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Rednecks and jingoism
Posted by: mcq on Friday, January 13, 2006

Craig Aaron is concerned that country music, "the nation's most popular genre—with nearly twice as many stations devoted to it than any other", is too red, and not as in "redneck":
You can't spell Grand Ole Opry without the G-O-P. But country hasn't always been the official soundtrack of the Republican Party. Back in 1964—when Democrats still held 22 of 26 Senate seats in the South—Lawton Williams even cracked the country Top 40 with a song called "Everything's OK on the LBJ." Of course, that was also the year of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution.

Since then the South's political polarity has completely reversed: By 2004, Republicans filled 22 of the 26 southern Senate slots. The impact of the "Southern strategy" has been as bad for music as politics. Willman notes that in a genre that once spoke directly to the working class, "You don't hear many songs ... anymore about the bottom rung."
Wait a minute ... it's the nation's most popular genre yet somehow its evolution into what Aaron considers to be jingoistic music somehow has been bad for it? Of course, Aaron's leanings aren't hard to discern if you read the article, so that given, I can see how he'd feel that way.

Look, if the left gets Hollywood, the right is at least entitled to Nashville.

One little snippet I found interesting in the article had to do with the Dixie Chicks. It harkens back to my title about Pat Robertson's recent comments concerning Ariel Sharon. Free speech carries consequences and you'd better be prepared to suffer them if you feel compelled to exercise that right:
The downfall of the Dixie Chicks is the watershed moment of Rednecks & Bluenecks. On March 10, 2003—just days before the invasion of Iraq—lead singer Maines told a London audience she was "ashamed" that Bush hailed from her home state of Texas. At the time, the Chicks were the top act in country music, and their album Home was the top U.S. album in any genre, with more than 6 million copies already sold.

But once Maines' quip hit the Internet, the Republican noise machine went nuts. Talk radio hosts and right-wing Web sites urged their minions to demand that local stations take the Dixie Chicks off the air. Citing the "public outcry," Cox and Cumulus quickly issued a directive to local programmers not to play the band on their hundreds of stations; Clear Channel "advised" its 1,200 affiliates to "pay attention to their listeners." Before long, DJs were holding events where listeners could throw their old albums in a bonfire or run them over with a tractor.

Blacklisting the Chicks was an easy way for the media behemoths—run by some of Bush's biggest financial backers—to demonstrate their patriotism on the eve of the war. But the Chicks are still feeling the aftershocks. Two years after the incident, Home hadn't yet moved 7 million copies, and the band was reinventing itself as a pop act. For the rest of the industry, the message was clear: Shut up if you want to sing.

The censoring of the Dixie Chicks was only the most extreme example of how media consolidation is killing country music. The Telecom Act of 1996—which abolished nationwide radio ownership caps and spawned the mega-chains—further constricted already limited playlists, abolished local programmers and imposed a homogenized, cookie-cutter sound to better court suburban soccer moms (which admittedly served the Dixie Chicks well for a while).
This is the nut of Aarons real complaint. It's obvious he feels there should be a 'shield law' for entertainers and that they should be exempt from public backlash when they say things their customers don't appreciate. OK, I'm being facetious. But consider this, regardless of all the claims of "censorship" and "blacklisting" the real measure of the public's displeasure comes in the form of sales numbers. 6 million albums sold prior to the "quip". Less than 7 million albums sold two years afterward. A whole bunch of people out there link the artist and the work and don't feel compelled to reward artists who speak out against what they believe.

That isn't censorship or blacklisting, that's the market, or their customer base, pointing out they don't appreciate their point of view. Such is life. Makes sense they'd reinvent themselves in a genre that might be more accepting of that sort of outspokeness. As an old sage once said, "know your customer". As another said, "don't piss them off".

