The incessant march of political revelations in a purposeful trickle that won’t allow the public or the media to regain a sense of the normal news cycle is causing long-term, damning affects on how Americans fundamentally live their lives, and how they interface with each other, their communities, and engage in entertainment and leisure.
Much has been made recently on the evacuation of print media departments at certain major media outlets in lieu of video production staff. At the same time print media is being fazed down in many sectors of media, podcasting in the sports and entertainment realm is booming.
At the moment there are exactly zero women in country radio’s Top 20, and a whopping total of 4 in the entire Top 50 for an abysmal 8% representation. In fact this 4 out of 50 ratio has been pretty consistent now for the entirety of the “Body Like A Backroad” reign at #1.
Sam Hunt’s smash single “Body Like a Backroad” has already made history, and is set to make more. By now logging 20 weeks at #1, “Body Like a Backroad” and Sam Hunt break a 55-year-old record on the 59-year-old Billboard Hot Country Songs chart previously held by Leroy Van Dyke’s “Walk On By.”
This week, Florida Georgia Line’s collaboration with the Backstreet Boys called “God, Your Mama, and Me” hit #1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay Chart, meaning The Backstreet Boys—a washed-up boy bad who otherwise had not received a #1 distinction for over 18 years—is now the owner of a country music #1.
Ashley Monroe, Backstreet Boys, Brandy Clark, Cam, Chris Stapleton, David Allan Coe, Florida Georgia Line, God Your Mama and Me, Jamey Johnson, Jason Isbell, Kacey Musgraves, Marty Stuart, Sturgill Simpson
Look, is it possible for us to make too much of this situation over country music artist Lindsey Ell having a radio appearance last Friday canceled on a CBS-owned radio station because she’s in a relationship with rival iHeartMedia on-air personality Bobby Bones? Yes, it is. But I’m not sure we’re there yet.
One would be hard pressed to find another industry that is as insular, antiquated, and downright embarrassing as the one that is in charge of managing the affairs of mainstream country radio. Despite checks and balances that are supposed to be in place, the amount of backroom deals and dirty practices is unconscionable.
Sam Hunt’s “Body Like a Backroad” has now topped the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for 17 straight weeks. Meanwhile, “Body Like a Backroad” continues to pick up crossover spins. Unfortunately for Miranda Lambert, her current single “Tin Man” is headed in the opposite direction.
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.