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Dixie Chicks Cancel 14 Shows On Tour

The early reports of slow Chicks concert ticket sales were evidently correct. The Dixie Chicks have had to cancel or push back many of their concert dates, especially in the South and Midwest. What Wizbang readers know, but many others might not have noticed, is that even though the Chicks' latest CD went to number one on the charts, the total sales numbers in the first weeks were much lower than their previous CD.

Here is the deal on the Dixie Chicks -- this was their big shot. They came back with their first CD in three years and got more publicity than anyone could have dreamed of. They got gushing television interviews, covers of major magazines and tons of "buzz." That will not happen again, at least not unless they want to take an additional five years or so off before making their next "comeback.". They took their best shot, with incredible assistance from the media, and even from liberal Democrat politicians who voiced support for them, but they still were unable to reach the success of their former projects.

They hitched their fortunes to their controversial status and decided to focus on that, rather than the music. Even their first (and possibly only?) single from the latest CD, "Not Ready To Make Nice," was a political statement. When they attacked their country music fans, they just sealed their fates. Unless they come up with another, bigger and better, gimmick, they are not going to get the incredible publicity they got earlier this summer. I am not saying they are done, I am just saying I don't see them reaching their former level of success barring something pretty spectacular happening.


Comments (49)

Hmmm.Sorry but tho... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

Sorry but those few times I listen to country music I usually listen to Pasty Cline.

Everything else is just a pale sallow imitation.

I pretty much think they're... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

I pretty much think they're done. When you go out of your way to actually insult the people that listen to your music, and further, make political statements that you know aren't going to be popular in the parts of the country where a mojority of your fans may live, your shooting yourself in the foot.

They've made the all too common mistake of thinking their opinions count more because they can sing or act.

Not to sound like a jerk, but I hope their label drops them. Maybe other "celebrities" will take notice and I won't have to listen to George Clooney fawn over "those brave people" that had the courage to badmouth someone.

I am not saying they ar... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

I am not saying they are done...

OK, but I will. Their done. Toast. Kaput.

This would never occur in a million years, but imagine if, say, REM got up on stage and said, "Gee, ya know what? We really think the war is a good thing and whole-heartedly agree with President Bush. We should go kick a little ass. Let's remove Saddam." Think there wouldn't be any backlash? Think they'd make the cover of Rolling Stone or Time? Think DailyKos would support them? Think they'd find a new audience in, say, country musicians?

Are you kidding?...It would be the end of their world as they know it (and nobody would feel fine)....

Lesson: Recognize and appreciate your core audience and you get to continue being rich and famous.

Country music fans, those t... (Below threshold)
dr lava:

Country music fans, those that listen to FM country stations, were not going to the shows because the Dixie Chicks have grown way beyond that super lame crap that passes for country music on todays country FM. They are now in that genre of Sheryl Crow, Shelby Lynne.

You wouldn't find a Rascal Flats fan at a Sheryl Crow show either. That new Dixie Chicks CD propelled them into a different level of venues that they weren't expecting since their music no longer fit in with junk on country stations. Sure some country fans still hate the chicks but they have moved way beyond the closed banality of country FM.

If you know and love real country music at all you know it hasn't been played on the radio since AM died.

The problem is not the memb... (Below threshold)
kirktoe:

The problem is not the members of the Dixie Chicks per se. It's whoever is managing their publicity behind the scenes. These acts don't do anything without the "higher ups" telling them to (and no, I'm not referring to the higher brain power of the Chicks cause they don't have any).

I'm just wondering when the other 2 will seperate themselves from natalie Maines because she seems to be the run designated as the spokes person for the group.

What's interesting to me is how the public was not duped by the gushing reviews by the liberal media helping them. Makes me think that the same thing is happening in politics too. The Dem's can "talk" about courting us hick religious nuts down here in the little old south but we all know they don't mean it.

Just to clarify, that was s... (Below threshold)
kirktoe:

Just to clarify, that was sarcasm about us hicks down here. However, that IS the way liberals see us.

I just acquired a Les Paul ... (Below threshold)
Tony:

I just acquired a Les Paul (unfortunately an Epiphone, but I put new tuners on it and it's sweet), so I'm only into country if it's played like Junior Brown!

