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Dixie Chicks controversy recalled two years later (FR reference)
The (Alexandria, La.) Town Talk ^ | April 29, 2005 | Andrew Griffin

Posted on 04/29/2005 12:54:16 PM PDT by FatherBreadloaf

Two years ago, the Dixie Chicks were one of the most popular groups in the country.

In February 2003, the Texas group had taken home some Grammy awards and were on “top of the world,” to quote one of their popular songs.

That all changed the following month just days before the invasion of Iraq. That was when the Dixie Chicks’ lead singer Natalie Maines told an audience in London, England that they were not happy with President George W. Bush, saying, “Just so you know, we’re ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas.” Printed in the UK Guardian and picked up by the Associated Press, the news of this negative comment spread like a brushfire on a hot and windy summer day. The outcry from patriotic country fans was deafening and conservative talk radio had a field day with the news, particularly since Maines made the statment while playing overseas and during wartime.

Not surprisingly, country radio stations across America, particularly in the “red states,” began dropping the Chicks’ music from their playlists. Ironically, the Chicks’ chart topping hit was called “Travelin’ Soldier.” And up in Bossier City, outside Barksdale Air Force Base, a tractor sales company and radio station combined efforts to hold a “Chicks Bash” rally where they ran over the group’s CDs with a tractor.

It was all reminiscent of 1966, when John Lennon said the Beatles were more popular than Jesus. Beatle records were burned in several Southern cities.

Interestingly, the Chicks’ other hit, a remake of Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide,” was doing well on adult contemporary stations and didn’t face the precipitous drop in airplay that “Travelin’ Soldier” and other songs on thier playlist did in the wake of Maines’ comments.

So, feeling the heat, Maines released an apology, telling the Associated Press: “I feel the president is ignoring the opinion of many in the U.S. and alienating the rest of the world. My comments were made in frustration, and one of the privileges of being an American is you are free to voice your own point of view.”

That “point of view” didn’t sit well with many in the public. And with country fans known as being fiercely patriotic, it wasn’t surprising when sales of their then recent studio release, “Home,” began to plummet.

And it was this week two years ago that Entertainment Weekly featured the three defiant Chicks -- Maines, Emily Robison and Martie Maguire -- on the cover, naked and painted with various slogans from “Saddam’s angels” to “free speech.”

And despite having a live album out now, the Dixie Chicks have still not released a full-length studio album of new material since that time.

In the world of popular music, two or more years between albums can seem like a lifetime in the career of a music artist. Just ask the guys in the rock band Boston.

Locally, songs by the Dixie Chicks are nowhere to be found. There are several reasons for this, which are more about business choices rather than a political stance.

Steve Casey, program director for Alexandria’s Clear Channel stations which included country station KRRV 100.3 FM, said that his station played Dixie Chicks songs for “a good six months” after the controversy first hit the media.

“We never stopped playing them because of that,” Casey said, adding that industry tests that rate certain songs began showing that Dixie Chicks songs were rating poorly.

And during that time they did get comments from listeners, both pro and con. Casey said families with soldiers serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom would call up and complain. But there were others, a Vietnam veteran for instance, who Casey said that while the group’s singer, Natalie Maines, did insult President Bush just days before the start of the war in Iraq, she did say that “we’re behind the soldiers, behind the troops. That didn’t get mentioned, though.”

As for the older songs, Casey said those aren’t played right now because of what is known as song “burn out.” Of course, they could return to the airwaves at a future point, depending on how well they test with audiences.

Over in Leesville, at country station KVVP “The Big Dog,” station manager Rick Barnikel said that the Dixie Chicks are still played on his station. But at the time, some fans weren’t happy that their songs were getting airplay.

“We got so many phone calls that we pulled their music for a couple of months and then we started playing them again,” Barnikel said. To him and his staff, “It was over and done with.”

But there were those who did complain.

“We got some who’d call up and cuss out our music director but he’d just say this is a free country and we have free speech,” Barnikel said.

Barnikel added that it will be interesting to see what happens next for the group, saying that “their legitimacy is in question because at this point we’re not sure if they’re country or rock. You just couldn’t pigeonhole them.”

But some people are still mad at the Dixie Chicks two years later, with Natalie Maines’ hometown of Lubbock, Texas being one of the anti-Chick hotspots.

Online, the conservative website FreeRepublic.com posted a question, asking “Is it time for the Dixie Chicks to return to Lubbock radio?”

Posters on FreeRepublic.com, known as Freepers, answered the question with an emphatic “No!”

William Kerns, entertainment editor at the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal said that in that west Texas city, there are those who haven’t forgiven Maines and the group. He says it’s the “vocal” people who are demanding that the Dixie Chicks be banned from Lubbock radio. Kerns said Lloyd Maines, Natalie’s producer and musician father, feels betrayed by the city of Lubbock for not supporting his daughter’s right to voice her opinion.

“He said at the time that, if Lubbock was boycotting Natalie, he was boycotting Lubbock,” Kerns wrote in an e-mail to The Town Talk. Kerns said local radio wants to play the Dixie Chicks but because of those same “vocal” people, who are threatening boycotts of station advertisers, they won’t play their music.

Scott Harris, general manager at Lubbock station KLLL will play them again when the time is right. He said that the Bush comment may not be the only reason the Dixie Chicks have upset country music listeners. Maines’ public spat with uber-patriotic country superstar Toby Keith and an “un-remorseful attitude” have “kept the negative feelings alive.”

“I’ve not experienced what appears to be such an unforgiving and unforgetting reaction from listeners in my entire career,” Harris said. “ Natalie and/or The Dixie Chicks might be the ‘Hanoi Jane’(s) of this generation. I hope not, because it’s undeserving and they are super talented.”

Jane Fonda comparisons aside, the Chicks have played recently, though. It was last fall before largely liberal audiences as part of the pro-Democrat “Vote for Change” tour that supported presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry.

Kerns said he believes the city of Lubbock will at some point want to add Natalie Maines’ name to the Buddy Holly Walk of Fame.

“They are going to want her to return and accept the honor. I believe that,” Kerns said. “But I would have thought the initial anger would have run its course by now.”

And so what are the Dixie Chicks doing now?

Kathy Allmand Best, who runs Front Page Publicity, the company which represents not only the Dixie Chicks but George Strait and Martina McBride, among others, declined to address the controversy but did say in an e-mail that the Chicks “are in the studio working on new music but I have no time-line at this point on when it will be ready.”

So, it will be interesting to see what direction the Chicks take and what their strategy will be in terms of reintroducing themselves to their country audience.

And Kerns is awaiting word on what the Dixie Chicks will be offering the public when their next album is released and they return to the spotlight.

“I’d hate to think they wouldn’t be able to resume their career because of this,” Kerns said.


TOPICS:
KEYWORDS: blixiechicks; countrycrap; countrymusic; dirtyrats; ditzychicks; dixiechicks; dixiesmells; iraq; liberals; oops; rats; rednecktrash; traitors
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Interesting update.
1 posted on 04/29/2005 12:54:18 PM PDT by FatherBreadloaf
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To: FatherBreadloaf

I see that Larry the cable guy pounds the chix pretty hard in his latest routine.


2 posted on 04/29/2005 12:55:43 PM PDT by cripplecreek (I don't suffer from stress. I am a carrier!)
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To: FatherBreadloaf
“I’d hate to think they wouldn’t be able to resume their career because of this,” Kerns said.

Calm down, Captain Hyperbole. Nobody is preventing them from “resuming their career.” A lot of people just don’t feel like buying their records anymore.

It’s a free country, for the famous and non-famous alike.

3 posted on 04/29/2005 12:59:31 PM PDT by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: FatherBreadloaf
That was when the Dixie Chicks’ lead singer Natalie Maines told an audience in London, England that they were not happy with President George W. Bush, saying, “Just so you know, we’re ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas.”

For every action there's an equal & opposite reaction:

Charlie Waters 9th Grade Science teacher Branford, CT. ca.1977

4 posted on 04/29/2005 1:00:34 PM PDT by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it.)
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To: FatherBreadloaf
Kerns said he believes the city of Lubbock will at some point want to add Natalie Maines’ name to the Buddy Holly Walk of Fame.