Obviously country music's lean to the right appeals to their base, and they reward artists for that lean. I doubt that means it will forever be jingoistic (or that there are really that many jingoistic tunes, but apparently the existance of any seems too many to Aaron). I don't listen to country, but it is my impression that the artists and the fans have always been mostly conservative and believed in traditional American values. I think what Aaron is saying, without really saying it, is those virtues live almost entirely on the right now, and he doesn't like it ... not one bit.
 
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Right... and the Dixie Chumps were on my mind when I asked the question yesterday about Democrats protesting consequences of speech. We on the center and on the right, were supposedly violating their right to free speech when we reacted to their garbage.
Obviously country music’s lean to the right appeals to their base, and they reward artists for that lean. I doubt that means it will forever be jingoistic (or that there are really that many jingoistic tunes, but apparently the existance of any seems too many to Aaron). I don’t listen to country, but it is my impression that the artists and the fans have always been mostly conservative and believed in traditional American values.
I suggest rather the opposite; That the base accounts for the lean. I speak as one who spent a few years as a country DJ... When you make music, you don’t create a niche... you FIND one that already exists. The music is an extention of the people, and their values. And in the end, I think, that’s what’s really bothering Aaron.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
I shuold add; Is Aaron calling for "his sheild law" to apply to Robertson as well? Somehow, I suspect his open-mindedness doesn’t extend quite so far.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
I have to take exception with Aaron’s notion that there was a backlash that permanently hurt the Dixie Chicks. Indeed, some stations temporarily stopped playing their music, but their follow-on concert tour — sponsored by Clear Channel — sold out. They’ve done quite well.

What you write, though...
I don’t listen to country, but it is my impression that the artists and the fans have always been mostly conservative and believed in traditional American values.
...is absolutely correct. It’s a cliche in the radio industry that Country music fans are rabid about god, guns and country and you toke them off at your peril. The reason stations dropped the Dixie Chicks was NOT because of political marching orders from Corporate. It was because, in callout research, the Dixie Chicks immediately tanked. Not just their new stuff, either. For a little while after that comment, callout returned really bad results for all Dixie Chicks music.

Radio stations don’t play music that gets bad callout. Period.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Look, if the left gets Hollywood, the right is at least entitled to Nashville.
Well, I’m looking forward to the day the left has no hold in Nashville, but I’m not holding my breath.

Certainly rural Tennessee is solidly conservative, and in fact East Tennessee never was part of the Democratic South. That’s why Tennessee was one of the first states to presage the shift from D to R, electing Republicans Howard Baker and Bill Brock to the Senate back in the 60s, and a GOP governor in the early 70s.

These days Tennessee as a whole leans Republican, but not by that much. One of the reasons is that the Nashville still has one of the few remaining functioning versions of the classic "Democratic machine". Memphis still has one too. They’re creaking, but they’re still running. Nashville has not had a GOP mayor or congressman during my lifetime, and if you knew how old that was, you would find it depressing that Nashville’s been an effective one-party region that long.

But we’re purple enough, and parts of affluent southwest Nashville got split off into another Congressional district in the last round of gerrymandering. So the most conservative Nashvillians are finally represented by the very conservative Marsha Blackburn, though the rest are still in the clutches of the machine. Nashville is at least purple enough to allow country music to cater to the conservative crowd. The leftist monoculture of LA or NY music is not present here.

The leftists have a healthy presence, though. I’ve heard them on occasion. They’re balanced by a spectrum of political opinion, and have learned to save the more egregious leftist fiction for their private parties with likeminded friends. If they start spouting election conspiracy theories or what-not here, they will be challenged.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
I like how he refers to an American artist going before a foreign audience during a time of war and saying she was "ashamed" of the President as a "quip"

 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Shark, I like even more how he refers to readers of conservative blogs and listeners of conservative talk radio as "minions"
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com
I have to take exception with Aaron’s notion that there was a backlash that permanently hurt the Dixie Chicks. Indeed, some stations temporarily stopped playing their music, but their follow-on concert tour — sponsored by Clear Channel — sold out. They’ve done quite well.
Really? Tell me; have they charted any records since Maines’ spew?
It was because, in callout research, the Dixie Chicks immediately tanked.
Not that they needed even that. Angry mobs called IN to stations playing their stuff, demanding it be taken off. CD burning partes were another good indication. Contrary to your ’temporary’ comment, their stuff isn’t being played by most country stations, inclduing everything within earshot (within 500 miles around)up here.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
I am not sure I would make too much of the album sales numbers.

