ADMIT IT, you love country music campaign

Thursday, May 10th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

If you tuned in to Wednesday's Academy of Country Music Awards, you're probably proud to be a little bit country. But some folks in Nashville are saying there are too many "closet" country fans.

KOTV's Tami Marler says there are plans to bring them out. Just about anywhere you turn on the radio dial; you'll run into a country station. So why are some in the country music industry calling listeners out of hiding? If this is what you picture when you think of country music, you have a lot to learn. Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys helped to build the foundation, but they're not the image of today's country.

Jerry McCracken with Cox Radio, "If you've never listened to country music I'm sure that you think it's all fiddle and steel guitar and you know, belt buckles this big." Jerry McCracken says artists like Garth Brooks helped to introduce country music to a larger audience than ever before. "You know, most people who listen to the radio, you can't avoid hearing country music now, because you're gonna hear Faith Hill, Leanne Womack, Leann Rimes. You're going to hear all of these country artists." And you may not even realize you're listening to country. Ray Webb has been in radio for about twenty years. He's also raising three teenagers, who really can't be labeled country or rock and roll.

Webb works at KWEN Radio, "So, you know it might be a Creed CD and it might be a Tim McGraw CD right next to it in their CD case. And I think a lot of young people today are like that." So why is the Country Music Association kicking off a new campaign to make listeners proud to be country? They'll be using hip artists to tell listeners "Admit it. You love it." They say it's because recent research shows many are reluctant to admit they listen to country music. The folks at K95 FM disagree. "People are proud to like country music. I think country music is real music for real people." McCracken, "Country music is still stronger than it was 20 years ago, so I don't think anybody needs to worry about country."

Be watching for billboards, and other media touting the "coolness" of country. The CMA campaign kicks off later this year.