TV's 'Duck Dynasty' waddles its way into country, music that is

Fri Nov 1, 2013 6:14am EDT
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By Vernell Hackett

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Reuters) - Already atop the duck hunting industry and cable television, the Robertson family of juggernaut reality series "Duck Dynasty" now has the music charts in their crosshairs.

"Duck the Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas," which was released this week, features the bearded, down-home-on-the-bayou clan singing traditional Christmas carols and duck-themed songs in the latest addition to their stable of merchandise.

The album, in which the family showcase their work on the squawking duck calls that have made their Duck Commander company leaders in the hunting industry, will also be a test of how the unlikely TV stars can compete head-to-head against Christmas albums by country music's perennial million-sellers Kelly Clarkson and Trace Adkins.

But Willie Robertson, Duck Commander's chief executive, is not counting on music being a full-time gig for the "Duck Dynasty" crew, who have also parlayed the A&E Network's series into a merchandise lines sold at big-box retailers like Walmart and Sears.

"We're not aspiring to be country music stars," Robertson said in an interview about the album, which was produced by Nashville hitmaker Buddy Cannon.

"When we first went in the studio with Buddy we didn't know what was going to happen, but we are very proud of the album," Robertson said.

"Duck Dynasty" drew 11.8 million viewers for its season four debut in August, a record for a cable nonfiction series according to A&E. The show chronicles the Robertson's rural Louisiana life of hunting, fishing and domestic squabbles among men and women.

Critics ascribe its success to fact that the Robertsons are seen as a regular family and viewers can compare their quirks and eccentricities to their own family members.   Continued...

Willie Robertson of the reality television show "Duck Dynasty" speak at the Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. U.S. Associates meeting in Fayetteville, Arkansas June 5, 2013. REUTERS/Rick Wilking