For most albums, I suspect the sales curve peaks somewhat early then drops and flattens out much closer to zero. Only the classic albums stay steady sellers.
 
Written By: anomdebus
URL: http://
Really? Tell me; have they charted any records since Maines’ spew?
Yes. Their "Home" record ended that year as 4th on the Billboard Top 200 album chart. I’d also note that their tour following that remark was the top-grossing country tour of the year.

They haven’t released an album of new material since 2003, though, so, no, they haven’t "charted" since then. They’ve been a bit busy having babies.
Not that they needed even that.
Yes, radio stations got some angry feedback for awhile. Callout research is part of that. I’m not sure what you think happens at radio stations these days, but jocks do not pull songs because listeners call to complain. In fact, outside of some few morning shows, jocks have pretty much no control whatsoever. And PDs don’t even have that much control any longer.
Contrary to your ’temporary’ comment, their stuff isn’t being played by most country stations, inclduing everything within earshot (within 500 miles around)up here.
That is absolute bullshit. Granted, there’s not a hell of a lot of country stations in New York, relative to some other areas of the country, but the Dixie Chicks are played regularly by country stations.

 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Yes. Their "Home" record ended that year as 4th on the Billboard Top 200 album chart. I’d also note that their tour following that remark was the top-grossing country tour of the year.
But it could not be said that those people were coming from country audiences. More, they no longer chartered as a country act.
Yes, radio stations got some angry feedback for awhile
Trust me... Angry does not BEGIN to describe it. I know... I ended up helping a freind the first weekend at the station he was working at at the time. I was there, answering phones.
I’m not sure what you think happens at radio stations these days, but jocks do not pull songs because listeners call to complain. In fact, outside of some few morning shows, jocks have pretty much no control whatsoever. And PDs don’t even have that much control any longer.
Depends on the station, and the ownership... and the PD. Apparently you don’t remember; I was a PD for quite a while, and a GM for a bit as well. If the PD is worth his beer, and his jocks tell him about some of the crap I was fielding, trust me; they’re gonna pull the stuff. They’re not about to risk losing the listners.

And actually, Jon, there are quite a few country stations in New York outside of New York City... for example where I’m sitting right now just to the north and west of Rochester I can ground wave WBEE, WYRK, WUUF, CJBQ, WCJW, WBBS, WSCP, WECK, CHAM, WNCQ,and WFRY, all to full quieting... and that’s off the top of my head. I’m sure there’s a dozen or so more that I’ve missed.

Nighttime, of course opens up a whole different thing, though usually if I’m listening to Radio at night this time of year, WSM is high on the list... comes up here most every night.

I’ve not heard a one of them play anything by the Chumps in a long, long time. My freinds still in the biz report pretty much the same. Matter of fact, if I’m not mistaken, WSM still has ’em banned... and they being pretty much the flaship of Country, will tell you where THAT’s going.
They haven’t released an album of new material since 2003, though, so, no, they haven’t "charted" since then
Nobody’ll sign em, eh? Gee, wonder why? Limited airplay?
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
This is life. Speak out in ways your fans like, you win. Speak out in ways they don’t, you lose. Imagine a rapper stumping for Bush would get different treatment?

