Monday, April 07, 2008

Hard Work, Personal Contact - The Secret To Jewel's Country Radio Success

A&O's weekly AccuTest national average client research ranks "Stronger Woman" #19 with 21% of our client stations' listeners still unfamiliar with her song. Meanwhile, it appears that it will rank much higher in monitored radio airplay again this week, according to the trade charts.

Why the difference at a time when it seems radio can be slower than molasses on even tunes which test quite well with our client station listeners (for example, Brad Paisley's "I'm Still A Guy" ranks #6 and Jake Owen "Something About A Woman" is #14 in our national track of client listener research, which is running ahead of their monitored spin ranks, the more normal growth trajectory A&O seems to see and expect these days)?

Nashville Answer Man Neil Haislop found the possible reason: Jewel's personal outreach direct to radio programmers and listeners.

Image Have to admit, didn't know what to expect when I first sat down to talk to Jewel. After spending some time with this straight-talking, unpretentious star, who could've been every thing opposite, you get a better understanding of who she is, where she's coming from and where the music comes from.

So, it's not so surprising to hear from the label how she's handled her recent, intense radio tour. It's territory she's covered before...and it was tough enough the first time around in the 1990s she says.

“You know, all of my songs were so hard to get played on the radio. ‘Who Will Save Your Soul?’ just didn’t fit any format, and after a year of promoting it, alternative radio finally began playing it. It was just an uphill battle. ‘You Were Meant For Me’ was a simple shuffle at the time of the Spice Girls. And then ‘Hands’ talked about God on pop radio, which just was not done at that time,” recalls Jewel. “As a result of the struggles to be heard, I did more radio visits than most other pop artists. For me, it really took radio getting to know me and hearing me sing in person. I’ve often joked I went from living in a car homeless to living in a rental car and a bus traveling the country.”

1 comment:

George Briner said...

Jaye, Thank you for discussing Jewel. I do believe that we need to continue to find ways to get people to check out radio again, especially Country Radio. It’s been a long time since we have had so many great “singer/songwriters” (James Otto, Jewel, Brad Paisley, etc..) on Country radio. Probably the only format nowadays where people do listen to the lyrics.
I know that Jewel will not save the format, but many do believe she is bringing some new listeners to the format, plus Country Radio listeners are beginning to learn about Jewel.

George Briner
1219 16th Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37212
Direct: 615.324.7782
Mobile: 615.775.6648
Jewel . Jimmy Wayne . Justin Moore