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"Not Ready to Make Nice"

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April 18, 2006

Albany - The country trio has a new album out, but will it get air time?

"Just so you know, we're ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas." That's the statement Dixie Chicks lead singer, Natalie Maines made at a concert in London, March 2003.

B100.3 DJ Kurt Baker says, "They made the comments that they made and, of course, I was just like everyone else. I was outraged. Whether you agreed, or didn't agree with the President, that's not the time to do that."

The time was nine days before the conflict in Iraq began. President Bush had the backing of many Americans, and the Dixie Chicks quickly learned, they did not. Baker says, "Since this incident happened, I've actually received no requests for the Dixie Chicks."

Many country music stations boycotted the Dixie Chicks, fans threw out their records. But it went beyond that. The singers received death threats and had their property trashed. Those experiences are highlighted in their newest release, "Not Ready to Make Nice".

"How in the world can the words that I said, Send somebody so over the edge

That they'd write me a letter, Sayin' that I better shut up and sing Or my life will be over?"

Kurt Baker says B100 never refused to play the Chicks, but since listeners aren't requesting them, they aren't playing them. He says, "We're not going to discriminate against anybody based on their political views, no matter how abhorrent. If they're making good music and making good songs and people are buying them, then we'll play them. We're here to represent our listeners and we're going to play what they want to hear and that's our job."

And he says if fans want to hear the Dixie Chicks on the radio once again, then it's their job to ask for them.

The Dixie Chicks newest album, Taking the Long way, will be in stores May 23rd. To hear singles from the album before then, you'll have to request them. How do you feel about the Dixie Chicks? Let us know.

comments: karen.collier@walb.com