Not Whistlin' Dixie

By: Jason Davis
By: Jason Davis

The Texas based country music band "The Dixie Chicks" first sparked controversy in 2003 when they told a London concert audience that they were ashamed to be from the same state as President Bush.

Their new album “Taking the Long Way" isn't having the success of some their previous work, with many radio stations around the country refusing to even play them. They're getting mixed reaction in the panhandle.

The Dixie Chicks are back with a new CD and more controversial comments. In a recent interview with Time Magazine, band member Martie Maguire was quoted saying, "I'd rather have a small following of really cool fans than people who have us in their CD changer with Reba McEntire and Toby Keith."

Jessica Bownden, a Country music fan, says, "Now they're trying to come back and they're still making comments about the country scene. I don't know if they want to come back as country or rock, or what they want to do."

Since their comments about President Bush at a London concert in 2003, many country music stations around the country have refused to play their music.

Harry Hagan from WYBT in Blountstown says his station didn't get involved in the controversy three years ago, despite the outcry from a few listeners, and it won't now.

Harry Hagan says, “If the Dixie Chicks gets on the charts they [get] played. If they don't make the charts, they don't get played. What their political views are is nothing that we're going to get involved in."

The band also gets airplay on WJAQ Real Country Marianna, but that's not by choice.

Ed Cearley, WJAQ President/GM, says, "We here at WJAQ are on the Real Country network satellite, so of course the boys in Dallas are doing the music selection."

The Dixie Chicks’ first single off of their new album peaked at number 36 on the charts. That's a far cry for a band whose previous efforts produced six top 10 hits and eight Grammys.

Two local country stations have taken a stand on the Dixie Chicks. WPAP-FM has totally taken the Dixie Chicks out of their rotation.

Rival station KAT County still plays the Dixie Chicks old stuff but management at that station says after a test run, the Dixies’ new single "Not Ready to Make Nice" is off limits.


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