Disney has had a fantastic week of country music. The CMA Awards were this past Wednesday and went viral after Chris Stapleton, an artist country radio has ignored since he actually plays country music (I'll explain later), swept 3 categories and performed an 8 minute set with Justin Timberlake, stealing the show. It was a pretty good show, which is coming from someone who sees this award show as their Super Bowl but still sidelined women.
Women have had a rough go at it in country music as of late. Unless your name is Carrie Underwood or Miranda Lambert, the radio will not play you. That is, unless, Bobby Bones (a nationally syndicated morning radio show) plays your song and gives his approval (Ex: Jana Kramer and Cam). Everyone else is screwed, and that seems to be happening with the CMAs this year, too. The two new female acts, Maddie & Tae and Kelsea Ballerini, only received 90 second performances leading into commercials, and Miranda Lambert won Female Vocalist of the Year for the 6th year in a row, when there are a LOT of women who also deserve the honor.
All of this brings us to Radio Disney Country, the new radio station streaming online and on Sirius XM. It premiered on Wednesday morning, adding into the CMA fun. Now, don't get confused. This hasn't replaced the original Radio Disney station, as that still broadcasts too (AM 1380 for my fellow Tampanians!) this is just an additional channel into the Radio Disney portfolio.
I was apprehensive at first, knowing that Radio Disney's idea of country, in the past, has been taking Taylor Swift ballads and turning them into EDM dance mixes. However, I've been listening for the past 3 days and I am thoroughly impressed!
The songs they have played include the things that radio has made us believe is country (Sam Hunt, you aren't country. At all. Go to pop radio. kthxbai.), which I will never care for, but I understand their presence, since not every one has accurate country music tastes *flips hair*. That being said their selection is pretty great, thus far!
Here's one example of a series of songs I heard:
- Sam Hunt's "Take Your Time" (#Woof)
- Ashley Campbell's "Remembering" (A heart-breakingly beautiful song in honor of her father Glen Campbell, who is currently experiencing Alzheimer's.)
- Maddie & Tae's "Shut Up and Fish" (A kick-butt, feminist, hilarious up-beat tune)
- Dan+Shay's "Nothin' Like You" (#Woof)
- Big & Rich's "Run Away With You" (A duo I absolutely didn't expect to hear on Radio Disney Country, but am so happy they're included!)
- Lindsey Ell's "By The Way" (MORE WOMEN! YEAH! Her song "Trippin' On Us" was one of my faves of last year!)
- Kelsea Ballerini's "XO" (Her best off of her debut album, even though it's not really country...)
It was an impressive mix of slow and fast, women and men, classic country and pop-country. Truly, no sarcasm meant, it's the best and most varied country radio station out there. I have to come to terms with hearing songs I find awful and an embarrassment to the genre (Looking at you, Thomas Rhett), but being able to also hear Ashley Campbell's stunning mid-tempo ballad, some classic Swift and Underwood, and some fun Maddie & Tae tunes...all of which normal country stations don't play, is thrilling for this country die hard. And, when the promotional photos include Kacey Musgraves on top of everything, I know that I'll be a listener for life.
If you have a moment, head on over to RadioDisneyCountry.com to stream the new station and enjoy all the country greatness. Y'all let me know whatchya think!