Little Big Town and More Join Cracker Barrel to Lift Up Country’s Women

'Five Decades, One Voice' pairs big stars with up-and-coming artists.

Written by Chris Parton
Little Big Town and More Join Cracker Barrel to Lift Up Country’s Women
Little Big Town's Kimberly Schlapman and Karen Fairchild with Ingrid Andress; Photo courtesy of Cracker Barrel

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store is teaming with some of country’s biggest female artists to support the women who will come next, launching Five Decades, One Voice.

Meant to help celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the comfort food chain in September, the special initiative pairs five country stars with up-and-coming talents of their choosing. The result will be an in-depth video series, a full album and an all-female playlist that will spin inside Cracker Barrel stores — and hopefully more awareness for some of the most promising new artists in country, who just so happen to be women.

Five Decades, One Voice is a response to the fact that female country artists receive far less radio play than their male counterparts, and as such will find established stars helping to lift newcomers up a few levels. The legendary Loretta Lynn kicks things off with a video explaining the program.

Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman of Little Big Town with partner with and mentor Ingrid Andress. Brandi Carlile will team up with Tenille Townes (featuring a special performance with Tanya Tucker). Trisha Yearwood will lend her support to songwriters Caitlyn Smith, Connie Harrington and Erik Dylan (who penned her latest single, “Every Girl In This Town”). And Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum will join forces with Bailey Bryan.

The video series will include candid, one-on-one conversations between each of the artists and three performances — one from each artist, as well as a reimagined version of a country classic – all to be featured at From that, Cracker Barrel will release an exclusive compilation album of songs picked by the Five Decades, One Voice artists, and create an all-female in-store playlist which will play in every Cracker Barrel location this September. In addition, one dollar from every album sold will benefit She Is The Music, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase the number of women working in all aspects of music.

“This initiative was a no brainer for us to be a part of,” says Little Big Town’s Schlapman. “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,” Andress says of being invited to take part. “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.”

“It is truly an honor to take part in a campaign that celebrates women in country music,” Yearwood agrees. “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 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,” Townes adds. “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.”