The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music: March 31, 2019

Several years ago, Josh Schott started a weekly feature on the now-defunct Country Perspective blog that asked a simple question: Based on Billboard’s country airplay charts, just how good (or bad) is country radio at this very moment? In the spirit of the original feature, I decided to try my hand at evaluating the state of the radio myself.

The methodology is as follows: Each song that appears is assigned a score based on its review score. 0/10 songs get the minimum score (-5), 10/10 songs get the maximum (+5), and so on. The result (which can range from +250 to -250) gives you an idea of where things stand on the radio.

This week’s official numbers are from Mediabase’s official report. Without further ado, let’s crunch some numbers!

Song Score
1. Luke Combs, “Unstoppable Force Of Nature Beautiful Crazy” +1 (6/10)
2. Brett Young, “Here Tonight” +1 (6/10)
3. Michael Ray, “One That Got Away” -4 (1/10)
4. Riley Green, “There Was This Girl” +1 (6/10)
5. Old Dominion, “Make It Sweet” (5/10)
6. Jake Owen, “Down To The Honkytonk” -1 (4/10)
7. Chase Rice, “Eyes On You” 0 (5/10)
8. Jon Pardi, “Night Shift” 0 (5/10)
9. Kelsea Ballerini, “Miss Me More” +4 (9/10)
10. Eli Young Band, “Love Ain’t” -1 (4/10)
11. Kane Brown, “Good As You” +1 (6/10)
12. Carrie Underwood, “Love Wins” +3 (8/10)
13. Chris Stapleton, “Millionaire” 0 (5/10)
14. Cody Johnson, “On My Way To You” +1 (6/10)
15. Morgan Wallen, “Whiskey Glasses” -1 (4/10)
16. Thomas Rhett, “Look What God Gave Her” +1 (6/10)
17. Brett Eldredge, “Love Someone” 0 (5/10)
18. Lee Brice, “Rumor” (5/10)
19. Florida Georgia Line, “Talk You Out Of It” -1 (4/10)
20. Maren Morris, “GIRL” +1 (6/10)
21. George Strait, “Every Little Honky Tonk Bar” +3 (8/10)
22. Rodney Atkins ft. The Fisk Jubilee Singers, “Caught Up In The Country” -3 (2/10)
23. Runaway June, “Buy My Own Drinks” +2 (7/10)
24. Eric Church, “Some Of It” +2 (7/10)
25. Brantley Gilbert & Lindsay Ell, “What Happens In A Small Town” +1 (6/10)
26. LoCash, “Feels Like A Party” -2 (3/10)
27. Chris Young, “Raised On Country” +0 (5/10)
28. Randy Houser ft. Hillary Lindsey, “What Whiskey Does” -1 (4/10)
29. Rascal Flatts, “Back To Life” +1 (6/10)
30. Carly Pearce, “Closer To You” 0 (5/10)
31. Dan + Shay, “All To Myself” -1 (4/10)
32. Russell Dickerson, “Every Little Thing” +2 (7/10)
33. Cole Swindell, “Love You Too Late” +2 (7/10)
34. Jason Aldean, “Rearview Town” +2 (7/10)
35. Kacey Musgraves, “Rainbow” +3 (8/10)
36. Blake Shelton, “God’s Country” -2 (3/10)
37. Morgan Evans, “Day Drunk” -1 (4/10)
38. Tenille Townes, “Somebody’s Daughter” 0 (5/10)
39. Justin Moore, “The Ones That Didn’t Make It Back Home” +1 (6/10)
40. Tim McGraw, “Thought About You” 0 (5/10)
41. Chris Lane, “I Don’t Know About You” -2 (3/10)
42. Lauren Alaina, “Ladies In The 90s” -1 (4/10)
43. Brothers Osborne, “I Don’t Remember Me (Before You)” 0 (5/10)
44. Dylan Scott, “Nothing To Do Town” -1 (4/10)
45. HARDY, “REDNECKER” -3 (2/10)
46. Dierks Bentley, “Living” +2 (7/10)
47. Jimmie Allen, “Make Me Want To” -1 (4/10)
48. Chris Janson, “Good Vibes” -1 (4/10)
49. Dylan Schneider, “How Does It Sound” 0 (5/10)
50. Ashley McBryde, “Girl Goin’ Nowhere” +3 (8/10)
Present Pulse (#1—#25) +11
Future Pulse (#26—#50) 0
Overall Pulse +11
Change From Last Week -3 😦

Best Song: “Miss Me More,” 9/10
Worst Song: “One That Got Away,” 1/10
Mode Scores: 0 (12 songs)


  • Midland, “Burn Out” (recurrent)
  • Maddie & Tae, “Friends Don’t” (recurrent)


  • Jake Owen, “Down To The Honkytonk”

  • Chris Stapleton, “Millionaire” (falls hard from #2 to #13)

Death Watch:

  • Rodney Atkins ft. The Fisk Jubilee Singers, “Caught Up In The Country” (…and it immediately falls back out of the Top 20 to #22. It’s time to let it go)

In Real Trouble:

  • Carrie Underwood, “Love Wins” (down from #10 to #12, passed by three songs, and looks a lot weaker than its immediate competition)
  • Dylan Schneider, “How Does It Sound” (down from #47 to #49 and bullet-less for the second consecutive week. It doesn’t sound good…)

In Some Trouble:

  • Brantley Gilbert & Lindsay Ell, “What Happens In A Small Town” (down from #24 to #25, gained only fifteen spins and four points)
  • Morgan Evans, “Day Drunk” (down from #35 to #37, gained only twenty-one spins and lost points)
  • Brothers Osborne, “I Don’t Remember Me (Before You)” (holds at #43, gains only twenty-seven spins and sixty-nine points)

In No Trouble At All:

  • Blake Shelton, “God’s Country” (debuts at #36?!)
  • Dan + Shay, “All To Myself (up from #36 to #31)
  • Jason Aldean, “Rearview Town” (up from #39 to #34)

Is Luke Combs:

  • Luke Combs, “Beautiful Crazy” (earns his fourth week atop Mediabase and sixth atop Billboard, and may get another week there if Brett Young or Ray can’t close the gap)

Bubbling Under 50:

On The Way:

Overall Thoughts: Okay, my optimism for this summer is starting to fade a little…

Sure, Shelton took a dump on the charts with his aggravating “God’s Country,” but McBryde rode to the rescue and helped clean up the mess. In a week where we lost the top-ranked “Burn Out,” escaping with only a three-point Pulse loss feels like a victory in itself, especially since Ray’s team is calling for a max-spin week and “One That Got Away” will hopefully be gone by Easter.

It’s the stuff bubbling up from below the Top 50 that worries me right now, because there’s just so much mediocre flotsam down there right now. I haven’t wasted a single thought on Stell, Hambrick, or even Denning since I wrote those reviews; am I going to have to deal with them hanging around now? (And you just know King Calaway and Lynch will show up on the charts before the April showers bring May flowers.) “Mr. Lonely” better jump on his horse and get over here ASAP, because otherwise the spring colors are going to be a bit less vibrant this year.

So what do you think? Are the numbers better or worse than you expected? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!