I was trying to leave a comment on this post, but when I got to the bottom of the Haloscan window, instead of scrolling down, my computer locked up. Since it was sort of a long comment, and I don't care to duplicate the problem, I'll just make it a post here. So if I can remember the whole thing...
Pistolero is correct that genre classification has a very great deal to do with the drones in marketing trying to figure out how to make the most money, and less to do with what the music actually sounds like. If a band like Pure Prarie League were around today, they would be called Americana (as would the early Eagles, CS&N, Seals & Crofts, Lobo, etc.). The true modern-day descendant of what we now think of as "classic country" is the Americana genre, not the wimped out cowpop* that passes for "country" these days because people don't know any better.
Just take a listen at some of the radio stations that call themselves Americana, and see how frequently they play "classic country" songs, or new songs by "classic country" artists. Then compare how often modern "country" stations play songs by these same artists. You will find that these Americana stations put the "country" stations to shame.
The music played by these so-called "country" stations is not the descendant of "classic country." It is really highly polished, carefully crafted and target-marketed pop music.
Of course, this is only my opinion, and you may disagree. But you'd better be prepared to make a very good case for the contrary if you plan on changing my mind.
*I made this term up myself. Someone else might have also thought of it at some point. I don't know. It just came to me one day and it seemed apt.