Discussion: TV Tunes

Word on the street is that Taylor Swift will have a brand new song featured on the season premiere of Grey’s Anatomy that airs Thursday night (9/8 central) on ABC.

The news further consolidates Swift’s status as much more than a country music commodity. She’s established herself as a mainstream artist with grand designs of making a significant mark on pop culture. Grey’s Anatomy has been incredibly successful at breaking new and rising acts and prompting their climb up the musical ladder, and the show has even spawned a popular soundtrack. Of course, Swift is clearly one of country music’s main contenders in the present, but the boost surely can’t hurt her profile and expand her reach into a unique audience.

Question of the evening: Which country song would you like to see play a part in a current television series?


  1. I can’t think of a new song I’d love to hear (I’m still at work and my brain is fried), but I thought The Sarah Connor Chronicle’s use of Johnny Cash’s “The Man Comes Around” was brilliant.

    There was actually an interesting article in the NY Times today about that show and its use of religion/science, and it made mention of that song.

  2. “Silent House” for Ghost Whisperer is a smart choice!

    I’d like to see Sugarland’s “Love” used somewhere.

    I don’t usually notice country music being used too often on TV shows, though both Kim Richey and Alison Krauss & Union Station were used effectively on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

    In my view, nothing will ever top Linda Ronstadt’s song on The Simpsons.

  3. Don’t care, don’t watch the show. don’t think it matters much really. It won’t impact her success one way or another, the show doesn’t have that much of an audience.
    Taylor Swift target market is teenage girls,she has does not have mass appeal.
    songs are played all the time on shows if the label and management wants to get their artist music on a show. No big deal, I don’t see much of an impact either way.

  4. I’m happy for Taylor, as she’s such a Grey’s Anatomy nut!

    I’m racking my brains, there’s so many good ones, possibly “Love’s Lookin’ Good on You” or one of Lady Antebellum’s awesome songs, or I agree with Kevin, Sugarland’s “Love”.

  5. joe diffie’s “if the devil danced in empty pockets” would make an interesting opener for sunday morning tv-evangelists programmes.;)

  6. They have been using “Bones” by LBT on the new show True Blood on HBO and the funny part is it sparked such a uproar of people wanting to know who sung the song…

  7. I read that the Soap Dish Network was playing “Once in a Lifetime” by Keith Urban to promote One Life to Live. Also I was watching the show “Medium” and they played “Tonight I Wanna Cry” by Keith too! I think it’s always good to hear country songs being used like this!

  8. Friday Night Lights uses country music quite often, though it’s mostly alt country, I think. I rarely know what it is, but it typically sounds good.

  9. As a side note, two things tv is doing right with music:

    – Many shows on CW list artists/songname at the end of the episode for songs featured during the show. Making it quick and easy to check out a new track you heard.

    – CBS’s Swingtown had a tie in with popular http://www.last.fm taking that music tie in one step further allowing you to listen to songs from the show without having to search for them. One quick and easy bundle.

  10. To Razor X,

    Why shouldn’t a country artist/label be able to market their in any form they wish? It is one more way to generate money. If a track from Patty Loveless’ new CD were used in, say, “House, M.D.” you wouldn’t like it?

  11. To Kenny or anyone else who thinks that placing a song on a big TV show doesn’t help sales, particularly “Grey’s Anatomy?” How else do we explain the popularity of Snow Patrol and “Chasing Cars?” before that song the band had recorded five or so albums w/o much success in the states. They get that song placed in the show and it turns the band into a big sensation stateside. It helped them a lot. Like millions of albums sold a lot.

  12. Kevin is correct. Gaze upon the splendor:

    “When the snow starts a-fallin’
    There’s a man you should be callin’
    That’s KL5-4796,
    Let it ring!

    Mr. Plow is a loser,
    And I think he is a boozer,
    So you better make that call to the Plow King!”

  13. As I was saying, I was reading a board for the new show on HBO True Blood, and everyone was saying the loved the song at closing credits, but they had no clue who it was — and then someone piped in that it was LBT and several people said that they had to have the song — so I am sure that helped them – especially since it was off of an older album. Especially for a song that was never specifically released as single.

  14. “Why shouldn’t a country artist/label be able to market their in any form they wish? It is one more way to generate money. If a track from Patty Loveless’ new CD were used in, say, “House, M.D.” you wouldn’t like it?”

