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Bill Lamb

More Reflections on the Dixie Chicks and the Grammy Awards

By February 13, 2007

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The Dixie Chicks' sweep of the top awards at Sunday night's Grammy Awards celebration has generated a great discussion here on About Top 40 / Pop. I would like to add a few more observations that have come to my mind since the event.

I can certainly understand the feelings of many pop fans who think they've been a bit cheated in having the music industry give its top awards to music with such little radio airplay. However, I think the backlash against radio is part of the point of the awards. Those who actually make the records, artists, producers, and engineers, are the people who vote for Grammy Awards. Unlike many other awards in performing arts, journalists, music industry executives, promotional personnel, radio personnel, etc. are excluded from voting. This was an award granted by the Dixie Chicks' peers celebrating the group standing up to, in part, the increasingly corporate world of radio.

Radio playlists are increasingly dominated by the whims of corporate executives with less and less impact from individual station program directors. This means, particularly in the case of country radio, political points of view of corporate executives can have a huge impact. Just as it may not make sense to fans that music they've heard very little of should win major awards, it also makes little sense that radio stations should refuse to play music from an album that debuts at #1 on the chart from sales to music fans and is the 6th best selling album of the year. For the record, country radio didn't like the last country album that won the Grammy for Album of the Year either. It was the soundtrack for O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Some of you raised questions of how the Grammys could give the Country Album of the Year award to the Dixie Chicks when the Country Music Association didn't even nominate the album. The simple answer is the impact of voting corporate personnel in the Country Music Associaton vs. the dominace of artists and producers in selecting the Grammys. Also, at the Grammys, voting members of the Recording Academy may vote in multiple genres. For more on Grammy selection, check out the guide to How Grammy Award Winners are Selected.

I suspect that many of the artists selecting their peers the Dixie Chicks voted for them to honor the group's standing up to and overcoming a nightmare they hope they never have to experience themselves. It's very very rare that one comment generates the vehemence of the backlash the Dixie Chicks experienced. Loss in record sales and concert ticket sales is one thing, ongoing death threats and condemnation from the President of the United States is quite another. Arguably, Kanye West's comment about George W. Bush hating black people was significantly more pointed than what Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks had to say, but the backlash was much milder, in part because the corporate powers in Kanye's musical community did not turn on him with attempts to manipulate mass opinions of fans in the way the country music corporate powers turned on the Dixie Chicks.

I can make arguments for other nominees having the artistic edge over the Dixie Chicks' Taking the Long Way, although it is a very good album, but I can understand and honor the choice made by the artists in the recording industry. I do hope this victory sends a message that corporate manipulation does not rule the choices of an event like the Grammy Awards and many of us prefer an open sea of ideas and opinions expressed through our popular music.


February 13, 2007 at 2:11 pm
(1) Bill Robertson says:

You liberals just don’t get it. The Dixie Chicks lack of record and performance sells is not a corperate plan to destroy The Chicks. It is the paying public that has made the choice. One correction, President Bush has said nothing about the Chicks. So your statement about the Presidents condemnation is either inaccurate or your lying. The quality of thier last album doesn’t even come close to any of thier other efforts. Therefore these grammy awards can’t be anything other than a protest from the very liberal group that votes on these awards.

February 13, 2007 at 2:28 pm
(2) Bill Lamb says:

President George W. Bush in interview with Tom Brokaw:

“They shouldn’t have their feelings hurt just because some people don’t want to buy their records when they speak out.”

The line on ‘Taking the Long Way’:

#1 debut on the album chart
A rating from Entertainment Weekly
4 out of 5 stars from Rolling Stone
4 out of 5 stars from the All Music Guide

Few country albums sold more (only Carrie Underwood and Rascal Flatts) or received better critical reviews than ‘Taking the Long Way’ and the Country Music Association, admittedly dominated by corporate Nashville music interests, ignored it.

February 13, 2007 at 3:27 pm
(3) randy speelman says:

I just don’t see how 11,000 votes from the record producing companys sez anything about their acceptance by the public I used to buy their records but not anymore.

February 13, 2007 at 3:37 pm
(4) Derek Grace says:

Why did you stop buying their records,Randy?Did you suddenly realize you didnt actually enjoy the songs you used to enjoy?You’re depriving yourself of excellent music so you can stick your tongue out at the Dixie Chicks.That would be like my not listening to my Judas Priest collection because I’m a homophobe.Good music deserves to be appreciated regardless of the artists opinions.Its a shame you cant understand that.

