Country radio returned to New York City today (Jan. 21) for the first time in 17 years. Cumulus-owned WRXP is broadcasting on 94.7 as Nash-FM. New York City is the largest radio market in the United States.
Nash-FM is using the tag line “Country for Life,” and launched with first song “How Country Feels” by Randy Houser. Listen live at nashfm947.com.
Further proof of the genre’s growing popularity in the Big Apple is Friday’s news (Jan. 18) of Jason Aldean selling out famed Manhattan venue Madison Square Garden. According to his team, all available tickets were purchased in ten minutes for his first-ever concert at the arena. His 2013 Night Train Tour, which hits NYC on March 2, will feature Jake Owen and Thomas Rhett.
“I think people underestimate country music’s popularity in New York City,” said Aldean. “The Garden is one of those places every artist dreams of playing. I am blown away that my show sold out that quickly…it makes me even more excited to hit rehearsals this month and get the Night Train tour on the road. I can’t wait to see you, New York!”
Aldean is the latest country star to experience touring success in New York. In August 2012, Live Nation’s Brian O’Connell told the New York Daily News, “We’re seeing more headlining tours in the New York area going into 2013 than we have in history. It’s double what it was three or four years ago.” That article reported that New York is the single biggest market for country music sales, according to Nielsen Soundscan.
Numerous factors have contributed country’s rise in popularity in the last several years, including genre-crossing superstars Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood and Lady Antebellum; and country music on television shows such as American Idol and The Voice. The CMA has been working to boost country’s presence in New York City for years, particularly since 2005 when the CMA Awards moved to Madison Square Garden for one year.