(hit post by mistake) ... (Below threshold)
Tony:

(hit post by mistake)

...but the Chicks should have known not to piss off their core fans. They're democrats, they like to be heavy on tactic and light on substance. Surely they thought that one out in their fame playbook.

I couldn't disagree more ab... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

I couldn't disagree more about country music. During the late 80's there was a return to traditional country with artists like Dwight Yoakum, Randy Travis and Alan Jackson.

Current artists like Josh Turner (Long Black Train, Your Man) and Gretchen Wilson (listen to the ballads on her Redneck Woman CD) are also doing justice to country tradition, albeit with a twist. Martina McBride released a CD of covers of classic country songs this year that is phenomenal. She includes remakes of old Hank Williams and Johnny Cash and Loretta Lynn songs that capture the sound of the past, down to the instrumental performances

There are also the Shania Twain's and Kenny Chesney's and Tim McGraw's that are incredibly successful and have a sound with as much rock/pop influence as country, but that is what makes the genre so exciting these days. Most of today's country music, in my opinion, is far superior to the pop/country products of the early 80s like "Islands In The Stream" and stuff like that. I love Dolly, but that kind of music was more pop than much of what is played on country music stations today. I do not, by the way, include Charlie Daniels' music in the pop/country category, although Devil Went Down to Georgia was a huge crossover hit. His music is country to the core.

The last comment I made was... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

The last comment I made was in response to Dr. Lava's comments about country music today. I do love traditional country. I just don't agree that all country music today is crap. There are some excellent performers today.

When they attacked their... (Below threshold)
astigafa:

When they attacked their country music fans

Gee, I thought they'd just insulted The Pres in front of a foreign (Independent! Socialistic!) audience. Did they, like, use their teeth or what? Guns?

Or did they just speak their minds, like honest people do, from time to time?

Go ahead and bleat back and me, dears. Got a new mandolin: I'm can't be hurt right now.

So, dr. lavaThey've ... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

So, dr. lava
They've gotten so good, they no longer have an audience?

Seriously?

They were a feel good country pop band, and they lost the feel good part. And they pissed of the country part. And their 15 minutes of lame expired, losing the pop part of the equation.

Overtly political artists can do quite well (Bruce Springstein, Dave Mathews, anyone?), but only if they:
A) Excel in their trade, with undeniable skill/talent
B) Don't take pains to piss off their core genre fans
C) Don't come off as whiners when they catch flak.

The Dixie Chicks miss on all 3 counts.

I wonder who the genius was... (Below threshold)
OregonMuse:

I wonder who the genius was who selected the photo for the cover of their latest CD. The Chicks look like Nazgul.

Did you notice how they mov... (Below threshold)
Imhotep:

Did you notice how they moved most of their tour dates/shows to CANADA!

I truly spit coffee on my keyboard this morning when I read that. Ha.

Also, I don't see this as n... (Below threshold)
OregonMuse:

Also, I don't see this as necessarily a death blow to the Dixie Chicks. They should be able to retool their act to appeal to blue-state audiences, you know, get kind of a Gillian Welch/EmmyLou Harris thing going. There's that whole quasi country/folk/whatever music genre labelled "Americana" and I can easily see the Chicks fitting themselves into it without too much difficulty.

But they really ought to keep their fat yaps shut, at least for awhile. And ignore any crap or insults that comes their way. Let it all blow over and get on with their careers.

They attacked their country... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

They attacked their country music fans with words. I guess you aren't up on this story. They made some incredibly insulting comments to the people whose money bought their CDs and concert tickets and made them into millionaires. Not a classy move.

Dixie Chicks have grown ... (Below threshold)
mesablue:

Dixie Chicks have grown way beyond that super lame crap that passes for country music on todays country FM. They are now in that genre of Sheryl Crow, Shelby Lynne

Hahahahaha.

Somehow, Diebold is going to end up being to blame. I can just feel it.

