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 numbers are from the latest version of Country Aircheck, but I’m going to link to their archives since I never remember to update this from week to week. Without further ado, let’s crunch some numbers!
Best Song: “Miss Me More,” 9/10
Worst Song: “REDNECKER,” 2/10
Mode Score: +1 (15 songs)
- Eli Young Band, “Love Ain’t” (recurrent)
- Lauren Alaina, “Ladies In The 90s” (recurrent)
- Ashley McBryde, “Girl Goin’ Nowhere” (recurrent)
- Logan Mize, “Better Off Gone” (down to #51)
- Kelsea Ballerini, “Miss Me More” (max-spin week is over)
- Morgan Wallen, “Whiskey Glasses” (down from #1 to #2)
- Kane Brown, “Good As You” (down from #2 to #5)
- George Strait, “Every Little Honky Tonk Bar” (down from #18 to #19, and while it’s still clinging to #19 as of this writing, if you take a 700+ point loss in one week, it’s over)
In Real Trouble:
- Jimmie Allen, “Make Me Want To” (holds at #39, but lost spins and gained only sixty-six points)
- Brad Paisley, “My Miracle” (up from #48 to #47, but gained only fifty-four spins and 124 points)
In Some Trouble:
- Cody Johnson, “On My Way To You” (down from #8 to #9, gained only forty-five spins and thirty points, and just seems to be out of gas)
- Florida Georgia Line, “Talk You Out Of It” (holds at #15, but gained only twenty-two spins and fifty-four points, and has been stalled in the mid-teens for a while)
- Rascal Flatts, “Back To Life” (up from #22 to #21, but gained only eight spins and 172 points)
- Tenille Townes, “Somebody’s Daughter” (holds at #27, but gained only twenty-three spins and thirty-nine points)
- Chris Janson, “Good Vibes” (up from #35 to #4, but gained only eight spins and forty-four points)
In No Trouble At All:
- Trisha Yearwood, “Every Girl In This Town” (debuts at #38)
- Sheryl Crow ft. Stevie Nicks and Maren Morris, “Prove You Wrong” (debuts at #43)
- Carrie Underwood, “Southbound” (up from #34 to #30 and has been rising like a rocket recently)
Is Luke Combs:
- Luke Combs, “Beer Never Broke My Heart” (up from #12 to #11)
Bubbling Under 50:
- Logan Mize, “Better Off Gone” (6/10)
- LoCash, “One Big Country Song” (5/10)
- Caylee Hammack, “Family Tree” (5/10)
- Filmore, “Slower” (5/10)
On The Way:
- Jon Pardi, “Heartache Medication” (6/10)
- Walker Hayes, “Don’t Let Her” (7/10)
- Brett Young, “Catch” (6/10)
Overall Thoughts: First things first: I have no idea what happened last week, but apparently WordPress ate my Pulse post for June 2nd and just reposted my May 26th one again, which is aggravating to say the least…
Second: In the last two weeks, we’ve seen a ton of movement on the chart, with seven songs booted from the list (including several premature exits like Alaina, McBryde, and Jon Pardi).Things should settle down for a while now that some of the shakiest songs are gone, but there are still a couple of dominoes (Johnson, FGL, Strait, Allen, Scott, Paisley) that I expect to fall soon.
Third: Even with Ballerini’s massive push for #1, woman have had an exceptionally rough run lately. Kacey Musgraves, Alaina, and McBryde are all gone, Pearce and Townes haven’t looked strong, and Jones and Hammack appear to be the only reinforcements on the horizon. (This will get even worse once Yearwood and Crow regress to the mean and Ballerini and Morris complete their chart runs.) Underwood’s latest track is showing some surprising strength, but she’s the exception rather than the rule right now.
So what do you think? Are the numbers better or worse than you expected? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!