WASHINGTON, DC – The promotional value of free radio airplay received yet another endorsement last night when some of country music's biggest stars were honored during The 42nd Annual CMA Awards on ABC.
"Country radio, thank you very much," said country music veteran George Strait in accepting a CMA for Single of the Year.
The award show's top vocal group, Rascal Flatts, also praised country radio in their acceptance speech.
"Thanks so much to country radio. And again all of our fans, again all of our fans, again all of our fans," said Rascal Flatts band member Gary LeVox in accepting the CMA.
The artists' testimonials for the promotional power of free radio airplay come at a time when the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), a trade group that represents the major record label conglomerates, is seeking legislation to charge America's hometown radio stations for playing music.
Commenting on the RIAA-led effort and the continued outpouring of praise from artists for the value of free radio airplay, NAB Executive Vice President Dennis Wharton said:
"George Strait and Rascal Flatts are just the latest in a long line of entertainers to salute the promotional value of local radio airplay. When RIAA comes begging on Capitol Hill next year for a performance tax earmark, we're hopeful that lawmakers will remember the words of these artists and resist a billion dollar bailout for foreign-owned record labels."
On numerous occasions, both record label executives and artists have recognized the promotional value of free radio airplay. Such statements include:
"I love a strong radio hit. All of us. That's what our job is, to have a radio hit. Without radio, we couldn't do what we do, but the job is to have a radio hit that sounds unique, and like you."
-- Jewel, Grammy-nominated recording artist, 'Nashville Star,' July 2008
"Alright, let's talk about the nuts and bolts. If you win 'Nashville Star', you have to get on 200 major market radio stations. You have to."
-- John Rich, Big and Rich, 'Nashville Star,' July 2008
"I have to thank... every DJ, every radio guy, every promotions guy, everybody who ever put up a poster for me and spread the word."
-- Alicia Keys, recording artist and Grammy winner, 2008 Grammy Awards, February 2008
"[R]adio remains the best way to get new music into the listeners' lives."
--Sony BMG Executive VP Butch Waugh as quoted in Radio & Records, January 11
"[R]adio is the conduit to the people, the voice of the format and the lifestyle's soundtrack."
--Sony BMG Nashville VP of Marketing Tom Baldrica, as quoted in Radio & Records, January 11
"Obviously, radio is probably the most important thing for a new rock band coming out. If you don't get yourself on the radio, then you won't draw bodies at the clubs and you won't sell records."
-- 'Another Animal' drummer Shannon Larkin, Drum Magazine, 2008
"Country radio, thank you so much for being our mouthpiece. You know what we do means nothing if it never gets played, and no one gets to hear it."
-- 'Rascal Flatts,' Vocal Group of the Year, Country Music Awards, 2007
"I can't even believe that this is real... I want to thank country radio. I'll never forget the chance you took on me."
-- Taylor Swift, Horizon Award (for best new artist), Country Music Awards, 2007
"I have yet to see the big reaction you want to see to a hit until it goes on the radio. I'm a big, big fan of radio."
-- Richard Palmese, Executive Vice President of Promotion, RCA, 2007
"Radio has proven itself time and time again to be the biggest vehicle to expose new music."
-- Ken Lane, Senior Vice President for Promotion, Island Def Jam Music Group, 2005
"It is clearly the number one way that we're getting our music exposed. Nothing else affects retail sales the way terrestrial radio does."
--Tom Biery, Senior Vice President for Promotion, Warner Bros. Records, 2005
"That's the most important thing for a label, getting your records played."
-- Eddie Daye, recording artist, 2003
"Radio helped me a lot. That's the audience. I can't see them, but I know they're there. I can't reach out and touch them with my hand, but I know they're there."
-- B.B. King, recording artist, 2002
"If a song's not on the radio, it'll never sell."
-- Mark Wright, Senior Vice President, MCA Records, 2001
"Air play is king. They play the record, it sells. If they don't, it's dead in the water."
-- Jim Mazza, President, Dreamcatcher Entertainment, 1999
"I am so grateful to radio. Their support has truly changed my life, and I hope they know how appreciative I am for that."
-- Jo Dee Messina, recording artist, 1999
The National Association of Broadcasters is a trade association that advocates on behalf of more than 8,300 free, local radio and television stations and also broadcast networks before Congress, the Federal Communications Commission and the Courts. Information about NAB can be found at www.nab.org.