Dear #Nashville…and Radio Programmers that have made “the leap” to Country…
I’m the person you’ve been cranking out music for…for years. I’m the backbone of country radio. If you’re wondering where I’ve been or what I’m up to…or what I think…I wish you’d ask me.
I’ve got a kid in the Navy, a daughter that’s been married a year or two and my youngest just started high school. They all love the music they grew up to. It’s what mama played for them. (Mama listened to other music besides country…I still do…but when I want to hear country…I’d like for it to at least “feel” country).
You guys think you know what I want? (Well, if that were the case…the divorce rate would be a helluva lot lower wouldn’t it?)
I don’t “matter”? I don’t buy music? You bet your ass I do. You just haven’t been giving me a whole lot to put my hard-earned money down for…in years.
If I want to hear a mandolin, banjo or a guitar…I’ve got to go search for it. Funny how The Avett Brothers, Mumford and Sons…find airplay on everything but country radio. I’m not a huge fan of those two…but I think it’s ironic that they’re played on the stations where Moog synthesizers and drum machines made their mark and “country” radio wouldn’t touch them with a 10 foot pole.
I’ve been over here waiting for something…country. A little George Strait and Alan Jackson makes a lot of the “pop country” go down. It seems you don’t “get” them anymore. You’d rather expect me to sit through the same music I tried to get away from in ‘93-‘97 because you got here a little late?
I can handle the new guys at the format. It’s great to hear what they’ve done to create their own sound…but…I’m not going through my mid-life crisis yet. I like a steel guitar…I like hearing women sing songs that speak to me. Yes. Me.
I loved the first two Eric Church cd’s, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert and Reba McEntire….(she might not test well at your place…but she’s in my short stack)…Gary Allan (if the song is right…I’m hooked)…Keith Urban…Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean…Mark Chesnutt…Kip Moore…Tim McGraw…and God bless Alan Jackson. I love a good Toby record, too.
The pop/rock tinged records are fun…when they’re NOT the only thing on the radio…or Pandora…or…whatever.
Music is a very personal thing. There has to be a connection with the material to have true staying power. There’s a reason you still hear certain songs on the radio decades after their peak. Those songs…made an impact and connected…with people…like me.
It happens in all formats. There’s a reason Zeppelin is still around…those godforsaken Phil Collins solo records…and I have to admit…I still get a little teary when I hear “Human Nature” by MJ. I listen to everything…because not only did I get the right to vote over a 100 years ago…I also was given a mind that operates on its’ own. They let me drive now…and even more exciting…I’ve learned how to manipulate the internet and seek out all those things that your focus groups tell you that I don’t want.
The word Jaye Albright used was “disenfranchised”…and it’s dead on.
I own the Nirvana and Ozzy box-sets…Tool, RHCP…and some Del McCoury (look him up…he’s got a Grammy or two)…and my secret shame is that I love almost anything George Michael ever put out. These artists…they all speak to me.
I’m not alone. There are millions of women just like me. When my radio is on a country station…I’d like a little “country” on it. It doesn’t ALL have to be “pure country”…but that’s why I came here.
I’m down for one “Dirt Road Anthem” every three or four records or so. (It actually enhances those records to keep them nestled in between more traditional sounding songs). It makes the radio…sound as diverse as I am.
Female singers these days sound like…they’re in pain (not like the Patsy Cline, Reba soul wrenching sort of pain…it’s more of an “OMG my left breast got caught in the mammogram machine” sort of pain.
Screeching country pop?!
If I wanted that…I’d flip over to Top 40 radio…try to pretend that I’m not over 30…sing into my pretend microphone…and hope that my teenage daughter doesn’t hate me because her hormones dictate that “it must be so”.
But then again…I’m just a woman…right smack dab in the middle of your bread and butter demographic. What the hell would I know about what I want?
PS…I’d like to dedicate this Patty Loveless song…to you.
Just some random female between 35 and 44