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'Country Music' airplay

GUEST,Frogmore 12 May 01 - 05:26 PM
SeanM 12 May 01 - 05:42 PM
marty D 12 May 01 - 05:46 PM
SeanM 13 May 01 - 12:58 AM
Tiger 14 May 01 - 07:53 AM
GUEST,Midchuck upstairs 14 May 01 - 07:57 AM
GUEST,Midchuck upstairs 14 May 01 - 08:00 AM
wysiwyg 14 May 01 - 09:32 AM
catspaw49 14 May 01 - 10:17 AM
SeanM 14 May 01 - 05:30 PM
mousethief 14 May 01 - 05:37 PM
mousethief 14 May 01 - 05:47 PM
SeanM 14 May 01 - 05:54 PM
Kim C 14 May 01 - 05:55 PM
Jim the Bart 14 May 01 - 06:04 PM
GUEST,Frogmore 14 May 01 - 06:15 PM
wysiwyg 15 May 01 - 01:05 AM
DougR 15 May 01 - 01:11 AM
Jim the Bart 15 May 01 - 10:39 AM
Whistle Stop 16 May 01 - 08:39 AM
GUEST,Hilljack 20 May 01 - 08:40 AM
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Subject: 'Country Music' airplay
From: GUEST,Frogmore
Date: 12 May 01 - 05:26 PM

I have really gotten a kick out of the fact that the soundtrack of "O Brother, Where Art Thou" has sold so well in spite of the fact that it had no airplay on commercial "country stations." Why do you have to be a "hunk" with a 4-day beard (or the female epuivalent - I'll leave that description alone) to get airplay. Are Merle Haggard, George Jones, Willie, Emmylou, etc. NOT writing and/or recording worthwhile songs anymore? Methinks not. Comments on the narrowly-formatted and fashion-driven playlists are welcome. In response to the "Play some COUNTRY!" request, I used to do a rendition of "Greensleeves." It's a "country" tune from another country from another century. Viva Ralph Stanley!


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Subject: RE: 'Country Music' airplay
From: SeanM
Date: 12 May 01 - 05:42 PM

As much as I'm normally against doing this, you JUST missed a discussion on this exact point a short while ago... click here for 'O Brother vs. Morons'. Feel free to add commentary - it's a point most of us here seem to be in agreement with, and I don't think more discussion would be unwelcome.

M


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Subject: RE: 'Country Music' airplay
From: marty D
Date: 12 May 01 - 05:46 PM

Sean, why are you "against doing this"?

marty


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Subject: RE: 'Country Music' airplay
From: SeanM
Date: 13 May 01 - 12:58 AM

It's a personal issue... I feel that often, when someone comes in and tries to start up a discussion, they get a rather brusque "We've already talked about it here", and then the thread usually dies. Most of the time it's on song request threads - just what a large number of people say we need more of. Two friends of mine who came in to talk about a song they wanted to know about, their threads were pretty much shut down that way, and their enthusiasm for the site they'd picked up from me died along with it.

In this case, we really did just finish with the topic a couple days ago. I think it goes back to late April on the thread? In any case... that's my reasoning...

M


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Subject: RE: 'Country Music' airplay
From: Tiger
Date: 14 May 01 - 07:53 AM

Well said, Sean - something we need to think about all the time.


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Subject: RE: 'Country Music' airplay
From: GUEST,Midchuck upstairs
Date: 14 May 01 - 07:57 AM


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Subject: RE: 'Country Music' airplay
From: GUEST,Midchuck upstairs
Date: 14 May 01 - 08:00 AM

Try that again. Damn return key anyway.

In this case, we really did just finish with the topic a couple days ago.

Wait a minute. Wait just a damn minute! Who decides that we're finished with a topic? Maybe some other people don't think we're finished!

Or is there a rule that, once the twenty-four hour period elapses, and a thread slides off the bottom of the initial list, it is forbidden to revive it? If there's such a rule, shouldn't it be made public?

Peter.


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Subject: RE: 'Country Music' airplay
From: wysiwyg
Date: 14 May 01 - 09:32 AM

I think the thing to keep in mind is that it really helps us all in the long run if like-subject threads include links when possible to the past threads on that subject. It works well when it's done exactly as Sean did, and it depends on the memory and simple good will of active regulars to keep the older material in mind and take the time to build a link when they see the topic come up again. In that way, a thread like this very one becomes sort of a Part Next to the older one. And it is VERY helpful when researching something-- especially a song-- when this linking is available. What makes sense about it is that people can revert to that longer prior discussion and post there, to keep the material together in one thread as much as possible. What's really nice is when a link to the newer thread gets added to the older thread as a signpost saying where the discussion may have moved!

Peter, I don't know how you got all that out of what Sean said... what I got from what he is talking about is not the expiration by fiat of a topic, but the fact that new people find and participate in Mudcat and want to talk about the same things "we" have already been talking about. Since they have just arrived, they have no way of knowing what's been discussed, and no way of knowing they could renew the old conversation to continue it, short of shutting down their IRL activities for a month or two and reading up on all the old thread titles that have ever been created! Obviously when it is a song discussion, a title search can and should be done. But all the rest? How would you know what is being discussed without opening every old thread?

