Ten years ago, in the dog days of Summer 2004, blogging was catching on in the political world. I thought it would be cool to do a country music and politics blog. I think it had the tagline of “Where Music Row meets Pennsylvania Avenue.”
Anyway, the politics was dropped pretty quickly, as writing about country music was more than enough ground to cover! Country Universe slowly built an audience, becoming a place for refugee fans from the nineties boom, to debate the latest singles and albums, and at our best, to write about the present in a way that is informed by the past.
For me, Country Universe really became Country Universe when Leeann Ward joined the writing staff. Her combination of empathy and diplomacy, coupled with deep knowledge and respect of music, helped set a tone for us that made this a place where everybody felt comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas.
Writers have come and gone since then, most of them recruited from the comment threads and blogs that we exchanged ideas and links with. There are a lot of great country blogs now, so being one of the first and only isn’t enough to keep us relevant. Thank goodness that Leeann and I have the extraordinary talents of Dan Milliken, Tara Seetharam, Ben Foster, Jonathan Keefe, and Sam Gazdziak alongside us. I think that they’re as good as it gets! As we’ve all gotten busier in our professional lives beyond CU, it remains a place where we can always come back to, a special community for conversation about a genre we all fell in love with so many years ago.
The staff has been reflecting on the best way to acknowledge ten years. We’ve decided that a year-long retrospective is the way to go! With that in mind, I’m happy to launch CU10.
For the next twelve months, we’ll be spotlighting some of our favorite writing from the past ten years, with new introductions and revisions when necessary. We’ll be completing the ongoing projects of 100 Greatest Men and Retro Single Reviews, and we’ll be bringing back some old features with new entries, like Favorite Songs by Favorite Artists and Classic Country Singles.
We’re also going to be introducing some new features, starting with the Song Talk, which has already received two entries this month. We’d also like to know what it is that you want to see or see again, so let us know in the comments!