There was once a time when the Dixie Chicks were the darlings of country music radio.  It was a time before politics got involved.  It was a time before being blacklisted for having an opposing view.  It was a time of "Wide Open Spaces".

I wasn't yet in country radio, but the arrival of the Chicks was celebrated across multiple musical genres.  They were getting play on Top-40 radio despite the twang, and it seemed like the world was theirs to conquer.  Then came the comments announcing Natalie Maines' dislike of President George W Bush that were also taken as a slam on American troops fighting in the Middle East.  The story became a viral sensation, and Country radio felt the need to ban these Chicks from Dixie for their opinion.  Despite what was said on a stage a decade ago, the Dixie Chicks are a talented trio of beautiful young ladies whose songs are as good post-opinion as they were pre-opinion.  Before any of that drama could unfold... before Earl died... 15 years ago on this date "Wide Open Spaces" went to #1 on the Billboard charts and stayed there for four weeks.