On August 12, Jamey Johnson headlined a show in Lincoln, Nebraska with openers Blackberry Smoke and Ella Langley.
For weeks, Lincoln’s local country station New Country KX 96.9 was promoting it and giving away tickets to the show.
Johnson’s concert took place in the middle of a street, which is why the show was called “Lincoln In The Streets.” After Blackberry Smoke finished their set, a few DJs from KX 96.9 came on stage to fill some of the time.
Apparently, Johnson wasn’t too pleased with this, seeing as the radio station plays “new” country – which is categorically described as “pop” country. When he took to the stage, he made sure the fans knew about his feelings.
Johnson said, “There was a radio station that came out on this stage uninvited to run a little pep rally before I came out. I feel like I oughta tell you, I don’t care what radio station you listen to in the morning, they’re all good. They’re all good, and they’re no better than any of the other ones. And the thing is, none of them play my music, so why should they be up on my stage playing to you?”
He continued, “I thought we had a good deal worked out. Y’all don’t play my music, and I don’t play yours, so stay the f*** off my stage!”
As he said this, the crowd went wild with cheers.
He then said, “‘Kicks’ whatever the f*** your name is, who gives a sh**?'”
In the radio station’s defense, none of the DJs are named “Kicks.” See their schedule below.
5am-10am: JP, Coryelle & Husker Nick
3pm-6pm: Rob Kelley
6pm-12am: Nebraska Nights w/ Willy J
12am-5am: Silent Mike
See Johnson’s rant here:
— Steve Mossman (@moe_sdm) August 13, 2022
Now, the radio station and their DJs are speaking out. See their responses below.
— Nick Gregath (@Husker_Nick) August 13, 2022
Not only is Rob Kelley the DJ from 3pm-6pm, he is also the Content & Program Director for Alpha Media, the parent company of the radio station. According to Saving Country Music, Kelley states that the DJs who went on stage went 15-20 minutes before Johnson began his set and they did not play any music.
Kelley also told SCM that Johnson’s management reached out and apologized for his “outburst” and that he will no longer have radio station personalities come on stage at any time during his performances.
“They were personally hurt more than anything else, because they’re all fans. That’s the worst part. Our station is kind of unique. Are we a mainstream station? Yes we are. But we also play a lot of Red Dirt music, not in a huge rotation, but we also play music that’s way out of the box compared to other stations. I’ve probably got 400 spins on Bailey Zimmerman. I bet I’ve got 400 spins on Zach Bryan. Both of those songs are in medium on my playlist. We do have a corporate recommended list, but it really only comes down to about 20 songs with the hits that are happening right now. We play Aaron Watson. We play Wade Bowen.”