Author Paul Castoe
TSAI Executive Director
Welcome again to “Notes About Notes”, TSAI's group Blog. Today I want to talk about one of our projects, “Real Country Music On Radio”. As a songwriting organization, we have writers writing in a lot of styles, for many artists, and many tastes. But something is missing on today's Radio. TRADITIONL COUNTRY MUSIC. Whether you think that means Merle Haggard, or Johnny Cash, or Earl Thomas Conley, or Alan Jackson, or Tammy Wynette, or Reba McEntire, or The Oak Ridge Boys, or any of your favorite veteran Greats, they aren't being played. And I miss it. But this is much more than that! There are a great many fantastic new Artists doing Traditional, Roots Music. They are the future, and they deserve a shot at climbing up their own Chart. And we deserve a chance to hear them. And the advertising people I've talked to recognize and want to reach this demographic. This is a HUGE group! Yes over 40, (with disposable income), as well as the next generation of under 20. And many in between, a lot of record-buying, concert-going folks.
Pop music is divided into a number of genres, from Oldies to Easy Listening to Classic Rock
to Adult Contemporary to..... I believe there is more than enough Country Music, spanning 75 years, to give us at least 2 separate Country Charts! The current Country Radio can and should continue to play the more POP/Hip-Hop based music. Plenty of people like it, have grown up with it, and it's certainly profitable. But this is an Industry that can't afford to leave money on the table. Under-performing Radio stations in many markets are being sold back to private owners, for a variety of reasons. This means the decisions of what to play are not all being made in New York anymore, but locally. And as a resident of a Fly-over State, (thank you Jason), some of us like some different stuff out here! And many of these Stations could be winning their market with the format we propose.
Bluegrass, Traditional Country (old and new), Rock-a-billy, Folk, all seem to have landed under the umbrella of Americana. The genre has been around a while, but if it's “ Too Country For Country Radio”, as we hear in Nashville all the time, that's a fine place to land.
And if we could simply turn on the radio and hear a playlist of Waylon Jennings, Old Crow Medicine Show, Alabama, Parker Millsap, Rhonda Vincent, Clay Walker,and Sara Evans, I don't think any of us would change the station. And after all, that's what terrifies Radio Station owners the most. We don't need to love it, we just can't HATE it.
We have started by placing the phrase “Real Country Music On Radio” on wristbands, as a symbol of unity in this belief. If we can coalesce these genres onto one format, and give Country Music Artists and fans both charts to listen to, we will have many more opportunities as Writers and Artists and Listeners. Radio has practically homogenized itself into obsolescence, as many people just don't listen anymore. It all sounds so much the same everywhere.
If you agree, and would like to hear a greater variety of music, Artists over 40, female Artists currently being ignored, and some of the all-time greats again, please contact TSAI. Visit our website, tennsongwriters.com, or our FACEBOOK page. The more noise we can make and the more funds we can raise, the more we can accomplish. ALL of us.