Garth Brooks Hopes to Educate Newer Country Fans With New SiriusXM Channel
On Sept. 8, Garth Brooks launched his very own radio station on satellite radio. The Garth Channel now airs on SiriusXM channel 55, offering music that will please fans of Brooks, country music and even other genres as well. Just before his big launch show at the Ryman Auditorium, Brooks talked with The Boot and other media members about what listeners can expect from his new channel.
Of course, Brooks' SiriusXM channel will offer a lot of music from the artist himself. But even more than that, the country superstar says he's excited to introduce -- or re-introduce -- country artists from all generations. It's his job, he says, to educate newer and younger fans about the roots of country music and the legends that made the genre what it is today.
"I gotta make sure they know who Keith Whitley is; if you think you think you’re a country music listener, you gotta know Keith Whitley. You gotta know [George] Strait. You gotta know the guy that single-handedly turned this whole industry around, took it back to traditional sound and made it bigger than it was even before -- you gotta know Randy Travis," Brooks explains. "Those influences are gonna be on that channel for sure, because I want to educate anybody that maybe wasn’t born yet in the '90s that listens to country music now."
Brooks also mentioned George Jones ("the greatest voice that's ever graced country music") and Merle Haggard ("the greatest country artist that ever lived") in his list of classic country acts whose music will grace The Garth Channel's airwaves. But the "The Thunder Rolls" singer also noted that it won't just be country artists who are featured on the channel.
"My input is: Do I like it? Yeah? It goes on the channel. That’s it. What format? Doesn’t matter. So you’re gonna hear Ray Charles to Lady Gaga to George Strait to Bruno Mars -- you betcha. With some Garth thrown in there, of course," Brooks says with a laugh, adding that the goal is not to play his music all the time, but to play music that will resonate.
"You just want to play good music. You want to turn people onto that good music," he continues. "I think that’s what radio’s job has always been."
As for guest hosts and DJs, Brooks shared that that at least one famous artist will be making regular appearances: his wife, Trisha Yearwood, who Brooks says will be on The Garth Channel "quite a lot."
"She’s gonna do her show on there. She’s gonna be one of the DJs that will have a show every week," Brooks says. "That woman’s got great taste in music, so you’ll probably hear a lot of her heroes: Dolly [Parton], Emmylou [Harris], Loretta [Lynn], Linda Ronstadt for sure."
Yes, it's Brooks' name on the station, but he admits that, at the end of the day, it's not really about him.
"Nothing today -- nothing forever -- is about the artist," he says. "Because I don't think an artist is going to get remembered if it isn't for the music. Especially not for generations."
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