And they did it without airplay:
The Dixie Chicks are on top of the pop and country charts with their first album since criticizing President Bush three years ago.
They did it without the support of country radio, which largely ignored them after singer Natalie Maines told a London audience in 2003 that the group was ashamed Bush was from their home state of Texas.
The new album, “Taking the Long Way,” took the No. 1 spot Wednesday on the country albums chart and the Billboard 200 overall chart–which are based on sales rather than radio airplay–with 526,000 units sold in a week.
So the Time ploy worked; their cover appearence generated some buzz:
Wade Jessen, director of Billboard’s country charts, said the strong sales figures may show that hard-core country fans are not as bothered by the controversy as many in the industry thought, or that the group is attracting a broader audience.
Anyone care to guess where that broader audience is coming from?
“There also might be a certain amount of support that may have been thrown their way by folks who are a little more liberal and that maybe never bought a country album in their lives but want to show their support,” he said.
It will be interesting to see if the sales hold up. If they do because they have attracted a fan niche, more power to them. Lots of artists make records without any airplay that sell simply because the music is well played, arranged and produced. Appealing to a “small following of really cool people who get it, who will grow with us as we grow and are fans for life” is what Martie Maguire wanted.
If they don’t hold up, I will suspect that it is because there is a benefactor with lots of money to prop up the sales, as well as liberals that wouldn’t touch country music with a 32-and-a-half foot long pole otherwise.