Jamey Johnson has been the talk of the country music this weekend, after he unleashed hell on a group of country radio DJs in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Headlining the Bourbon Theater’s Lincoln On The Streets concert with Blackberry Smoke and Ella Langley, Jamey took exception to a group of radio DJs from KX96.9 coming on stage between sets to hype up the crowd, chat up their station, and introduce the next act.
It’s pretty common to see local radio on stage at a concert, whether it’s a festival, venue concert or street fest type of environment. In fact, local country radio works usually works in tandem with local promoters and venues to do ticket giveaways, exclusive shows, meet and greets and more.
Nevertheless, Jamey Johnson wasn’t having it and went off on them when he finally got on stage:
“There was a radio station that came out on this stage uninvited to run a little pep rally before I came out. I feel like I oughta tell you, I don’t really care what radio station you listen to in the morning, they’re all good.
They’re all good, that one ain’t no better than any of the other ones. And the thing is, none of them play my music, so why should they be up on my stage talking to you?”
“I thought we had a good deal worked out. Y’all don’t play my music, and I don’t play yours, so stay the fuck off my stage.
‘Kix’ whatever the fuck your name is… who gives a shit…”
He was fired up, to say the least..
Afterwards, a number of the DJs from KX96.9 took to Twitter to defend themselves, as well as to express their utter disbelief at what just happened.
what’s funny @jamey_johnson is that you have in fact graced our signal and I personally played it heavily during my nebraska nights live show so that was pretty fucked up but hey whatever right? I used to respect you. Shouldn’t be surprised though. Have a great set.
We were invited there by our partner The Bourbon Theatre and Wanted to be there because we like the music that was to be played that night including Jamey Johnson. We were nothing but complimentary to Jamey and BlackBerry Smoke & Ella Langley and will continue to promote them
For the record. I don’t give a shit what @jamey_johnson had to say about us. I like his music. He has an image to keep up and if mocking us helped him out then cool, I’ll play my part. Only gripe I have he didn’t play mowin’ down the roses or lonesome song.
Saving Country Music, who initially reported on the incident, followed up with the station’s content creator, Rob Kelley, of Alpha Media.
Rob says the station was working in partnership with the promoter to get people out to the show, and that “management cleared” the decision to put the morning show on stage.
He also defended the station, arguing that they play more than just mainstream country music:
“They were personally hurt more than anything else, because they’re all fans. That’s the worst part. Our station is kind of unique. Are we a mainstream station? Yes we are. But we also play a lot of Red Dirt music, not in a huge rotation, but we also play music that’s way out of the box compared to other stations.
I’ve probably got 400 spins on Bailey Zimmerman. I bet I’ve got 400 spins on Zach Bryan. Both of those songs are in medium on my playlist. We do have a corporate recommended list, but it really only comes down to about 20 songs with the hits that are happening right now. We play Aaron Watson. We play Wade Bowen.”
And anyone can go to their website and look at the recently played tunes… it’s all there. And yeah, you will hear some American Aquarium, some Casey Donahew, some Randall King occasionally at 3 in the morning. Sprinkled in between the Kane Brown, Sam Hunt, Brett Young, Old Dominion, etc…
Nevertheless, I suppose a couple ’90s country songs a day, and a few late night red dirt tunes is better than most country radio stations are doing.
Rob added that he wished no “malice” on Jamey, and that Jamey’s team reached out to apologize for rant.
And here’s the thing, Jamey’s frustration with KX96.9 is probably more indicative of the overall frustration with corporate country radio as a whole, and the garbage state of mainstream country music, than it is specifically about KX96.9.
Unfortunately, local radio DJs don’t have a lot of power to play their own music, yet end up taking the brunt of the criticism at times.