Looks like the DIXIE CHUMPS... (Below threshold)
krazy kagu:

Looks like the DIXIE CHUMPS have paid the price for being rediclous OPEN MOUTH TO SING AND END UP WITH YOUR FOOT IN IT SQUAWK SQUAWK

They attacked their coun... (Below threshold)
OregonMuse:

They attacked their country music fans with words. I guess you aren't up on this story.

Actually, I have followed this brouhaha from the beginning. Let's recap: the Chicks dissed President Bush during one of the concerts outside the U.S., which made their long time fans angry. They issued a half-assed apology which was transparently bogus and then when nobody bought it, and when the audience started to do things like hold public parties where Dixie Chicks CDs were burned or run over by steam rollers, they continued to insult and show contempt for their long-time fan base. Meanwhile, the MSM coverage was generally sympathetic and portrayed the Chicks as persecuted victims. But every time they opened their mouths, they just dug a deeper hole for themselves. It was amazing to watch them self-destruct.

But again, I don't see why this has to be permanent. Right now, they need to just write off their red-state audiences in Houston, Nashville, Atlanta, etc., as they've pretty much befouled their own nest there, and instead spend some time (years, maybe) building up a new audience along the lines I suggested in my previous post. Despite all their tantrum throwing so far, I say this is a doable deal for the Chicks. If they can only shut up.


About three years ago, a ca... (Below threshold)
pennywit:

About three years ago, a cartoon depicted an unhappy, presumably liberal, man purchasing a Dixie Chicks CD and muttering to himself, "The things I do for free speech!"

My girlfriend asked (read: ordered) me to a Dixie Chicks concert a couple years ago. Hated, hated, hated, hated it. You know you're not having a good time at a concert when you spend much of it sending plaintive text messages to your parents.

--|PW|--

OregonMuse -- My comment wa... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

OregonMuse -- My comment was not in response to yours. It was in response to astigafa's which said:

"When they attacked their country music fans

Gee, I thought they'd just insulted The Pres in front of a foreign (Independent! Socialistic!) audience. Did they, like, use their teeth or what? Guns?

Or did they just speak their minds, like honest people do, from time to time?

Go ahead and bleat back and me, dears. Got a new mandolin: I'm can't be hurt right now. "

I should have addressed astigafa by name or used the quote in my comment.

I agree with you, OregonMuse, that they are not done. As I said in my post, I just don't think they will ever again reach their previous level of success.

About six years or so ago, ... (Below threshold)
JD:

About six years or so ago, the Dixies found a niche in country music - a sort of fusion of Bluegrass (music heavy on the violin and dobro) with harmony.

And they enjoyed tremendous success, even getting some crossover action with their cover of "Landslide."

And now? They are doomed to the Lilith Fair tour and will be playing at indian casinos before long ("Konocti Harbor welcomes - Natalie Mains and the Dixie Chicks!!").

Astigafa stated that they "spoke their minds, like honest people do, from time to time." The trouble is that they still will not accept the consequences of their actions. Doubling down by pissing off 80% of the country music audience by pulling the "we don't need you" stunt only made matters worse.

Make no mistake - Emily and Martie can flat-out play their instruments, particularly Emily on dobro and banjo. They make terrific three-part harmony. I would absolutely love to hear them cover some of Emmylou Harris' stuff, but that will never happen now because such fripperies are beneath them. IMHO, they have been handled by their producers and PR weenies very badly.

And that's a pity.

Can't we all just agree tha... (Below threshold)
George:

Can't we all just agree that country music sucks?

These women are amanzingly ... (Below threshold)
Jane:

These women are amanzingly talented. I wish people would get over whatever political crap they think is going on. Please remember that we said we wanted to bring demoncracy to Iraq, Afghanistan, etc and demoncracy means being free to express your opinion and question your governments decisions without being tared and feathered. In case you are wondering, I served in the military for 10 1/2 years including the first gulf war because I believed in our freedoms. I don't think they are done. The Dixie Chicks *will* find *their* US audience.

"tarred and feathered?"... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

"tarred and feathered?"

Dang, I must have missed that!

I heard them/their supporters claiming a lot of stuff about their "freedom of speech" and such, but nobody ever tried to forcibly silence them. People just stopped buying their CDs and tickets.

