CityBeat’s Living Out Loud – Cincinnati Blog

{January 17, 2007}   Country Station B105 Won’t Listen to Local Liberals


If you’re a country music fan in Cincinnati, you can get your Alan Jackson, Toby Keith, Reba or George Strait fix just about anytime – but if you want to hear new Dixie Chicks music, don’t bother to call them. They won’t listen to liberals.

I wrote about this in a column last June as to why the Chicks have been banned from B105. What I didn’t say in the story is that nobody at B105 really wanted to talk to me.

To his credit, Music Director Duke Hamilton did call back but didn’t want to comment all that much. He stated that Marty Thompson, the Program Director, needed to make the official comment.

After several phone calls to Thompson that went unanswered, I went ahead and wrote the story and turned it into my editor at CityBeat, after which Thompson finally called back.

When I told him the story had already gone to press, he seemed a bit panicked. To make a long story short, my editor let me do some last minute changing on the piece with Thompson’s comments thrown in.

That was last June. Today, Thompson still insists that there is no ban on Dixie Chicks music. Oh, but there is.

I call their request line every so often asking them to play “The Long Way Around” by the Chicks. Not on their play list, one guy said. I had another DJ say “Sure, we’ll get it on you.” It never happened.  I think they have come to know my voice. One of their people actually hung up on me.

I’ve had some of my friends call too to try and get them to realize that some of us liberals like country music and would like to hear the Dixie Chicks. B105 could care less. Bottom line: You need to be a Bush supporter in order to get B105 to listen to you.

Here’s a live version of “The Long Way Around” by the Chicks. Remember this is live. Yes, they are that good.

Larry Gross

(Photo of Dixie Chicks: Mark Seilger)


Matt says:

I like some country music but not the shit that B105 plays – and of course they are not going to play Dixie Chicks music. B105 caters to “love it or leave it” conservative folks who think the Chicks are unamerican because of what they said about Bush.

p.s. The Long Way Around is a great CD

Polly says:

This is a GREAT video, good way to start the day.

I don’t listen to B105. No reason for me to start now.

Nick says:

I’m a liberal who happens to like Country Music. Sue me.

In your original column, Thompson says that he took a poll with his listeners asking them if they wanted B105 to pay new Dixie Chicks music. Thompson says 4 to 1, listeners didn’t want to hear them.

When this is “poll” take place? I listen all the time and I don’t remember this at all. I think he’s making it up to let himself off the hook.

Jim Stanton says:

I don’t care for country music but have always enjoyed the Dixie Chicks. They have so much talent. What a shame that the folks at B105 are too uptight to play their music, but you have to remember that B105 is in good old Cincinnati.

Tim says:

What do you think B105 can do? As you more or less say in your article, they have to listen to their audience and their audience is mostly conservative.

Country music is mostly conservative too – look at this Toby Keith person. The Chicks are way too cool for country these days and too far out there, too outspoken. Nothing wrong with that, but the country music people don’t like it.

Dana says:

Country music, not only in this town but everywhere, is mostly listened to by uptight conservative people. If you’re liberal, you’re not going to fit in and the chicks are as liveral and as out spoken as they come.

wayne says:

country music sucks and so do the dixie chicks.

Mike says:

The Dixie Chicks new CD is simply great. I don’t think they need the uptight country music crowd anymore. They’re pass it.

Jacob says:

Great looking girls who know how to pick and sing and that’s what they should be doing instead of giving their opinions on the war effort. I find people in the music business who like to listen to themselves talk pretty boring. Stick to singing, and shut up about things you know nothing about.

Marilyn says:

Jacob, since when do entertainers have to sign a document stating they can have no opinion on world events?

And how do you KNOW that the Dixie Chicks are ignorant of such world affairs?

Just curious…

C.A. MacConnell says:

I’ve really tried and tried. And tried. I like the Hank Williamses and Johnny Cashes, but it ends there. Wait, I used to sing along to John Denver in my bed as a kid, and my brother would yell at me to shut up. Does that count?

Babble On says:

For the record, I think John Denver is GREAT.

Brian says:

I love how Gross gets on a subject and pounds it into the ground. He’s already written about this once, already made his points — why is he doing it again?

Gus_Johnson says:

As in every genre of music, for every creative, emotional and well played musician there is somebody less skilled that is willing to be produced, controlled, and creatively stifled for the sake of fame and fortune. Pop music is usually crap. Sometimes musicians gain pop status because they really are good and can’t be denied. This is rare. The current mainstream country music is just pop music with twang. Overproduced with shiny packaging, it sells. I think the Dixie Chicks are better for not really caring whether stations like B105 give them any attention. History will judge them better for being ahead of the curve, and standing their ground. Where would we be if musicians, writers, artists and other creative types silenced themselves because their views aren’t popular? Do music a favor and stop listening to Clear Channel stations (B105) Get a music player and listen to the music you enjoy. If you really like an artist, support them by buying a t-shirt, they make more $$’s off merchandise than cd’s anyway. Take music back!

