The Wild, Whacky and Serious 2007 readers poll

Jeffrey B. Remz, January 2008

Taylor Swift superstar? President Toby Keith? A retired Garth Brooks?

That could be the case if votes in the poll prove accurate.

Swift, with one album under her belt and several hits, is going to be country's next superstar, according to voters. She was overwhelmingly the country act of choice, besting Miranda Lambert by almost a two-to-one margin.

Among other results, Keith received a lot of good news as he had the most votes for best song, best voice, performer most capable of holding political office and best name for a pet (well, "Toby" actually).

The news was not so good for Carrie Underwood, who won by an overwhelming margin as most overrated performer and having her CDs as candidates for the trash heap and Garth Brooks, voted the artist who should have retired in 2007 or earlier.

In the superstar category, one supporter wrote of Swift with a swipe at Carrie Underwood, "She has more talent all wrapped in one little girl than we have seen in a long time. She did it the hard way without having any backing from a reality show to launch her career."

A Lambert backer wrote, "That little Texas girl's got a lot of twang and attitude in a rocking song like 'Gunpowder and Lead'. She also knows how to tone it down and show her vulnerable side with 'More Like Her'. She's got it all"

Others receiving support were Billy Currington, Flynnville Train and Kellie Pickler.

Several acts that most would probably consider superstars right now also received votes in this category, such as "the hillbilly rock star, Kenny Chesney," wrote one voter.

A Joe Nichols supporter waxed eloquent, "He walks that voice up and down like satin footsteps on the basement stairs."

A few of the more humorous comments were "Catherine Britt (because she's Australian)." One person, who apparently doesn't have a good grasp of country music, wrote "Hmm...don't really know, maybe Hannah Montana!!"

Mac Davis, who has not been on the charts for years, received a vote of support as well.

The Dixie Chicks had a backer, who wrote "The Dixie Chicks will be back with a traditional country and bluegrass."

The Eagles was mindful of the group's past: "Yeh, I know they're a re-do, but that was rock 'n roll - this is country and they earned their street cred at the CMAs this year."

The best song of the year was Toby Keith's "Love Me If You Can." A fan wrote, "It's a soul-stirring song, and even though he didn't write it, describes what he has said about himself for years."

Receiving significant support were "Famous in a Small Town" by Lambert and Billy Ray Cyrus's "Ready, Set, Don't Go." Yoakam received many votes for his cover of Buck Owens's "Close Up the Honky Tonks."

Keith also was picked as having the best voice. Martina McBride, Underwood, Reba, Malo and Yoakam received a good amount of votes. "He can hit every note, boom out the strong ones, and purr out the love songs," wrote one Keith fan.

"There is no comparison. That smooth baritone can sooth the savage beast or make you dance," wrote another Keith backer.

Country acts looking for a rocking chair may be interested in the results for "which country performer should have retired in 2007 (or earlier)?"

Garth Brooks received significant "support" with comments such as "STAY retired!!!" and "go back to retirement PLEASE."

The most overrated country performer by a huge margin was Underwood. One basher wrote "completely overplayed and overrated with all the awards simply because she was on American Idol and sold millions of records. I'm very tired of Carrie being constantly shoved down my throat at every turn."

"Isn't her 15 minutes over YET???" wrote another.

Chesney also received many votes, while Swift received the third most.

The next time you check for CDs in the trash heap, the following acts might have their CDs there, according to voters: Underwood ("I'm soo sick of her! All her songs sound the same... they're all moderate tempo, uplifting songs" wrote one person), "Anything by Big and Rich. (They aren't country, are way too impressed by themselves, and have little respect for the legends or the history of country music" wrote one B&R basher) and Rascal Flatts.

Another anti-Underwood voter wrote, "I'd have said Carrie Underwood's CDs, but then neither of these are country."

A Rascal Flatts basher said, "They sound feminine - they are more pop than country."

Others receiving pockets of support for having their CDs in the garbage can were Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney and Trace Adkins.

One responder got a bit esoteric, writing, "Plenty of Czech country CDs."

Toby (Keith) was the favorite among fans who were asked which country artist's name would make a great name for a pet. "Of course! He's the Big Dog Daddy," wrote a fan, referring to the name of Keith's last CD.

Bucky (Covington), Dierks (Bentley), Shooter (Jennings), Rascal (Flatts) and Reba received a sizable number of votes as well. "Just the Rascal part!" wrote one fan about Rascal Flatts.

One fan wrote "(Taylor) Swift for a horse."

The outspoken Keith was voted the performer most capable of holding political office. Tim McGraw, who has talked about running for office one day, also received many votes. Trace Adkins had pockets of support as well.

One person who wrote in Keith's name, "but he is too smart to stoop that low. Washington couldn't handle his straight talk."

There was no clear-cut act of choice when asked how voters would most like to have a beer with. In fact, a number of people made comments, such as "I don't drink" and "I hate beer."

But among those who did, a few of the more mentioned choices were Lambert once again, Toby Keith, Dwight Yoakam and Raul Malo. One Malo supporter wrote, "why? Have you ever listened to him in an interview? He is a freakin' riot! Hell, I'll even buy!"

A Keith voter wrote "because he's the real deal. I'm tired of fake people."

Results were from an on-line poll of voters in December and January.

© Country Standard Time • Jeffrey B. Remz, editor & publisher •