Walker Hayes Offers Classy Response After Catching A Stray From Zach Bryan’s Critique Of Country Radio

Zach Bryan country music
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Whether you like his music or not, Walker Hayes seems like a stand-up guy.

Yesterday, we shared a post celebrating the fact that Tyler Childers finally scored his first EVER charting hit at country radio with “In Your Love” from his latest album, Rustin’ In the Rain.

And superstar Zach Bryan has always said that Tyler is a huge inspiration in his own music, so naturally, he took to X (Twitter) to weigh in on the milestone, stating quite correctly that it’s “f*ckin’ insane” that this had never happened before:

Walker Hayes’ Platinum-certified #1 hit “Fancy Like” even caught some strays, with Zach calling out country radio and their choices in what to play:

“Imagine being radio (whoever the hell that is), hearing ‘Shake the Frost’ and being like ‘no no let’s go with the Applebees song.”

Obviously, I agree with him wholeheartedly, in that we could’ve been hearing “Feathered Indians” or “Whitehouse Road” all these years instead of “Fancy Like” three times an hour on the radio, but then again, I don’t even listen to country radio so it really makes no difference to me anyways I guess.

Zach also clarified that he wasn’t taking a personal shot at Walker:

“Not insulting anyone! Meant it with humor not malice, different strokes different folks was just bent about the first ever on mainstream radio thing my bad.”

And last night, Hayes took to Twitter to respond to Zach himself, applauding radio for “playing dat Applebee’s song” and adding that he’s “praying” for Zach and Tyler’s “continued success.”

When the hottest act in country music right now is talking about your song on Twitter, I don’t think you have a choice in whether to acknowledge it or not, and he gave a pretty classy response in doing so and I think understood where Zach was coming from.

Also, that song has probably paid his mortgage and then some, so in the grand scheme of things, I don’t think he really cares all that much honestly:

“Big shout to radio for playing dat Applebee’s song. Zach and Tyler praying y’alls continued success.”

Let’s be honest, he’s probably tired of singing it too…

In terms of what seems like a well-overdue accomplishment for Tyler, there’s obviously a lot more that goes into deciding what gets played on radio than whether a song is good or not. There’s a lot of politics from the labels, and Tyler’s always been a notably independent artist.

But he did signed a publishing deal with Warner Chappell Music Nashville in 2021, in addition to having a deal with Sony’s RCA Records, which is in partnership with his imprint Hickman Holler Records. The record deal is more of a distribution agreement, if you will, as Tyler maintains creative freedom with RCA and does still have ownership of the songs since they’re still releasing via Hickman Holler.

I don’t know if this is a one-time thing and country radio will be done with “In Your Love” and playing Tyler’s music after this one cycle, or maybe it will go the distance and it’s the start of a string of big ‘ol radio hits for the Kentucky native.

It won’t make any sort of difference to Tyler I don’t think, the man’s been selling out  arenas and amphitheaters for years, but as a longtime fan of his, I’m rooting for it to go the distance.

“In Your Love”

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock