Cody Johnson Was Once Told He Was “Too Rodeo For Radio”

Cody Johnson
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If you ask me, country radio could use some more rodeo.

Of course things have come a long way in just a few years. Turn on country radio and there’s a chance you might hear a real country song…even though you’ll have to sit through a bunch of beer drinkin’ bro country and pop songs while you wait for it.

But there’s really no arguing that things have gotten better. Guys like Cody Johnson are scoring #1 hits, something that was pretty unimaginable with the state of country music a decade ago.

In fact, Cody says that at one point he was told that he was “too rodeo for radio.”

Awhile back, Cody joined us for an episode of our Whiskey Riff Raff podcast, where he discussed the politics of country radio and the struggles that he faced trying to get airplay.

CoJo revealed that, when it came time to pick out songs to release as singles, his producer Trent Wilmon (who’s an incredible artist in his own right) had a simple solution:

“When you get so many people on this side that a guy like me is considered “too country for radio,” man, we’ve got a problem. 

We were discussing what songs off my new record we would consider singles…and my producer Trent Wilmon says ‘If they’re already not gonna play it, why not release what we want?’”

Hard to argue with that.

In fact, Cody revealed that one song in particular was called “too rodeo for radio” – and the reasoning is as ridiculous as you’d expect.

“I just got told a couple weeks ago that my song ‘Dear Rodeo’ was and I quote, ‘too rodeo for radio.’ Because apparently the word ‘rodeo’ reminds people of cruelty to animals.”

Of course if CoJo sounds “too rodeo,” it’s because he’s actually singing about things he’s lived. In fact, Cody just recently competed in a World Series of Team Roping qualifier event in Hamilton, Texas with partner Ricky Oliver and wound up taking first prize.

We’ve obviously come a long way from when songs like “Amarillo By Morning” and “Beaches of Cheyenne” were dominating country radio. And I’m not saying that as a good thing.

If you ask me, Cody Johnson is exactly what country radio needs more of. Not only is he country as cow sh*t, he actually lives his music and provides an authenticity missing from much of country music.

Not to mention the guy puts on one of the most electric live shows you’ll see – and it shows in the way attendance at his concerts has exploded over the past couple of years. He’s selling out arenas while guys who get astronomically more radio play can’t pack their local club.

Yeah, it sounds pretty ridiculous to say that CoJo is “too rodeo for radio.” Isn’t that what country music is about?

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock