Skip to comments.Dixie Chicks don't stick at country radio
Posted on 05/20/2006 11:44:36 AM PDT by West Coast Conservative
Disappointing airplay for the first two singles from the new album by the Dixie Chicks exposes a deep -- and seemingly growing -- rift between the trio and the country radio market that helped turn the group into superstars.
"Taking the Long Way," due out May 23, is the band's first album since singer Natalie Maines sparked a major controversy in 2003 by declaring that she was ashamed to hail from the same state as fellow Texan President George W. Bush. Radio boycotts ensued, and many fans abandoned the band.
The first single, "Not Ready to Make Nice," peaked at No. 36 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart, beginning its descent after just seven weeks. The second single, "Everybody Knows," is now at No. 50, down two places in its fourth week.
"Not Ready to Make Nice" performed only slightly better at adult contemporary radio, peaking at No. 32 on the AC chart and falling off after six weeks.
From the beginning of the album rollout, the Dixie Chicks were eager that their songs be worked to radio formats beyond country. The album was produced by rock veteran Rick Rubin, whose credits include the Red Hot Chili Peppers, System of a Down and Johnny Cash.
By picking the defiant "Not Ready" as the first single, they've reopened a wound that was particularly deep for country radio fans, and left many country programmers with the burning question: Why on earth would the band choose to do this?
After hearing the album, WKIS Miami program director Bob Barnett says he was "excited about the opportunity to introduce some great Chicks music to the listeners." But the group's decision to come with "Not Ready" as the lead single left him "stunned, especially in light of the fact that, when asked, programmers and consultants that listened to the project were virtually unanimous in saying we should put the politics behind us and concentrate on all this other great music we were hearing."
KUBL/KKAT Salt Lake City PD Ed Hill criticizes the song's "self-indulgent and selfish lyrics."
Barnett played the song for a week, but pulled it after listeners called to say it sounded like the Chicks were "gloating" or "rubbing our noses in it," he reports. "We didn't need to pick at the scab any longer."
He and other country programmers were upset that the group chose to launch its new album with a single that rehashed all the angst of three years ago.
The two singles have had a striking lack of impact at radio, considering the band's history. Between 1997 and 2003, it notched 14 top 10 country singles, including six No. 1 hits. In addition to eight Grammy Awards, the group has won 10 Country Music Assn. Awards and eight Academy of Country Music Awards. The trio has sold 23.4 million albums in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
The Dixie Chicks and reps from their label, Columbia Records, declined to participate in this story. But -- at least as far as Maines is concerned -- the drop-off at country radio was part of its plan.
Maines was quoted in late January on entertainmentweekly.com, before the single went to country radio, saying: "For me to be in country music to begin with was not who I was ... I would be cheating myself ... to go back to something that I don't wholeheartedly believe in. So I'm pretty much done. They've shown their true colors. I like lots of country music, but as far as the industry and everything that happened ... I couldn't want to be farther away from that."
Maines also said, "I don't want people to think that me not wanting to be part of country music is any sort of revenge. It is not. It is totally me being who I am, and not wanting to compromise myself and hate my life."
At KNCI Sacramento, Calif., the Chicks' music weathered the 2003 controversy only to be pulled as a result of Maines' new Entertainment Weekly comments, coupled with poor scores in local music tests.
"When an artist says that they don't want to be a part of that industry, it made our decision a no-brainer," program director Mark Evans says. "There are too many talented new artists dying to have a song played on country radio, so I'd rather give one of them a shot."
Cue the Monty Python foot coming down on the Chix...
If these girls just put out nice country CD and not used what happened as the means to their comeback then maybe they would have been forgiven...but their first single, NOT READY TO MAKE NICE or whatever paints them as the VICTIMS...it's an incredibly silly song and if they weren't hated enough before, in my estimation they nailed the coffin with that song.
Why can't people like this just take their millions and quietly disappear into the sunset? Who wants to keep hearing from them?
I can't recall ever hearing anyone say in the last couple years, "I sure wish the Dixie Chicks would come out with a new album!"
Ugh, these women just disgust me.
They should have followed Mariah Carey. Carey had a great comeback after a bomb of a movie and album.
Time to sing their crap in another country.
You know something, I actually saw that movie, Glitter, several years ago on cable and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.
Well, honey, maybe the lousy reception of your new album is country music fans "totally being who they are and not wanting to compromise themselves" by buying into your foolish and self-centered tripe.
I suppose the Dimocrat response to this "injustice" would be to require everyone to listen to "sanctioned" music by "approved" musicians. We can't have people choosing for themselves what to listen to. What if some nut-job wacko leftists get left out???
ROTFL!!! Boy, has this ditz lost touch with reality or what?
Toby Keith continues supporting America and the troops while raking in the big bucks. How are "the chicks" doing?
Natalie Maines sure thinks a lot of herself. The opinion doesn't seem to be widely shared.
"rift between the trio and the country radio market that helped turn the group into superstars."
Seems like the rift is with their fans not "the country radio market".
The article has a non condemning, clinical detachment.
If this were a conservative band that declared war on its fans and were paying for it, I think the article would have a different tone.
Yeaqh, and taking a slap at Buddy Holly on their new cd ain't helping any. Buddy's brothers are furious, and, so are his fans!
"Where are all my idiotic, mouth-breathing, Bush-ite customers?" the bankrupt restauranteur wondered.
One of the GREAT lines from "Larry The Cable Guy":(paraphrasing a little here, but real close):
Larry: "...and The Dixie Chicks....what's that little fat one's name....Natalie??? She needs to shut her mouth, and go back to her job as a sales clerk at Lane Bryant..."
Who cares what these three airheads say or do?
They're not the Dixie Chicks; they're the Dixie Sh*ts to me.
Uh, Natalie, you've got it a little backwards. Country is done with you and you've shown your true colors. Good old plain American's don't abide your spoiled brat in-your-face attitude.
Moonbats simply MUST BE Moonbats..