Maybe some city official may be stupid enough to try it.

But the good people of Lubbock will know what to do when someone vandalizes their Walk of Fame.

They'll remove such unsightly graffiti.

5 posted on 04/29/2005 1:02:03 PM PDT by wideawake (God bless our brave soldiers and their Commander in Chief)
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To: FatherBreadloaf

I notice that those "vocal" people aren't being extolled here for THEIR free speech rights.

I guess Natalie Maines insulting the pres in a foreign country in a filled auditorium is being "vocal" as well.


6 posted on 04/29/2005 1:02:39 PM PDT by stands2reason (It's 2005, and two wrongs still don't make a right.)
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To: FatherBreadloaf
So, feeling the heat, Maines released an apology, telling the Associated Press: “I feel the president is ignoring the opinion of many in the U.S. and alienating the rest of the world. My comments were made in frustration, and one of the privileges of being an American is you are free to voice your own point of view.”

How is that an apology?

7 posted on 04/29/2005 1:02:42 PM PDT by Rodney King (No, we can't all just get along.)
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To: FatherBreadloaf

There are too many talented artists out there who understand where America stands in the war on terror, so there's no need at all to even think about zeros with no clue who also happen to be talented. Natalie can play for her dad.


8 posted on 04/29/2005 1:02:42 PM PDT by BillyCrockett
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To: cripplecreek

"I see that Larry the cable guy pounds the chix pretty hard in his latest routine."

Yes, he does! I watched him last weekend and howled when he referred to Natalie Maines as that "fat one."


9 posted on 04/29/2005 1:02:54 PM PDT by Old Grumpy
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To: FatherBreadloaf
I would be willing to accept an apology from Natalie if she said something along the lines of:

"With the recent re-election of President Bush, it is clear my opinion is a vocal minority and can only accept his policies as representative of our country as a whole. I apologize for my tact and I am sorry if my opinions have brought a negative reaction to the brave men and women who are in harms way...."

But I wont hold my breath.

10 posted on 04/29/2005 1:04:08 PM PDT by smith288 (Peace at all cost makes for tyranny free of charge...)
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To: FatherBreadloaf

As much as I liked their music, it's not enough to ever pick up on of their CDs again.


11 posted on 04/29/2005 1:04:30 PM PDT by StoneColdGOP ("The Republican Party is the France of politics" - Laz)
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To: FatherBreadloaf

My impulse is a very ugly comment towards the "chicks", but they are not worth it.


12 posted on 04/29/2005 1:05:36 PM PDT by RAY (They that do right are all heroes!)
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To: dead
A lot of people just don’t feel like buying their records anymore.

You can count me in this category. I kind of liked their music but I don't forgive treason and they got pretty close.

13 posted on 04/29/2005 1:05:57 PM PDT by jackbenimble (Import the third world, become the third world)
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To: jackbenimble

Who are the Dixie Chicks?


14 posted on 04/29/2005 1:07:14 PM PDT by yobid
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To: smith288

What do you expect from a spoiled little gal who had daddy help her get into the music business? Her family is heavily involved and connected in the Texas music scene (especially in West Texas) and they helped "poor li'l Nat" and her pals get their first gigs.


15 posted on 04/29/2005 1:08:54 PM PDT by Army Air Corps (Four fried chickens and a coke)
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To: FatherBreadloaf
...one of the privileges of being an American is you are free to voice your own point of view.”

Yup, like: We don't want to buy any more of your stinkin' CDs!

16 posted on 04/29/2005 1:08:58 PM PDT by KJC1
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To: dead
The article misses another point.

The Dixie Chicks only made music fit for the ears of teenage girls. They were a flash in the pan, and now their target audience has moved on to the next "sensation."

17 posted on 04/29/2005 1:09:43 PM PDT by TontoKowalski
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To: FatherBreadloaf
So, it will be interesting to see what direction the Chicks take and what their strategy will be in terms of reintroducing themselves to their country audience.

I thought they left country music for something more liberal.

