Gerry House, legendary country music radio personality who helmed The Big 98 WSIX-FM in Nashville for over a quarter century, is coming back. And I hope he creams the the everloving snot out of the sniveling Bobby Bones and his wacky morning crew in the ratings.
Sometimes the effort to save country music feels like one step forward, two steps back. Last week at this time we were all gaga over the fact that Chris Stapleton’s stripped-down new single “Either Way” was the most added single at country radio and debuted at a surprisingly #26 on the charts, but “Either Way” took a proverbial dive during its second week.
Over the last few weeks, an obsession grew for the self-proclaimed “queer punk” duo known as PWR BTTM. The band became part of an agenda in music journalism to make the music secondary to a political narrative. The problem in the case of PWR BTTM is that the band had not been properly vetted.
As we continue to ponder what country radio might look like after the impending implosion of iHeartMedia and corporate radio as we know it, some very interesting developments emerged on the country radio charts this week.
Ever wonder what would happen if one of the deep insiders in the big Music Row system broke free and started spilling the beans on all the stuff that happens behind-the-scenes? That is exactly what former radio promoter and executive Tom Moran is doing on his Inside Nashville podcast.
And now for something entirely unexpected, but in a strange and sad way somewhat plausible and curiously intuitive, John Mayer and his label Sony have made a full on play to court country radio with his song “In The Blood” from his recently-released record, ‘The Search For Everything.’
American music radio as it is currently constructed will implode, and likely in the next 12 to 18 months. No amount of headlines and recent news should be needed to influence anyone’s opinion on that. If you’ve been paying attention to the quarterly numbers of America’s two largest radio station owners, you would know this already.
Many fans of Texas / Red Dirt station 95.9 The Ranch out of Ft. Worth spoke up, and now the radio station has responded. Usually such protestations don’t work, and are chalked up as one of the rigors of changing a radio format. But after such a spirited public backlash, The Ranch has reversed course, at least for the moment.
Fans are so furious over the move, they have hammered The Ranch’s social media accounts with complaints, filled the station’s message board with missives of discontent, someone has set up a Facebook page boycotting the station, and program director/DJ Shayne Hollinger has even received threats of violence.
It was either feast or famine for country singles in 2016. As the rigged singles system that almost guarantees #1 songs for any releases from big-named artists metastasized at radio—creating an incredible volume of singles hitting #1 for a solitary week before immediately falling off a precipice—if a song happened to not fit into that rigged system…
The Americana Music Association has announced their year-end Top 100 Albums of the Year based on the records reported to the Americana Airplay Chart during the period of December 1, 2015 through December 5, 2016. For folks looking for albums they may have missed in 2016, this annual list from Americana is always a good place to start.
Just in time for throngs of Americana fans to flock to the city for the annual AmericanaFest the third week of September, a new radio station has launched just south of the city in Murfreesboro, and the signal and talent is strong enough that it may ultimately become the flagship for the still small, but quickly-rising Americana format.
Why are we all so mad at each other all of a sudden? Why does every decision seem to be split down society 50/50, from the United States Presidential election, to the Brexit vote in Britain? Why are we more distrusting of each other than any other time in the last nearly 50 years?
What once was one of the Internet’s most promising up-and-coming properties has announced they will be ceasing operations on or around July 10th. Examiner.com, which consisted of numerous locally-oriented sub-domains and relied on citizen journalists for content has decided to shutter due to low revenue and a tainted brand.
Written solely by female songwriter Lori McKenna, “Humble and Kind” becomes the first #1 country song written by one person in more than four years. In this era when everything is written by a committee of three or more, and the expressions of female artists are generally stifled, this is quite the feat.
Americana may not have a definitive, universally-recognized definition. But it now has it’s own classification on Billboard’s weekly album’s chart, which is a new layer of legitimacy for the genre if nothing else. Overall, it appears that the Billboard staff got it just about right.
Usually it’s only once or twice a year that music media is faced with the dilemma of how to adequately and respectfully cover the passing of a high profile music celebrity. In 2016, it has been more like once or twice a month. In fact the frequency of seismic music deaths has been a story unto itself.
“Country Weekly” started in 1994 as a country music lifestyle magazine that ran interviews with stars and covered news from around the genre. In 2014, Cumulus purchased 50% of the magazine in a partnership with it’s owners American Media and eventually relaunched as “NASH Country Weekly.” And in typical corporate takeover fashion, Cumulus is now gutting the publication.
This is not another article about Chris Stapleton. This is an article about mainstream American country music radio. Yes, Chris Stapleton won big, again. But Chris Stapleton’s impact still remains paltry on mainstream country radio. The question is, will country radio listen? Or will country radio be left with anybody listening to it?
The two largest radio station owners in the United States—iHeartMedia (formerly Clear Channel) and Cumulus Media—both have billions in debt, are both looking to restructure that debt to avoid bankruptcy or default, and are both dealing with dwindling profitability. Even when the companies are able to post strong quarterly earnings, the interest on the debt they owe makes it impossible to see a way forward.