Jack says:

Right on, Gus. You got it exactly right.

hard as nails says:

the chicks should shut and sing, eh jacob? you seem to have an opinion, how come you can state yours?

i think you’re an accountant.

shut up and press the keys on that calculator.

Kevin says:

As far as I’m concerned, Clear Channel is evil. I buy my music and listen to what I want to — like The Dixie Chicks.

Mark says:

Real country music died when Hank Williams did.

Tommy says:

I remember back in the good old days when radio stations were independently owned and operated. Now big companies own them and they dicate what you’re suppose to listen to. Anything with the name of Clear Channel on it can’t be a good thing.

Chuck says:

I did away with Clear Channel years ago. I don’t even go to Riverbend.

Biscuit says:

I’ve never been a big fan of country other than Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash, but I did hear a country song a long time ago that I loved it was called “Get Your Tongue Out Of My Mouth, I’m Kissing You Goodbye”

Marilyn says:

I don’t listen to country at all anymore. But there was one line that I found freaking hilarious: “she never cried when old Yeller died”

Now, that’s cold!

Rollin' says:

Here’s a country song title for ya……….the bridge washed out, I can’t swim and my baby’s on the other side.

hard as nails says:

i got tears in my ears from lying on my back in my bed while i cry over you.

kate says:

i think when it comes to entertainers, i just want to be entertained. i don’t what to hear political views or their opinions on the world. sorry, but shut up and sign is all right with me.

Man of the Hour says:

An old Roy Clark song comes to mind –“Thank God & Greyhound You’re Gone.”

Barney says:

I don’t give a damn what the chicks say. They sing good and look great. Screw B105.


The Chicks aren’t the only “country” artist to ever get the shaft from commercial radio. It has happened to just about every country singer that was ever ahead of the curve–Loretta Lynn won the grammy for Van Lear Rose, but did you hear it on the radio? not too awful dang much. She even commented to that affect in her acceptance speech. Willie Nelson’s “Stardust” was a record he was told he shouldn’t make–radio wouldn’t want it. Willie Nelson! Loretta Lynn! I think the DCs are very talented. But they are also in a business. And in business, you have to know who your customer is. Unfortunately, the average country “customer” is pretty fer over to the right politically. P&G doesn’t try to sell tampons to men. Dig? Is it fair? Not really. But it is what it is. Fortunately, commercial radio is not the only place people hear music anymore, so actually, this situation probably isn’t too bad for the DCs.

Maria says:

I very much agree with Gus. Creative people need to be just that and not kept in some kind of box. Also, this is a free country and each of us can say whatever we want to say. How dare Clear Channel try to decide what good for us.

Kristina says:

Wanted you to know your video of this wonderful song is helping me through a bad day in the office. Perfect timing so to speak.

Dan says:


When was the last time you heard George Jones on country radio?

Theresa says:

this situation probably isn’t too bad for the DCs.

No, I don’t really feel bad for them. I mean the CD sold millions of copies and they are up for a bunch of awards for it but it makes me mad that country radio won’t play them. Don’t the stations what to please their customers? I’m a customer and I would like to hear them.


never. what is your point in posing that question?


my post above was in response to dan.

Theresa– yeah, it sucks they won’t play them, and yes, you are their customer–but, i would hazard the guess that you are not exemplary of the *majority* of their customers–majority in commercial radio (read: lowest common denominator) rules.

Dan says:

My point is country music is not country music anymore. It’s too slick, almost like pop music.

When you heard George Jones on the radio, you knew who it was. The same goes for Loretta and Willie and Merle. These days, the singers and songs all sound a like.

If I had my wish, I wish there was one country music station in town that played REAL country.

Matt says:

The above is really a great clip but there is another one on YouTube with the chicks singing “Everybody Knows” from the new CD. I got hooked. Watched it like four times.

Polo Stick says:

Natilie has a big mouth and doesn’t know when you shut up. That’s the real deal. Stop Complaining. You like their hillbilly music so much, go buy the fucking album.

Tim Graves says:

Freedom of speech. It’s a wonderful thing.

God bless the Dixie Chicks.

Ron says:

I love how Gross gets on a subject and pounds it into the ground.

I wanted to make a comment on this comment early on but got too busy at work.

If you don’t “pound” away at issues and problems here in this town, the issues and problems never get addressed. At least someone is voicing an opinion about something instead of looking the other way.

Yes, B105 not playing Dixie Chicks music is minor or is it? Why does Clear Channel want to control what we in Cincinnati listen to? Are we sheep?

Those outdated skywalk signs, all the restaurants closings downtown – where else are you going to find out about them? In Cin Weekly?

