In the aftermath of #SaladGate—stimulated by country radio consultant Keith Hill’s comments that to increase ratings, radio stations should cut the amount of females they feature in a given hour—Sara Evans has emerged as one of the leading voices sticking up for females receiving their fair share of representation from the genre.
“I’m appalled!” was Sara’s reaction to Keith Hill. “I’ve been very outspoken on this topic over the past few years and strongly believe that there should be a better balance of the songs played on country radio. Our genre has a long history of incredible songs written and sung by amazing female artists. Could you imagine a world with no “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “I Will Always Love You,” “For My Broken Heart,” “Wide Open Spaces,” “Independence Day,” “Jesus Take the Wheel,” “A Little Bit Stronger” and SO many more? Those were all No. 1 songs at country radio, and are songs of substance that say something and that move people.”
Three weeks have now been crossed of the calendar since SaladGate, and Sara is still taking the point in criticizing the current direction of country music, and not just when it comes to females representation. Speaking to Rolling Stone Country at last week’s CMT Awards, Sara said she was not happy with what she saw at the awards show.
“I miss the days where you can go to a show like this and there would be some moments where there are serious songs and brilliantly written songs,” Evans said. “I was wanting that a little more tonight . . . I’m excited to hear any song that’s not about drinking, or beer, or trucks, or partying, or jeans. . . or beer . . . What would we do if Hollywood said they were only putting out movies with all men? Or only movies with car racing? I don’t know which came first, the fans wanting this or the fans only getting this. Either way, it needs to go back to more females and broader song topics.”
However Sara said that SaladGate had at least broached a topic that needed to be discussed.
“Now that all of this is being discussed, I think it’s very positive,” she says. “I don’t think Patsy Cline would be ok with that. I don’t think Loretta Lynn would be ok with that. I grew up on a farm; I grew up in country music. For me to now feel like they’re not allowing me to be a part of this genre? What do you do?”
I’m not sure Sara, but speaking out might be a good first step.