White men dominate the Country radio charts, still!
Whether Canada’s broadcasters in the hat ring get their kicks from male baritone voices and hunks in hats is a question without an answer, but radio consultant Keith Hill put the nut on the bolt back in 2015 when he famously advised the country radio industry to eliminate females from the format if they wanted better ratings.
He didn’t stop there.
Offering empirical evidence to back his statement, Hill advised that “the reason is mainstream country radio generates more quarter hours from female listeners is that women like male artists [sic].”
Precisely placing the tail on the horse’s arse, this influential firebrand added a noteworthy confession, meant to pour water on a burning bush: “If you want to make ratings in country radio, take females out … Trust me, I play great female records, and we’ve got some right now; they’re just not the lettuce in our salad. The lettuce is Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton, Keith Urban and artists like that. The tomatoes of our salad are the females.”
After soundly getting stilettoed from an angry audience of fillies, the maverick told The Boot:
“I now understand that a woman who loves Carrie Underwood and had the night of her life at a Miranda Lambert show wakes up in Aberdeen, Md., and sees a headline over her morning coffee that says, ‘Keith Hill says take females off the radio.’ I get their calculus at that point,” he opined, adding that, “I’d be angry, too.”
You might say The Man had taken his hat off to concede he’s a scorpion who took an overly fond liking to a woman’s butt (sort of, kind of like the DJ who is alleged to have taken an overly enthusiastic approach to Taylor Swift’s aft deck).
The guys can holler, rev and kick all they like in defence of the gender gap, but a Google search of criticism over male dominance in the format turns up a dust storm of headlines that screams bias.
Of course, the format hasn’t exactly been kind to people of colour over the years either, as whites have earned a billfold from singing the blues and emulating race records for aeons.
Then there’s the nagging question about the KKK and America’s swastika, the Confederate flag, in Hillbilly Town—and why it is that the citadel of American machismo has become so acquiescent to the Brokeback Mountain lifestyle?
Guns, cars, alcoholism, tobacco, Donald Trump. Rednecks, blissful ignorance, racism, sexism, and a carnival of carnivorous delights are staples that have kept the format’s songwriters in the money, and in the saddle, since Davey Crockett was home on the range; but today’s Mustang Sallies are starting to buck up, hold back and kick like mules smelling a cloud of smoke in a corral.
It’s a side of life that Robert Altman’s Nashville failed to see. It is also imagery that Walmart, Amazon, Target, Sears, eBay and Etsy are getting antsy about, and an eruption of modernity that threatens the decline and fall of a white male stranglehold on a format that is about as politically correct as a mire of Trump tweets.
Global News has the latest dirt on the format that just won’t curtsy to modern times.