George Jones, Other Artists Testify at FCC Hearing

Country music legend George Jones was one of several country artists testifying Monday (Dec. 11) at an FCC hearing in Nashville. The hearing, one of six such regional affairs scheduled around the U.S., is exploring the subject of media ownership. Specifically, the artists targeted the impact that increasingly conglomerated radio has on shrinking country playlists. Others testifying included John Rich, Cowboy Troy, Naomi Judd, Porter Wagoner and Dobie Gray. Referring to current country radio, Jones said, “You know sugar is sweet, but too much can kill you.” He added, “When my life and my income and my profession are affected by media consolidation, we don’t need to make a move any further in the wrong direction. Please don’t make it any rougher for recording artists like me or tomorrow’s rising stars.” Judd noted there is a “pitiful disconnect” between the country audience and mainstream country radio. “I humbly submit that if my music is good enough for the Grand Ole Opry, it’s good enough for the radio,” said Cowboy Troy. John Rich spoke of such major markets and New York and Los Angeles losing country stations and added, “One guy can affect what 30 million people get to hear. That’s censorship.”