The Dixie Chicks won’t be adding any Country Music Awards to their trophy case:
Nominations were announced Monday for the annual ACM Awards and there was nary a Chick to be found despite the Texas trio’s five Grammys for Taking the Long Way. The Chicks have won 10 ACMs in their career, including Entertainer of the Year in 2000, but have been shunned by the Nashville establishment since their President Bush-bashing comments in 2003.
--E! News, March 7
Apparently, neither the passage of time nor the state of the Iraq war has changed country fans’ minds:
None of which comes as a surprise to John Shombly, program director for local country music station Eagle 97 FM. Ever since lead singer Natalie Maines criticized President Bush from a concert stage in 2003, the band has been a three-headed pariah to country stations.
“We don’t play their music, and it’s strictly based on our research with our listeners, not on our feelings,” Shombly said. “After it all happened, we gave them a ‘time out’ and didn’t play their music for about 30 days. Then we went back to playing them for about 30 days, and it was just a firestorm. We had so many complaints from our listeners that we had to pull them off the air.”
He said that even four years after the incident, the station’s research continues to show the backlash against the Dixie Chicks.
The radio station regularly commissions a professional survey in which random listeners give their opinions of more than 500 popular songs. Before the incident - in which Maines told a London audience the band was “ashamed” of President Bush - the Eagle 97 listeners put 20 Dixie Chicks songs in the top 50. After the incident, Shombly said, those same 20 songs fell to the bottom 50 in the survey.
Shombly notes that while the Grammy Awards are voted on largely by artists, writers, producers and publishers, the country awards are chosen by radio and record executives.
--dailypress.com, March 7