Cracker Barrel Uses 50th Anniversary To Spotlight Female Country Voices

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store has long been a support and sales outlet for country artists and leading up to its 50th anniversary, the company is launching a campaign to highlight several established and rising female country artists, with the help of superstars including Trisha Yearwood, Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott, Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman, and Tanya Tucker with Brandi Carlile.

Each artist has selected an emerging female artist or writer to spotlight through one-on-one conversation as well as recording songs together. The conversations and recordings are featured as part of Cracker Barrel’s Five Decades, One Voice campaign leading up to its 50th anniversary celebration in September.

Little Big Town’s Fairchild and Schlapman have partnered with Ingrid Andress. Carlile partnered with Tenille Townes for a special performance alongside Tucker. Yearwood has partnered with female hit songwriters Caitlyn Smith and Connie Harrington. Lady Antebellum’s Scott has teamed with Bailey Bryan.

The campaign will include the release of an exclusive compilation album with songs hand-selected by artists featured in the “Five Decades, One Voice” campaign, with one dollar from every album sold benefitting She Is The Music, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase the number of women working in music—songwriters, engineers, producers, artists and industry professionals.

Additionally, an all-female in-store playlist will be available in every Cracker Barrel location in September during the company’s anniversary month, with songs hand-selected by the artists included in the “Five Decades, One Voice” campaign.

Loretta Lynn serves as the voice of “Five Decades, One Voice,” narrating its vision and noting, “For five decades, I have seen many female artists who are still fighting for the chance to be heard. I want to help them bring their talents to the table and have a chance to be heard, and trust me, there’s plenty to go around.”

“This initiative was a no brainer for us to be a part of,” says Schlapman of Little Big Town. “We’ve been in the music business for 20 years and have had the highest of highs and lowest of lows. We looked up to the women trailblazers before us—Loretta, Emmylou, Reba, Dolly, Trisha, Martina—to inspire us and guide us through all these moments in our career. It’s so important for us all to lift each other up and even the playing field for these girls to have a shot at success. There is no reason why the world shouldn’t hear their voices for years and years to come.”

“It is beyond my wildest dreams to get to get to collaborate with Karen and Kimberly so early in my career,” said Andress. “These are women who have forged a path in this format like no one else and have so fearlessly used their voices and their music to promote other women and lift so many up. They are powerful advocates and change makers in our community and beyond, and we are lucky to have them. I am thrilled to partner with Cracker Barrel and other incredible women in this campaign to be able to share our stories and create new, impactful moments to hopefully inspire the next generation of women in country music.”

“It is truly an honor to take part in a campaign that celebrates women in country music,” said Yearwood. “Not only do I admire each of these artists, but I’m thrilled to support and uplift the women behind the music as well. Songwriters play such an integral part of the business and it was such a wonderful experience getting to sing my latest single, ‘Every Girl in this Town,’ with those who wrote it.”

“I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette and all the women who came before me, so I think it’s really great what Cracker Barrel is doing with ‘Five Decades, One Voice,'” said Tucker. “There are so many talented young ladies out there who need a lift—just someone to raise them up so fans can discover them. And who doesn’t love Cracker Barrel’s country cookin’?!”

“It is such an honor to be a part of ‘Five Decades, One Voice’ and to have the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of the women who have come before me,” said Townes. “Getting to stand in a circle and sing with Brandi Carlile and Tanya Tucker is one of those ‘is this actually real life’ moments that I will forever hold on to.”

“Five Decades, One Voice” follows Cracker Barrel’s long history of iconic female-driven artist partnerships—working with some of the biggest names in the industry, including Alison Krauss, Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire, and Carrie Underwood—who have been at the heart of Cracker Barrel’s music history since the very beginning and instrumental in fostering the warmth and hospitality felt at America’s home-away-from home.

“As we celebrate our golden anniversary, we want to acknowledge and give back to the voices that have supported us and help lift up the next generation of female country music artists,” said Cracker Barrel’s Senior Vice President of Retail Laura Daily. “Music has always been a soundtrack to our heritage, so it’s an honor to be a part of the conversation and help raise awareness for the important role women play in the country music industry.”

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About the Author

Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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