The Blonde Tornado
February 22, 2013
Jimmy Carter in his homebase Nashville.
Read a lot and thought a lot about Mindy McCready this week. I can close my eyes and see her at CRS many years ago.
I see her in the lead of a group with a bunch of followers. She was a force. Sweet when she wanted to be. A hellion when she wanted to be. She could be just about anything she wanted to be.
Her so-called "last song," "I'll See You Yesterday," is actually very good. It's a hit song if it were to have come out this week.
The moment was right but this is not a business that seizes the moment these days. Impulsive would not be how you describe most radio in 2013.
Mindy was a mess. Her time came and went. So much damage to her reputation ... no one wanted to partner with her. When you add the kids to the mix, it is a tragedy like we have rarely seen. She fought a good fight, but was the last man standing at the Alamo. Tragic. Totally tragic! Lonely story for sure.
Life goes on. CRS is back again. How different are things since Mindy had hit songs? Consolidation, in one word, is the difference. Radio stations now with staffs of two!
Still the talent comes out ... the masses come to town and the mandatory kissing of the ring begins again. Humbling week for the artists. Got to kiss some butt. And they will!!
Not sure how the labels gear up for CRS with so few spots available on playlists. No shortage of talent in the pipeline. Plenty of shortage on playlists. Not even going to try to predict who might break through.
The labels would love to see some ladies get airplay ... there are a few who will beg for play. More groups, as they seem to be in style again. Of course, the never ending supply of guys wearing jeans and singing about trucks.
The big questions not to be answered at CRS but will be talked about behind the scene:
- Is the audience going to accept/tolerate/listen to the return of network radio? Big gambles are underway from some big companies on that front. Experiments that could cost more on-air jobs if they pan out.
- Is Country music the sound of teens? Is this the new audience desired by the owners, or is it the 40-year-old woman living in the suburbs?
- Will the acts that have been at the top the last 10 years get another decade or be tossed into the radio heap of history?
In the bars and cars and those secret limited admittance parties and star meeting opportunities, CRS begins again. Late-night music and early morning meetings.
What will the headlines be? I just hope we don't ever see another story like Mindy ... ever!