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Dixie Chicks' "Not Ready to make Nice" hits Billboard with a bullet; O'Reilly predicts reduced sales

Reported by Chrish - March 15, 2006

Bill O'reilly interviewed Scott McKenzie from Billboard Magazine today 3/15/06 on The Factor, specifically about the release of The Dixie Chicks' new single, "Not Ready to Make Nice", and their upcoming album, "Taking the Long Way" (due out May 23). Of course the main thrust of the conversation was Natalie Maines remark in 2003 that she was not proud to be from the same state as George Bush. She has since apologized for her choice of words, though not the sentiment, and O'Reilly predicts that their record sales will suffer forever for it.

O'Reilly made a big deal that their song play on country radio had dropped 30% since Natalie's comment, and it was agreed that country music fans lean conservative. McKenzie thinks the Chicks mean to crossover into the pop genre and may find a whole new audience of fans. Their new single is getting "a surprising" lot of radio airplay in markets as diverse as Chicago, LA, Dallas, Minneapolis, and it's moving very quickly. They'll be touring to promote the album, and O'Reilly asks for predictions about this new one. Instead we get a history of their last album, "Home", which sold an outstanding 780,000 units its first week, debuting at #1, and ultimately 6,000,000 worldwide total sales.

O'Reilly predicted that they won't sell nearly that many this time around, saying "I don't see them doing that this time around." (Comment: there he goes, pulling things out of *thin air* again. Now he's a music industry analyst? Wishful thinking, big BORe - like a child he's trying to put the whammy on them.) In response, McKenzie seemed to be making excuses for why it will be a big seller: of course there are the die-hard fans, and the curiosity seekers who either want to see what they're talking about, or who disagree with what they're talking about..." O'Reilly interrupts to say he predicts 2,000,000 tops and asks McKenzie what he thinks. McKenzie says it depends on the first week and he expects 300,000-400,000 units. O'Reilly, clearly alarmed by that, says yeah, but then it will drop off, that's their fans and they haven't had any product in four years.

O'Reilly says that if it had been rappers or stoned-out acid-rockers making the comments it wouldn't have mattered at all- they could diss Bush all day long in those environments. I am amazed at the casual manner in which he generalizes and dismisses people based on exterior criteria. Apparently the thought police are not yet after the "fringe" people - it's the mainstream they want tightly controlled. McKenzie reinforces that, saying country really comes under the microscope every time there's criticism of a Republican president.

He says the Dixie Chicks are already crossing over to adult Top 40 and adult contemporary radio stations. O'Reilly vows to track it; my prediction is if the album is a soaring success we won't hear another word.

Here are the lyrics to their new somg, "Not ready to make nice."

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