Nashville Scene has published its 19th Annual Country Music Critics Poll. The results skewed heavily in the direction of Country Universe favorites, with the rankings dominated by Kacey Musgraves, Pistol Annies, and Ashley McBryde.
Of the 98 country music critics polled for this year’s list, three are Country Universe writers: Kevin John Coyne, Sam Gazdziak, and Jonathan Keefe. In addition, Gazdziak submitted comments, two of which were showcased in the newsweekly:
Qualifications for a woman to be played on the radio: 1) Must not be too country or too pop. 2) Must not say or tweet anything controversial or political. 3) Must personally visit every country station in the nation and put up with clumsy flirting attempts by creepy morning-show DJs. 4) Must not release a single at the same time that any other female singer is releasing a single. 5) Must be blond. Qualifications for a man to be played on the radio: 1) Must have a penis. 2) Must have a pulse. 3) Pulse is optional. —Sam Gazdziak
I don’t know how to fix radio when it’s pretty clear that radio doesn’t think it’s broken. But if you are involved in radio and believe with your heart that the reason women aren’t played on country radio is because they aren’t making enough good music, please leave radio immediately. Harsh, but fair. If you can listen to singles from Maddie & Tae, Runaway June, Maggie Rose, Kacey Musgraves, Maren Morris, Pistol Annies, etc., and still say, “Yeah, but that Mitchell Tenpenny song is so much better,” then you’re in the wrong profession. —Sam Gazdziak
I’m on board with Sam’s diagnosis and proposed cure for country radio’s ailments. How about you?