Cody Jinks Is Finding Traction on Mainstream Country Radio
Maybe pigs can fly. Maybe monkeys will fly out of Mike Myers’ butt. And maybe mainstream country radio will play Cody Jinks if it’s just given a chance, or a choice. It’s early, and there’s still much to be determined. But the effort to bring Cody Jinks to the mainstream country airwaves has already born fruit, and it will be worth watching what happens from here.
Cody Jinks has already proven himself more popular and commercially viable than some of the artists populating mainstream radio playlists. He’s scored a Certified Gold single for his song “Hippies and Cowboys,” and a Certified Platinum single for “Loud and Heavy,” three #2 albums on the Billboard Country Albums chart, and all without virtually any mainstream radio play previously.
But now he’s playing on an entirely different field. Getting ready to release his latest country record called Mercy on November 12th, Cody Jinks, his new self-owned record label Late August Records, and the radio promotional company 16 Camino are promoting the song “Like a Hurricane” to mainstream country radio as Cody’s debut single on the format, and some of the fish are biting.
According to chart expert Chris Owen, seven radio stations reporting into the country Mediabase panel have officially added “Like a Hurricane” to their rotations. An “add” isn’t just a single spin. It’s placing the song into a station’s regular playlist. “Like A Hurricane” has yet to be released to streaming networks.
Cody has already been successful on Texas Regional Radio for years, and currently his single “All It Cost Me Was Everything” is sitting at #3 on the Texas Regional Radio report. Also, the semi-renegade radio station US 106.1 WUSH “America’s Country” based in Norfolk, VA that reports to the MediaBase panel has been playing Tyler Childers, Cody Jinks, and other independent artists for a while now, and successfully. But actively promoting a single to mainstream radio ups the ante for Cody Jinks even more.
It was announced earlier this year that Cody Jinks had formed his own label called Late August Records with his longtime manager Arthur Penhallow Jr. at True Grit Management, as well as Malia Barrett. The completely independent label is not only facilitating Cody’s new releases, but the entire Cody Jinks catalog has been brought under the Late August Records umbrella.
The Cody Jinks team has partnered with 16 Camino to promote “Like a Hurricane” to radio stations. 16 Camino specializes in working with independent artists, crafting strategies to get artists heard who otherwise might be overlooked. They may not have the muscle of a major label. But if a single starts to catch fire, who knows? The company is operated by former VP of Promotion at Mercury Records John Ettinger, and former regional promoter for both Epic and Columbia Records, Ryan Barnstead.
A 1/3 page add in this week’s Country Aircheck radio trade periodical declares, “Authentic, Humble, Huge Following. The most successful independent country artist in history. 2 billions streams, 1.5 million social media followers. Cody Jinks. ‘Like a Hurricane,’ his debut single.”
Some may ask why Cody Jinks would even bother trying to court mainstream radio at this stage in his career. But the truth is that among mainstream country fans, very few have heard of Jinks. It will be a completely different audience for the Texas native who has been working his way on the bills of a few more mainstream-oriented festivals lately as well.
Cody Jinks is not the first completely independent artist that has attempted to court radio. Aaron Watson had some success getting the single “Outta Style” to #10, and “Run Wild Horses” to #33 from his 2017 album Vaquero.
Morgan Wade has also been making some moves with her debut mainstream country single “Wilder Days,” which officially debuted in the Top 60 this week at #58, though this is after she recently signed with the major label Arista Nashville.
Country radio continues to see moderate improvement as it moves away from the Bro-Country era. If the format had any smarts, it would begin to embrace artists such as Cody Jinks, Morgan Wade, and Tyler Childers, who have proven they have wide appeal, and who mainstream country radio may need as independent artists continue to gain market share, and mainstream radio continues to compete with music streaming and other radio alternatives.
