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By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A La Salle University American Studies senior has won an award for a paper on a musical trend. In short, you can’t keep country music down on the farm.

As the country music singer Sam Hunt says, “We were raised on it.” That’s certainly true of Molly Fay, an import from Denver. She traces her love of country to a youth or horse camp and rodeo, but says she’s managed to “convert” some of her La Salle pals, in something of a microcosm of what she’s spotted in America, writ large.

“The paper itself is about why country music is popular in American cities and how that’s a really interesting cultural shift from where it used to be in the rural South and now it’s all over the country.”

Fay cites three reasons for this: Garth Brooks for adding cover songs to country’s repertoire and audience, riding a wave of post-9-11 patriotism and adding musical influences over the past ten years. Her work won best paper at the Eastern American Studies Conference.

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