It’s no secret those who influence radio programming aren’t wild about females. It’s a matter of public record. Sunday’s Academy of Country Music is in conflict with a major influencer’s advice to 300 radio stations: “If you want to make ratings in country radio, take females out…” Yet it was a female who made country music history on Sunday, and among her wins is the prize for Song of the Year.
Miranda Lambert owned the night in more ways than one. She made history by racking up “the most wins in ACM’s history.” Lambert won Female Vocalist of the Year and Song of the Year on a night when most awards were dominated by males.
The awards overall honored country songs. The performances weren’t so faithful, with some songs straight out of the pop files.
I was thrilled to see her win Song of the Year for the amazing work “Tin Man.” The song is way above the quality of most when it comes to lyrics, and nothing is more country than a well-crafted ballad.
My daughter covers “Tin Man” and it always pleases crowds. You can hear the chatter go mute once that song begins. Lambert’s co-writers–Jack Ingram and Jon Randall—managed to take a trope and deliver both a touching composition as well as coming close to ekphrasis in recreating a work of art outside the original it’s based on. The difference is that Tin Man was a character, but he is a character we almost always perceive visually [You can hear the song at this link].
In 2015 as the radio consultant was bashing female vocalists, Lambert shoved it right back into his face. I can imagine her looking at that clown, going, “How do you like me now?”
Congrats to a performer who’s been through betrayal and obstacles and triumphed by making history. It’s no wonder Lambert’s fans love her so fiercely.
Personally speaking I think you should judge a song not by the gender of the creator or performer, but by its aesthetic value. Maybe someone can clue that narrow-minded consultant in on thinking outside his cracker box. The good thing is women are stepping up.
To wish Lambert well on her big night, check out her Twitter line.
(Kay B. Day/April 16, 2018)