Worse than that was that the (formerly-Dixie) Chicks immediately turned on their own fans, wholeheartedly embracing the coastal media’s portrayal of them as ignorant, intolerant rubes and "flag-waving yahoos," if I recall Bob Herbert’s phrase. You can’t be a martyr without a villain, and the fans quickly figured out who the Chicks were painting as the villain. If I were advising them, I’d have told Maines & Co. to steer clear of interviews and magazine covers painting the thing as a free speech debate, apologize for having said anything in an overseas venue, and just humbly ask for the fans’ indulgence in the fact that the Chicks just don’t see eye to eye with Bush and the war.
 
Written By: Crank
URL: http://www.baseballcrank.com
Crank;
If I were advising them, I’d have told Maines & Co. to steer clear of interviews and magazine covers painting the thing as a free speech debate, apologize for having said anything in an overseas venue, and just humbly ask for the fans’ indulgence in the fact that the Chicks just don’t see eye to eye with Bush and the war.
That they did no such thing, seems to me indicative that they considered it a futile to do so. Likely, they were right, too. Which, in turn, speaks to me rather loudly of the amount of grassroots support that Bush had and has, as regards the war.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
See, this is the problem with debating Bithead. He rarely knows what he’s talking about, but he never lets that stop him.
But it could not be said that those people were coming from country audiences. More, they no longer chartered as a country act.
Meanwhile, back in reality, the Dixie Chicks were the top grossing Country tour of 2003, as well as finishing as the top Country Duo/Group of 2003. They did very well on the Billboard Country charts.
Apparently you don’t remember; I was a PD for quite a while, and a GM for a bit as well. If the PD is worth his beer, and his jocks tell him about some of the crap I was fielding, trust me; they’re gonna pull the stuff. They’re not about to risk losing the listners.
If you did, indeed, work in radio, you clearly have not done so in any professional operation in a very, very long time. PDs now have less authority over their playlist than jocks did 20 years ago. PDs answer to consultants and regional managers, and they rely almost exclusively on callout. The Dixie Chicks were temporarily pulled because of the immediate backlash. Their gold and recurrent songs—as well as a new song or two—were temporarily pulled because callout turned sour for a few months. That gradually ceased to be the case.
And actually, Jon, there are quite a few country stations in New York outside of New York City... for example where I’m sitting right now just to the north and west of Rochester I can ground wave WBEE [...] I’ve not heard a one of them play anything by the Chumps in a long, long time. My freinds still in the biz report pretty much the same.
And this is the topper. I just called the WBEE night jack "Weslea", and she confirmed to me that they do, in fact, play the Dixie Chicks all the time. Her quote: "Tell your friend that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about."

Finally, let’s add a lack of reading comprehension to the list:
They haven’t released an album of new material since 2003, though, so, no, they haven’t "charted" since then
Nobody’ll sign em, eh? Gee, wonder why? Limited airplay?
I didn’t say that nobody would sign them. I said that they hadn’t released a new record, because—for one thing—they’ve been busy having babies. They’re still signed by Columbia Records.

So, really, nothing that you’ve said turned out to be true.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
That isn’t censorship or blacklisting, that’s the market, or their customer base, pointing out they don’t appreciate their point of view.

Well nothin’ but net there. For me, this illustrates a perplexing argument. Art is user defined, yet it is marketed as any other product. And what would we all do if all of the products we buy were subject to our own boycott relating to our political, ideological persuasions?

Imagined if you discovered that the manufacturer of your favorite candy bar was a Democrat, imagine if the author of your favorite book was a socialist, imagine if your barber hung a Kerry/Edwards placard in the window… would you then choose to take your business elsewhere? And if so, are you doing it for the right reasons?

Letting your customers know what your political persuasions are is just bad business. If my customers knew me, I’m positive I would lose %90 of them, not because I have an unworthy product, but because they would wrongly perceive me as a threat.

The Dixie Chicks made a colossal error. They spoke ill of our nation on foreign soil, and they were punished for it. Just bad business, that’s all. They had every right to speak their mind. What troubled me was the bandwagon all of right wing red-herring anglers jumped on.
The Art industry (Hollywood, Nashville, Broadway, etc.) are in the unenviable position of having their every move and every word on display for the public to scrutinize, but then again, they use that to profit from it. Live by the press, die by the press.

