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Dixie Chicks, Boise response

Hot topic on the Boise radio, music and concert scene: The Dixie Chicks. Or, how hot? And why the relative temperature?

Back a step: The Dixie Chicks country music has gone through hots spells and cold, but the current situation almost defies description.

The Idaho Radio News blog notes, “The Dixie Chicks new album “Taking the Long Way” is number one on both the country and Billboard 200 charts this week. 526,000 copies of the album flew off the shelves.” And they’re on tour.

But – the post goes on – “In Boise – none of the three major country stations are playing the album’s lead single, according to data. It might have something to do with that lead single’s theme. ‘Not Ready to Make Nice,’ which addresses the pre-Iraq war controversy that surrounded the trio (”Just so you know, we’re ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas” – said by singer Natalie Manes during a performance in the UK). But it’s not just KIZN, KQFC & KTMY. Counter-intuitively, the single isn’t well-rotated anywhere really.”

That post drew a fat pile of reponses on the blog. One reader commented, ““KUDOS to the local country stations for standing by their priciples! You know who your audience is!”

Another responded, “what ‘principles’ are referring to? I thought the ‘principle’ of music radio was TO PLAY HITS in their format. Are they now supposed to support the Bush administration by NOT playing HITS recorded by artists who have been critical of it? Imagine for a moment that such a thing as a ‘liberal country station’ existed somewhere. Imagine further that the station refused to play music by an artist who supported George Bush. Look me in the eye with a straight face and tell me you wouldn’t be howling about that. Let me guess, you watch a LOT of the Fox News Channel, don’t you?”

Which in turn drew this: “. . . any Programmer with an ounce of brains ALSO knows that you play the HITS your AUDIENCE WANTS TO HEAR. Unfortunately for the SMALL number of NON conservatives who live in Idaho, this means a somewhat unspoken boycott of bands such as The Chicks. Do I agree with this? Well, somewhat. It’s important to keep your audience happy, whether they be liberal, conservative or, well, whatever else is left . . .”

Remember when radio stations – most of them, anyway – weren’t really considered Republican, Democratic, liberal or conservative? Those days seem to be passing rapidly by.

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