Wednesday, November 10, 2010

CMA and CMR - Bonded together for the first time in a decade

How many times have you attended the awards or watched it on TV and said in unison: "It's the same performers and artists every year?" Tonight is going to blow your mind as Kramer would say in Seinfeld. Entertainer of the year three new artists, Lady Antebellum, Zac Brown and Miranda Lambert, all new superstars in Country. Brad Paisley and Keith Urban are the mainstays. 

Ladies: Miranda, Taylor and Carrie. Reba and Republican Martina McBride are the foundation. Leave it to Scott Borchetta to reinvent Reba and make her palatable to the new, younger Country fans. He will do the same thing with Martina McBride. 

Everyone is elated at Dierks and Blake joining Brad, Keith and George in the male category. New artists: Luke, Jerrod, Easton, Chris and Zac Brown. More newcomers who have plowed their way to the top in Nashville.

You gotta love the real hipsters of the bunch: The Band Steve Perry, Steel Magnolia, LBT and Joey+Rory. 

I wonder what Alabama thought of The Kentucky Headhunters in 1991 at the awards? Garth Brooks Entertainer of the year replacing Hank Jr's two year run. Tanya Tucker female vocalist of the year and tonight Miranda Lambert will be passed the torch. Tonight, no Kenny, Toby, Tim.

This is cyclical. Guy Zapoleon the master of pop music programming on the radio talks about the pop format being highly cyclical. We see the same thing happening in Country Music and proliferation of a newer style of artists replacing Toby Keith, Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. We have a new audience to the format.

The 24 year old female is now 34 and their daughters are listening to Country Music Radio and bringing a new fire to the format. Top-40 always did well 25-34 because Mom's and daughter's listened to the format together. In the Country Music lifegroup, this has been the norm in Country markets, like Phoenix, Denver, San Antonio, Tucson, Dallas and now we see it exploding in the major Midwest and Northeast markets. The Country lifegroup is what I call "the local country station playing in the kitchen, like KSON played in my parent in laws house, when my wife was growing up.

CMR is playing a newer, fresher music style. I thought the music style might be too young for the format, turns out this all worked out well. I admit I was wrong talking about a splinter in the format. It seems to be a marriage of the listeners and the music. Tonight the baton will passed. Just like Vince Gill, Alabama, The Judd's and others passed onto Faith Hill, Tim McGraw and Brooks and Dunn. The new guard is way more female friendly then the exchange of the early 90's. Enjoy the awards and like TO says, you better bring your popcorn.

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