Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Country Fans Want Gill, Loveless Back

I know that this does not tie directly into the Grand Ole Opry, but it does involve Opry members and not the "new" country music of today. A poll was recently conducted on Facebook by "Stark Country", affiliated with Radio-Info.com. I found this article interesting and wanted to pass it on:

We recently conducted a Facebook poll, asking both country music business professionals and "civilian" country fans alike which '90s/early 2000s country stars they wished were still having radio hits today. It's an astonishing commentary on just how many former format staples have now fallen from radio favor that more than 40 different acts were named by poll respondents, and that's not counting the joke answers, which included non-hitmakers Cleve Francis, B.B. Watson and Eddie London, as well as "Chris Gaines."

Vince Gill and Patty Loveless were the artists most often cited as being genuinely missed. They were followed in the poll by Suzy Bogguss, Mark Chesnutt, Lee Roy Parnell and Trisha Yearwood, who each received an equal number of votes. Close on their heels were Kathy Mattea and Travis Tritt, followed by Tracy Bird, Billy Dean, Steve Wariner and Dwight Yoakam, who all received multiple votes.

Currently, those 12 artists are responsible for more than 200 top 10 country hits, and 47 No. 1s. All had a healthy chart run of more than a decade and, in the case of Gill and Wariner, more than two decades. The average length of time between the first and last charting records of these 12 artists is 16 and a half years, a career length most of today's young artists would be grateful to achieve.

The poll's best comment came from KCXY (Y95) Camden, Ark., PD Jay Phillips, who wrote, "I'd like to see some of our current artists have 'real' hits. We are becoming the format of 'play it and throw it away.' Many of the songs we play today won't be on the air three months from now."

Surprisingly, Garth Brooks was only cited by two people in our unscientific poll, netting him the same number of votes as Mary Chapin Carpenter, Sons of the Desert, Pam Tillis and Wynonna.

Two people also wondered what Keith Whitley's career would be like now if he hadn't died in 1989. Impact Radio Networks VP of network operations Marcus Rowe speculated it would be "approaching Strait status, most likely."

Nashville music publisher and songplugger Matt Lindsey noted that singers like Yearwook, Loveless, Brooks Parnell, Tritt, Chesnutt and Yoakam, plus Radney Foster, Dixie Chicks and others, "were all artists. Today we have acts," he says. "There's a huge difference to me.

"To be fair," Lindsey continues, "there are some artists today we still have: Alan Jackson, George Strait, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley (and more,) so all is not lost. It's all subjective, I know, but anyone that carries auto tuners on live dates.....geez."

Again, I thought this was a nice little article to pass on.

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