Friday, May 26, 2006

Why Is Froggy 99.9 Still Playing the Dixie Chicks?

Why are you still playing the Dixie Chicks?

Lately that has been a popular subject heading in my email box.

And I don’t have the perfect answer to those people that ask me. I’m sorry, but I just don’t have it.

What I do have are some reasons that we still play them. And I’d like to explain that to you.

First of all, the majority of you still like their music. Froggy 99.9 tests our music very thoroughly. If we’re thinking about playing a new song we make sure that it has a high enough “positive” score to make it on the radio. There’s a formula that tells us what the score of a song is. Some of the factors include how many of you like the song (Hopalong Cassidy’s “New Tune at 2”)…how familiar you are with the song or the artist…does the song get old quickly? We even test the old songs! Every song we play has to be liked by the majority of you, or we won’t play it.

We all have songs we like. And there are some songs that we don’t like. That’s because everybody has different tastes.

You might be thinking, “OK, Gilmore. That’s fine. But the Dixie Chicks offended our President and now they’re even saying they don’t want to be pigeonholed as ‘country’ artists. Now how are you going to defend them?”

Remember when Billy Ray Cyrus was THE MAN? You couldn’t go anywhere without hearing “Achy, Breaky Heart.” I remember there were a lot of country artists who hated that song. Billy Ray and Travis Tritt were fighting with each other through the press much like Toby Keith and the Dixie Chicks did a few years ago. Eventually that died down and everybody went back to their corners.

People say bad things about the President every day. Why were the Dixie Chicks singled out? Was it because they said it on foreign soil? Maybe. But we need to remember that what they said was about the President…not our military. George Clooney, Martin Sheen, Dannie Glover, Rosa Parks, Harry Belafonte, Adrien Brody, Sheryl Crow, Barbara Streisand, Janeane Garofalo, Susan Sarandon and Mike Farrell are just a few celebrities that have spoken out against the President and the War in Iraq. A quick google search shows me that. Are we boycotting their movies? TV shows? Music? Why, then, do we continue to hate the Dixie Chicks?

Perhaps it’s because they won’t drop the issue. Now, I’m not going to defend the Dixie Chicks here, because I’m just as upset as most people are with them on this point. I just chalk that up to childishness – a character flaw.

Everybody has his or her character flaws, right?

I know of country artists that have been through drug and alcohol treatment. I know of country artists that either cheated on their spouses or broke up other marriages. I know of country artists that have been charged with assault. We’re still playing their music. Because at Froggy 99.9 we try not let their flaws impact our decision to play good music.

I bought the Dixie Chicks’ new album, Taking The Long Way, the first day it was available. I’ve listened to it a few times. I like most of the songs. Not all, but most. I hit the skip button on my CD player every time “Not Ready to Make Nice” comes on because that’s one song I don’t like.

If you don’t like the Dixie Chicks I hope you know that I don’t want to lose you as a listener. We play some of their old music because the majority of you still want to hear it. We’ll try their new music. If the majority of you like the new stuff we’ll continue to play the Dixie Chicks. If the majority of you don’t like the new music, we’re not gonna shove it down your throats. Because our goal is to play the music that the majority of you like. If it’s a bad song, we’re not going to play it regardless of who recorded it.

So I hope you’ve read this and understand where I’m coming from. You don’t have to agree with me. I just want you to understand the predicament I’m in.

And I want to know where you stand on the situation.

Send me an email and tell me if you do or do not support the Dixie Chicks. Because when you strip everything down, Froggy 99.9 is YOUR station. We just play the music and try to make your day a little better in-between the songs.

Hoppy Gilmore
Program DirectorFroggy 99.9

Monday, May 01, 2006

Lilly Invites You to Walk

Hey there!

Coming up this Saturday, May 6, I want to invite you to spend an hour or so of your busy day in Lindenwood park for the Pathway of Hope Walk to benefit cancer research.

The walk was started by an acquaintance of mine who lost her mother to cancer. Now I know there are many great walks for cancer, including the Relay for Life, but I guess I wanted to point this one to you because of the timing of the walk, and news of my friend Nick.

Nick, and his wife Julie are ND natives that have transplanted in Phoenix, where Nick is a police officer in one of the most dangerous cities in America, and Julie is a free-lance writer and stay at home mom to their two boys.

About 18 months ago, Nick was diagnosed with testicular cancer, still quite rare, and most common with men in their thirties. It is probably most well known as being the type of cancer that Lance Armstrong had. It can also be a very deadly cancer as it is still rare and can spread quickly.

After initial surgery, Nick was on the mend. Soon back at work, and with blood tests every month, we all seemed to breath a little easier.

Then, last October, his cancer returned. A large tumor in his abdomen and chemotherapy was required. He became quite sick from that, but being the trooper that he is, rallied on, continued to work when he could and played dad to Brody and Colin.

After chemo, he was back to monitoring blood and body scans monthly to watch the tumor which was still there, but seemed to be dormant. Hallelujah! Remission was the word we'd all be waiting for.

Fast forward to 3 weeks ago, when his tumor marker tests came back elevated.
As I mentioned earlier, TC is still quite rare and in only about 5% of cases, does it return, if treated early. Now Nick is one of the lucky 5%. Protocol for treating returning TC is invasive surgery and/or a stem-cell marrow type transplant, very experimental and often the last resort.

Last week, Nick and Julie flew to Portland, OR to consult with one of the best TC doctors in the country, as a matter of fact, he was one of Lance Armstrong's doctors. He suggested that Nick have the surgery to remove the retroperitoneal lymph nodes. He said anytime there is growth in a tumor after chemo, surgery is the next step. It requires an incision from his chest to groin, then the organs in his abdomen will be taken out so they can remove the lymph nodes which are located alongside the spine. He'll be hospitalized 5 days and will need 6 weeks of recovery time afterwards. Whether or not another round of chemo is needed will depend on whether the lymph nodes come back postive for cancer.

The reason I'm telling you all this is that I hope you can help Nick, and others like him with fighting this terrible disease. I know just about all of you have been touched one way or another by cancer, I myself am a breast cancer survivor of almost seven years. I will not be able to walk myself this Saturday as I will be working, BUT, I WILL be making a donation on behalf of Nick. I hope you will do the same.

Here is the website for more information:

Thanks in advance.