By Caitlin Erramouspe | Reporter
There was a time on country radio that stations would play women back to back. You could hear Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire, Martina McBride and Faith Hill all within the hour. Now, you’ll be lucky if you hear one female in an hour.
Since the dawn of “bro-country” females have been forced to take the back seat while over-produced songs about trucks, women’s bodies and alcohol took the driver’s seat.
There have been exceptions, Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert have been in the spotlight as the queens of current country. But for female newcomers, their songs are not getting the airtime they deserve.
The 53rd Annual Country Music Association Awards in 2019 were dedicated to women in country, and yet the charts haven’t seen any change. On the Billboard Hot Country Songs this week there are only three songs by women out of the top 20.
The initiative to get women on country radio has been driven by different accounts on Twitter. Accounts such as WOMAN Nashville, Women of Country and journalist Marissa Moss have been advocates for female artists in Nashville.
Many artists such as Maren Morris, Mickey Guyton, Cam and Rissi Palmer have been vocal about the inequality on the airwaves for women and people of color. iHeartMedia has dedicated an hour on Saturdays with radio personality Amy Brown to listen to female artists exclusively.
Women not being played on country radio has also led to them not being awarded accolades that have been well deserved. Underwood should have won the 2019 Entertainer of The Year at the CMA Awards, but Garth Brooks won for the third time in the previous four years.
Men in country radio have also recognized the lack of women on the radio. Brad Paisley dedicated his new song “Off Road” to female country artists, like Underwood, who have paved the road for future female artists.
Women deserve to be on the airwaves and listeners want to hear them. Their stories are just as important as the men of country. By playing women equally as much as men, it would allow the next generation of female country artists to pave the way.