Didn't New York and Massachusetts like them?

18 posted on 04/29/2005 1:10:25 PM PDT by RJL
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To: wideawake

Currently, ther is no move to add Nat to the Walk of Fame. She may be celebrated by the "arsty" crowd here, but the City has not expressed any desire to honour her especially in light of the drubbing that she took in local radio stations; the C&W played parodies of her music and boycotted the Dixie Dinks.


19 posted on 04/29/2005 1:11:37 PM PDT by Army Air Corps (Four fried chickens and a coke)
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To: Old Grumpy

"working at a Lane Bryant in Nashville somewhere if it weren't for the 2 sisters":)
He was too funny.


20 posted on 04/29/2005 1:11:49 PM PDT by msp2004
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To: FatherBreadloaf
. . . it will be interesting to see what direction the Chicks take and what their strategy will be in terms of reintroducing themselves to their country audience.

Ha! How do you make up with people you still hate?

21 posted on 04/29/2005 1:13:45 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: RAY

I was just about too go on a rant about the Dixie Chicks, but after reading your post, I must agree with you 100 percent. Just wanted to let you know , you had a positive influence on someone today :)

Jeff


22 posted on 04/29/2005 1:13:57 PM PDT by MississippyMuddy (No peace, without FREEDOM!!)
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To: FatherBreadloaf

You mean the Muslim apologists, Pro-Illegal, Toby Keith hating Anti-Military Ditzy Chicks? Not only do I tune out any radio station that plays anything these Idiots sing, I know quite a few people who do the same. The Ditzy ones and KD(don't need no wang) are on the same level in my book.


23 posted on 04/29/2005 1:14:35 PM PDT by JustAnAmerican (Being Independent means never having to say you're Partisan)
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To: FatherBreadloaf

Hey, I've moved on to Reggaeton ~


24 posted on 04/29/2005 1:15:05 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: FatherBreadloaf
Forgiven, the Chicks? Makes me remember a Bible comment from Proverbs 18:19, "A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle."

Maine's big mouth and their collective p*ssy attitude really offended a lot of people I would understand. That bond of goodwill between performer and fans is a fragile thing. Once they offended so many, so deeply...the road back to fans good graces is "harder to be won than a strong city."

25 posted on 04/29/2005 1:16:52 PM PDT by el_texicano
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To: FatherBreadloaf

The Chicks' sound has been replaced by Gretchen Wilson. She owns the country charts now, with the same spunky, raucous, and heartfelt vocals that Natalie has. And she comes across as one of us, not snobby and elitist like the Chicks.

I've got 4 country stations programmed in my car stereo in the Kansas City area. None of them play the Dixie Chicks anymore. In fact, the only place I've seen them in the last year is CMT, which used to be a pretty good station, until Viacom F-ed it up, and tried to forcefeed their musicians to us. My Chicks CDs remain in a box in the cellar for whenever I get around to having a yard sale.

They'll release a new album, and it will do moderately well, simply because they'll cry to the media and the liberals will flock to buy it up. But the days of 7-million sales and number 1's on the ACC Top 40 with Bob Kingsley are over. That's Gretchen-land now, baby.


26 posted on 04/29/2005 1:17:48 PM PDT by RabidBartender
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To: FatherBreadloaf
Kerns said he believes the city of Lubbock will at some point want to add Natalie Maines’ name to the Buddy Holly Walk of Fame.

Two things:

Who are the Dixie Chicks? And …

If they get a star on any “Walk of Fame”, it sounds like a good place to “walk the dog”, if you know what I mean.
27 posted on 04/29/2005 1:19:52 PM PDT by schaketo (The revolution will not be televised, it will be web cast!)
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To: MississippyMuddy
I was just about too go on a rant about the Dixie Chicks, but after reading your post, I must agree with you 100 percent. Just wanted to let you know , you had a positive influence on someone today :)

Thanks, your above positive comment made me feel better.

28 posted on 04/29/2005 1:20:01 PM PDT by RAY (They that do right are all heroes!)
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To: FatherBreadloaf
They exercised their right to free speech, millions exercised their rights to disagree. I don't see how this is a controversy.

