April 4, 2018It's A Long Story
One of my favorite new songs right now is Travis Denning's “David Ashley Parker From Powder Springs.”
I love that it sounds like traditional Country music, and if you read this space on a regular basis, you know how I feel about traditional music. I've listened to, played, and written about a ton of it in my time, so there's really no Country music you can put in front of me that I'll consider “too Country.” In fact, I don’t even know what that term means or how to respond when people use it.
I love that “David Ashley Parker from Powder Springs” is a story song – and a really good one, at that. Strong storytelling is what always set Country music apart from other genres, in my opinion. It's what made me a believer. I never listened to Country music at all before working at my first Country station, but it didn't take long for me to get hooked; it was the people – they were characters, really – and the stories in Country songs that made the music sticky to me. I've sat through hundreds of focus groups with Country fans, and they've always mentioned “great stories” when describing why they loved this music so much.
March 28, 2018It's About F%#&ing Time
The apocalypse is officially upon us: Chris Stapleton has a #1 single at Country radio. Hold on – this guy doesn't top the Country charts, right? He sells a shit-ton of albums; he's a streaming juggernaut, posting numbers up the wazoo. All music lovers gravitate to ...
March 13, 2018When It Comes To Back Stories, This One's “Got 'Em All”
Trent Harmon came into my office on Tuesday, February 27th and kicked my ass. I mean, he put me on the floor. It was the second such whippin' in less than three weeks, and this time, I even knew it was coming. No need to call the authorities; this was an emotional, not a ...
March 2, 2018The Host With The Most
Few things are certain in life. You know, the ones you can truly count on? Death and taxes top the list, unfortunately. Change is a close second, and – as we've all learned – that can go either way. Thoughts and prayers are the latest shiny new, albeit sometimes ...
February 22, 2018CRS 2018: First-Time Feedback
“Country Radio Seminar (CRS) - how do you even fit that experience into one or two paragraphs?” That's the rhetorical question posed by Jenn Hays, morning co-host for KUPL (98.7 The Bull)/Portland, OR. Hays was one of three Rusty Walker Scholars attending CRS for the ...
February 16, 2018Christmas Wrap
We pause briefly from our series of pre- and post-CRS analysis to wax nostalgic and revisit the Christmas season, or what legendary crooner Andy Williams once declared in song, "The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year." But, is it? ... Really? For those of us in Country ...
February 9, 2018CRS 2018 Winners: Smart Speakers, Damned Good Singers
Well, I'm 36 hours removed from CRS 2018, and I’ve just about finished unpacking the experience, both literally and emotionally. Here's what I've decided is the hands-down winner for CRS 2018: Smart Speakers. I declare these the CRS champ on two levels: the ...
January 26, 2018All Access Exclusive: Q&A With WUSN PD Kenny Jay
I wish Country radio had some equivalent of the Elias Sports Bureau so we could research this stuff, but it's quite possible Kenny Jay is the first person to program three major market Country stations within a two-year period: KMNB/Minneapolis, KMPS/Seattle, and – as ...
January 19, 2018CRS 2018: Get Smart!
As I was prepping this column, which will preview the upcoming Edison Research study at Country Radio Seminar (CRS), a Google search of “Smart Speaker" turned up north of 2.8 million results. Yup, they're kind of a big deal. But, we all knew that, right? All Access ...
January 12, 2018CRS 2018: Plan, Learn, Share, Pace, Rinse, Repeat
Ask anyone who has enjoyed long-term success in Country radio or on the label side of the business how they’ve been able to grow – then sustain – their career, and I’ll bet you’ll hear the same, three-word answer: Country Radio Seminar (CRS). CRS has been a ...