However, if you choose not to buy products from the Dixie Chicks, I believe that you should do so because of their products, not because of their ideological persuasions. But of course, you should have every right to choose what you purchase, no matter what your reason.
I don’t listen to country, but it is my impression that the artists and the fans have always been mostly conservative and believed in traditional American values.
I’m not so sure. If by that you mean “culturally conservative” you’re unquestionably right. However, the country folk that I know, are all too eager to receive a handout from,… well…, whomever.

I am in the agriculture business. That means my contemporaries are “country” folk. And I can’t tell you how much I hear about, “the government isn’t helping”. I just got back from a conference where everyone was referring to their, “Byrd Money”??? As though Sen. Robert Byrd was footing the bill. And they try to lobby congress with the best of them for trade restrictions. (you can’t blame em’, really. You gotta get off the sideline and get in the game!)

So, the next you see some “decent” people riding down the road with their stars and bars proudly painted on the back of their Chevy, don’t be so sure that their all about Free Market Capitalism.

Cheers.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
Meanwhile, back in reality, the Dixie Chicks were the top grossing Country tour of 2003, as well as finishing as the top Country Duo/Group of 2003. They did very well on the Billboard Country charts.
Ego’s never a problem with you, is it? Well, don’t let it run away with you. It seems to overcome your reasoning.

They were only in that category because there was no place else to put them. But I’m telling you true; It wasn’t country stations promoting them, nor were country fans going to the shows. And I would think venue people would know.
. PDs now have less authority over their playlist than jocks did 20 years ago. PDs answer to consultants and regional managers, and they rely almost exclusively on callout.
Again, that depends on the people involved. What you apparently don’t understand is that the majority of the stations I listed with the notable exception of two of them, are not chain owned...(Clear-Channel, Entercom, etc), and that’s a factor you apparently don’t calculate with... COuntry ahs a higher percentage of non-chain stations than do most other formats. (Mostly due to number of smaller markets in the mix)
And this is the topper. I just called the WBEE night jack "Weslea", and she confirmed to me that they do, in fact, play the Dixie Chicks all the time. Her quote: "Tell your friend that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about."
Cute girl, that.
New, too... to that station, anyway. Worked out in New Mexico before this, if I recall right. Got an aircheck on her a few weeks ago. Only got about halfway through it. Nice grove. But, Jon... she gave you a stock answer, Jon, created by PD’s who are tired of taking heat from leftists because they don’t play the chumps ’often enough’.

And even on those stations where they’re being played, there’s a major difference; An act that hit as big as they initially did would end up with at least one B or R rotation every couple hours, WERE IT ANYONE ELSE... But that’s not happening. Gee, guess why? THey’re not as popular anymore... nor are stations that play them.
I didn’t say that nobody would sign them.
That’s quite true, you didn’t. I did. And that’s the real reason they’re not doing any recording, Jon.
They’re still signed by Columbia Records.
Word on the street is, not for long. The fact is, they’ll not have another hit in the country world, ever again. They’ve burned that bridge. Think the rock world is gonna make room for a bunch of bluegrass players? Yeah, that’s gonna work.
So, really, nothing that you’ve said turned out to be true.
Look up and re-read this response. Like I said, Jon, dont let your ego get out of control.


 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
Correction; Three of the stations listed are chains... forgot about CHAM being bought recently.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
However, if you choose not to buy products from the Dixie Chicks, I believe that you should do so because of their products, not because of their ideological persuasions. But of course, you should have every right to choose what you purchase, no matter what your reason.
For the purpose of drawing you out a bit, please answer a purely hypothetical example;

An artist is known to dedicate a goodly chunk of her earnings for his earnings to NARAL.

Further hypothetical; I think abortion is murder.