November 2, 2021 @ 7:54 am
Like A Hurricane, I know this genre and creativity don’t mix, but cmon didn’t that fat guy combs have the same title for a huge mainstream hit a few years ago? and the fact he’s chasing mainstream reveals not much substance to this guy
November 2, 2021 @ 7:59 am
Well, just because two songs have the same title doesn’t mean they’re the same song. And Combs may not be my cup of tea. But the fact that a guy that doesn’t fit the mainstream country profile of an underwear model can launch monster singles on country radio that actually sound more like country than what Sam Hunt and Florida Georgia Line were dominating country radio with just a few years ago is progress. In my opinion.
November 2, 2021 @ 1:04 pm
Midland feels like a placeholder for some legitimate 90’s country band to come along. Although it’s hard for me to fault those guy’s too hard since that seems to be the music they want to play. That’s almost more legitimate than these guys giving up the traditional sound to chase pop-appeal.
November 2, 2021 @ 8:12 am
So did Neil Young
November 2, 2021 @ 8:31 am
Speaking of not much substance. The same can be said for this comment. Mercy sakes man, how about some thoughts that are a bit deeper than song title and a singers weight.
November 2, 2021 @ 10:38 am
I just heard Hayes Carll’s new one “In the Mean Time” followed up by Flatland Cavalry’s new one “…Meantime” on WIL 92.3 HD2
No injuries were reported
(yes, I’m plugging again. My b 😉 )
strait county 81
November 2, 2021 @ 11:38 am
Hey Dumbass! Look up Something To Drink About John Anderson and George Jones.
November 3, 2021 @ 11:10 am
What a blazingly hot take lol
November 2, 2021 @ 8:28 am
There is no reason why Jinks wouldnt resonate with the mainstream crowd, given the opportunity. The talent shines through regardless of what garbage trends are around him. The one obstacle he faces is the fact hes not on a big label. Hes independent. Radio supports big labels, period. Will the radio programmers break that rule? Remains to be seen.
November 3, 2021 @ 9:06 am
Jinks introduces too much unpredictability. Granted most of his music isn’t too complex in structure, it doesn’t quite fit the formula radio uses. And really, that is what these big broadcasting corporations want; they have big budgets and bottom lines and their financials are the top priority. I would guess most higher ups in these organizations have little interest in fostering artistic creativity (read: unpredictability) and even if they themselves prefer someone like Jinks or the like, they probably see the risks far outweighing the rewards.
I’d be curious to get a breakdown of how the readers of the site digest music as to how, why and where they listen to radio vs streaming. I personally only listen to over the air radio if I have other option, most streaming albums and internet radio.
November 3, 2021 @ 9:36 am
I recently spoke at length to a young Country singer/songwriter who landed a publishing deal in Nashville. This guy is trying hard to break into the mainstream. He personally feels a connection to 90s era Country and his style reflects that. But hes recorded some decidedly Bro sounding songs as well. We chatted about SCM and who many of us like. I brought up Cody Jinks. His reply: ” yeah hes good, but hes doing the 70s Outlaw thing, a style i dont relate to. Radio and mainstream dont play that style either.”
So, in this dudes world, Cody isnt anything. But, he sees the talent. My point is, I think many mainstreamers might scratch their heads initially on Jinks, but warm up to what he does eventually. And yes its a hard sell for corporate radio. My local Country station played Must be the Whiskey, quite a bit, so theres a reason for optimism.
