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"Trio II" makes you feel thrice fortunate

Country Standard Time Editorial, May 1999

One of the best selling country albums in recent weeks is something you're not going to hear on radio - "Trio II."

The second installment from Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris, debuted in Billboard's Top 5 with healthy sales of about 25,000 and continued strong for several weeks.

It's quite refreshing to see that kind of sales and chart success for a fine quality album that today's country radio ain't going to touch. The music is spare, the voices crystalline. There's no pop sound there or anything remotely high energy. Thus, forget about radio play.

But that predicament, fortunately, did not dissuade label head Evelyn Shriver from putting out the disc of fine music. She doubtlessly knew going into it radio wasn't going to be the forum for Trio II.

Alternatives such as some press and television appearances helped spur album sales.

And while this success is limited to one album, it could augur well for others who aren't going to get radio play either. Maybe Shriver can turn the same trick with George Jones, assuming he can release an album of quality.

Label personnel already have talked about alternatives to the regular make-or-break radio as a way to sell some Jones albums.

With kudos to Shriver, let's hope she can turn the magic once again. In this way, quality music of lasting import instead of flavor-of-the-month acts will gain a foothold and be financially feasible to do.

The public, of course, will be the beneficiary. Who knows? Maybe even other labels and radio will finally see the light.