By your lights I shouldn’t let the idea of my money going to support things I don’t, get in the way of buying this artist’s output?

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
An artist is known to dedicate a goodly chunk of her earnings for his earnings to NARAL.

A reasonable question. Without getting into the whole abortion debate, which I admit I started a few sentences about it before realizing I was headed way off track (Ehhh ehh eh, McQ. No jokes). Obviously if you feel that strongly about it there is nothing else to do but take your business elsewhere.
But how far are you willing to go? What if your barber, you remember… the one with the Kerry/Edwards placard in his window, also donated to his campaign. And as you already know, Kerry was/is pro-choice. So you go somewhere else? Even though your barber knows just how to cut the remaining four hairs on your head? Yeah, I don’t know that you would. And if you do, well … you’re kind of a prick then, aren’t you? Money is speech, right? Right?

Artists with political opinions are much different, you must admit. Why certain consumers must view the product through the producer, I do not know.

I, quite frankly, do not want to hear the political views of my favorite artists. Not because I fear that I might disagree with them and subsequently view the product differently, but because it’s like fingernails on chalkboards. Most artists don’t know what they’re talking about and it’s difficult for them to relate to average Americans.


 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
They were only in that category because there was no place else to put them. But I’m telling you true; It wasn’t country stations promoting them, nor were country fans going to the shows. And I would think venue people would know.
Oh, christ on a stick. You don’t know shit about the radio and record industries. Billboard and various other organizations easily group artists by the stations that play them. R&R, for example, compiles their lists based on specific reporting. Allaccess does the same. If they were listed in the Country section, it’s because Country stations played them. They did have a couple crossover hits at the time, but that’s become more and more common in the country realm.

Plus, callout research around the country on Dixie Chick music, which had turned south for a period, quickly sprang back after the fuss died down for a bit. You, of course, have no access to, or idea about, the callout research being done at that time.
Again, that depends on the people involved. What you apparently don’t understand is that the majority of the stations I listed with the notable exception of two of them, are not chain owned...(Clear-Channel, Entercom, etc), and that’s a factor you apparently don’t calculate with...
Well, it’s true that if you want to limit our data set to tiny market stations with tiny market numbers and exclude the medium and major market stations, then you’ll find PDs with somewhat more control. Of course, that’s a self-refuting argument, since you’d posited that they were taken off of "most" stations, including "everything within" 500 miles of you. And, actually, I reject that baldfaced lie, too.
But, Jon... she gave you a stock answer, Jon, created by PD’s who are tired of taking heat from leftists because they don’t play the chumps ’often enough’.
Oh fucking bullshit. You’re a liar. PDs don’t give a shit and neither do jocks. I gave no notice of my interests before asking the question, and she didn’t ask before answering. If you require more evidence, I work beside a country station, and I’d be happy to ask for specific callout and rotation numbers.
An act that hit as big as they initially did would end up with at least one B or R rotation every couple hours, WERE IT ANYONE ELSE... But that’s not happening. Gee, guess why? THey’re not as popular anymore... nor are stations that play them.
Again, bullshit. You don’t know a fucking thing about radio, do you? With most popular country stations going the "Hot Country" route, they’re a Gold artist at this point. At best, they might have a song or two in recurrent. That will not put them in an every hour or two rotation.
Word on the street is, not for long.
hahahahahaha. Aside from the laughable notion that you have contacts deep inside the record companies, I’d note that they’re planning to release an album in the upcoming months and start out on tour around June.

Just in case the world needed more evidence that Eric Florack was a bald-faced liar.

