I’m sure you heard the hubub last week about radio consultant Keith Hill and his now infamous “#SaladGate” quote.
If you missed it, here you go:
“If you want to make ratings in country radio, take females out,” Keith Hill tells the industry publication, Country Aircheck. “The reason is mainstream country radio generates more quarter hours from female listeners at the rate of 70 to 75 percent, and women like male artists.
I’m basing that not only on music tests from over the years, but more than 300 client radio stations. The expectation is we’re principally a male format with a smaller female component. I’ve got about 40 music databases in front of me and the percentage of females in the one with the most is 19 percent.
Trust me, I play great female records and we’ve got some right now; they’re just not the lettuce in our salad. The lettuce is Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton, Keith Urban and artists like that. The tomatoes of our salad are the females.”
Tomatoes, huh? Alrighty then. I don’t even know what to say to that, because my mama taught me that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
It’s no secret that women aren’t getting a fair shot at country radio right now, but now it’s official with that interview of Keith’s. And to think, Keith is supposedly one of the top programming consultants in the business. I’m thinking he won’t be at the top very long if he’s going to assert that not playing women is part of the pathway to success for a country radio station, bless his ever lovin’ heart.
In honor of Keith’s misguided opinion, I’m featuring only amazing country female artists today for our freebie week. Neener neener. I could have posted about twenty or so songs between about ten of my favorite artists, but had to whittle it down to four because I know you have things to do today.
Let’s start off with one of the top female artists who is certainly no tomato and definitely holds her own in the boys’ club with many many hits on her resume. In this song, she knows what men are capable of and isn’t afraid to say so.
This is the first single from this artist’s fourth studio album that was released on February 23, 2012. She and her co-writers went into the songwriting session thinking they needed to write something that kicks butt. This song certainly gets you moving and stomping your feet, exactly as intended.
Next up is a new (to me) artist who just released her third ever single. This particular song hits the listeners at full force from the very first guitar lick. When her smooth vocals enter, the song picks up steam as she sings of taking a shot to calm her nerves just in case she runs into her ex at the bar.
Some of us have been there, haven’t we? This song likens a toxic relationship to addictive habits like smoking or alcohol. The gritty track turns the boys on their heads because, hey, girls smoke and drink, too. The way this artist delivers is catchy, I guarantee you’ll have the the chorus stuck in your head.
Here, for your listening pleasure, is Kelleigh Bannen with “Smoke When I Drink”:
Next up (with yet another non-tomato), is a track from one of my favorite female country artists from her third studio album. It’s more of a country-punk tune, described as ‘agnostic, in a fun way’, by the artist. And it is!
The artist, when she was writing it with her co-writer, loved the attitude behind it because it kind of fools you – it’s got this really country, laid-back intro, but then it’s balls to the wall the rest of the way. The song is described in publicity materials as a “tongue-in-cheek commentary about mean-girl cattiness.”
I love that the video also features this artist’s fellow country music musicians Kellie Pickler, Laura Bell Bundy and Lady Antebellum‘s Hillary Scott playing two rival cliques at a 1950’s high school sock hop – who put aside their differences at the end of the party.
I love the lyrics (which are so perfect for being a non-tomato artist and song):
“Well I’ve been saved by the grace of southern charm / I got a mouth like a sailor and yours is more like a Hallmark card / If you wanna pick a fight, well I’m gonna have to say good night / I don’t have to be hateful, I can just say bless your heart”
Here is the inimitable (and totally not a tomato) Miranda Lambert with “Only Prettier”:
Last, but definitely not least is a song that is a salute to women of various ages (early teens, middle twenties and approaching middle age) dealing with the struggles of different phases of life – starting high school and facing new pressures, coping with uncertainty about a career, and reaching middle age – and tells them “You’re beautiful the way you are.”
The song was released to country radio in mid-2003 and peaked at number 3 on the Hot Country Songs charts. A remixed version of the song was also a number 1 single on the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks charts.
I’ve always loved this artist, I’m a member of her Fan Club, and loved how she responded to the misguided comment by Keith – she even posted a picture on Facebook with her hubby that cracked me up:
She is absolutely awesome. Without further ado, here’s Martina McBride with “This One’s For The Girls”:
So all I have to say is bless your heart, Keith, on your completely misguided and unwarranted comment about women country artists.
That’s a wrap for this week – have a great one, and refrain from throwing any tomatoes, m’kay?
Now on to the particulars of Monday’s Music Move’s Me:
Want to join in the fun? It’s easy – just find a tune that rocks your boat, post it and link up – don’t forget to grab Xmas Dolly…er, um, I mean her button…over at her place here. Check out Xmas Dolly’s sidebar for the random themes we sport each week – and you can always ask for a specific theme of music you like, too. Check out the other music lovahs and let’s jam!