of you know, we were scheduled to perform at the Illinois State Fair in Du Quoin, Illinois on August 27, along with our friends Restless Heart and Shenandoah. We have since been removed from that show by the Illinois Department of Agriculture because of the name of our band. This was very disappointing as we have played this fair before and enjoyed it very much. The outpouring of support from Confederate Railroad fans, fans of other acts, and the public in general, has been both overwhelming and very much appreciated. I would also like to thank the actors, athletes and fellow country music artists who have spoken out in support. It has been brought to my attention that several people have asked both Restless Heart and Shenandoah to cancel their shows in protest of our cancellation. I have spoken to both acts and encouraged them to perform as scheduled. Live concerts are how we pay our bills and feed our families. I would never want to see another act lose a payday because of this. Please go out to hear these two great bands. As I have said many times onstage, I am by no means a saint but, I am a man of faith and I have faith that God will see us through this as well as whatever comes next! Thank you for your support.
In a phone interview Thursday, Shirley told the Chronicle that Confederate Railroad's name was inspired by a train that was commandeered in Georgia during the Civil War, and suggested that people are just looking for something to get upset about, according to their report.
Charlie Daniels and Oak Ridge Boys singer Joe Bonsall are among the country artists who publicly voiced support for the group after the initial controversy.
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