Charlie Cook On Air: How Come

How Come:

  • Craig Morgan isn’t a bigger star?

I saw him perform in Las Vegas last month and it seemed like every song was a hit and the stuff he did off his new CD is very good. The CD is in my player in the car. He seems like a nice enough guy. That shouldn’t be a problem.

  • Taylor Swift (whom I love) still struggles with research numbers yet sells more music and tickets than almost anyone?

No one has anything bad to say about Taylor. I look forward to her new music. I try to watch her every time she is on TV because she reflects so positively on Country Music and Country Radio but song after song, her stuff scores poorly and burns quickly.

  • Females just have not risen to the level of consistency in Country Music like they have in Pop?

Country has its stars. The aforementioned Taylor, Miranda, Carrie, Martina and Sara come to mind right away but if you look at the chart (Mediabase 1/16/12) Martina and Taylor are the only females in the top 20. Pop’s biggest stars are females and this week 5 of the Top 10 are females in CHR and 8 of the top 20 are females in AC with two more are males/female duets.

  • Every radio station doesn’t support the ACM and the CMA?

We have a couple of organizations that are advocates for the format and are there to help it grow (along with both doing incredible charity work) and yet most of the stations in the format ignore any participation with the groups. (Okay, I serve on the board of both the ACM and CMA and I may be biased about them but believe me we are better for the efforts of Steve Moore and Bob Romeo.)

  • More radio stations and personalities don’t enter the ACM and CMA awards competition?

I know that this takes some effort. Think of it as show prep. You do need to prepare all year so that you can collect the material for when you enter the competition. But you can do it once for both contests with basically the same entry. It is a good team building exercise and a great morale builder for stations that make the finals.

  • That NARAS just does not get Country Music?

I admit that this year they got it right. There are a couple of goofy songs but that’s okay. Getting it 80% right is better than in the past. They made so many changes after the show last year that the good stuff may have trickled up to the Country categories too. I know that when a Country Song wins as THE song of the year (“Need You Now”) I shouldn’t complain but you need to look at the nominees in 2011 and you’ll agree with me. This year? Maybe they are starting to get it.

  • Radio stations and artists don’t all require fan “gating” on Facebook?

Hand in hand with this is the need to provide material that the visitor really wants. If you provide something valuable to the fan make sure that they “Like” you before they have access to it. Remember what mom used to say, “who’s gonna buy the cow when they get the milk for free?” Not sure that’s what she was talking about but you get the idea.

  • Radio stations still play the chart game with record companies?

I understand that record promotion and record sales are not necessarily tied together. Different staffs and different goals but shouldn’t one’s goal be to drive the other? I had a friend send me SoundScan information for LA. The highest Country CD was Lady A at No. 17 with less than 1000 units sold. The second highest country record was The Band Perry at No. 35 at about 500 units sold. The bad news here is that both of these acts get considerable AC/CHR play to drive the sales. The top Country radio only CD was Clancy’s Tavern – Toby Keith at No. 38. And those were the only Country acts in the Top 50. This in a city where over a million listeners cume the Country station each week. Something about promoting music to Country Music fans is not working.

  • Every Country Radio station, with live personnel, is not attending the Country Radio Seminar?

Nothing provides more usable information for the success of your station and your staff then the three days in Nashville next month. Plus you meet the artists that you play every day. I know that this is not inexpensive and it is time away from the station but the ROI is incredible.

  • Every Country Station is not doing something with St. Jude?

I did not go to Memphis last week. I have never been to the facility. But I believe in the work that they do and the relationship with Country Radio and the kids that are helped. If you’re not THE St. Jude station in your town, still do a weekend event sometime during the year to raise some money for the cause.

  • No Country stations have played Adele?

If AC can play the acts mentioned in the last comment how about Country inviting Adele into Country. Heck she’s Country…well from another Country. That should count for something.

• • •

Just thinking. Let me know about your “How comes.”  And do not write, “How come you have a weekly column?” Just get over that.


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