The axing of Saturday Night Country from capital cities’ radio stations is one of the worst decisions ever made by a radio station in Australia. Sure, the ABC have said that country affiliates and digital and on line folks can still hear the one show on radio that plays every kind of country music with an Aussie bent. Thank God for Community Radio Stations and the likes of Ray Hadley and Grant Goldman who play country music in the city.
I don’t get it. The show has been going for over 20 years, with every host being a gem and an aficionado of the genre. A lot of the Alternative Country folks get a run on the show, as do the legends like Chad and co. Not everybody has Foxtel and access to Country Music television shows. Free to air rarely show a country gig or awards show these days.
Saturday Night Country has been consistently good, bringing the average person their fix of country.
The country music audience is widening, due to the fact that country music is evolving and spreading to the cities. I could have gone to about 4 gigs the other week in the Inner West of Sydney if I could have split myself 4 ways. Victoria (especially Melbourne) is overflowing with great music. South Australia is not far behind. Queensland and NSW have their share of country music artists and the other states and territories are catching up. In fact, the fan base is the broadest that I have ever seen it and the age range is phenomenal. It is great to see so many young people involving themselves in country music and a lot of the legends coming back producing new albums and working with young artists.
So why, with the music at its best ever, are they axing a programme which reaches people that other shows don’t, plays music and gives information that other programmes don’t…..it just doesn’t make sense.
The core of the country music fans in Australia still do come from country areas, that’s a given, but if you want to spread the joy, you have to use a medium that reaches all points. ABC radio used to care. It used to think of the common man. What in the Hell happened? If it is a stats thing….look at the bloody stats on new country music. It is going gangbusters.
I love how Felicity interviews with passion and knowledge and every day speak. Catherine, Amber and all who went before them were the same. I look forward to my fix each week. I will miss it and I won’t be the only one.
Not everybody can afford a computer or digital radio. Are the ABC scared that good old country music is becoming popular in the cities, rather than classical music and the more obscure songs.
Who knows? It is a loss. ABC should not be called Australian Broadcasting Commission anymore. It should be called Absolutely Bloody Criminal because what it is doing is not spreading the word, it is confining and defining and excluding. ABC was supposed to be for everybody…..now it is turning a majority of listeners into nobodies.
Thank you to all who have been involved with Saturday Night Country over the years. You have brought a lot of us great joy.