|Dixie Chicks Boycotted on Country Radio|
Got a smash country band but want to stop selling records and limit your airplay? Easy! Just make this statement: "Just so you know, we're ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas."
Bingo! You're boycotted.
The statement, made by Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks last week in London, has reverberated around the world but has had it's harshest effect on country music listeners in the United States.
Radio stations around the country are boycotting the Dixie Chicks, some the decision of management and much because of pressure from irate listeners.
As the controversy swelled, Maine issued an apology: "As a concerned American citizen, I apologize to President (George W.) Bush because my remark was disrespectful. I feel that whoever holds that office should be treated with the utmost respect."
But, her words of regret appear to have come too late to quell the criticism and anger which has circulated among the group's fans and Radio listeners. This is a sensitive time in America and the raw nerves of a country on the verge of war with Iraq have offered very little forgiveness.
For instance, WDAF-AM in Kansas City, Missouri, encouraged listeners to toss their Dixie Chicks CDs into garbage cans set up outside their studio. The Dixie Chicks were dropped from WTDR-FM in Talladega, Alambama.
In Shreveport, Louisiana, protestors used a tractor to smash CDs and other Dixie Chicks items. The local country station, KRMD-FM, susequently dropped all Dixie Chicks songs. The same goes for KIZN-FM in Boise, Idaho - and that's just a small sampling.
Most likely, as soon as the war with Iraq begins this week, everyone will forget about this and move on. It will be a footnote in history. But, it does demonstrate that country Radio listeners are passionate about their music and their patriotism.
- Corey Deitz