November 2, 2021 @ 8:46 am
It’s important because a no-duh-obviously artist like Cody Jinks can slew the rudder of country radio stations a little, opening the ears of listeners who may not know there’s more country out there than on music row. This station in St Louis is one that has added him (albeit out of prime time for now), and there’s already engagement. The album art could use a little refresh though 🙂 but folks who discover him this way on their familiar platform can take off and find the rest and be blown away
(and I of course won’t miss a chance to promote 92.3 HD2 “Second Fiddle” as well, where Cody is a core artist. If you’re in STL with an HD radio, lock it in)
November 2, 2021 @ 9:13 am
If anyone has not seen the “Small Town Southern Man” documentary on Amazon Prime, I highly recommend watching and observing/hoping that this is an example of history repeating itself. Alan Jackson and George Strait and Randy Travis, et al did their own act of “saving country music” in the 80s. It took rising popularity of a more traditional sound from multiple artists for things to finally break loose of the “Nashville sound” back then and it will take the same today. Stapleton, Church, Combs, and Pardi and a few others are helping get us in that direction now, and the time is right for deeper artists like Jinks and Childers to enter the scene. It could happen. Still got a long way to go. We don’t need these guys on the radio but it would be nice to see them getting the respect and notoriety they deserve if it does.
November 2, 2021 @ 9:30 am
I can see Jinks getting a bigger audience, but the one who will be the breakout in mainstream will be Zach Bryan. Saw him at the Ritz last week and he put on a hell of a show. The audience was mainly made up of brotastic frat crowd, not my cup of tea but definitely the cup of tea to music execs.
November 2, 2021 @ 9:48 am
I saw Zach Bryan in Louisville Saturday and the crowd was very young (18-25 and a lot with their parents), but I wouldn’t describe it as a bro crowd.
This is how I described it…
After what I witnessed Saturday night, country music has found its savior. With only two self-released albums and some EPs, Zach Bryan is selling out venues with 18-25 year olds (some with their parents) belting out every lyric of his songs. Even new songs introduced as being played for this first time on this tour, 1/4 of the fans knew the lyrics thanks to YouTube (some of these YouTube videos have amassed 12 million views).
Zach Bryan is a movement, an epidemic about to take over the industry as he prepares for the release of his first album on a major. With a label behind him (Warner Music) and his army of young fans, there’s no bounds to his success.
On a funny note: We found ourselves standing next to and conversing with two mothers who brought/escorted their sons and friends to the concert. After singing along to ‘Godspeed,’ the one mother leaned over to me and asked how did I know the words to that song because “it seems like only the 18-25 year olds knew the songs.” I quipped back “I used to work in the music industry,” then turned to Brian and said, “I want to get away from this woman.”
November 2, 2021 @ 11:59 am
It sounds like you got the better crowd Hoptown, the parking lot here was full of Carolina Squat trucks so use your imagination. In the end if it leads to more and better music being played so be it.
November 4, 2021 @ 10:23 am
Gahh that’s the Ritz in a nutshell. Why can’t Raleigh have a venue that size, but actually good.
November 3, 2021 @ 5:35 am
Had nearly the same experience as hoptown in Pittsburgh last week. I didn’t realize how young the fanbase was but they sang along to every word all night. It’s been a long time since I saw Eric Church in the small clubs and county fair, but this felt even more special than those days, without any radio play at that. Zach came across as extremely genuine and likable. My wife and I agreed that we were lucky to go because I think he will be playing bigger venues sooner than later. Just saw that Luke Combs is headlining a show at Ohio State Stadium and Cody Jinks, Zach Bryan and Morgan Wade are all supporting. I don’t really know much Luke Combs but that show is a pretty big deal I think
November 3, 2021 @ 6:02 am
That’s funny because we live in Pittsburgh, but couldn’t go to that show because Thursday (the following day) was the driest day of the week and we needed to get all the aerating jobs completed. So we did and jumped in the truck and drive to Louisville Saturday morning.
Zach Bryan is the biggest movement in country music since Taylor Swift. He’s already ahead of her at this point of her career. And country radio / industry needs Zach Bryan more than he needs them because of his army of youth. He’ll inject youth into the genre not seen since those early days of Swift.
November 3, 2021 @ 6:09 am
Did you happen to go to the Charley Crockett show here? It was originally supposed to be the same venue as Zach Bryan but got moved. I am guessing low ticket sales because it was a lot smaller crowd.
