Brought to you this month by our Promotions Manager, Andy Watson.
We at ukCOUNTRYmusic.NET are fully committed to bringing the latest country music news, reviews and much more to all of the UK fans so when we were informed of what this month’s subject was we jumped at the opportunity.
As any UK Country music fan here will know you won’t hear your favourite track played on the radio or performed live on a mainstream TV show during peak viewing/listening times (unless you happened to be a major cross over like Taylor Swift), which is very saddening indeed. Although this may sound like a very negative statement, let me continue in saying times are changing and the Country music love does have a place here in the UK and in mainstream media.
So what forms of media are available here in the UK?
With regards to national radio, only BBC Radio 2 currently offers a regular weekly scheduled hour of country music, presented by its host Bob Harris which many fans from around the country tune into and yes if you’re reading this from across the pond… I did say only an hour! Let us not take away any credit from Bob Harris as for nearly forty years he has been broadcasting music into our ears with a huge backstory of success. And his love of Country music has won him numerous industry awards from the CMA over the years. We have to applaud the BBC for allowing this show to broadcast as all other radio stations don’t go anywhere near country music, unless it’s been reclassified slightly so it reads Adult Contemporary, Lady A for instance has been rebranded in this country for one, so that they’re at least played on some of the local commercial stations. In recent times there are more and more Internet based radio stations but in the mainstream BBC Radio 2’s show with Bob Harris is it.
As far as mainstream TV shows, you don’t get much bigger than X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent (BGT) from on the terrestrial commercial station (we have three types of TV networks in the UK, – terrestrial national, local terrestrial commercial and paid for subscription TV) where in recent series contestants have been singing country music and progressing through the competitions.
Sam Kelly performed on BGT and sang Bless the Broken Road by the Rascal Flatts (Yes! They are coming to the UK), a very bold decision to sing a song unknown to the UK population but as a nation certainly reacted by purchasing the Rascal Flatts’ version on iTunes UK which saw it enter the UK music charts and just missing the Top 40.
More recently on the 2012 series of X Factor Carolynne Poole made the final top 10 live shows. The ‘A little bit Country… A Little bit Rock n’ Roll’ artist may certainly share stunning looks reminiscent of Shania Twain but Carolynne is very much her own performing artist. Unfortunately the journey was cut short by questionable voting by the British public but she made a huge step in introducing Country music to the mainstream media. Like Sam Kelly she also sang Bless the Broken as well as There You’ll Be by Faith Hill which admittedly did peak at No.3 on the UK charts.
At the end of January 2013, the hit US show Nashville finally made it to our shores, however it is being aired on More4 at 10pm on a Thursday night.
It’s unfortunate that the channel are showing Nashville at a non-premium time slot but let’s not all be doom and gloom – it’s actually being shown here in the UK! This is a BIG deal and for the first time Country Music and its modern outlook are being revealed to the British public. I will agree it’s baby steps but we all have to start somewhere. It’s also worth noting regardless of the brilliant music (of course I’m being bias) that accompanies the TV series there is also an exceptional script for drama fans to fall in love with.
When the pilot episode was aired I nearly fell off my sofa with excitement during the first commercial break, as there was an actual commercial promoting the C2C: Country to Country festival which took place last weekend on 16th & 17th March in London, the first US country music festival of its kind to reach our shores in over 20-odd years! Please check out our highlights and see photos taken from the event.
In the week leading up to the festival there was an upsurge in Country music videos being shown on a couple of the music channels and radio interviews, but will it continue in the long term?, – that is still too early to say.
So I ask myself the subject question posed by the #BlogRodeo “Why the mainstream media are so in love with Country Music right now?” Well this has proven very difficult to answer especially from a UK prospective. The answer I fear being honest, and it hurts to say so, is no BUT is that no turning to a yes…?
Presently we’re building the foundations for what I, my fellow UKCM Team members and current UK Country music fans already know, and that is Country music is a fantastic. The C2C: Country to Country festival I believe was the catalyst for a Country music boom happening right now in the UK and in turn the media.
After the success of this year’s C2C: Country to Country last weekend, a limited number of early bird tickets for next year’s Country to Country went on sale the following Friday. The demand was so high that they sold out almost immediately and the promoters were forced to release another 200 tickets to meet the disgruntled number of fans who were venting their dissatisfaction on Twitter.
This tells the UK and our media that Country music is here to stay; will the UK media fall in love with Country music? We’ll find out in time but with the event coming back its obvious this will draw more attention in the media.
The #UKCMTeam at ukCOUNTRYmusic.NET will always assist the genre we love so much into as much media as possible. Country music fans here and throughout the world I feel are the most loyal and regardless of mainstream media or not will support the genre.
Thank you to all those who turned up to show their support at C2C: Country to Country 2013 we truly showed em’ what Country Music is REALLY made up of! See you next year and events throughout the year.
There will also be a #BlogRodeo Twitter chat on Wednesday 27th March, 1-2 pm CST/6-7 pm GMT, why not join in and have your say on this topic? All you need to do is add #BlogRodeo to your tweets!
Blog Rodeo Roundup: See What Everyone Else Is Saying!
- CMchatLive: “Insight from Country Stars like Scotty McCreery, Sunny Sweeney, Tracy Lawrence and more!“
- Urban Country News : “Why Country Music Is Like the Zombie Apocalypse“, “A Love Affair For The Ages“
- For The Country Record: “TV and Nashille: It’s Merits and Implications for Country Music“
- UKCountryMusic: “Is Country Music About To Be Mainstream In The UK?“
- Country Music Tattle Tale: “For The Love of Country Music“
- Country Music Pride: “Country Music Has A Little Something For Everyone, Traditional, Pop, Americana and More“
- Keepin’ It Country Blog: “Everyone Loves Country Music“
- Focus On The 615: “The Mainstream Hasn’t Fallen In Love with Country, Just The Opposite,” “Remember When Country Wasn’t So Cool?“
- Country Music News Blog: “The Mainstream Has Fallen For Country and I Am The Mainstream,” “The Mainstream Adopts Country Music,” “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool“