Shut Up and Sing
99.5 the Bear continues to play Dixie Chicks to this very day. We never dropped them from our rotations. This was purely out of respect to the Maines family who I only knew professionally through the Maines Brothers Band, and my relationship with Jerry Brownlow who worked here at the Bear and is the nicest guy you'll ever meet. I felt like dropping the Chicks would be much like dropping a family member which was something I could not bring myself to do, no matter what anyone said at the time. Yes, there was much negativity, lots of opinions, but you know there is always a silent majority that sometimes is hard to see and hear. Sometimes it takes time. Things really heated up prior to "Shut Up and Sing" being released (the Dixie Chicks Movie/Documentary). Funny, that year 99.5 the Bear beat KLLL in Arbitron ratings for the first time ever. No country station had ever taken them down till then. KLLL didn't play the Dixie Chicks at all. They avoided all the negativity by doing "what their listeners told them to do."
One wonders, how does a radio station become the number One Country station in the hometown of Natalie Maines while playing the Dixie Chicks on the air? Well, I am not sure.. but I can tell you this. When we ran "Shut Up and Sing" at Movies 16 there was a full house and folks seemed to love it. A far cry from the bulldozing and burning of CD's...plus, I landed a very small roll in the movie. Does this truly mean that "Time Heals Everything?"