Last week's mail brought a wonderful Jewel Box Platinum award for Carrie Underwood from Arista Records, commemorating 14 million albums sold and 14 #1 singles.
Carrie, true to form, included a thank you note for radio's role in her exciting success story. You can't help but feel great for her!
In the same mailings of just the last couple days came music samplers from at least five women who would love to walk in her footsteps.
Kristen Kelly, Marlee Scott, Maggie Sajak, Jana Kramer and Candy Coburn are all Nashville newcomers who will be hoping for a slot on your playlist in the coming weeks.
They are all enthusiastic, talented, bright, beautiful young ladies and of course I wish them all well. The more hits, the better for radio!
At the same time, I hope they're ready for what an uphill battle it's going to be.
In 2011 A&O client national research averages tracked 82 songs which were tested for at least eight weeks. 25 different artists placed songs in this year’s top 1/3 (vs. 24 in 2010 and 21 in 2009). This is the most since 2005 when there were 26. So, the music lately has been very, very good as judged by our listeners.
There was a greater female presence among the currents we played this year in part because of male-female duets as well as mixed-gender acts. However the percent of female songs tested in the top 1/3 fell back from last year’s 9-year high (26.6%) to 20.7% this year which is just below the 13-year average of 23.6%.
Hopefully, 2012's new crop of women is coming with their very best songs as they compete for a small number of places on radio playlists.
Judging from last year, only one in four or five of country radio partisans' favorite songs ended up being by females, 75-80% were by males.
That's why Carrie's achievement is so impressive and why I hope the country distaff class of 2012 is prepared for the extremely daunting task ahead of them.
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