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


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