Since Taylor Swift departed the Country radio format for the greener ($) pastures of Pop and Adult Contemporary, she has had her Nashville buddies in for occasional collaborations. Most notably the hit song “Babe” with Sugarland.
Taylor’s new album, “Lover” came out in August (23rd) and immediately went to number one on Billboard. One track on the new album has people in radio groups online chatting about if it would be able to be played on Country radio. The 12th track of the album is called “Soon, You’ll Get Better.”
The lyrics appear to confirm rumors that the song is about Swift’s mother, Andrea, who is battling cancer. Swift opens the song by confessing that she was hiding her secret fears and putting on a brave face from the first time they had to visit the doctor’s office onward. Musically it even sounds more like traditional Taylor with acoustic guitar, some fiddle and even banjo. Plus, the backing vocals of non-other than the Dixie Chicks. USA Today says, “The band also contributes instrumentals to the song, giving it a Nashville feel in a way that we haven’t heard from Swift in quite some time, with Strayer playing banjo and Maguire chiming in on the fiddle.”
This seams like a no brainer at face value, it’s Country, it’s a great story song, it’s deeply personal, but has Country radio audiences gotten past the political indiscretions of the Dixie Chicks from 2003? Taste of Country did a very good job of explaining the history of how the Dixie Chicks were unceremoniously exited from Country radio.
So, sixteen years later and the question being asked, is if the country radio listeners are still too angry at the Dixie Chicks, for this emotional Taylor Swift song to get a crack at Country radio today?