If Jean had her way Gross would move. To him, I say pound away. You’re getting some of us to notice.

hard as nails says:

I say pound away

words from the lol girl (sorry, just too much time on my hands today)

Roger says:

Whatever, whatever, whatever.

Which one is the hottest? I like the one with the dark hair and funny eyes.

I wonder if Jacob would have said “shut up and sing” if we were talking about Toby Keith.

Gus is right on the money.

The media consolidation problem that has produced monsters like Clear Channel is huge, and it goes way beyond controlling the music we listen to.

In January 2002, a train accident in North Dakota erupted in a cloud of toxic fertilizer gasses. When officials tried to use the radio stations to send an emergency warning to the nearby town of Minot, they were unable to reach a single human being at any of the SIX local radio stations because all of them had been bought by Clear Channel and were being operated remotely in order to cut costs.

Now Clear Channel is trying to put an end to liberal talk radio by simply cancelling all the shows that are hosted through their stations.

The general population is under the dangerous assumption the “the media” is some sort of self-regulating entity; that if something is true and important, we’ll eventually find out about it because someone in the media will report it. (Much like Adam Smith’s fictional “invisible hand” that magically regulates the economy)

The fact is that the media is owned by individuals and corporations who will decide what news to report and what music to play based on what is in their own best interest. This is fine, so long as there is enough variation in who is calling the shots. But today, more and more each day, our television, newspaper, print and radio outlets are all owned by the same few mega-corporations, the executives of which are so far removed from the reality of the average American, that they could not possibly direct programming that would be beneficial to us, even if they wanted to, which they don’t.

The internet is the last refuge for freedom of thought, freedom of reporting, and freedom of expression. (example: ( With this in mind, I urge everyone to fight internet censorship in every form it is suggested. If it wasn’t for the internet, we still would not know about the Abu Ghraib prison abuses, and for the Jacobs of the world, it is probably best that we don’t know about these things, and just trust our leaders to do what is right with no oversight whatsoever.

Oops, my example failed to linkify

Hopefully that works

Karen says:


I was beginning to wonder if you were going to get in on this one. Great comment and right on the money.

Jeff- or-ly says:

HEY!!!!! i LIKE toby!!!!!!!!

Beaver Head says:

Anyone ever notice that Clear Channel is a MAJOR ADVERTISER in CityBeat?

Marilyn says:

Heather, “linkify” — cool word!

Everything Heather said is right on the money. I keep trying to tell my mother this… she is convinced the media is “liberal”. I continue to try and peel away her layers so that she will hopefully see that the media is controlled by folks with only their own interests at heart (much of which is money, of course), which is not liberal in the least!

Jackie says:


You have been too silent lately. When are you going to write another story?

Polly says:

Heather is so good when she writes.

I never thought much about Clear Channel. That has changed.

Charlie Tuna says:

I seldom listen to the radio. I buy the music I want to listen to. No one tells me what I can hear and what I can’t hear.

Basically what I’m saying is what is a Clear Channel? People need to decide if they need the business suits. I don’t.

dick says:

Which one is the hottest? I like the one with the dark hair and funny eyes.

She’s all right. I like the blonde with the guitar. Has a little meat on her.

Mary says:

I enjoyed the comments today and enjoyed the video. I’m turning off the computer now and putting “Fly” on my CD player, my favorite Chicks CD.

Jeff- or-ly says:


Brian Ciesko says:

Commercial radio is a wasteland I abandoned a LONNNG time ago so who the hell cares what they play/don’t play. I’m not interested in being another mindless sheep wolfing down whatever I’m fed by Clear Channel. And it’s just naive to think of them being the public airwaves, that’s never really been the case. It’s all about how much money the corporate hogs can shovel into their insatiable mouths. And the eating metaphor is appropriate when all we’re talking about is consuming another product; the DCs are musical artists, and I hate country music but this song is cool and beautiful. It’s not shiny lifeless robotic crap a la T.Keith, et al.
Satellite radio is the future of broadcasting, people, so get on that ride if you have to listen to someone else’s programming. Me, I find what I like and cut out all the middlemen, Well, ‘cept for places like ShakeIt….

Heather says:

The problem with satelite radio, like cable tv, is that you have to pay for it.

Since radio is also a medium of news and information, good radio should not be reserved for those who can buy it.

Matt says:

I think Jeff is hitting the bottle again.

Jackie says:

Clear Channel is a corporate hog. The people need to take the music back – in total agreement.

Tinker Bell says:

I don’t like country music much but after reading here yesterday and watching the youtube clip, I went to that site and watched other Chick videos. Went out today and got the CD.

It’s really, really, good and not all that country.

Thanks LOL blog for turning me on to it.

jan says:

the video was super nice 🙂

Martha says:

After reading all these comments about Clear Channel, my eyes have been opened. I’m going to start bringing my own music to work and not listen to them anymore.

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