I mean, isn't that okay? If it's my money, and I decide not to spend it on mouthy idiots, isn't that my privilege?

But I agree they may find "their" American audience. You can't hardly fire off a dozen rounds in any city in America without hitting a couple of traitors these days.

Lorie is very right on the ... (Below threshold)
dr lava:

Lorie is very right on the real artists in country music. I was referring more to Top Ten Country FM stations. Of course there is great country out there but the FM stations won't play it. Thats why the "Brother Where art Thou" release of a few years back hit home to so many people. You won't hear Allison Krauss or Emmylou Harris or Lyle Lovett or Rhonda Vincent on Country FM and you won't hear the new Dixie Chicks either.

That is why terrestrial radio is dead.

Terrestial radio is not dea... (Below threshold)
VagaBond:

Terrestial radio is not dead but on life support. What is killing terrestial radio was the FCC ruling in the mid 90'sthat a company can own more than one station (called a "cluster") in a marketplace.

Advertising is now sold as a cluster package. Any one station does not have to succeed but the cluster needs to increase in ratings to get the advertising dollars.

Listenership overall is nothing like it was 10 years ago. And satellite radio would have never succeeded in the 80's. In fact even now, after an early increase, it's not doing so well.

This is a very simplistic analysis of the situation. There is a lot of info out there that supports this. I just don't have time for a book report. And by the way I am in the business and on a country station.

Hard to believe the Dixie C... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

Hard to believe the Dixie Chicks rate this much discussion.

dr lava,I thought ... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

dr lava,

I thought you were talking about the music today, rather than the stations themselves. Sorry. I do know what you mean about the stations. I love Brooks & Dunn's "I Believe" and Carrie Underwood's song "Don't Forget To Remember Me" but I don't need to hear them every ten minutes.

Even if they must leave sho... (Below threshold)
moseby:

Even if they must leave show biz I am reasonably sure all 3 could handle a job at Hardees. Especially that one "breeder" that is always PG.

Curse those libera... (Below threshold)
DDT:


Curse those liberal celebrities who HATE AMERICA!tm

"There's no reason why someone can't go down there who's supposed to be the leader of the free world … and say, 'I'm giving you a job to do and I'm not leaving here until it's done. And you're held accountable, and you're held accountable, and you're held accountable."
-Tim McGraw

"I Fear for Our Country"
-Faith Hill

"I didn't vote for Mr. Bush. Let's just leave it at that"
-Johnny Cash

"I didn't vote for Mr. B... (Below threshold)
OregonMuse:

"I didn't vote for Mr. Bush. Let's just leave it at that"

This statement by Mr. Cash shows a lot of class -- it is polite, restrained, and gets his point across graciously, and without being offensive.

Just think, if only the Dixie Chicks had showed similar restraint back when this all started, they most likely wouldn't be cancelling all those tour dates today.

DDT:Curse... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

DDT:

Curse those liberal celebrities who HATE AMERICA!tm

I haven't seen it said here that they hate America, just that they're beyond stupid to think they have smart or poignant opinions because they can sing or act. Furthermore, I don't need to hear political commentary from singers and actors when they're accepting awards or putting on a concert. And again, badmouthing someone is not "courageous"...and neither is making a movie...unless your Theo Van Gogh.

If they actually want to affect change, maybe they should take action and get in the dirt like Angelina Jolie, who by the way, largely keeps her political opinions to herself.

I used to be a fan back bef... (Below threshold)
T.G. Scott:

I used to be a fan back before the Maines heifer shot her mouth off. Yes, she had every right to exercise her right to free speech. I have every right to protest my opinion of her opinion by tightening my purse strings and not buying their CDs anymore. It's a pity. They are really musically talented. My old CDs of them are now functioning as drink coasters.

Personally, the older songs... (Below threshold)
scsiwuzzy:

Personally, the older songs that I liked back in the day, I still like. I haven't deleted them from the mp3 player or tossed the CD.
However, the new CD's tone I cannot enjoy. It is antagonistic and IMO, insulting. Why would I pay to have that in my collection.
Same goes for seeing them in concert. Since the latest album, and the press appearance, have nearly revolved around their politics and FU attitude, why would I pay to see it live?
Even if I weren't a conservative, I wouldn't want to come see a show that is bound to seethe with hate, from either the audience or the stage. Same reason I don't go to see Ann Coulter when she comes to town. Too many bad vibes.

