Saturday, September 21, 2013


This past week Zac Brown and Gary Allan started an industry wide discussion on the current state of country music.

I figured I would add my two cents.

One of the ways country radio can continue winning, is to have as much music diversity as possible and stars that have identity.

Country's boom faded in the late 90's.  Many of the new acts looked and sounded the same.  There was very little diversity and many of these new acts didn't have any memorable identity.  Couple that with the fact that Modern A/C was a bright, shiny and new format with powerful female stars that had diversity and identity and country radio got hurt.  Country radio ratings suffered, stations flipped formats and the overall national station count went down.

Then 2004 came.  So did Gretchen Wilson, Big & Rich and others.  They were different.  They had identity and ratings followed (with some help from Top 40 that was suffering and Modern A/C was on life support).

Now it's 2013 and country radio is booming.  We have diversity.  Great radio stations can have a wide variety of music in each quarter hour.  I think our stars have more identity now than in the past two decades (with some help from TV).

If the music starts sounding the same and the stars start looking the same, country radio will suffer.  We need to make sure we keep our play lists as diverse as possible.

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