Live Blogging Country Radio: Countdown to BS

live blogging country radioIn the carefree younger days of this blog, I was in the habit of live-blogging half hour chunks of country radio to save you the time and heartbreak of, you know, actually listening for yourself. Since two years have elapsed since our last live blog, I guess we’re about due for a checkup.

30 minutes on the clock. Be kind, radio gods.

9:59 AM And we’re off, with the tail end of “My Maria.”
Something of a challenging karaoke song, in case you were wondering. Not for the faint of heart.
10:00 AM Even the station’s studio name is an advertisement… for a casino. I hope this smell washes off.
Now it’s “Chicken Fried” by Zac Brown Band.
Wherein we learn that soldiers are dying for our right to eat fried chicken.
10:01 AM A stirring patriotic sentiment if ever there was one.
10:02 AM Oh, I had forgotten that they sent out versions with custom call letters. Boo.
10:03 AM The station call letters again! Twice in one song. Ugh.
Kacey Musgraves with “Merry Go Round.”
10:04 AM Audible banjo in a song on the radio. How bizarre.
10:05 AM This really is a wonderful song, truer to the modern experience of growing up and settling down than any other song I can think of.
10:07 AM I knew the streak of songs I don’t hate couldn’t last. “This Ole Boy” by Craig Morgan.
He hasn’t had a hit in a while, has he?
10:08 AM Wikipedia says last Top 10 was 2009. Only #1 was 2004.
10:09 AM It’s weird to me that I’ve already been hearing him for 13 years.
Imagine how accomplished I’d be by now if that mental space were devoted to, uh, virtually anything else.
10:10 AM New song. Who’s this? Sounds like Kellie Pickler, so it must be Thompson Square.
10:11 AM “If I Didn’t Have You.” I seriously doubt anyone will remember this one 9 months from now.
10:12 AM I won’t be able to tell you much about it 9 minutes from now.
10:13 AM Hmm… they’re going to a commercial break…
10:14 AM … and said “Also, Blake Shelton’s ‘Sure Be Cool If You Did’ coming at 10:35.” Is that really such a selling point that it will keep people listening for the next 20 minutes?
Speaking of which, semi-surprised to learn that Shelton has only just celebrated his first platinum album. I’d think with a profile as high as his that he’d have gotten there earlier.
10:15 AM Anyway, commercials. Used cars and where you should buy your fast food.
10:17 AM “Partnerships. It’s how we plus us, and we plus you.” Not even sure what that means.
They’re advertising Priuses on a country station. Something to be said for knowing your audience…
But Raley’s has great pork, evidently.
10:18 AM Mortgage refinancing.
10:19 AM More used car ads.
10:20 AM We’re on minute 7 of commercials. I ordinarily would have turned the radio off about 6 minutes and 53 seconds ago. Really taking a bullet for you guys here.
Back to music. Kenny Chesney with “How Forever Feels.”
10:21 AM Like “My Maria,” this virtually qualifies as a golden oldie.
10:22 AM Kenny Chesney in 1998: singing about settling down. Kenny Chesney in 2013: singing about a pirate flag and an island girl. If you had asked me in 1998, I’d have told you devolution wasn’t possible.
10:23 AM The station is more heavily recurrent than in past live blogs. Good news for me.
Now it’s “Don’t Let Our Love Start Slipping Away” by Vince Gill.
10:25 AM Kooky notion: How about supporting some of Vince Gill’s new music?
The reason this song was, and is, a hit is that at some point a lot of people decided Vince Gill was making music worth playing. He still is. Bet he’d be willing to see you drop the recurrent if it meant three spare minutes to play something of his that isn’t 20 years old.
10:26 AM “7 minutes away from the new Blake Shelton…” Anticipation almost killing me!
However, they’re not very good at math. Seven minutes is 10:33, not 10:35.
10:27 AM In the meantime, we hear “One of Those Nights” by Tim McGraw.
Who is chopped liver, evidently. No teases for the approach of his song.
10:28 AM Incidentally, Tim McGraw appears to be going for a Jack LaLanne thing as he gets older.
Pulling tugboats with his teeth and whatnot.
10:29 AM 30 minutes is up. It’s been interesting.
Sadly, I must end a mere 4 minutes(!!!) away from the new Blake Shelton song. My loss, I’m sure.

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About C.M. Wilcox

A freelance writer and humorist with an abiding love of country music, C.M. Wilcox's cutting, clear-eyed take on the genre has drawn the attention of Country Weekly, The Washington Post, and The Tennessean in the years since this site began. He lives near Sacramento and can be reached by email at CMW (at)

Things People Are Saying

  1. All things considered, you got lucky. I can’t go 5 minutes on any of the country stations here without hearing Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan or Florida-Georgia Line.

  2. You have set a dismal task for yourself, sir. Condolences.

  3. Yes! This feature is as great as I remembered it to be! Unless they’re premering a song, I’d never heard of a station vamping a song with the exact time that it’s going to be coming on. I just remember something like “Coming up soon…” or “Coming up in the next 30 minutes…” Then again, I really haven’t listened to FM radio in years. Amazing how little music was actually played during that half hour.

  4. Well, you got me to revisit “Don’t Let Our Love Start Slipping Away,” so that’s one good thing that came out of your self-torture session. Loved the part about supporting Vince’s current music – sentiments which definitely apply to many different artists whose hits have dried up.

  5. Have you heard of the new country singer Tim Hicks and his new hit “Get By” it rocks and I have a feeling that he will go far. Remember Tim Hicks and dry downloading his hit “Get By”

  6. That was great!

    I am so trying this.

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