February 13, 2007 at 3:45 pm
(5) Bob says:

I still won’t buy any Dixie Chicks music and I and a Grammy Award no longer means anything to me! The Grammy Award is (was) a respected award and had marketing value. Artists and music could be introduced as Grammy Award winning and it mean something. Now, it means nothing to me because of the way it is handed out! So go ahead and give it to anyone for anything! It’s a meaningless award. A Grammy may continue to be an Award, but it is no longer an honor!

February 13, 2007 at 4:01 pm
(6) Derek Grace says:

Et tu Bob?I can almost see you stomping your feet and holding your breath.The Dixie Chicks deserved every award they received & then some.Excellent work,ladies!

February 13, 2007 at 4:20 pm
(7) Janette says:

A simple thank you for such clarity.

This is the first time i have seen in print what occurred. The public can be so easily manipulaated buy multinational corp. owners/directors and wish your article could make headllines so maybe others could get it straight. What happened to the Chicks was not a grassroots groundswell but was a knee jerk reaction by the owners of mass media afraid they had something to loose if too many speek out.

Also about the peer vote. Again this is the first time i have seen this in print. It is good if people understand it was not the “industry” voting but other artists and support talent.


February 13, 2007 at 4:59 pm
(8) Kim says:

Bill Robertson said:

Therefore these grammy awards can’t be anything other than a protest from the very liberal group that votes on these awards.

I think that’s exactly the point, and I think it’s a very valid point. I also think Bill intended this to be a slam, but it really isn’t. This group of people has been voting for these awards for 49 years. That’s a half of a century. Be they a liberal group or not, they’re entitled to get together every year and honor the artists they feel have done great things in their field over the past year. Considering the voting process is quite democratic (Bill Lamb’s article on how the Grammy’s are chosen is really good and informative), it is still an honor to win a Grammy Award.

The fact that the Dixie Chicks have been around for so many years (they were together for many, many years before anyone ever heard them on the radio), have stayed together through three other albums, that media circus and a string of death threats, that whole ridiculous debacle, and came through it all last year with this hard-hitting, well-composed, catchy, and genre-defying album, is pretty remarkable. In a time when so many groups can’t even make it past their first big hit, the Dixie Chicks have earned the right to be recognized by the academy in such a way … if it must be construed by some as an unfounded political statement by a large group of liberals, then so be it. It’s their industry, we just watch it from the sidelines.

February 13, 2007 at 5:45 pm
(9) Beansox says:


“Through analyzing airplay from a national sample of radio stations, this paper finds that contrary to prominent allegations grounded in the political economy tradition of media sociology, this backlash did not come from owners of large chains. Rather, I find that opposition to the Dixie Chicks represents grassroots conservative sentiment, which may be exacerbated by the ideological connotations of country music or tempered by tolerance for dissent. ” Spring 2003

February 13, 2007 at 6:15 pm
(10) Bill Lamb says:

Thanks for the above study. It is dense, but well worth reading. The finding that it was a “vengeful audience” that turned on the Dixie Chicks is very interesting.

February 13, 2007 at 6:59 pm
(11) Beansox says:

Another article that is a must read:


February 13, 2007 at 7:01 pm
(12) Beansox says:

Here is a review of Shut Up & Sing that has the balls to call a spade a spade..and by that spade I mean this entire saga purposely manufactured byt the chicks as a marketing ploy:


February 13, 2007 at 7:12 pm
(13) Mark says:

Good Lord, all this hoopla over one recording artist giving their well entitled opinion at a concert. That’s our media for you. Always blowing things out of proportion. Grassroot conservative sentiment or not, i do recall country radio stations refusing to play the song. Maybe out of fear of the reprecussions? Or what i believe to be a handful of people who might not like it? If the award was given out as a political statement, maybe it should tell us how the majority of people really feel. Please, i think this matter is way out of hand. As a veteran of the armed forces, i believe the Dixie Chicks are entitled to their opinion, whether i agree with it or not. Whatever the reason, they won and i am happy to see it.
Your article was well thought out and concisely written and is greatly appreciated.
Just for the record, if you go to itunes, you will find the Dixie Chicks song and album are the number one downloads at the moment.

