Goodbyes aren?t easy, especially those goodbyes that rip your heart out and leave you feeling a little lost on a road you knew by heart. So trust us when we say we never wanted to say goodbye to Rare Country.
But here we are.
And its time to say so long for now.
Not because we want to. Certainly, we would have loved to continue bringing you the stories behind country music?s biggest stars, along with their music and performances. We would have loved continuing to produce our popular video shows, like “Rare Country’s 5” and “Pedal For the Medal.” We would have loved to have brought you a third installment of the Rare Country Awards, especially after the massive success of the 2017 version. We would have loved to continue with some big plans that could have made this site a household name among country music fans in the coming months. And we would have loved to continue on a journey that we, quite frankly, loved being a part of.
Yet, in a world of analytics and algorithms, Rare Country could no longer sustain its success. Our Facebook distribution model became a whack-a-mole game as the social network constantly moved our cheese. And despite our best efforts to expand our brand beyond the ever-churning social media chaos, our corporate parent came to the decision that we could continue no longer.
Many of you have been with us since the beginning of our story, when a small group of dreamers conjured up the idea of Rare Country. We carefully curated a staff of skilled people, which eventually swelled to 10 dedicated and hardworking souls spread out among Nashville, Atlanta and Chicago. We were all country fans ourselves, committed to creating content always with a fan’s first mentality. Heck, Fans 1st Media was even our company name!
Slowly and surely we muddled through the constantly changing Facebook landscape, creating a following of loyal music fans and quickly becoming one of the biggest and most successful brands in the country genre, with 2.2 million unique monthly visitors generating five million page views a month.
Yeah, we weren’t messing around.
We covered awards shows, concerts and television appearances. We covered births, deaths, marriages and engagements. We shared with our readers the love stories behind the music and rooted for the storytellers of our format. And in October of 2017, we were awakened in the middle of the night to tell one of the most heart-wrenching stories of our careers. Through it all, we remained committed to sharing our passion for country music and the talented people who create it.
So today, as we post Rare Country?s final story, we refuse to wallow in the might have beens and could have beens. Instead, we plan to persevere and bask in all that we were able to accomplish.
You see, in this day and age, its not easy to build a brand out of nothing.
But we did it.
It?s not easy to collect a loyal following made up of millions of people who cared about us and the work we proudly published daily.
But we did it.
And it?s virtually impossible to come out of nowhere, grab the attention of your peers and gain respect in an industry that doesn?t hand out respect easily.
But we did it.
And because we did it, it makes today not necessarily a sad day, but a day when we count our blessings for the privilege of having been a part of it all. Thank you Rare Country readers. We promise ? we will be seeing you somewhere down the road.
And now, we’ll let Eric Church have the last word. As he sings in “Over When It’s Over,” “It’s a blank page when you’re out of words …”