You may respond, but I think it ought to be fairly evident to everybody by now that you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Oh, quit dancing, Jon.
You don’t know shit about the radio and record industries. Billboard and various other organizations easily group artists by the stations that play them
But they’re NOT playing them, for the most part. And ummm Jon? Yes, I do know. But we’ll get to that.
Well, it’s true that if you want to limit our data set to tiny market stations with tiny market numbers and exclude the medium and major market stations, then you’ll find PDs with somewhat more control. Of course, that’s a self-refuting argument, since you’d posited that they were taken off of "most" stations, including "everything within" 500 miles of you. And, actually, I reject that baldfaced lie, too.
I’d not expect you to do less.... since it would work against your argument. I’ve never seen you admit you may have miss called something. But, you DID in fact screw this up... badly.
Oh fucking bullshit. You’re a liar. PDs don’t give a shit and neither do jocks.
You sound like a Democrat... you’ve been disproven so you try the old ’bark him down’ routine. In doing so, you’ve just cleared up, for once and all which one of us doesn’t know what they’re talking about, Jon. You’ve never been behind a mike, you’re on record as not even LIKING music, so how would you know either one? I have, which should tell you the rest of it.... that is, if you’d get our head outta your ass long enough. I doubt you have the ability.
Aside from the laughable notion that you have contacts deep inside the record companies, I’d note that they’re planning to release an album in the upcoming months and start out on tour around June.
Nice try, Jon. I suggested nothing about contacts within record companies... I’m simply reporting what I’m hearing from various freinds in the industry as well as online. And by the way, Jon, it’s Sony Nashville, not Columbia, per se’.

Oops, huh?

You may just want to check the audiences they drew, though... decdedly not a country audience in the way we usually view things. (Which, by the way is certainly germain to the original conversation, given it’s cultural angle) Based on the type of people they drew, (And are likely to draw again) it was the anti-war crowd coming out to support one of their own. It became fashionable to support the poor girls the right-wing nasties were "trying to silence".

Anyway, a lot hinges, I’m hearing, on the success (read that sales) of their current project, which is one reason it’s taking so long. (Rather reminds one of Boston’s second LP, without the politics) Sony is NOT pleased with the current situation.
With most popular country stations going the "Hot Country" route....
Beep... Sorry, wrong answer, again. True enough, they’re doing the country version of Mike Joseph’s "hot hits" in the major markets, but then again, that’s not most of the country radio stations, is it? And yes, you’re right this far; If they’re running hot hits the playlist would be too tight to play even most of the Hottest ’R’’s. But again, that’s not the majority of stations.

(Background; Hot Hits was a format dreamed up by Mike Joseph, and went on at a few stations in the major markets in the mid to late 80’s, such as Philly’s WCAU, and Chicago’s WBBM. WTIC’s FM tried it for a while too, I think. Dumped a long-held classical format to go with it, too. Teed off a lotta folks, that one did. Rock/Pop.

We toyed with the idea of putting it in at WSAY at the time, and I gather they also toyed with it at WVOR at the same time... but the early indicators proved correct; it wasn’t going to last. WSAY went talk, WVOR went oldies. It’ll be interesting to see if this country version goes anywhere in the long term; As we discovered when we investigated it at the time, Joseph stations did fairly well in the short term, but died fairly quickly because the playlist was so tight. Listeners got bored witth it. Mid to small market stations would tend to resist such a move since TSL’s are their bread and butter. (Time spent listening, Jon...) What you’re seeing in major market country is a modification of that format. Interesting idea... and short term, the cumes will skyrocket, just as at BBM... but I don’t think it’ll work this time, either, in the long term.)
You, of course, have no access to, or idea about, the callout research being done at that time.


And of course we’re to accept on blind faith that you know more than I about it... that the person in this discussion who has never been behind a mike and made his living with it, has more information than the one who HAS.

Yeah, sure, Jon. That makes sense.


You and I have much we agree on. But I’ll give you this; when you get it wrong you don’t do it in half measures.


 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
Hmmm.
I should, in fairness, I suppose, explain to you the reason why I’m more connected than most to the Hot Hits thing; and why I know a fair bit of the history...Joseph worked just down the road from me over at WFBL (Da Big 14! lol) in Syracuse, where the format was first tried and was freinds with a former boss and very good freind, Nelson Guyette, who was PD at WSAY at the time. Joseph’s drop in numbers in the third book out is why we never went with it.