February 13, 2007 at 9:48 pm
(14) Betty says:

I understood that the men & women in the Armed Forces were fighting for the right to Free Speech. I believe making such a circus out of one comment makes a mockery of these very values. Death threats – smashing records – I guess next we can go backwards and begin burning books, etc .

February 13, 2007 at 10:35 pm
(15) Dee says:

Derek, If these artists want to put themselves out there promoting a political agenda then they get what they deserve. I am a professional sales representative when I am dealing with clients I do not promote whether I like one political party or another it just doesn’t make good business sense. It is understandable that people will have different views when they decide to put it out there, then if that view alienates half of there demo, well then hopefully the beliefs are more important than there bank accounts.

February 14, 2007 at 12:35 am
(16) Laura says:

Many MANY music artists have political material of all kinds, in case you haven’t noticed. I guess they are all getting what they deserve? It’s such an odd comment.

I think the Chicks’ bank accounts are probably pretty good about now.

February 14, 2007 at 1:55 am
(17) Vicki says:

This Dixie Chicks grammy speaks volume of the protest by the academy and peers of this group. This recent album is no where near their best stuff. The fact of the matter is, is that they had to cancel concerts because tickets were not being sold. 11,000 voters from the industry does not say anything about if they are really accepted by the public or not. I loved these girls, but after their foreign tirade against our President, that was it for me! I refuse to support those artists who know nothing about American history, national security and defending our country from terrorism. I feel when these Chicks went into foreign soil, and put down our country and our President, to me, this is intolerable.

February 14, 2007 at 7:20 am
(18) John S says:

You Amerticans are so insercure. Jere in the UK our artists make political comments al the time – most of them against the government and the Prime Minister. No one gets uptight about it. Give your artists the freedom to say what they think and feel – that’s what art is all about. It should make us think and reconsider our view of the world and challenges the powerful who will always be tempted to abuse their power.

February 14, 2007 at 9:23 am
(19) Erin says:

I agree with Vicki 100%.

Maines screwed up and she made freedom of speech a joke. It’s become the excuse for any other celebrity/well-known figure to put their foot in the their mouth and say, “Oops, I was just joking”.

The Dixie Chicks are NOT country. They said they were done with country and their “fans” responded. The Grammy’s have become a joke as well when their 11,000 voters are supposedly how the public thinks/feels? They really need to get out more.

February 14, 2007 at 9:57 am
(20) Beansox says:

Next people will be saying the Boston Tea party was a violation of someones rights. Gimme a fricken break.

Natalie has never been denied her free speech. All that happened to her is she found she had mistakenly traded in her popularity for notoriety.

Sure, notoriety will keep your name in the press over a manufactured controversy for 4 years, it may even win you some awards, but it wont fill venues. 14 US concerts were canceled due to poor ticket sales. Of the venues that remained in the US, over a third were half empty.

February 14, 2007 at 9:59 am
(21) Beansox says:

“For me to be in country music to begin with was not who I was. I liked Martie and Emily’s playing, but I did not grow up liking country music. And I guess I was ignorant to the fact that the stereotypes behind country music were true — and it was disappointing. And so at this stage, I can never… I would be cheating myself and not setting a good example for my children to go back to something that I don’t wholeheartedly believe in. So I’m pretty much done. They’ve shown their true colors. I like lots of country music, but as far as the industry and everything that happened… I couldn’t want to be farther away from that.” Janueary 2006

And yet she and her fans continue to whine about not being played on country stations.

February 14, 2007 at 10:08 am
(22) Bill Lamb says:

The Grammy Awards are not, and never have been, about what the public thinks. They are about what the artists, producers, and engineers who make the music think.

February 14, 2007 at 11:46 am
(23) Beansox says:

“They are about what the artists, producers, and engineers who make the music think. ” Bill Lamb

And they obviously believe that politics trump artistic merit at an awards show dedicated to artistic merit.

Nuff said.

February 14, 2007 at 11:58 am
(24) Bill Lamb says:

Politics and art are not that easily separable, in my opinion.

Joan Baez, in introducing the Dixie Chicks, made that point quite eloquently in quoting “This Land Is Your Land.” For artists ranging from Bob Dylan to Green Day, politics fuel the art in their music.

I suppose from the opposite side of the political spectrum, Toby Keith would think politics is an important part of his art as well.

