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Marissa R. Moss shows how women in country music battle the Nashville establishment

There's a video on YouTube from the Country Music Association awards back in 2014. The song is "You're Lookin' At Country," one of the legend Loretta Lynn’s big hits. On that night, she had a duet partner — a young singer named Kacey Musgraves.

Photo by Catherine Powell

That same night, Musgraves won the Song of the Year award for her song “Follow Your Arrow,” with its references to rolling joints and kissing boys — or girls, if that’s what you’re into.

It felt like a night of revolution in country music. But it wasn’t.

Country radio, which is more important than radio in any other music genre, still ignored Musgraves and just about every other woman out there.

A few months later, a powerful Nashville consultant would say that male artists were the base of country radio, like the lettuce in a salad; female artists were tomatoes, to be sprinkled in from time to time.

So Musgraves and other artists made their own roads. Nashville journalist Marissa R. Moss chronicles that work in her book "HER COUNTRY," which is out this week.

It’s an indictment of a music industry that has backed itself into a corner, and a celebration of artists who figured out their own shades and colors of the Nashville sound.

Show notes:

Other music in this episode:

Tommy Tomlinson has hosted the podcast SouthBound for WFAE since 2017. He also does a commentary, On My Mind, which airs every Monday.