November 3, 2021 @ 6:25 am
No. But we are going to see Parker McCollum there on Saturday. That will be our first time at the Roxian.
November 2, 2021 @ 9:45 am
Maybe this explains his pandering, low-hanging, anti-labor social media post Sunday. He posted a sign on a restaurant door blaming their short staff on government handouts with the very narrow minded commentary, “I’m tired of seeing signs like this. Where I come from you go to work.”
9 out of 10 posts on his FB are criticizing him for his post. I’m shocked, too. He paints himself as a man of the blue-collared worker, then makes a boot-licking, pro-management stance without any context.
As a business owner myself, I know the labor landscape has changed for the better post pandemic. Labor has more options and has never been more empowered. People are working, just different jobs.
I will always be pro-labor, pro-union and anti-Jinks until he better explains himself.
November 2, 2021 @ 10:05 am
That doesn’t sound to me like he’s against the blue collar worker. Sounds very clearly like he wants more people to get out and work instead of taking handouts. That’s as blue collar as it gets… anyways, this is a music site.
Wilson Pick It
November 2, 2021 @ 11:33 am
If an unemployment check can compete with an employer, I think the problem might be the employer.
If you want good workers, pay good wages. If you want decent workers, play decent wages. If you want no workers, blame government handouts and do the job yourself.
November 2, 2021 @ 1:33 pm
The government shouldn’t even be an option in the process.
That’s the problem. When people can make the same or more sitting at home doing nothing because of the government, that is a problem.
Wilson Pick It
November 3, 2021 @ 10:02 am
People get unemployment when they lose their job through no fault of their own. And why shouldn’t they get a check from the government? When they worked, they paid taxes to the government, so they should be entitled to benefit from that.
November 3, 2021 @ 10:50 am
Exactly, Wilson Pick It. Mega corporations avoid all the taxes they possibly can and the government still comes and bails them out every few years while people lose their homes and their businesses… Hell, the Walton family is the richest family on the planet and we spend billions every year giving their employees food stamps, public housing, Medicaid, etc. One estimate I heard is that there are around 10,000,000 job openings and 3,000,000 people currently on unemployment. The problem won’t go away when unemployment checks go away. People simply don’t want to work two or three jobs making $7.25 an hour (or less for tipped employees) and never get to spend time with their families or pursue any interests outside of work.
Both of my grandfathers raised families of eight kids. No college education (one didn’t finish middle school). 40 hours a week, their wives stayed home. My parents had good lives growing up. The goal of every generation is for the next generation to have it better than they did. And that absolutely hasn’t happened. Then the pandemic hit and people had to stay home with their families, a lot of them learned they can grow their own food, they found out they can make as much money or more on Door Dash or on eBay or on Only Fans (no judgement) or by investing in Game Stop. They don’t want to go back to their shitty jobs and they don’t have to. The employers are discovering that they are no longer the only option, so until they end the wage and benefit shortage expect the “labor shortage” to continue.
November 2, 2021 @ 10:12 am
Last I heard the unemployment rate is still in the 5% range. That’s quite high. The government is still giving folks money who aren’t working. That’s what he means by this. Cut out the handouts and the unemployment rate drops. Restaurants can open back full swing. Not too hard to figure out
November 2, 2021 @ 10:23 am
I own a lawn maintenance company. Usually, I can poach a couple guys from Home Depot or Lowes in March. This year, I approached a guy offered him 40% of the days take May-July. He replied “that’s generous, but this job (at Lowe’s) is my part-time job. I keep it for the discount. I’m an Independent contracted language coder in my full-time.” That’s all voice activated stuff around our house. That’s what I’m up against. All these young guys have independent contractor or IT jobs. I’m not yelling at the government and asking them to cut off benefits for my benefit! I go and look harder and invest even more in the employees I have.
I think those accepting government handouts are as insufferable as the businesses that blame the government for their inability to run their business. Especially, the restaurant industry that has abused labor without any investment in their employees for decades.
