Maybe too much.
I get emails for people upon occasion saying “Yeah, I hate pop country too, but who cares? Just don’t listen to it if you don’t like it. No need to make such a big deal about it.”
Artists who criticize radio/Nashville country like Hank III and Dale Watson also get criticized, as if their criticism is because they haven’t been able to make it in the business, or that its just a bit to draw attention to themselves.
But to us REAL country fans we see the destruction of things we cherish all around us. It isn’t hypothetical. We do not sniff around in the trash cans of pop country to find its problems, we mind our own business as either casual or hardcore music fans, and we feel like pop country day by day is encroaching on the things we love.
Am I being overdramatic? Maybe. But I’m thinking about the Texas songwriters or the traveling bands out there with amazing talent, that you and me will never hear because they have to struggle in obscurity.
A few weeks after I started Free Hank III, I was contacted by a DJ of a local, independent country station down in the Hill Country of Texas named Big G. I have met so many amazing people through this thing that I feel honored and privileged to call “friends,” and he is one of them.
Big G helped spread awareness about what Curb Records was doing to Hank III, and I became a huge fan of his show. He even interviewed Hank III for over an hour one night. Since his show is in the middle of the night, I never get to listen as much as I want to, but when I do it gives me faith these is still hope out there for REAL country. I even added his independent country station Revolution FM as sponsors for freehank3.org and savingcountrymusic.com.
Well unfortunately around Xmas, Revolution FM decided there was no money in the REAL country market, even in one of country’s strongholds, the Texas Hill Country. So they decided to change formats to Clear Channel-style classic rock, running the same “Journey-O Styx-wagon” tracks that have been run into the ground for years on stations all across the country.
I saw this bulletin from Big G last week:
A shame…With the death of Revolution FM, gone to Classic Rock, (and the listeners and advertisers have grown exponentially) and, of all things, a benefit for Hank Moon because he lost his job,.Poor Hank, maybe he can get a stimulus from “The Big O” . Quit yer bitchin’ and go get a job. Grab your bootstraps, man! Then pull them up.
Thank you Clear Channel for screwing up American Radio, not just in Texas.
I suppose the recession has finally hit our corner of the world. BUT, have no fear, Big G’s Texas Roadshow is STILL here bringing you tried and true Texas music. Unfortunately, in my humble opinion, too many Texas artists were reaching for the “brass” ring they started out avoiding, and their music, and fan base have suffered. Then it it snowballs – if radio stations are not supported, formats will change. Something that started out so cool has gotten rather stale, for the most part…
However, you can still hear the “real” stuff on KOOK 93.5 midnites, and soon to be back streaming on the web at revfmradio. com at the same time…
No offense to classic rock, it has it’s place in the world. But that place can be found at nauseum all over the dial.
It is a good thing The Roadshow has survived, for the most part at least, but this is an excellent example of what is happening all around the country, and it has hit right here at the heart of Free Hank III. Even in a smaller market like Kerrville, TX, independent radio is not safe.
Sure all of us in the know have podcasts and online networks to help us find the music we like, but there is not bigger ambassador for music than the old-fashioned radio.
Slowly but surely radio is becoming all the same, no matter what station you listen to or where. It seems like eventually we’ll just have one station with one type of music. The superstation with the super pop genre.
Sorry, but the choice between Taylor Swift and the Jonas Brothers, is no choice at all.
And if that makes me a whining, out of touch, stick in the mud redneck with a closed mind, so be it.
Luckily the Roadshow rides on for now, and so do I, until the tide turns.
PS: Big G has a great article up in the latest Hill Country Happenings with Ray Price (on page 8).