Music Buyers Ready To Make Nice With Dixie Chicks; Country Radio Still Peevish

Feb 13th, 2007 // 13 Comments

73294098.jpgIn the wake of the Dixie Chicks’ Grammy sweep on Sunday, “Not Ready To Make Nice” is No. 1 on the iTunes chart, and Taking The Long Way is No. 2 at both iTunes and Amazon (next week, we’ll find out whether or not the album saw a Grammy bounce at non-online outlets). Today’s New York Times has a piece on the Chicks’ win and its perception as a “victory” for the artist community, which was understandably angered by the Chicks being effectively blacklisted from the country-music world. (How did we miss the one station that went so far as to rent a 33,000-pound tractor in order to send out their “we will destroy you” message?) But the country-music industrial complex isn’t ready to back down from its anti-Chicks stance, according to AP

The Dixie Chicks peaked at No. 36 on the Billboard country charts with “Not Ready to Make Nice.” That ought to disqualify them from winning best country album, said Jacobs, the Alabama radio station owner.

“How do you win country music album of the year, when country music radio is not playing you?” he said.

Perhaps the Dixie Chicks can emulate this man in their reply.

Grammy Sweep by Dixie Chicks Is Seen as a Vindication [NYT]
[Photo: Getty Images]


  1. Chris Molanphy

    I’m happy for the ladies, truly I am, but “Not Ready to Make Nice” is hardly the best of their songs. It’s not even the catchiest number on that album (the title track is, IMHO) and it shouldn’t have been the first single. I will admit that I like it better now than I did last spring/summer.

    Billboard ran a couple of articles last spring from the country-radio point of view, saying that what they really objected to was making that none-too-subtle song (I mean, Maines could’ve just titled it, “Fuck You, Nashville”) the leadoff track. One of the country PDs was quoted as saying (paraphrasing, sorry), We were all ready to move on, but then they release this and open up the wound again. They made the fuss this time, not us.

    I kind of half-agree with this sentiment. I am hardly in the “Shut Up and Sing” camp, and I think “Not Ready” is a delicious fuck-you-right-back song that should’ve been an album cut. But making it the lead single was just rubbing Nashville’s face in it, and it just wasn’t necessary. They’d have done their cause a lot more good by leading off with an uptempo first single, luring country radio in, and then dropping the bomb later (and in concert). This way, yeah, they stuck to their guns, but all they did was get themselves permanently banned in the heartland and guarantee that they’ll be preaching to the Blue-State converted forevermore.

  2. afriedman

    the “this man” link is broken

  3. Nicolars

    But making it the lead single was just rubbing Nashville’s face in it, and it just wasn’t necessary. They’d have done their cause a lot more good by leading off with an uptempo first single, luring country radio in, and then dropping the bomb later (and in concert).

    I don’t think there was much possibility of luring country radio in in the first place, to be honest. I doubt country radio would have been willing to play their first single no matter what the Dixie Chicks did to try and appease them. There are more enough vacant, pliant young female artists that have never did anything controversial for them to choose from.

  4. dollywould

    Which is sad, because the Dixies are one of the most traditional “country” acts with success. Fiddle, anyone? If you like them, I suggest seeing them live. They are fantastic.

    I agree that “Not Ready to Make Nice” wasn’t the best single choice. “Taking the Long Way” is my favorite as well, and I also think “Easy Silence” would do well on radio. Political issues aside, that band would never have made it without Natalie. Replacing the original lead singer was the best choice they ever made.

  5. brasstax

    “How do you win country music album of the year, when country music radio is not playing you?”

    Is he serious? This guy honestly believes music can’t be good if it’s not played on the radio? Granted, he’s a station owner and all… but, f’realz?!

  6. Emerson Dameron

    The way he saw it, it was probably like Jethro Tull winning Best Heavy Metal. A dis to the scene. A scene that seems increasingly content to be spoonfed by Randy, Simon and Paula.

    I think history will be *very* kind to the Chicks. More than any other genre except maybe hip hop, country, at least in hindsight, loves stars who are willing to jeapordize their careers on ideological grounds. I just hope that, in Maines’ case, her self-endangerment doesn’t involve too much snowblowing.

  7. Mike Barthel

    a) Since when is winning a Grammy a rebuke to any establishment ever? Are people really saying this with a straight face?

    b) DOB’s right: they said fuck you to country and then country wouldn’t play them. Those bastards! You can’t really expect to have it both ways.

  8. drjimmy11

    I spend a lot of time defending country music, trying to explain to people that’s it’s a hugely important genre historically, that there’s a lot of great stuff outside the pop-country mainstream, that country music is so much more than a bunch of brain-dead, reactionary hicks.

    And country music is more than that. But country radio and the Nashville establishment really aren’t. Well wait, yeah they are: they take the worst aspects of corporate greed and it’s tendency to crush anything that even resembles artistic expression, and then they are bunch of brain-dead, reactionary hicks on top of that.

    But yeah, we should keep some perspective: it is the Grammies we’re talking about. I mean, the Red hot Chili Peppers won multiple awards for “rock” music. They might as well have written “THIS SHOW AN IRRELEVANT JOKE BECAUSE WE HATE ALL THAT IS GOOD ABOUT MUSIC” in huge flaming letters on the stage and called it a day.

  9. pimpmyPR

    Give Drjimmy11 a harumph

    Sir, I know Country Music, and you Toby Keith are not country music.

    The reactionary right loves to whip up a good-ole fashioned media firestorm. It keeps the base active and angry. The combined retalitory power of the right wing pundocricy and blogosphere is truly awesome to behold. I’d argue however that seeing this back-lashing media death-star at full operational efficiency – though it might signal the end of rational debate and possibly one day democracy itself – it is stangely comforting. If the massed ranks of the Limbaugh’s, Coulter’s, Hannity’s et al all agree on something….you know it’s complete bullshit.

    Keep up the good work Dixies.

  10. Jupiter8

    They are great live, that is most definitely the way to see them…

    Missing in all the Chicks bashing by the Clear Channel people & radio stations is the mile-wide “shut up, bitch” factor. The misogyny is hard to miss, considering a Bush-basher like Tim McGraw hasn’t suffered any…what do you expect in a genre that values so-called “honesty” and “tradition” and champions the artists who are the most packaged, marketed and phony…there is good country music, just not much of it is on country radio.

  11. terryball

    who wants to buy new country songs from the songwriter himself TERRY BALL
    @TERRYSONGWRITE@GMAiL.COM) all 10 of my songs are true country i wrote have copywrites for after a car accident in 1991 5 of my songs are under (terrysongwriter)you can check out me and billy keebles cut of my (LEAVE THE BUDLIGHT ON) OUR CUT OF MY SONG LEAVE THE BUDLIGHT ON @ SOUNDCLICK.COM UNDER BILLY KEEBLE&TERRY BALL SINGLE LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK OF THE JINGLE FOR SURE THANKS TERRY BALL CLEVELAND TENNESSEE.

  12. swiggy

    In the same fashion as the outlaw country icons, these ladies have arrived! Inspite of the “nasel twanged poprock sorry excuse for country music” that they do play on “country radio”today.Standing tall,standing proud they exercised their given right of free speech and individual thought and were promptly chastised and outlawed for it.
    If not the most appealing choice, “Not Ready To Make Nice” was the only choice for single release.In doing so they are putting the country music(so they call it)powers that be,on notice “We’re still here and We ain’t goin nowhere soon,except deeper into the hearts of real country music.



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