As the brand nears its 50th anniversary in September, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store announced the launch of “Five Decades, One Voice,” a program to celebrate iconic female country music artists and shine a spotlight on those following in their footsteps. With radio airtime for female country artists at an all-time low, Cracker Barrel is using its 50th anniversary as a moment to recognize women in country music and lend a voice to help elevate this group of inspirational artists.
Cracker Barrel partnered with four female pillars in the country music industry, who have each selected emerging female artists or songwriters to lift up and mentor. Those pairings include:
- Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman of Little Big Town partnering with Ingrid Andress
- Brandi Carlile partnering with Tenille Townes featuring a special performance alongside Tanya Tucker
- Trisha Yearwood partnering with songwriters Caitlyn Smith, Connie Harrington and Erik Dylan
- Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum partnering with Bailey Bryan
Cracker Barrel is creating an opportunity for these artists to come together for one-on-one conversations and for each pairing to record three songs together – one from each artist, as well as a reimagined version of an iconic country song – all to be featured at crackerbarrel.com/onevoice leading up to the brand’s 50th anniversary in September.
Over the past 50 years, music has remained a part of the Cracker Barrel story – especially country, bluegrass and gospel. In the early days, Cracker Barrel guests often enjoyed live music by local musicians on its front porches. It was a popular gathering spot for local pickers that wanted to play their guitars and banjos for an audience.
Building on Cracker Barrel’s rich heritage in music, the “Five Decades, One Voice” campaign will continue to celebrate, support and empower women in country music by:
Releasing an exclusive compilation album of songs handpicked by “Five Decades, One Voice” partner artists, with one dollar from every album sold benefitting She Is The Music, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase the number of women working in music – songwriters, engineers, producers, artists and industry professionals.
Creating an all-female in-store playlist for guests to enjoy in every Cracker Barrel location in September during the company’s anniversary month with songs handpicked by the “Five Decades, One Voice” partner artists.
Together, these five iconic women who are paving the way for emerging female artists have won 18 Grammys, 23 CMA Awards and 29 ACM Awards, and each are committed to sharing their unique experiences and advice to help lead the future generation of women in country music to success.
“This initiative was a no brainer for us to be a part of,” says “Five Decades, One Voice” partner artist Kimberly Schlapman of Little Big Town. “We’ve been in the music business for 20 years and have had the highest of highs and lowest of lows. We looked up to the women trailblazers before us – Loretta, Emmylou, Reba, Dolly, Trisha, Martina – to inspire us and guide us through all these moments in our career. It’s so important for us all to lift each other up and even the playing field for these girls to have a shot at success. There is no reason why the world shouldn’t hear their voices for years and years to come.”
“It is beyond my wildest dreams to get to get to collaborate with Karen and Kimberly so early in my career,” says Ingrid Andress. “These are women who have forged a path in this format like no one else and have so fearlessly used their voices and their music to promote other women and lift so many up. They are powerful advocates and change makers in our community and beyond, and we are lucky to have them. I am thrilled to partner with Cracker Barrel and other incredible women in this campaign to be able to share our stories and create new, impactful moments to hopefully inspire the next generation of women in country music.”
“It is truly an honor to take part in a campaign that celebrates women in country music,” adds Trisha Yearwood. “Not only do I admire each of these artists, but I’m thrilled to support and uplift the women behind the music as well. Songwriters play such an integral part of the business and it was such a wonderful experience getting to sing my latest single, ‘Every Girl in this Town,’ with those who wrote it.”
“I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette and all the women who came before me, so I think it’s really great what Cracker Barrel is doing with ‘Five Decades, One Voice,'” says Tanya Tucker. “There are so many talented young ladies out there who need a lift – just someone to raise them up so fans can discover them. And who doesn’t love Cracker Barrel’s country cookin’?”
“It is such an honor to be a part of ‘Five Decades, One Voice’ and to have the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of the women who have come before me,” adds Tenille Townes. “Getting to stand in a circle and sing with Brandi Carlile and Tanya Tucker is one of those ‘is this actually real life’ moments that I will forever hold on to.”
“Five Decades, One Voice” follows Cracker Barrel’s long history of iconic female-driven artist partnerships – working with some of the biggest names in the industry, including Alison Krauss, Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire, and Carrie Underwood – who have been at the heart of Cracker Barrel’s music history since the very beginning and instrumental in fostering the warmth and hospitality felt at America’s home-away-from home.
“As we celebrate our golden anniversary, we want to acknowledge and give back to the voices that have supported us and help lift up the next generation of female country music artists,” says Cracker Barrel’s Senior Vice President of Retail Laura Daily. “Music has always been a soundtrack to our heritage, so it’s an honor to be a part of the conversation and help raise awareness for the important role women play in the country music industry.”
Country music legend and trailblazer Loretta Lynn serves as the voice of “Five Decades, One Voice,” narrating its vision and noting, “For five decades, I have seen many female artists who are still fighting for the chance to be heard. I want to help them bring their talents to the table and have a chance to be heard, and trust me, there’s plenty to go around.”