I think the desire of some voters to make a political statement definitely benefited the Dixie Chicks, but to argue that the album was without artistic merit is a very serious stretch from the truth, in my opinion. Nearly 2 million in sales speaks for music fans’ opinions, and, as I mentioned above, mainstream entertainment publications (EW, Rolling Stone, etc.) deemed the album a serious artistic success upon release.

February 14, 2007 at 12:25 pm
(25) Beansox says:

That is not why Joan said “This land is your Land”.. THIS is why Joan said it:

“A lot of pandering started going on, and you’d see soldiers and the American flag in every video. It became a sickening display of ultra-patriotism.”

“The entire country may disagree with me, but I don’t understand the necessity for patriotism,” Maines resumes, through gritted teeth. “Why do you have to be a patriot? About what? This land is our land? Why? You can like where you live and like your life, but as for loving the whole country… I don’t see why people care about patriotism.” Natalie Maines June 2006

Joan was standing in unison with Natalie in showing cometempt for this country.

February 14, 2007 at 12:31 pm
(26) Beansox says:

“as I mentioned above, mainstream entertainment publications (EW, Rolling Stone, etc.) deemed the album a serious artistic success upon release.”

Well of course they did, the fix was in prior to the album ever being made. In fact all of Ted Turners (hanoi janes ex husband)companies (CNN EW TIME AMAZON AOL etc) gave it and them glowing reviews and schilled for them non stop.


February 14, 2007 at 1:11 pm
(27) Julie Cannon says:

The Dixie Chicks were abandoned by radio and the fans after Natalie’s comment a few years ago. However, they came back on Grammy night and hopefully now more fans and radio stationhs will be listening to them now. Bravo ladies!

February 14, 2007 at 1:12 pm
(28) Beansox says:

“The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Stadium Arcadium was nominated for album of the year. The band’s drummer, Chad Smith, who also played on the Chicks’ winning album, said frankly, “I think the Academy was making a bit of a statement by giving them everything.”

February 14, 2007 at 1:18 pm
(29) Beansox says:

Yes Julie, sometimes your politcs do push album sales. The chicks will see a sales increase. But they will never again fill concert venues in the United States and they will never again see album sales in excess of 10 million like they did when they were popular.

February 14, 2007 at 1:21 pm
(30) Beansox says:

But as Emily Robison of the Chicks pointed out in their post-show press conference, “Every Grammy year tells a story, like with O Brother, Where Art Thou? What happened to us drove us to make an album that said a lot. It made it political, if you see it that way.”

February 14, 2007 at 2:20 pm
(31) Kim says:

Hundreds of years of protest music and artists protesting governments (the US and other governments) at their concerts have preceded the Dixie Chicks and their statement, and hundreds of years of protest music will come after it. Music exists as a form of expression, and awards that honor artistic merit are ostensibly honoring the way people choose to express themselves. If a songwriter chooses to use that mode of expression to say “I love you,” that doesn’t mean their music has more merit than someone who uses that mode of expression to say “I disagree with my government,” nor does it have more merit than, “I’m still ticked off about something that happened to me.”

If a large group of people whose job is to express themselves through art are asked to limit their views of artistic merit to “I love you” and “Let’s have sex” (for example) and omit the elements of “I disagree” and “I’m ticked off” that appeal to them, there’s something seriously wrong.

Every single day, artists get on stage in the US and around the world and voice their opinions about politics, war, and other matters. The Dixie Chicks are hardly alone in their message or their intent, and regardless of the motivation behind it, their inalienable right of free speech allows them to sing about whatever they want to, to say whatever they want to say.

February 14, 2007 at 2:36 pm
(32) Beansox says:

“and regardless of the motivation behind it, their inalienable right of free speech allows them to sing about whatever they want to, to say whatever they want to say. ”

Freedom of Speech does not equate to the right to be heard nor is it a guarantee of airplay.

February 14, 2007 at 4:54 pm
(33) Phil says:

The short fat one can sing but can’t speak coherently without a script, but then neither can W.

February 14, 2007 at 5:17 pm
(34) Mike says:

I felt the other award nominee’s were cheated of there efforts by a group of voters who wanted to make a political message. Shame on you Grammy voters!!

February 14, 2007 at 11:15 pm
(35) Bill K. says:

I don’t care for country-my mother did, but I love the Dixie Chicks because they spoke out against this horrible Iraq War.
I am not a real lover of music, period- but I love those who speak against the ills of society. To those who reject the artists who speak against the war: its your money and your opinion. You have the right to express yourself, so do not prohibit others from doing the same- that is so hypocritical. If you don’t like their opinions, there are others who do- and we are not afraid to say so.

February 15, 2007 at 9:00 am
(36) Megan Romer says:

I guess my question is, why shouldn’t the academy voters vote based on a political opinion? It’s no secret that the majority of artists (performing, visual and literary) tend to lean towards the left… heck, even Toby Keith is a registered Democrat! It’s also no secret that corporate America tends to lean towards the right in political matters.

Therefore, what you get when you force these two groups to work together is, often, a whole lotta nothing… a creative stalemate, if you will. In every non-pop genre of music, political matters provide major lyrical inspiration for songwriters, and in other countries, political songs frequently top the pop charts. The land of free speech? Sure makes one wonder, especially when the Dixie Chicks currently share the same opinion of the President with well over half the population of this country… and their songs STILL aren’t played on most radio stations.

What I’m getting at here is that perhaps, whether they loved the album or not, it was worth it for most of the voting artists to use their vote to demand their freedom of speech back and to stand up to the major labels, companies like ClearChannel and Cox Radio, and the others who hold absolute control over the music that we hear.

I say, let the musicians play what they want to play and say what they want to say. If we don’t let artists be “artistic” (that is to say, slightly nutty), we’re going to regret it very soon. You don’t have to like, or even pay attention to, what they say, but you have to support their right to say it. If we stop supporting that right, what do we have left?

February 15, 2007 at 3:06 pm
(37) bill says:

its funny that these girls were persecuted and dammed by something everybody knows today, the war is a mistake and your president bush has taken you into a second vietnam and you still back im up.(i am taking about him, not the poor boys and girls that are just obeying orders)
When you americans will stop been so naive, its all a big business, specially the oil companies
we in south america know about it

February 16, 2007 at 9:47 am
(38) Ron Hoysted says:

I received email regarding 2007 Grammy Awards and the winners I look it over and was surprised to see The dixie Chicks had won 5 awards (including Country Album and Song of the Year) and my reaction was You Go Girls!!!!!!! I have never seen such petty attitudes as I have over the Dixie Chicks, ( I have never stopped buying there album and definitely did not stop playing their music).
I find it difficult to see a country who proffesses to offer their citizens the right to free speech, and when some does, they are crucified and made scapegoats by certain media, ie radio stations refusing to play their music, I even heard of one Texas radio station piling Dixie Chicks Cds in middle of intersection and telling listeners to bring their CDs so they can burn them, this I found to be so childish and to them I say grow up,
The Dixie Chicks disapproved of President Bush , so what they have that right and I see many instances of reporting that many people have the same view over different policies and actions by Mr Bush, I don’t see retaliation against these newspapers and persons so why the retaliation against the Dixie Chicks, you can’t have it both ways, retaliate against all not just one or let US citizens exercise their right to free speech without fear.

February 16, 2007 at 10:06 am
(39) mike says:

The thing that confuses me, were they being penalized for cowardly backing down from their comments,or were they being penalized IN SPITE of cowardly backing down.I dont respect the fact that they didnt stand by the courage of their convictions.Your personal feelings should be more important than making money and it serves them right that people still hate them.I liked them more that they spoke their minds and I was ashamed they took the cowards way out yet.And for that now all of a sudden everyone is kissing their butts.Some role models.Young people will look at that and think that its more important to make money than to have the courage of your convictions.No wonder country music today sucks compared to 20 years ago!

February 16, 2007 at 10:14 am
(40) smokeybeardog1 says:

The Chicks suck and so do their veiws but I spent 12 years in the United States Marine Corps so that they could express them no matter how stupid they are. I think we should deport them over to Iran and see how long they survive being dumb ass chicks.

February 16, 2007 at 11:27 am
(41) rock says:

If the repbulicans didnt rig 2 elections to get Bush in office none of this would have happened. The fiasco in FLorida was bad enough but how they quietly fixed Ohio the 2nd time was appaling.


February 16, 2007 at 12:04 pm
(42) Steve says:

Let’s face it… James Blunt got screwed at the Grammys. I counted 4 hit songs on his album and he comes away with nothing. Dixie Chicks…. I hadn’t heard one of their songs…. where’s the justice in that?

February 16, 2007 at 2:05 pm
(43) Bob says:

Seems to me that those up in arms about the Chicks are the same people that get excited when the other side starts yelling about things said by those that they don’t like. Is the First Ammendment one way?

February 16, 2007 at 2:36 pm
(44) Beansox says:

First Ammendment does not equate to the right to be heard, nor does is it a guarantee of airplay, nor does it mean people should be required to buy your product.

The chicks have never lost their 1st Ammendment rights. However, they did lose thier fans, and those fans are well within their rights to call and request the chicks not be played on their radio or tv. They are even free to do this over and over and over until they see their desired results.

If the chicks dont like others exercising their own free will, then they should find a job that doesnt require living off the backs of others.

February 16, 2007 at 5:58 pm
(45) michelle says:

What about U2. What about Sting. etc etc. Is it just me or do the powers that be make more of a hoohaa when female artists make their politics known than when male artists do. Is this a gender thing or is it a genre thing, or abit of both.

February 16, 2007 at 6:43 pm
(46) Stephanie says:

I think it’s kind of funny, myself. I never liked country music before, really, even though I had some exposure to it as a child. But when all the hoopla with the Dixie Chicks started (and went on and on and on) I took note. When they did VH1 Storytellers, I watched.In doing so, I discovered something I liked. I bought their album and while I feel for what they went through, I’m glad it led me to add something new in my musical world. I’m sure I’m not the only one who came to love the Dixie Chicks in this way, either.

February 16, 2007 at 7:21 pm
(47) Laura says:

These awards shows are for entertainment only. I never expect them to be any kind of sensible way to figure out which is “best”.

Laura, who will be enjoying the Oscars but is unlikely to be more than briefly annoyed whatever the outcome

February 16, 2007 at 11:44 pm
(48) John says:

I could not be happier that the Dixie Chicks won. I don’t listen to country music and have only heard a few of their songs, but the songs have some substance. As far as the opinion one of them expressed years ago about President Bush, I agree with it. And whether I agree or not with an opinion, people have a right to express themselves, and in this case death threats were not called for. I think it shows the ignorant condition of some in American society. People need to lighten up and treat others more respectfully and kindly.

February 17, 2007 at 9:00 am
(49) Renee says:

The album is simply beautiful, heartfelt and lyrical. It is truly an “album” in the sense that it has a theme that runs through it. Those who are ignoring it for political reasons are missing a fine, Grammy-deserving work of art.

February 17, 2007 at 9:49 am
(50) Ryan Cooper says:

I have to admit, I was finally drawn in to comment on this, but it got very long, so I posted it

February 19, 2007 at 6:17 pm
(51) Beansox says:

“People need to lighten up and treat others more respectfully and kindly.” John

If only Natalie would heed her own fans advise.

“I dont feel the President is owed any respest whatsoever” Natalie Maines 2006

What a tangled web we weave.

February 19, 2007 at 6:20 pm
(52) cindy gumpert says:

Kudos to the Chicks for their wins. They deserved it. This album contanined songs about personal issues they have endured over the years. It is a great ablum. It is inconceivable that people still want to continue this hatred towards them ..Get over it and move on…CHICKS RULE!!!!!!!

February 25, 2007 at 1:09 am
(53) steve-o says:

Americans boycotting a singing group that had the balls to stand up to an idiot who’s a liar. Half your country voted for him twice (I can’t believe the first vote was close enough for him to steal). What’s scary is that you guys have the firepower to destroy any country, but not the brains to sh** on your own freedom of speech. Morons.

August 4, 2007 at 8:17 pm
(54) Brett says:

Beansox, you are very quick to criticize the merits of an album that you have apparently never heard. “Not Ready to Make Nice” is one of the best pop records of the past few years. Like many of the other songs on Taking the Long Way, it features strong lyrics, outstanding production values, and a talented group of studio musicians (including Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, incidentally).

The Dixie Chicks deserved all the Grammys they won. Unfortunately, corporate radio buckled to the threats of a group of wingnuts instead of playing the Chicks for their fans. I know this for a fact–I called a local Clear Channel country station daily in May/June 2006 asking them to play “Not Ready…” only to be told that it was not on their playlist.

And by the way, I wish more Americans had had the guts to stand up and speak out in March 2003 like Natalie did. Our country, and our world, would be a lot better off if we had.

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