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Stickin' With The Dixie Chicks

Sunday, July 25, 2004
Stickin' With The Dixie Chicks
Anti-Fascism Files
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Stickin' With The Dixie Chicks
By Mike Hersh
Mar 16, 2003

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Dixie Chicks' Lead singer Natalie
Maines is no stranger to controversy

Natalie Maines sang out against spousal abuse on the award winning song "Good-bye Earl." However, she isn't winning any awards for brave comments she made during a concert in London, England. Now she's getting the abuse after expressing the feelings of many of her fellow Texans. Maines told a concert audience she is "ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas." Perhaps predictably, retribution followed swiftly. See: various news reports such as "Bush backers smash Dixie Chicks disks."

Asked to explain her remarks, Maines said: "We've been overseas for several weeks and have been reading and following the news accounts of our governments' position. The anti-American sentiment that has unfolded here is astounding. While we support our troops, there is nothing more frightening than the notion of going to war with Iraq and the prospect of all the innocent lives that will be lost." Sadly this frank expression of concern for our troops and innocent lives elicited an irrational nasty reaction.

Maines spoke for millions of Americans and people all around the world: "I feel the President is ignoring the opinions of many in the U.S. and alienating the rest of the world. My comments were made in frustration and one of the privileges of being an American is you are free to voice your own point of view." See From the Dixie Chicks with respect to statements being reported in the British media, 3/12/2003.

It's difficult to imagine anyone disagreeing with these sentiments: "As a concerned American citizen, I apologize to President Bush because my remark was disrespectful. I feel that whoever holds that office should be treated with the utmost respect. We are currently in Europe and witnessing a huge anti-American sentiment as a result of the perceived rush to war. While war may remain a viable option, as a mother, I just want to see every possible alternative exhausted before children and American soldiers' lives are lost. I love my country. I am a proud American." See Statement from Natalie Maines, 3/14/03.

Shockingly those who refuse to respect freedom of speech only increased their onslaught, despite Maines' contrition. Various groups and individuals continue pressuring radio stations and others to blacklist the Dixies. Small-minded enemies of free speech pulled the Dixie Chicks' songs from the air and vowed to boycott their music.

"Mediabase 24/7, an airplay monitoring firm, confirms that the remarks made by Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks have had a negative impact on radio airplay. Overall, the Dixie Chicks' airplay in the top 140 U.S. markets declined 20 percent over the seven day period after her remarks, as compared to the seven day period prior to her remarks." See:Mediabase 24/7 Tracks Dixie Chicks Airplay, 3/18/03.

Others who have spoken out face harassment and worse. We should reward Natalie Maines' courage. Unless we rise to this challenge and defy this attempt to bully the Dixie Chicks into silence, others may fear to speak out. It's time to stand up for freedom and everything America stands for by stickin' with the Dixie Chicks.

Support the Dixie Chicks and Freedom. Oppose the growing campaign
to censor and punish the Dixie Chicks. Contact the corporations involved.

It's incredible how quickly fair weather fans and radio stations turned on Natalie Maines and her bandmates when she exercised her right to free speech. The talented trio -- sisters Emily Erwin on banjo and Martie Seidel on fiddle, along with vocalist Maines -- sold several million CDs and garnered an incredible number of awards in just a few years.





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Buy the Dixie Chicks' second CD "Fly".





Their first two albums each sold more than 10 million. Their latest release "Home" in quickly sold more than five million. Their concerts have been equally popular, as their 2000 "Fly" tour grossed more than $47 million.

They won several Grammy Awards previously, and this year, they added awards for best Country Album and best Country Performance by a Duo/Group with Vocals for their song "Long Time Gone." They were nominated in four categories: Album Of The Year, Best Country Album, Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocal, and Best Country Instrumental.

Support free speech!
Buy Dixie Chicks Videos and CDs


The Dixie Chicks won Grammy Awards for Best Country Album for "Wide Open Spaces," and Best Country Vocal, Performance Duo/ Group. The Academy of Country Music gave them awards for Album of the Year "Wide Open Spaces," Top Vocal Duet/Group, and Top New Vocal Duet or Group. They also won the Canadian Country Music awards for Top Selling Country Album "Wide Open Spaces," The British Country Music Awards' International Rising Star, and three Billboard Music Awards: Country Artist of the Year, Best Country Group/Duo, and Best Country Album, all in 1999.

