The music is important.

If you listen to our show at all, you know how important the music that we play on our radio station is to me. That's why an article on the Saving Country Music website interested me so much this morning.

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The article.

They were interviewing Eric Church about the music business. He said "I don't think you need to have radio now. I don't think that you have to have a label." He went on to criticize record labels for promoting acts that "Couldn't play their own high school". Kinda funny.

Couldn't agree more.

I've always said that it's a few people somewhere higher up the programming food chain who are deciding who is going to get which songs played. If this weren't true, our station would be playing more songs from acts like Zach Bryan, Cody Jinks, Tyler Childers, or Billy Strings. All of those acts are selling out concerts with no radio play from the likes of us. We're too busy playing "Fast Car" and "5 Foot 9" too much.

Back to Saving Country Music.

In this same article, They interviewed Garth Brooks. He said "I think that radio is a reflection of the label's agenda......and nobody is going to get played that doesn't have a major label deal" If that wasn't true, we'd already be playing a second song from Oliver Anthony. But he didn't have a major label deal, so that's not who gets their songs promoted. That's sad.

Back in the day.

I've been on country radio for more than 40 years, and I remember when we just used to pick whatever the best songs were and play them. No politics. No label manipulation. Just "Hey, that's a great song, let's play it."

The Top 40 Country Songs of 2023, Ranked

The best country songs of 2023 fit snug over your life and experiences. Each is written from personal experiences, but somehow, that translates as if it were custom to each of us. We've loved, we've longed, we've lost and we've cut loose in the country.

Airplay charts, sales data and streaming numbers helped make this list of country music's Top 40 songs of 2023, but staff and Taste of Country reader opinion were most influential. Songs included on previous Top Country Songs lists were not eligible. A song may have been released in 2022, but it had to have the majority of recorded airplay or impact this year to count.

Gallery Credit: Billy Dukes

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