Midland Radio Bans Willie's Gay Cowboy Song

As promised, here's Jimmy's report on Midland country radio stations and Willie's Gay Cowboy song.

CULTURE >> KNFM, KICKS both say they'll steer clear of playing Willie's gay cowboy song
By: Jimmy Patterson

Citing listener concerns and presumed negative reaction, representatives of both of Midland-Odessa's contemporary country radio stations say they do not plan to play Willie Nelson's new gay cowboy song, "Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly (Fond of Each Other)."

Mike Lawrence, who co-hosts the Morning Kicks program at KICKS 99 issued a statement on behalf of the station Thursday regarding the song:

"We know our audience doesn't want to hear this on the airwaves because it highlights a lifestyle they don't approve of. It might turn out to be a good bar song, but the majority of those songs never make it to commercial radio stations anyway. Willie plans to release the song on an upcoming album regardless of how the public reacts to it."

Lone Star 92-KNFM asked its listeners Wednesday morning their thoughts about whether the station should play the song.

"It was very interesting. In about 45 minutes, we received 73 calls and that's a lot for something like this," said Kent Cooper, market manager for Cumulus Radio, which owns and operates KNFM. "It was about half and half. The people that were against playing it were REALLY against it. Based on that, we did not air the song."

Cooper, like Lawrence, attributes the outcome of the audience vote to the conservatism inherent in the market.

Lawrence said after Willie took on the IRS and survived, "He's not going to be bashful about a song dealing with cowboys in comfortable boots."

READER POLL: Return to the MyWestTexas.com front page and take our Reader Poll about Willie's song.

-- Jimmy Patterson

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