Hello to the month of April!! A blog appeared at the Tennessean web-site from an author named Peter Cooper today. This is 1 month to the day that a previous blog by Cindy Watts appeared in the Tennessean's web-site, too. The first link I've posted before while the second one, of course, is new. Also, the second link is a lot more in-depth but there's one error that I caught while skimming the article. The author states that "Ahab the Arab" was a Top-10 country hit in 1962. It was actually a Top-10 pop hit that year...if we get more technical it was a Top-5 pop hit but I generally don't split up the two halves of the Top-10 like that. If something reaches #10 through #2 I refer to it as a 'top-10 hit' but I know of some out there who get more technically specific than I do and refer to a Top-10 as anything from #10 to #6, etc.
Cindy Watts March 5, 2012
Peter Cooper April 5, 2012
In the second article there's a good amount of discussion about the overbearing nuisance that's political correctness (my words, not Cooper's). The very idea that music, in all forms, is not suppose to offend anybody is at the crux of why mainstream radio shuns the novelty song. In my point of view humor has always been subjective...not everyone has the same tastes and not everyone finds the same things humorous...when it comes to comedy, radio's become like a 200 ton obstacle...and when a comedy single doesn't get airplay/exposure how could a comedy recording become a hit on radio anyhow?
This is why the select few who still turn out comedy/novelty material on a fairly regular basis have turned to satellite radio and social media outlets. You can still reach a sizable audience with satellite radio and the social media outlets. As I see it, Ray Stevens reaches an even wider audience than your typical artist currently on the radio because of that on-line direction his career's been on for the last 5 or so years...but the argument isn't about his ability to reach audiences, it's about the perception of comedy music, and his goal of introducing a lot of the classics of the genre to newer audiences who may have never heard of those songs until now. As he's said in several interviews since he first mentioned the Encyclopedia back in 2010, he doesn't want these songs to fade away or become obscure bits of trivia.