November 2, 2021 @ 10:53 am
Maybe you shouldn’t base your opinion on a one off social media post. That’s extremely shallow thinking. If that makes you anti-Jinks then I highly doubt you actually care about his music all that much anyways. I’m sure he’d probably agree with plenty of your thoughts if you had an actual conversations. That’s not what a single post on a social media page is going to do.
I love Will Hoge and he has a whole album wailing against people who think remotely like me. I don’t care about their politics if they make good music.
November 2, 2021 @ 11:11 am
Take me out of the equation … 9 out of 10 of his fans are posting on his FB against him (at a time when he’s preparing for mainstream radio).
November 2, 2021 @ 5:45 pm
I can’t take social media stuff seriously as representing true popular opinion. One person with a lot of followers reposts something like what Jinks said and then you’ve got a legion of people swooping in to drop off their two cents, many of whom may not know anything about the person other than their problematic opinion. It takes zero effort to declare yourself a fan no longer and but some Googling to name-drop a few songs to support that statement.
I especially don’t get the concept of being “ratioed” on Twitter. Apparently if your Tweet generates more replies than likes that’s some horrible thing and you’re being “dunked on”. In the case of truly repugnant or purposely offensive statements that makes some sense but overall it seems to be pushing the idea that discussion is a bad thing and mindless agreement is much better.
November 2, 2021 @ 6:11 pm
28,000 likes and 3,000 comments, some comments in agreement, I think the vast majority of his fans still support him
November 2, 2021 @ 8:04 pm
Important detail….I wonder why Hoptown left that part out?
November 3, 2021 @ 6:08 am
Jake Cutter – I never looked at the “likes,” just read the comments. I figure those who take the time to type something might have stronger feelings than those who click a button.
I recently sent a Zach Bryan YouTube video to Easy Ed and he replied,”did you know this video has 12 million views?” I didn’t. I never bothered to look. Same as I don’t look at Twitter or Instagram followers. I should, I just never had.
But 3k likes to the Jinks article is something. I went back and read the comments and I’d adjust to say 9.5 out of 10 are against Jinks comment. There a few in support. But his statement is hypocritical to his Lifers brand and rubbed enough fans the wrong way.
November 3, 2021 @ 9:24 am
Enough to you maybe. I can’t speak for the guy but if I was him I’d probably write off the 11% of the people who got all butthurt over it as oversensitive whiners.
November 3, 2021 @ 11:48 am
The problem is that he’s misrepresenting the issue. Most people are working. They’re simply no longer working at a restaurant for $2.13 an hour plus tips. As a supposed champion of the working class, he should be happy that people have bettered themselves. If anything, it means they have more disposable income to buy his records or go to his shows. Hell, more time to discover his music in the first place since they’re no longer working multiple jobs to make ends meet… But since he never needs to worry about where the rent money is coming from again, he’s just pissed that he couldn’t get his hamburger.
November 3, 2021 @ 5:57 pm
There’s no misrepresenting your whining.
November 3, 2021 @ 6:30 pm
I’m not whining. Jinks is the one who was whining because he couldn’t go to a particular restaurant.
November 3, 2021 @ 6:55 pm
Again can’t speak for him, and there’s probably no convincing you because it makes it easier for you to discount him, but it doesn’t seem to be about the hamburger. It’s ok though, 89% of much less whiny and ideologically motivated people got it.
November 2, 2021 @ 6:02 pm
Pandering to who? I work in construction and most of the people i come across share the same sentiment. I can’t count how many times I’ve heard complaints about the “now hiring” signs everywhere, accompanied by the phrase “nobody wants to work anymore”. These are blue collar, working class people, who are the main demographic of country radio. None of them have ever heard of Jinks, and I’m sure if they started hearing him on the radio they’d prefer him over the Luke Bryans, Walker Hayeses and so on. Regardless of your political views, or views on labor unions, Cody Jinks breaking into the mainstream could be the best thing to happen to country music since George Strait, Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, etc. and we should all hope for the best
November 2, 2021 @ 6:10 pm
Oh man, that one bugged me too. Glad to hear it got pushback. Decided to just unfollow, but I really wanted to go back and make a snarky comment. Guess I shouldn’t be surprised, he seems like he’s always had kind of a ‘for show’ persona. Damn good music though.