What is the matter with you... (Below threshold)
Donna:

What is the matter with you people?!!! They are speaking the truth about what is going on in our country! THEY are the few acting like true Americans and standing up and using freedom of speech to wake the rest of you up! You're just too far removed from the need to actually do something to show your patriotism! We must see reality instead of living in a dreamworld before our world is changed and ruined forever.

God Bless those girls for having the courage to put everything on the line for truth and freedom. It's their type that made this country great!!!

Up here in Canada their sal... (Below threshold)
Talk Sick:

Up here in Canada their sales and concert tickets are selling strong. I guess the whole political stance they took doesnt make a difference up here.

"These women are amanzingly... (Below threshold)
Person:

"These women are amanzingly talented. I wish people would get over whatever political crap they think is going on. Please remember that we said we wanted to bring demoncracy to Iraq, Afghanistan, etc and demoncracy means being free to express your opinion and question your governments decisions without being tared and feathered. In case you are wondering, I served in the military for 10 1/2 years including the first gulf war because I believed in our freedoms. I don't think they are done. The Dixie Chicks *will* find *their* US audience."

Exactly. Terribly sick of this new era of not being able to say what we feel. Freedom of speech my ass.

I thought one of the basic ... (Below threshold)
Buck Satan:

I thought one of the basic rules of hardcore country-western was to attack your fans.

Anyone who says the Dixie C... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

Anyone who says the Dixie Chicks do not enjoy freedom of speech needs to define to me what the heck freedom of speech is. They have not only been able to say anything they want, but they have been given prime time, extended television interviews, major magazine front page articles, and literally hundreds of television, radio and print outlets to say whatever they want. When that CD was released you could not turn on the television or pass a magazine stand without seeing them. were they gagged? They sure didn't sound like to me. Not in the hour long Larry King interview. Not in any of the major magazine articles, or anywhere else I read or heard them.

What the Chicks want is to not allow those who disagree with them to express their free speech. Where radio stations stopped playing their songs it was because listeners called in to say they didn't want to hear them anymore. Do the Dixie Chicks have a right to be played on any radio station as often as they demand? If they do, then why doesn't every other performer have the right to the same? They dissed their audience. Not just those who destroyed their CDs in public, but all country music fans and now they don't like that those fans have a voice as well. They really don't like that those fans can speak with their wallets. That is the epitome of freedom and the Chicks just don't like it.

Ironically, I never really ... (Below threshold)
MdmRptr:

Ironically, I never really listened to them until now. I couldn't have cared less for them or their music until their/her political comments were made such a big deal of in the public.

"Good for her," I thought. Maybe I should give them a listen and see if I like it.

BTW, I'd be just a tiny bit whiney too if I spoke my mind in this country and then was told to shut my mouth because it might hurt my career. WTF? At what point in this country did we decide our freedoms were so easily disposable?

>They dissed their audience... (Below threshold)
MdmRptr:

>They dissed their audience. Not just those who destroyed their CDs in public, but all country music fans

Can I assume from this statement that you're suggesting that in order to be a country music fan you must, therefore, disagreed with their political statement? I find it hard to believe that each and every country music fan was "dissed" by the political opinions of these women.

Someone is buying their CDs and concert tickets.


>...fans can speak with their wallets. That is the epitome of freedom...

Well, shut my mouth. Here I thought all along that Freedom of the Press, Speech, Religion, et cetera, were the end-all-be-all of freedom. I'd better hone up on my Bill of Rights. Looks like there have been some major amendments that have taken place.

Of course consumers can "speak" with their wallets. That is, of course, the *true* foundation upon which this country was founded (consumerism) - but what those consumers cannot do is expect those with whom they disagree to fall back and keep their mouths shut. That, IMHO, is the truest form of patriotism - as opposed to burning someone's CD who holds a opinion different from yours. Well, at the very least, I like to think that each and every one of those burned CDs were purchased and put money in the pockets of The Dixie Chicks.

