Wow, am I glad I tracked the album released this week. At the end, after the last song there is about thirty seconds of silence and then (and without any credit nor mention in the press material) in comes another song. It starts out with a long instrumental riff, a kind of Hawaiian-ish thing. Very interesting. Then Kacey starts singing and after a few lines in comes Willie Nelson. Now we all know Willie’s recorded duets with everyone, including God Himself. Many of them are good, some are rather lame. This one is just wonderful. It’s a song Willie wrote in the 60’s and I don’t recall ever hearing it before. A google shows it was featured, a Willie original was, in an episode of the tv series “Lost”. Now how come this is so good, what makes it better than the average ol’ Willie duet? I think it could be a symbiotic, native-tribe type thing. See, Kacey was birthed in a little bitty East Texas name Alba. Willie drew his first breath in a stamp-sized East Texas town named Abbott. Willie has written some classic Country songs. If Kacey hasn’t written a classic or two already, she will before long. Now, about the song: We’ve had all of these how-happy-i-am-gettin’-drunk songs in the past couple of years. What’s missing, what used to be there in the mix of song lyrics traditionally, are the laments, the feeling-sorry-for-drinking songs. Used to be a lot of those on Country radio because that’s what real life is. Someone drinking hard is regularly questioning him/herself, why still be doing this? This is a special piece of music. Willie and her together are just great Country crooning.
I am one of the pioneers of the Hot Country format that swept across radio in the late 80's. In the early 80’s, I began advising his clients to make two significant formatting moves: 1) Increase the tempo. 2) Play more Currents. What seemed radical at the time, immediately producing ratings winners. My report about the formatting tactics I was using "Repositioning Country Radio" was published in ‘91. It was purchased by more than 200 radio programmers and served as a basic game plan for the Hot Country movement. Today, most radio markets have at least one station positioning itself as “Hot” Country. However, I no longer advise using the slogan anymore. As the format continues to evolve rapidly, new strategies are needed to maintain market share. First announcing job in '64; first PD position at age 18. I served as PD, air talent and station manager in twelve diverse markets prior to starting my consulting business in 1981. At the end of the 90's, I began transitioning from consulting to full-time business development of my music scheduling software company. Conceived and developed the first for the Macintosh computer, introduced in 1987; and Music1™, the first scheduler for Windows, introduced in 1994. The Mac-based scheduler was retired in the early 90s. The innovative Music 1 scheduler is now installed in broadcast and webcast stations around the world. Author of The Programming Operations Manual, radio's only step by step "how to" programming and formatting guide. The $99 book has been purchased by over 3000 broadcasters in the U. S. and around the world. I've often written about the technical, strategic and philosophical aspects of radio programing. My articles have appeared in all major trade publications. Experienced in all standard radio research methodologies; focus group, one-on-one interviews, questionnaires, call-out, etc. From jingles to TV production, billboard and bumper sticker design, telemarketing to direct mail, I've been involved in every aspect of radio programming and marketing. View all posts by SteveO