Everything Old Is New Again?
March 30, 2012
Jimmy Carter in his homebase Nashville.
Madonna #1 on the Top 200 and Country-fed Lionel Richie #2 ... how crazy is that? Last time it happened was October 4th, 1986. You wonder what message programmers can carve from this.
Maybe nothing, but it is odd that the teen-driven/"Idol" worship Country playlist is missing the boat. Did the audience really want you to dump the artists with 20 years under their belt for the new kids on the block?
Country music is evolving. The programming changes at radio have neutered the audience. Hard to think some dude driving in his pickup really wants to hear "Good Girl." But that vision is not what Country music is today anyway -- for better or worse.
Felt uncomfortable even talking about the death of Country music legend Earl Scruggs this week. I would dare say 99% of the audience program target would know of him at all. Maybe the Beverly Hillbillies theme but little else.
But Madonna fires back at the top of the charts ... Earl Scruggs' last show was at UCLA in Los Angeles. The college kids loved him. Funny man Steve Martin loved him. Sometimes ... a lot of times ... retro is cool. Quality is cool.
It's how you present it ... how you package a soft drink...a beer...a bag of rice ... it's the same old stuff. Just different advertising.
Look at Richie. The label kicked butt getting that CD out. Radio hardly helped. Still they made it. Consulted ... group-owned radio is in a weird spot.
I see where CC axed more people Thursday. I didn't know there were any "extra" bodies working anywhere! Wow and very sad.
Blake Shelton, thanks to the Gods of Television, is a media phenomenon. Cover again this week of People. Radio wasn't a part of this rise to power either.
Outside media -- music videos, TV -- forced radio to recognize him. It's an all-too-frequent event. Following instead of leading. MTV forced radio as a whole to change in the '80s.
The pundits are saying it very loud. You better give your audience something to chew on or you are heading to your doomsday. They need to feel like they are a part of the game somehow.
They want information and want real music.
The good ones still get it. The bad is getting worse. The labels, when you aren't in their face, are working AROUND you since they can't work WITH you. This fever has to break soon.
We will let the ACM awards soak in and talk next week...