Dixie Chicks Stay Out of Dixie

The Dixie Chicks may have a top selling album, but they still aren’t very welcome in Dixie. Reuters reports that, “Facing lackluster ticket sales in many U.S. cities where radio stations had banned their music to protest the band’s anti-Bush remarks, the Chicks’ promoters have revised their tour with new stops in Australia and Canada.” In summarizing the controversy, Reuters writes:

Lead singer Natalie Maines sparked an uproar in March 2003 when she declared during a London concert that the band was “ashamed” to come from the same state — Texas — as Bush.She later said she was sorry for “disrespecting the office of the president” but fanned flames anew when she retracted her apology in a Time magazine interview this year, saying: “I don’t feel he is owed any respect whatsoever.”

Previous stories on the Dixie Chicks under the fold.

Dixie Chicks Won’t Back Down

Posted by Ron Chusid
May 21st, 2006 @ 9:28 am

Dixie Chicks

Time reports on how politics has impacted the Dixie Chicks:

Now that she’s truly notorious, having told a London audience in 2003, on the eve of the Iraq war, “Just so you know, we’re ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas,” Maines has one regret: the apology she offered George W. Bush at the onset of her infamy. “I apologized for disrespecting the office of the President,” says Maines. “But I don’t feel that way anymore. I don’t feel he is owed any respect whatsoever.”

Even though this has cost them album sales, they will not back down:

The celebrity playbook for navigating a scandal is one word long: repent. But apologies are for lapses of character, not revelations of it, and sensing that they were being asked to apologize for their beliefs as much as their timing, the Chicks decided not to back down. “Natalie knows we could have totally convinced her to apologize,” says Maguire. “But the fact is, any one of us could have said what she said.”

Dixie Chicks Recovering From Controversy

Posted by Ron Chusid
June 17th, 2006 @ 10:24 am

Dixie Chicks

Not being a fan of country music my only contact with The Dixie Chicks had been to copy songs from a CD to my daugher’s MP3 player for her. While I make exceptions, I’m also closer to the Murphey Brown school of music in not listening to much done after 1969. Still, I felt sorry for the trouble they went through for saying the truth:

When Maines made her comment on March 10 2003, 10 days before Operation Iraqi Freedom unleashed “shock and awe” over Baghdad, the Dixie Chicks were probably the biggest act in country music. Yet within days, their music vanished from the charts and the airwaves, apoplectic rednecks crushed piles of their CDs with tractors, and the FBI was feverishly monitoring death threats against the trio. It was the most heinous pop-star outrage since Ozzy Osbourne urinated on the Alamo.

“The reaction was as if Natalie had said ‘Death to the President’ or something,” says violinist and vocalist Maguire.

“It was the bullying and the scare factor,” shudders banjo and guitar player Robison. “It was like the McCarthy days, and it was almost like the country was unrecognisable.”

The level of debate can be gauged from the way Maines was compared to “Hanoi Jane” Fonda, who was photographed manning a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun at the height of the Vietnam war.

While I still have no interest personally in listening, I’m glad that others have resumed purchasing their work:

Early concerns about the premature demise of the Chicks’ career subsided when the furiously unapologetic single Not Ready to Make Nice became the most downloaded track on iTunes, despite a lack of radio airplay. Then the album went to number one on the Billboard 200 after selling half a million copies in the week after its release in America last month. It looks set to be their first UK top 10 album this Sunday.

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