Is Willie Nelson considered to be country music, and if so, why isn't most country music like what he does? Most everything else seems so commercial.
Willie was cranking out "commercial" music back in the 50's "Crazy", "Hello Walls" and many others...wore a suit and tie, clean shaven and short hair. Then he helped found the "Outlaw" country...a synthesis of traditional country, Texas swing and country rock in the 70's with Waylon Jennings, TomPaul Glazer, Billy Shaver, Kris Kristofferson and a few others.
This was in protest to the "cookie cutter" music "Nashville Sound" formula that was being marketed and given air play....a sound which a certain record company V.P. named Chet Atkins helped develop in an effort to codify and standardize quality in music...went to the point that it became flavorless and crappy though. This led to the "Neo-Traditionalist" bloom back in the 80's when singers like George Strait and Randy Travis hit the air with a sound people had been missing in country. Sadly now all we are getting are either wanna be rock and rollers or UberRedNeck (love my tractor/truck/beer) songs example of each: Taylor Swift and Jason Aldeen...neither really producing quality...the ultimate combo though would be Kenny Chesney who tries to combine the super redneck with wanna be rocker and some Jimmy Buffet and winds up with garbage that is not country.
Now days (and it really always has been but just more so now) it is all about grabbing market share...if you can get a gold record song out from an artist a couple of times a year and tour the crap out of them while they are "hot" the companies make a killing.
Of course that is my opinion...but I used to be around a lot of guys who were tossed aside by Nashville once they went from traditional recordings to mass market/crossover recording and to say the least... it left a bitter taste in the artist's mouth.