Unless of course you are a whiny liberal.
29 posted on 04/29/2005 1:20:06 PM PDT by IamConservative (To worry is to misuse your imagination.)
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To: RabidBartender
My Chicks CDs remain in a box in the cellar for whenever I get around to having a yard sale.

I hear they make great targets out at a couple of hundred yards.

30 posted on 04/29/2005 1:20:38 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: Rodney King

That's a liberal's apology.


31 posted on 04/29/2005 1:21:16 PM PDT by Jackson57
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To: JustAnAmerican
I think they did themselves in by allowing their heads to be photoshopped into this photo.


32 posted on 04/29/2005 1:21:29 PM PDT by j_k_l
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To: FatherBreadloaf

How many of the Chicks are married to mideasterners? I remember one is married to an Iranian.


33 posted on 04/29/2005 1:21:53 PM PDT by PAR35
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To: IamConservative

Kind of like Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon whining that they were being "censored" because people boycotted their movies. Liberals feel it's their RIGHT to have people pay to listen to their nonsense. Entitlement ...


34 posted on 04/29/2005 1:25:11 PM PDT by Jackson57
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To: FatherBreadloaf
Online, the conservative website FreeRepublic.com posted a question, asking “Is it time for the Dixie Chicks to return to Lubbock radio?” Posters on FreeRepublic.com, known as Freepers, answered the question with an emphatic “No!”

Free Republic got mentioned again! We are too cool!


35 posted on 04/29/2005 1:25:37 PM PDT by Paul Ross (Working for God on earth does not pay much, but His Retirement plan is out of this world.)
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To: RJL
I never liked them. I could care less what opinion some celebrity wants to force on us. We should all be deaf to that sort of thing by now. What I don't like about the Dixie Chicks or any current female country music act(Twain, Faith Hill, etc) is that they seem to be using country music as a springboard to a pop music career. As if the realm of country music isn't good enough. If they want to go pop let them. I say good riddance. They could never hold a candle to the likes of Kitty, Patsy and Tammy anyway.
36 posted on 04/29/2005 1:29:25 PM PDT by NYCynic
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To: Puppage
"If you poke somebody in the nose, expect a poke right back."

Mrs. Ruth Voss 5th Grade Teacher 1957 West Covina, Ca.

Nam Vet (I'm a tad older than you but the rule never changes)

37 posted on 04/29/2005 1:31:11 PM PDT by Nam Vet (MSM reporters think the MOIST dream they had the night before is a "reliable source".)
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To: FatherBreadloaf
People don't remember this much now, but the chicks dissed George W. Bush the first election. Bush liked their music and wanted them to play his inaugural party... But they shot him down big time and very rudely. Bush was very gracious about it, but they later went on to further add insult to injury with their overseas comments.

They were rotten to the core for long ago, some people just didn't react the first time.
38 posted on 04/29/2005 1:34:01 PM PDT by LowOiL ("I am neither . I am a Christocrat" -Benjamin Rush)
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To: LowOiL
They were already in the Michael Moore camp from DayOne. Remember this little turnip from the pig?

NataLIE Maines: Innocent Women and Children Being Hit By Our Bombs

39 posted on 04/29/2005 1:37:36 PM PDT by Paul Ross (Working for God on earth does not pay much, but His Retirement plan is out of this world.)
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To: Old Grumpy

Natalie used a body double on the cover of that Entertainment Weekly.


40 posted on 04/29/2005 1:39:13 PM PDT by massgopguy (massgopguy)
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To: FatherBreadloaf

These little bird-brains learned an a few important lessons: If you are going to exercise your first amendment rights, do it while in America. And, when music fans exercise their first amendment rights, learn to deal with it.


41 posted on 04/29/2005 1:39:36 PM PDT by Niteranger68 ("I am not a conservative because I am successful; I am successful because I am a conservative.")
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To: massgopguy
Natalie used a body double on the cover of that Entertainment Weekly.

Actually, I think that was a body triple.

