It began with a question.
In January 2021, an independent Americana artist approached manager, professor and researcher Michelle Conceison about gender representation on Americana radio. Has anyone done a study on gender parity in the radio airplay charts, Michelle was asked? After a conversation with Michele Rhoades and Jed Hilly at the Americana Music Association, Michelle discovered that questions of representation had yet to be explored and immediately began developing a project to explore the issue via charts.
I met Michelle shortly after she began working on the project, and after a few meetings decided to work together on the project. Today, as we head into Americanafest 2022 and after more than a year of data curation and analysis and conversations with members of the Americana community, we release “Representation in the Americana Radio Chart, 2018-2021.” This is just the first in what will be a long line of inquiry about representation in the industry, with many different data points that will be explored.
We will share results of this study on Thursday, September 15 on a panel entitled “Striving for Systemic Change in Music: What We Are Learning in Americana Radio.” Jessie Scott (WMOT) and Ayappa Biddanda (Concord) join us for this discussion, which we hope will inspire dialogue about the results and the steps that can be taken to make meaningful change in the industry.
Join us on Thursday!