Country Queer

Lifting up LGBTQ+ voices in country and Americana.

Ph.Dolly: Playing the Songs You Wish Country Radio Would Play

By James Barker, Staff Writer

As well as writing for Country Queer, I am also a PhD student in the UK researching Dolly Parton, which might make me the luckiest grad student ever. And I host a radio show: “PhDolly,” on Newcastle Student Radio, where my mission is to make the kind of show that I would like all country radio to be.

The show started as a way to complement my doctoral research, so I play at least one Parton song each week. But over the past year I’ve tried to showcase the full diversity of talent that makes country music the vibrant genre it is today. I play a bunch of the artists featured in both Country Queer and Black Opry, and I’m always looking to showcase new artists on my show.

As we’re approaching the end of this radio season, I will be airing a pair of PhDolly specials. On Saturday May 8th, I will be doing an in-depth look into Dolly as an LGBTQ+ icon and ally; the following week I will be doing a special about how my music taste has evolved from my childhood to today (basically how I went from being gay listening to pop divas, to being gay listening to country divas). It promises to be a darn good time – and you’re invited!


PhDolly is on Saturdays 12noon EST on NSR; and you can check out playlists from previous shows here.

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