 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
But they’re NOT playing them, for the most part.
So you keep asserting, without any evidence.
You’ve never been behind a mike,
Are you kidding? I’ve been a radio professional for 10 years, currently in market #56. I’ve done Soft AC, Hot AC, Rock, Classic Rock and CHR. I’ve done mornings, mid-days, afternoons and nights. I’ve been a jock, a music director and an imaging director. I’ve been offered a PD job, but turned it down. I have radio clients who pay me to image their stations. I can read Arbitrons and callout. I don’t need you telling me shit about radio.
And by the way, Jon, it’s Sony Nashville, not Columbia, per se’.
Dig: "As previously reported, the country trio is working on its next Open Wide/Monument/Columbia studio album with producer Rick Rubin. No release date has yet been confirmed for the follow-up to 2002’s "Home," which debuted at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 and has sold more than 5.8 million copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan."

I am thoroughly unimpessed with your "contacts" in the music industry who suggest that a band whose every album sells massive numbers is about to be "dropped". Especially since you’d previously argued that "nobody" would sign them.
True enough, they’re doing the country version of Mike Joseph’s "hot hits" in the major markets, but then again, that’s not most of the country radio stations, is it?
The Hot Country format came along long after the 80s. This is like arguing Nielsens with a guy who keeps bringing up "I Love Lucy".
And of course we’re to accept on blind faith that you know more than I about it... that the person in this discussion who has never been behind a mike and made his living with it, has more information than the one who HAS.
Yeah, well, uh, oops.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
"As previously reported, the country trio is working on its next Open Wide/Monument/Columbia studio album with producer Rick Rubin
Monument was, and remains their Nashville operation, as I recall, even after the Sony sale.
The Hot Country format came along long after the 80s
Having problems with reading comprehension? I said the current hot country format was a logical extension of Joseph’s format, which was originally attempted in 1979. The programming logic of the two formats is nearly identical.
Especially since you’d previously argued that "nobody" would sign them.
And nobody will. The only reason they’re recording at all at this point is because Sony couldn’t back out of the contract. Though, they did try, initially.
I’ve been a radio professional for 10 years, currently in market #56. I’ve done Soft AC, Hot AC, Rock, Classic Rock and CHR. I’ve done mornings, mid-days, afternoons and nights. I’ve been a jock, a music director and an imaging director. I’ve been offered a PD job, but turned it down. I have radio clients who pay me to image their stations. I can read Arbitrons and callout. I don’t need you telling me shit about radio.
Apparently, SOMEONE had better...

In any event, congratulations... you now have approximately half of the experience that I had built up by the time I left the business. I’m only partially making light of it here...ten years.. in any market... in that business... is an accomplishment. (Always assuming of course you’re not lying to me. But then again I’d never accuse you of some of the things you have accused ME of. Experience rears its head again, I guess. )

I’m curious why you turned down the PD job.

In any event, Check to see what markets Rochester, Syracuse and Buffalo are, and you’ll get a better feel for the crowd I worked with. Rochester, used to be in the middle 50’s, last i looked. 54, I think. Buffalo, of course, was a bit larger, at around 50 or 51, if you include the Niagara region.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
Without getting into the whole abortion debate
Going there was not my intent, for this purpose.
What if your barber, you remember… the one with the Kerry/Edwards placard in his window, also donated to his campaign
Barbers are easy to find...


 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
Since it’s not clear what the original Craig Aaron article refers to, it was a review of my new book, "Rednecks & Bluenecks: The Politics of Country Music"... which, yes, goes into the Dixie Chicks’ saga at great length.

And, yes, this is a plug.
 
Written By: Chris Willman
URL: http://
Just so I know for future comment-reading purposes — is Mr. Henke always so angry and instigative to those with whom he disagrees?
 
Written By: sunDawn
URL: http://

 
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