42 posted on 04/29/2005 1:40:39 PM PDT by Niteranger68 ("I am not a conservative because I am successful; I am successful because I am a conservative.")
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To: TontoKowalski
The Dixie Chicks only made music fit for the ears of teenage girls. They were a flash in the pan, and now their target audience has moved on to the next "sensation."

Bingo! Their core audience has moved on to Gretchen Wilson and Buddy Jewell.

As for me, I'm going home tonight and crank up some George Jones 78s.
43 posted on 04/29/2005 1:43:21 PM PDT by GodBlessRonaldReagan (Count Petofi will not be denied!)
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To: smith288
What makes these people or any other American "star" whether its film, TV, Radio etc. think that they have the knowledge in politics to make ANY STATEMENT. For example Barbara S! From where did she matriculate in political science? Did she complete her High School education?
After his efforts, concerts, in support of the Democratic candidate when I hear a song from "The Boss" on a radio, I switch stations. This is my response to celebrities that use their access to the public to promote their politics! If they are not happy with the state of the nation, let them run for office. That goes for Sean Penn also!
44 posted on 04/29/2005 1:43:36 PM PDT by Jacques Sherock (Jacques Sherock)
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To: massgopguy
"Natalie used a body double on the cover of that Entertainment Weekly."

It actually is a poor Photoshop job on all of them. If you look closely, the lighting is diffent on all three faces. The tone is also strange.
45 posted on 04/29/2005 1:44:25 PM PDT by j_k_l
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To: RabidBartender

"I've got 4 country stations programmed in my car stereo in the Kansas City area. None of them play the Dixie Chicks anymore. In fact, the only place I've seen them in the last year is CMT, which used to be a pretty good station, until Viacom F-ed it up, and tried to forcefeed their musicians to us. My Chicks CDs remain in a box in the cellar for whenever I get around to having a yard sale."

I've got a stack of CDs I need to get rid of. John Cougar, Pearl Jam, REM, and Dave Matthews so far. The songs are good but it just isn't the same.


46 posted on 04/29/2005 1:46:48 PM PDT by JZelle
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To: FatherBreadloaf
“are in the studio working on new music but I have no time-line at this point on when it will be ready.”

Radio stations do focus group testing on all records. The big stations hire polling firms to test records in their own town. Smaller stations buy focus group results from firms that do national testing for many stations. If the song does not test well with focus groups it never gets played.

None of this is lost on the record companies. They focus group nearly all recordings before they will spend the money to release an album. If the focus groups don't like the recordings they don't release an album. They understand that no radio station will play a record that focus groups don't like.

I would bet the Dixie Chicks have been in the studio a lot in the last two years. They likely have recorded many songs. Their record company has no doubt done focus group studies on the songs. When the results show people don't like the chicks the record company refuses to release the albun. Most recording contracts today say that if the songs don't focus group well the record company does not have to release the album.

Then the Chicks go back into the studio and try again.

Betcha they have been doing this for two years.

Their manager is reduced to saying they are in the studio but he does not know when a new album will be released.

Perhaps if they changed their name to the Northern Sluts... it might help


47 posted on 04/29/2005 1:47:25 PM PDT by Common Tator
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To: RabidBartender

Gretchen Wilson is a far better singer and artist than Natalie. I know it's the country sound, but I really don't like the nasal, twangy style of singing that Natalie has.


48 posted on 04/29/2005 1:50:46 PM PDT by Cecily
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To: FatherBreadloaf
To make matters worse for the Chicks, groups like SHeDAISY are filling their market niche. Being absent from the market is one thing; not being missed is quite another.
49 posted on 04/29/2005 1:52:37 PM PDT by Redcloak (But what do I know? I'm just a right-wing nut in his PJs whackin' on a keyboard..)
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To: FatherBreadloaf
It was all reminiscent of 1966, when John Lennon said the Beatles were more popular than Jesus. Beatle records were burned in several Southern cities.

A rather pathetic comparison with a purely politcal motive.

I like the false comments about "free speech". For the Left, "free speech" means "consequence free speech". And there is no such thing.

50 posted on 04/29/2005 1:59:05 PM PDT by TheDon (Euthanasia is an atrocity.)
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