Brainwashing and The (Dixie) Chicks

I am so glad The Chicks (which is what everyone who loved them called them anyway) are back.

Why did they need a comeback? Well, as I wrote in my book, How I Learned The Facts Of Life, because of this:

“Brainwashing” and the Dixie Chicks

Early March, 2003, the country supergroup, the Dixie Chicks, were performing in London shortly before the Bush administration invaded Iraq.

The Chicks’ lead singer, Natalie Maines – correctly described by a music critic as having “a bazooka of a voice” – told the audience that all three of the Chicks were Texans.

Then she added this oral op: “Just so you know, we’re on the good side with y’all,” she said. “We do not want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the president of the United States is from Texas.”

Within a week, country radio stations across the United States yanked the Chicks (who at the time had the number one country hit) from play lists, saying they’d been getting angry calls from listeners who opined that criticism of the president was unpatriotic.

Some creative radio stations promoted parties to which listeners brought their Chicks albums and threw them into garbage bins, or onto bonfires, or under steamrollers to watch them crushed to the accompaniment of cheers.

Country stars Reba McIntyre and Toby Keith spoke out against the Chicks, who began receiving threats of physical violence.

“People are shocked,” said one major radio manager. “They cannot believe Texas’ own have attacked the state and the president.”

The Chicks’ huge career was seriously derailed, although they remain blessedly unrepentant. (Listen to their anthem about being banned, “Not Ready to Make Nice.” I do, frequently, on the compendium album, “The Essential Dixie Chicks,” which I play at least twice a week.)

So what happened? Country fans were terrified that if they continued to hear The Chicks’ tunes and albums they’d be brainwashed into agreeing with Natalie Maines’ expressed opinion of George Bush?

I guess so.

Well, fuck country fans. Here’s “March March,” The Chicks’ new song on video:



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