The next year, the Dixies won Grammy Awards for Best Country Album for "Fly" and Best Country Performance by a Duo of Group with Vocal for the song "Ready to Run." This along with several honors from the Academy of Country Music Awards, the Blockbuster Awards, and the Billboard Music Awards. In 2001 they added awards for Favorite Country Group from both the American Music Awards and the Blockbuster Awards. They also won the ACM Awards' Entertainer of the Year, Vocal Group of the Year, Video of the Year (for "Goodbye Earl") and the TNN and CMT Country Weekly Music Awards for Group/Duo of the Year.


Buy the latest Dixie Chicks' CD Home




Buy the Dixie Chicks' debut "Wide Open Spaces".




Even so, radio stations decided to pull their songs from the airwaves. You can help reverse the decision to ban the Dixie Chicks by calling, emailing or mailing your protests to: Lisa Dollinger, the Senior Vice President for Marketing and Communications: 210-822-2828 / lisadollinger@clearchannel.com

Lisa Dollinger
Marketing and Communications Dept.
Clear Channel Radio
200 East Basse Road
San Antonio, TX 78209

Here's the email I sent:

Dear Ms. Dollinger

I am aware that you are getting deluged with complaints about the comments made by Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks. Of course you are entitled to do your job any way you see fit. However, I think she is correct. Even if I didn't agree with her, I'd still urge you to rethink the decision to take the Dixie Chicks off the air.

I also think it's wrong to retaliate against an artist for expressing honest concerns. In light of her gracious and unnecessary apology, I think it sends the wrong message to the American people and the rest of the world. We don't want to think that free speech is an endangered species in the USA.

Thanks for your consideration!

Mike Hersh

Lipton Tea (Owned by PepsiCo.) sponsors the Dixie Chick's concert tour. Let them know you'll boycott them if they capitulate to efforts aimed at curtailing the Dixie Chicks' free speech. Call: 1-800-697-9887 and write: letters.liptontusa@unilever.com and david.dececco@pepsi.com.


Here's the email I sent:

Dear Mr. Dececco

I am aware that you are getting deluged with complaints about the comments made by Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks. Of course you are entitled to do your job any way you see fit. However, I think she is correct. Even if I didn't agree with her, I'd still urge you support free speech by continuing your sponsorship of the Dixie Chicks' tour.

I think it's wrong to retaliate against an artist for expressing honest concerns. In light of her gracious and unnecessary apology, I think it sends the wrong message to the American people and the rest of the world. We don't want to think that free speech is an endangered species in the USA.

Thanks for your consideration!

Mike Hersh

Contact the Dixie Chicks to express your support through their record company's website: http://www.sonymusic.net/sony/feedback.cgi, send email to Columbia Records: feedback@columbiarecords.com or regular mail to:

Dixie Chicks c/o Columbia Records
Sony Music Entertainment Inc.
555 Madison Avenue
New York, New York 10022-3211

Wear your support on your sleeve: Buy Dixie Chicks shirts, posters and other items. Buy or win tickets to their Top of the World Tour. Visit their fan site, and express your support for the Dixie Chicks, their freedom of speech, and our freedom to dissent against reckless war: http://dixiechicks.launch.yahoo.com/fans.asp.

Join Dixie Chicks fan clubs at: http://dixiechicks.launch.yahoo.com/ (official site) and their fan site: http://www.dixiechicksfans.com/. Read news stories about the Dixie Chicks at about them including their successful career and attempts to punish and censor them.

Note: I received an email from someone who started a Dixie Chicks FAQ site, but then became angry with his former favorite band. To see his site, click here: The Dixie Chicks Frequently Asked Questions Page, http://www.DixieChicksFAQ.com.


© Copyright 2002, 2003, 2004 by MikeHersh.com

MikeHersh.com invites you to reproduce, reprint or broadcast any material at this site, provided you identify the source as MikeHersh.com. All Internet and email summaries, excerpts or other written reproductions must include this blurb and a link to http://www.MikeHersh.com.
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