COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - At the studio of 94.3 FM The Dude, the country music goes on. But, for now, it seems almost like a veneer covering the depressing thoughts, images, and sounds on most American minds.
"Just shocked and honestly terrified," said the station's managing partner Keith Stover. "To see that type of a concert targeted is just heartbreaking."
Monday morning, the station began running a recorded message that asks for prayers for the victims and offers those victims the Midlands' support.
"We don't know his motivations, certainly don't want to speculate on it, but country music is all about what's good in American life and about family and faith and our flag," Stover said.
For Stover, the news hits close to home. He knows people who were there. Thankfully, they're all okay. Many others are not. To Stover, in a way, they're still family.
"There's a special bond between country music and the performers – the artists – and the fans. I really believe it's unlike any other genre of music," he said.
Jason Aldean is set to play Greenville later this month. Stover said he guesses a lot of ticket-holders might be feeling some apprehension. But, he believes most won't allow what happened Sunday night in Las Vegas to scare them.
As Stover, like so many others, tries to make sense of a massacre that'll never make sense, he points out one positive. It's a massacre already creating unity in a divided country.
As The Dude's show goes on, its familiar motto has new meaning. The motto? Undivided Country.