Greetings! Welcome to another year in country music and after the frivolity and fanfare of Tamworth we get down to what’s coming for the rest of 2018 and there is plenty – with new albums, new festivals, existing festivals and tours galore.
In this role I am often fascinated by how recurring themes insert themselves into each issue. Seemingly unrelated things become blatantly so by the time the magazine is compiled.
It had come to my notice that in the US female artists were receiving less than 10% of total airplay and that is causing a groundswell of complaint and calls for more women artists on festivals as well.
Then I learned of the Song Suffragettes – a pool of some 250 female singers and songwriters in Nashville doing their own showcases and working to push their work to prominence, from which there have been numerous signings and deals but no impact on playlists of any note.
From then on it seemed every artist I interviewed raised the issue and by pure coincidence there are a number of outspoken sassy new female artists featured in this issue, who may just ring in the changes and be impossible to ignore.
Our own awards, in contrast were decorated by gorgeous female artists dominating the night – all three Album of the Year sections were won by women – taking home almost every Gold Guitar except Male Vocal – I am kidding but they were very much front and centre capped by Kasey Chambers being the youngest person ever inducted into the Roll of Renown.
I was speaking to Tim Daley from CMC and queried available breakdown of the percentage of women on the CMC Playlist. He quickly tapped some keys and came back with the better news that overall CMC’s last six month roster has been 34% female whereas in the US on his stats, the Top 50 songs contained only 8 by females, and that 8 were by only three women – Carrie, Miranda and Taylor.
I know I am comparing apples with oranges talking of radio/airplay and CMC, but will make an effort to get feedback from the numerous radio networks for next issue.
See you at a festival!