November 3, 2021 @ 6:32 am
His statement isn’t hypocritical at all. Folks are sitting at home, doing nothing, and getting paid. He thinks people should work. So do I. And so do most of his supporters. And the reason the comments may seem like most are against it is because the folks who agree click like and move on and the ones who don’t will bitch about it
November 3, 2021 @ 7:36 am
I saw that post as well. He seems to be betting on the wrong horse. Sure, 745 individuals own more than three times the wealth of the bottom 50% combined (and have only increased it exponentially during the pandemic as thousands of small businesses shut their doors for good). But there’s only so many albums and tickets they need no matter how rich they are. If he really wanted to gain some loyal fans for life, he’d be going out to any of the dozens of picket lines around the country and supporting the working class. Until then, I’ll stick with Johnny Paycheck. Take this job and shove it.
November 3, 2021 @ 8:31 am
Maybe it’s a calculated move as he preps to go mainstream. That crowd most definitely will eat this up — the same people who blame Mexicans for all there problems. It’s not the same guy who wrote Dirt, Lifers, or Cast No Stones. And not for me either going forward.
November 5, 2021 @ 2:02 am
I just remembered this today! Remember 3 years ago when Cody was pushing a $2,500 hat made out of beaver called the Fast Hand? The comments (especially since it was made out of beaver) were hilarious and harsh.
The hat is still available…
This is another example of Jinks bring out of touch with the common, blue-collar man. He’s starting to remind me of a lot Zach Brown.
November 2, 2021 @ 10:22 am
Good for him!
Saw Jinks is playing a big show next summer in Columbus, just under Luke Combs as the headliner. Morgan Wade and Zach Bryan are also on the bill.
Tickets go on sale this Friday – for anyone interested.
November 2, 2021 @ 2:28 pm
I just wish he’d release something on par with….you know the thing.
November 2, 2021 @ 3:15 pm
Always have mixed feelings when artists I like get into the mainstream. Or maybe better put, try to get into the mainstream. Jack Ingram has a lot of stellar records but the ones he put out when he tried to get big are not good. This article does not say that Jinks is changing to become popular so I am not making that accusation and good music getting socialized is a win. All that aside, am psyched to see Randy Rodgers and him next week in Milwaukee.
November 2, 2021 @ 6:06 pm
At this stage in his career, he doesn’t need national radio or mainstream success, and the way he definitely won’t change his music to get played on radio. I doubt he’ll ever have any big radio hits, but I’d love to be proven wrong.
November 3, 2021 @ 8:51 am
I don’t see the problem.
The more people that tune into him the better overall for the genre.
Unless he changes his tune.
Bill from WI
November 3, 2021 @ 10:33 am
I agree, if Jinks succeeds in the mainstream, he will be helping open doors for other independents as well.
November 3, 2021 @ 11:43 am
It has literally been decades since I listened to any music radio stations. I will put NPR on in the car if it’s late afternoon news time. But otherwise, it’s streaming or cds.
But I miss the shared experience, as it was when I was a kid, when most people were at least familiar with “hits” as played on the radio. I think it would be great if country radio took a turn towards listenable. it would be nice to be surprised when songs came on that I didn’t choose, lol. We’re all our own DJs now. Music brings people together. Today’s country radio may bring some people together but if they like the shit that’s played now, I’m good over here in my corner.
November 5, 2021 @ 1:39 pm
I was listening to a mainstream country radio station this morning and about put my truck in the ditch when they played cody jinks new song. Couldn’t believe it. Never thought i see the day.