I think it is horribly iron... (Below threshold)
Foxschlafen:

I think it is horribly ironic that we fight overseas to liberate and give others such rights protected under the First Amendment, then we turn around and throw rocks at someone for exercising those rights.

I never said they shouldn't... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

I never said they shouldn't speak their minds. Who are you talking about? I am all for that. I just think it is unreasonable to expect to "speak your mind" in such a way that you say anyone that doesn't agree with you is an idiot (this is paraphrasing, but not far from what was said in the Diane Sawyer "non-apology apology" interview and later ones), then complain about the consequences (lower sales, less radio play) of insulting those people.

No one should expect to call people ignorant, then whine and cry when those people say unflattering things back to you, or when they decide they don't want to make you any richer off of their hard earned dollars.

I was a HUGE Dixie Chicks fan before all this Bush bashing stuff and even after the initial anti-Bush comment I still listened to their music. the initial comment, as tasteless as it was to do on the eve of war on foreign soil, would have blown over if not for all the followup statements. After all the many, many, many, many interviews in which Natalie and then later Marti and Emily decided to insult the intelligence of anyone who disagreed with them, they lost me.

If they showed even an ounce of understanding of the issues they decided to weigh in on, I would have respected them, but they didn't. They spuouted a bunch of slogans and then went off on country music fans that had made them millionaires. That was it for me. I have the freedom to no longer purchase their music and I have exercised it.

To tell someone that if you call their prospective record buyers insulting names then they won't buy your records is not stifling their free speech. It is not telling them to keep their mouths shut, but it is telling them to grow up and quit whining. Maybe you have not followed this story in its entirety, but they have definitely done a lot to insult their fans, and that had nothing to do with their political expression. It was just spiteful and stupid and shortsighted. That is just my opinion. I don't have Diane Sawyer or 60 Minutes or Larry King Live or Time Magazine or any of the other Chicks' outlets inviting me on to voice my opinion though. Yeah, I wish my speech was being stifled like the Dixie Chicks has been.

Am I missing something here... (Below threshold)
Foxschlafen:

Am I missing something here? I didn't know they insulted their prospective record buyers. To my knowledge, they directly insulted the Former Governor of Texas.

I don't call it whining when someone speaks their mind in regard to a political issue. A democracy which tells dissenters to "hush up" is one that is headed in the wrong direction.

I have no problem with them... (Below threshold)
USA:

I have no problem with them expressing their opinion on the war. I think it's classless to do it oversea's but I'll get over it.

The part that I object to, is their unwilligness to accept others right to express their opinions after they have so blatantly excercised theirs.

Looking back its a strange ... (Below threshold)
AJ:

Looking back its a strange how certain parts of US reacted to the 'comment' and the backlash that went with it. The reaction to war and public opinion else where in the world was so so different. The mood in London walked hand in hand with what the Dixie Chicks said. I don't think anyone in Europe could believe how they were persecuted for speaking their minds, how the land of the free, proved to be a less that free place to be. In the months that followed it became clear that they were at least right to keep question and asking why.
The Dixie Chicks have found a new direction and their style of music is so much more meaningful and mature for it. Taking The Long Way is a brilliant CD and I know from talking to people, people who would never listen to their CD's before, now have them playing in the cars to work in the morning. So the upshot is, its true they have lost fans, I doubt they will sell the massive amount of CD's they have before but they have gained fans along the way. For example this album has been really successful in Canada, Europe and getting to number 2 in the Australian Charts! I think that speaks for itself and to be honest I think its better to have a smaller fan base with people that have the ability to and hear see the bigger picture!!

I really like the Dixie ... (Below threshold)
sabrina:

I really like the Dixie Chicks, I'm one of their Biggest Fans, and i'm not Very happy that their Country is Mad at them...They Are my Favourite Band, How dare anyone say anything like, that to them...Three Talented Girls like that.

That's all i have to say

Could someone explain to me... (Below threshold)
stormjuice:

Could someone explain to me what made people so angry. I thought all she sad was she is ashamed bush is from texas, I don't see the problem.




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