So Sean, I salute your approach.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: 'Country Music' airplay
From: catspaw49
Date: 14 May 01 - 10:17 AM

Well put there Wizzywig.........

I am guilty of linking a lot of the past threads and have often NOT explained why and that in and of itself translates to "Fuck-Off" instead of "Hey, here's some previous discussions you might enjoy." Sometimes I've said that and explained the link, other times I've just done a "Click Here." I've never meant to be rude in doing that, but I can readily see that that is the way it can be perceived. I'll try to add the appropriate comments from now on and not get lazy.

Sorry Sean.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: 'Country Music' airplay
From: SeanM
Date: 14 May 01 - 05:30 PM

Thanks, Susan... you pretty much figured out what I was trying to say... maybe I should hire you as a translator...

Anyway, now that we've managed to hijack the thread, I'll just say that it's all about how you personally want to react. *I* feel uncomfortable with the short responses that (In my opinion) shut down the thread. Others don't feel that way. Nothing right or wrong about either way, beyond being comfortable within yourself.

NOW...

Back to the topic...

Sorta...

The "O Brother" phenomenon on Country radio (or 'off', as the case may be) is similar to a lot of what's going on in ALL branches of radio. Out here in SoCal, once you're in the cities, you're pretty much cut off from anything besides mainstream commercial radio. There are a few college stations, but they don't carry very far.

It was noted in the past thread that because of the way that Country Radio has evolved, it's no longer profitable or desireable to shoot for anything besides the 'lowest common denominator' on major stations. I put forward that this has become true for ANY major station format, country-rap-alternative-what have you.

My personal view is that it's all a part of the downward spiral of the 'average' viewer/listener that's happening in America (and apparently the rest of the world as well). Even worse, I have no idea how to stop it, beyond encouraging my friends and relatives to look beyond the steaming piles of crap, and come on out to the fields of real culture beyond...

M


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Subject: RE: 'Country Music' airplay
From: mousethief
Date: 14 May 01 - 05:37 PM

I remember 1972.

In 1972, I got my first FM radio. At that time there were FM stations that actually played stuff -- in retrospect it has been called "progressive rock" -- that was not Top40. You could hear "B" sides, album cuts, and stuff on tiny labels. Stuff that is only played on college stations nowadays -- as alluded to above.

Is this because there were more locally owned and controlled radio stations back then, and the deregulation of the radio waves has led to LCD (i.e. market-driven) programming? Is it a change in advertising targeting, such that non-mainstream radio stations can't quantify/qualify their listeners enough to attract adverstisers? Were people who owned small radio stations content with a tiny market share, and their advertisers with the same?

I wonder what is different between now and 1972?

Alex


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Subject: RE: 'Country Music' airplay
From: mousethief
Date: 14 May 01 - 05:47 PM

Well some of it was 'progressive rock." Other parts wasn't. Don't hold me to that one overgeneralization!

Alex


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Subject: RE: 'Country Music' airplay
From: SeanM
Date: 14 May 01 - 05:54 PM

I think the problem (and this is once again, opinion) lies in the way the targeting is occuring...

Long ago, it was acceptible to not have a 'majority share' of a demographic. Maybe not desireable, but as I understand it, up until some time in the mid-'80s a station could be considered a success as long as they made a profit and were popular within their specific genre.

Fast forward to the '90s...

Deregulation hits... groups such as the Infinity Broadcasting Corp. come on to the horizon... They bought TONS of stations. I believe in the Los Angeles market, they still own 3-4 of the top 10 stations - maybe more.

With that comes the 'new' look for stations. Program less niche market music, and instead focus entirely on getting as large of an audience as possible with as little expense as possible. This leads in a few disturbing directions - the homogenization of multiple radio stations until you can no longer really tell the difference combines with the stations themselves allying heavily with the record labels (who then limit their promotional activities to just those who they think fit in with the mold).

Result? At one point, in the LA market, I very truly could not have reliably told the difference between about 6 different stations. The 'classic rock with a new kick' station playlist matched with those that were also found on the 'contemporary work station', the 'alternative rock' station, the 'urban beat' station and more.

On the good side, I think that THIS aspect is starting to change... a few stations that had been absorbed into the mediaamoeba have resumed being a bit more 'individual'. However, there are still about 12 stations, all claiming to be 'unique styles', where you can still happily find N-Sync howling alongside Phil Collins and New Order.

What a world...

M


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Subject: RE: 'Country Music' airplay
From: Kim C
Date: 14 May 01 - 05:55 PM

I live in the Home of Country Radio and I really don't know what it's all about. I know I rarely listen to it anymore because I don't have the stomach to wade through the crap to find the diamonds. We do have a classic country station that plays some oldies, and a killer oldies show on Saturday mornings.

