Hitmaker Wayne Perry Switches From Country To Pop

Charging that country radio is going pop, veteran Nashville songwriter Wayne Perry heads there, too.

Wayne Perry, who wrote five #1 hit country songs, has pretty much abandoned

writing tunes for the genre and is looking toward pop, pointing to

country radio as the culprit.

"I blame radio because we [in Nashville] have given radio so much power,"

said Perry, whose hits include Lorrie Morgan's "What Part of No," Tim

McGraw's "Not a Moment Too Soon," and Collin Raye's "Every Second."

Fact is, given the numbers a hit pop album sells, Perry says he can

make more money with his album cuts for pop stars such as the Backstreet

Boys, whose hits include "I Want It That Way" (RealAudio

excerpt), than he can on a country hit — which gets massive

radio play but may not sell huge numbers of singles or albums.

"I know how to write a traditional country song," Perry said. "I've

written traditional country song hits, and I love traditional country

music and the feeling I get when I hear it. I do not get any kind of

a feeling off the music that I'm hearing on country radio right now.

All it is, is just fillers between advertisements. I don't even listen

to it — and I'm a country writer. I don't even listen to country

radio anymore."

Radio people counter that if Nashville's record labels gave them better

songs, they'd play them. Perry disagrees: "They've made the parameters

[at radio] so small about what they'll play. So, as a writer, I've had

to write the same song over and over and over again. It's killed my

creativity. All this 'positive! positive! positive!' crap that we hear

on country radio the last three or four years — life ain't totally

positive!"

Therefore, says Perry, he's decided to follow that reasoning to its

logical conclusion. "I was tired of writing watered-down country music

— watered-down pop music is what it is — which is what they're

calling 'Modern Country,' " he said. "So I said, 'If I'm going to write

watered-down pop music, then I'm going to go ahead and write pop music

and just get it over with.' That way, I can go where the big money's

at."