    I would never even know about it unless I read about it here. And I can’t see “House” wanting to use any of Patty’s music, can you? They’d be more likely to use Rascal Flatts or Carrie Underwood.

    Anyway, my point is that country music has suffered from exposure and over-commercialism in recent years from trying to be too many things to too many people. It needs to take a step back and forget about trying to attract the masses, and instead concentrate on winning back the people who truly love it for what it is — or rather, what it once was and hopefully one day will be again.

  15. Chris’ comment fell into the spam folder. Apparently, CU crumbled under the weight of referencing Ronstadt’s brilliant song. But I have revived it.

    Kevin had an excellent post one time noting that The Simpsons has featured a roster of country music artists that would make your head spin. For example, Ronstadt, Johnny Cash, the Chicks and Willie Nelson.

  16. @Leeann – A lot of the music in Friday Night Lights is straight-up country, just not as mainstream as Taylor Swift. For instance, last season they featured Johnny Paycheck, Randy Travis, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Junior Brown, Glen Campbell and Patsy Cline. The upcoming season is even supposed to have a cameo from Austin honky-tonker James Hand.

    @Lanibug – I read somewhere that Charlie Robison’s “Good Times” was used for one of the credits in True Blood, too.

  17. Razor X: “And I can’t see “House” wanting to use any of Patty’s music, can you? They’d be more likely to use Rascal Flatts or Carrie Underwood.”

    I’m not sure you’re entirely correct there – they rarely use “commercial” songs on House. On the other hand, with Grey’s up against my fave show “The Office” on Thursday nights, maybe a nice antidote would be for Lyle Lovett’s Give Back My Heart, since Jenna F. is such a fan of his.

  18. Hey Chris – let’s not forget the BEST use of country music on OFF’s show:

    “You work all day for some old man,
    You sweat and break your back.
    The you come home to your castle,
    And your queen won’t cut you slack.
    That’s why you’re losin’ all your hair,
    That’s why you’re overweight.
    That’s why you flipped your pick up truck
    Right off the interstate.”

    or even:

    “Some folks’ll never eat a skunk, and then again some folk’ll,
    Like Cletus the slack-jawed yokel.
    Some folks’ll never lose a toe, but then again some folk’ll.
    Like Cletus the slack-jawed yokel.”

  19. Homer Simpson to Bart: “Son, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The moral is – never try.”

    Although I’m not an addict of the program, I enjoy the musical choices on House and the show in general, although that could be due to my fondness of crusty, curmudgeonly, sarcastic types.

  20. Even though it can be maudlin, melodramatic and gimmicky – which is exactly what makes it a guilty pleasure – Cold Case has used lots of music to good effect. There have been a couple of exclusively country episodes. The all Tim McGraw show was entertaining enough, but the Johnny Cash episode was a big disappointment. I also have heard some older Dixie Chicks, Faith Hill and Anne Murray throughout the show’s run. I’m sure I’m forgetting some.

  21. The Simpsons and South Park brilliantly incorporate music into their episodes. While I usually wouldn’t like someone parodying country music – Alan Jackson specifically – I couldn’t help but laugh my butt off at ‘The Ladder To Heaven’ episode of South Park featuring Alan.

    Also, the episode of The Simpsons featuring the Dixie Chicks had me falling off the couch …

    We said some things that came out wrong
    Now we’ve got brand new song
    Cause free speech needs curtalin’ every now and then
    We pledge allegiance to Fox News
    Please take away our right to choose

    Ah, good memories …

    Oh, and for a song I’d like to see on a TV show, I pick Toby Keith’s ‘Get Drunk and Be Somebody’ for an upcoming episode of The Jerry Springer Show. Sounds like a good fit to me.

  22. Anything from Trisha’s collection would be nice.

    Just a more random thought, but the CW kicked off the new 90210, which is ok, but they really should add some good music to some of these teen shows, as teens need something actually worth listening to.

  23. Jake,

    “One Tree Hill” uses music quite a bit (helping to establish Gavin Degraw’s career). They also tend to focus more on singer/songwriter fare than the typical teen drama does.

  24. Yeah, I’ll admit OTH, does a pretty good job. There two soundtracks that I have are really good, although I will admit they had better music on the show in the earlier years.

  25. So Blake are we to think that when you watch House you see yourself, in say 20-25 years (minus the opiate addiction)?

    I’m like that now!

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