I think some of the older artists are getting played on "Americana" stations these days.

It's a puzzlement to me. But people will always buy what they want to, even if the radio isn't playing it. I think a lot of times the radio people think they know what the listeners want, but they really just have their heads up their butts.


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Subject: RE: 'Country Music' airplay
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 14 May 01 - 06:04 PM

I think much of what occurs in the US these days in driven by one thing that can be summed up in three little letters - ROI

ROI stands for "Return on Investment". In most circles, it is strictly monetary return on monetary investment. This is undoubtedly the easiest to measure; if you keep your books well, you know how many dollars you put out and you know how many dollars you get back. The idea in this day and age is to maximize your ROI. And if you don't, you're a chump. Many people would have you believe that every decision you make should be made on the basis of maximum return for minimum investment.

As it applies to Radio, this means identifying and targeting a demographic group and playing only those songs that you know will appeal to the largest percentage of that demographic group. Run commercials that focus on that group's needs, desires, wants, etc.

Personally, I think it's a sick and boring way to live a life. But, as bleak as they try to make the landscape, bursts of color still pop out. You get some DJ who just won't play the game. Or you get some goofy movie makers (like the Coens) who dredge up old tunes that blast the demographic research of the "experts" all to hell. Long live chaos!

Of course, I'll never be rich; at least in the monetary sense. Oh, well.

I remain,
BART


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Subject: RE: 'Country Music' airplay
From: GUEST,Frogmore
Date: 14 May 01 - 06:15 PM

Thanks for getting back to the point. I enjoyed it. I don't have time to LIVE in Mudcatland so, sure, I miss a lot of this stuff. Always the idealist, I do believe that people buy what they want to - but I sure wish I could win a lotto and buy my own radio station. (And the sailboat, and ....).


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Subject: RE: 'Country Music' airplay
From: wysiwyg
Date: 15 May 01 - 01:05 AM

On the subtopic-- Spaw, a suggestion? Make a template of the nice things you'd like to take the time to say each time and paste it in from a desktop document when you need it, with the link that takes the greater time to make. Me, I often feel like just doing the link has eaten up what time I have. The more I "get" from Mudcatville, the more my IRL life seems to flourish-- so time is increasingly a factor for me. Hey man, gotta prioritize! *G*

~S~


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Subject: RE: 'Country Music' airplay
From: DougR
Date: 15 May 01 - 01:11 AM

So if someone wants to bring a new perspective to a subject, who's to stop 'em?

Does it really matter that it's been discussed before?

What's Folk Music? Anybody ever posed that one before? DougR


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Subject: RE: 'Country Music' airplay
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 15 May 01 - 10:39 AM

Why are people willing to listen to any kind of blues - whether good, bad or indifferent - and yet remain so unforgiving of country musicians? Doesn't anyone get offended at the plethora of lame, synthesizer soaked, lounge lizard, psuedo blues that's around? How many bad versions of "Sweet Home Chicago" or "Stormy Monday" do we need in this world? How many grimacing garage guitarists, faces scrunched up, playing "deedly, deedly, deedly, deedly, deedly, deedly, deedly. . ." ad nauseum will it take before someone says "ENOUGH of this!"

Of course, if I never hear another song like "Don't Take the Girl" again it will be too soon, too.


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Subject: RE: 'Country Music' airplay
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 16 May 01 - 08:39 AM

Good insights are being expressed on this thread, and it doesn't matter to me whether they have also been expressed on previous threads. I consider myself to be at liberty to repeat points I've previously made as well.

I particuarly agree with Bart's "return on investment" point. I think that what has happened to country radio (and to rock/pop radio) is the same thing that's happened to businesses nationwide, and is probably happening worldwide as well. Instead of the local diner, we have McDonalds; instead of the local hardware store, we have Home Depot; instead of the general store, we have Wal-Mart. It's all driven by large corporations with a strong focus on broad-based marketing strategies and short-term return on investment. It's not a recipe for innovation or individualism, but I suppose that's where folks like us come in.

[As an aside, I think a similar dynamic is at play in the political arena, which is also driven by broad-based marketing strategies and short-term return on investment. But I suppose that's a topic for another thread.]

I'm not much of an activist, and this is a huge societal trend, so I don't intend to try to fight it directly. I will render unto Wal-Mart what is Wal-Mart's, grudgingly accept the demise of the local hardware store and diner, and generally avoid commercial radio. I will never get rich, nor will most of the musicians I listen to. But I will be happy with what I have, at least until it catches on enough to be co-opted by the big boys.

Doug, that "what is folk?" thing is a great idea for a thread topic. Anyone care to start it up?


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Subject: RE: 'Country Music' airplay
From: GUEST,Hilljack
Date: 20 May 01 - 08:40 AM

Regarding the commercial success of the soundtrack for Oh, Brother, Where Art Thou. I find it ironic that a roots country/blues/gospel release is commercially successful because it was the soundtrack for a somwhat "artsy" film whose primary audience consisted of the very people who wouldn't normally support this type of music.


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