James Johnson was the talk of country music this weekend after he unleashed hell at a group of country radio DJs in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Headlining the Lincoln On The Streets concert at the Bourbon Theater with Blackberry Smoke and Ella Langley, Jamey took offense to a group of radio DJs from KX96.9, who took to the stage between sets to heat up the crowd with her station to chat and present the next act .
It’s quite common to see a local radio station on stage at a concert, whether it’s a festival, event concert or street party. In fact, local country radios usually partner with local promoters and venues to host ticket giveaways, exclusive shows, meet-and-greets, and more.
Still, Jamey Johnson didn’t have it and lashed out at her when he finally got on stage:
“There was a radio station that came uninvited to this stage to do a little pep rally before I came out. I feel like I should tell you I don’t care what radio station you listen to in the morning, they’re all good.
They are all good, one is no better than the other. And the thing is, none of them play my music, so why would they stand up on my stage and talk to you?”
“I thought we got a good deal. You guys don’t play my music and I don’t play yours, so stay away from my stage.
‘Kix’, whatever the hell your name is…who cares…”
He was fired, to say the least.
Afterwards, some of the DJs from KX96.9 took to Twitter to defend themselves and express their complete disbelief at what just happened.
what is funny @jamey_johnson Is it that you actually graced our signal and I personally played it heavily during my live show at Nebraska Nights so that was pretty crappy but hey whatever, right? I used to respect you. But shouldn’t be surprised. Have a great set.
— Coryelle Thomas (@CoryelleThomas) August 13, 2022
We were invited by our partner The Bourbon Theater and wanted to be there because we like the music that was going to be played that night including Jamey Johnson. We have paid nothing but compliments to Jamey and BlackBerry Smoke & Ella Langley and will continue to encourage them
– JPOnKX 👻🎙 (@JPonKX) August 13, 2022
Another on-air personality, Nick Gregath, called it an honor to be mocked by Johnson.
😂 @jamey_johnson I just openly mocked myself on stage for being the morning show guy and I’m so fucking honored. Here I am with my father and father-in-law because we love this man’s music. pic.twitter.com/Vyq8H40LyE
— Nick Gregath (@Husker_Nick) August 13, 2022
For the record. I don’t give a fuck what @jamey_johnson had to say about us. I like his music. He’s got an image to keep up with and if mocking us helped him, then cool, I’ll do my part. Only complaint I have is that he didn’t play Mowin’ Down the Roses or a lonely song.
— Nick Gregath (@Husker_Nick) August 13, 2022
Save Country Musicwho originally reported the incident, contacted the channel’s content creator, Rob Kelley, of Alpha Media.
Rob says the station worked with the promoter to get people to the show and “management” made the decision to stage the morning show.
He also defended the station, arguing that they play more than just mainstream country music:
“They were personally hurt more than anything because they are all fans. That’s the worst. Our station is somehow unique. Are we a mainstream broadcaster? Yes we are. But we also play a lot of red dirt music, not in a big rotation, but we also play music that is way outside the box compared to other stations.
I have probably 400 spins on Bailey Zimmerman. I bet I got 400 spins on Zach Bryan. Both songs are in my playlist on medium. We have a recommended list of companies, but it’s really only about 20 or so songs with the hits that are trending right now. We play Aaron Watson. We play Wade Bowen.”
And anyone can go to their website and look at the recently played tunes… it’s all there. And yes, you’ll occasionally hear some American Aquarium, some Casey Donahew, some Randall King at 3am. Interspersed between Kane Brown, Sam Hunt, Brett Young, Old Dominion, etc…
Still, I suppose a few ’90s country songs a day and a few red dirt tunes late at night are better than most country radio stations.
Rob added that he wished no “malice” on Jamey and that Jamey’s team apologized for the tirade.
And here’s the thing, Jamey’s frustration with the KX96.9 is probably more indicative of the general frustration with corporate country radio as a whole and the junk state of mainstream country music than with the KX96.9 specifically.
Unfortunately, local radio DJs don’t have much power to play their own music, but they will sometimes end up taking the brunt of the criticism.
For Rob Kelley’s full statement, visit Savingcountrymusic.com
Here is the Nebraska Country & Red Dirt Music video: