The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music: June 23, 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 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!

Song Score
1. Thomas Rhett, “Look What God Gave Her” +1 (6/10)
2. Lee Brice, “Rumor” (5/10)
3. Blake Shelton, “God’s Country” -2 (3/10)
4. Eric Church, “Some Of It” +2 (7/10)
5. Maren Morris, “GIRL” +1 (6/10)
6. Luke Combs, “Beer Never Broke My Heart” +1 (6/10)
7. Chris Young, “Raised On Country” 0 (5/10)
8. Jason Aldean, “Rearview Town” +2 (7/10)
9. Brett Eldredge, “Love Someone” 0 (5/10)
10. Dan + Shay, “All To Myself” -1 (4/10)
11. Justin Moore, “The Ones That Didn’t Make It Back Home” +1 (6/10)
12. Luke Bryan, “Knockin’ Boots” (5/10)
13. Florida Georgia Line, “Talk You Out Of It” -1 (4/10)
14. Kelsea Ballerini, “Miss Me More” +4 (9/10)
15. Brantley Gilbert & Lindsay Ell, “What Happens In A Small Town” +1 (6/10)
16. Runaway June, “Buy My Own Drinks” +2 (7/10)
17. Cole Swindell, “Love You Too Late” +2 (7/10)
18. Tim McGraw, “Thought About You” 0 (5/10)
19. Keith Urban, “We Were” 0 (5/10)
20. Rascal Flatts, “Back To Life” +1 (6/10)
21. Carrie Underwood, “Southbound” 0 (5/10)
22. Russell Dickerson, “Every Little Thing” +2 (7/10)
23. Garth Brooks ft. Blake Shelton, “Dive Bar” +1 (6/10)
24. Chris Lane, “I Don’t Know About You” -2 (3/10)
25. Morgan Evans, “Day Drunk” -1 (4/10)
26. Carly Pearce, “Closer To You” 0 (5/10)
27. Cody Johnson, “On My Way To You” +1 (6/10)
28. Lady Antebellum, “What If I Never Get Over You” +1 (6/10)
29. Dierks Bentley, “Living” +2 (7/10)
30. Tenille Townes, “Somebody’s Daughter” 0 (5/10)
31. Matt Stell, “Prayed For You” 0 (5/10)
32. Chris Janson, “Good Vibes” -1 (4/10)
33. HARDY, “REDNECKER” -3 (2/10)
34. Brothers Osborne, “I Don’t Remember Me (Before You)” 0 (5/10)
35. Midland, “Mr. Lonely” +3 (8/10)
36. Jimmie Allen, “Make Me Want To” -1 (4/10)
37. Dylan Scott, “Nothing To Do Town” -1 (4/10)
38. Zac Brown Band, “Someone I Used To Know” +1 (6/10)
39. Trisha Yearwood, “Every Girl In This Town” +1 (6/10)
40. Ryan Hurd, “To A T” 0 (5/10)
41. Dustin Lynch, “Ridin’ Roads” -2 (3/10)
42. Brad Paisley, “My Miracle” +1 (6/10)
43. Travis Denning, “After A Few” 0 (5/10)
44. Jon Pardi, “Heartache Medication” +1 (6/10)
45. Jordan Davis, “Slow Dance In A Parking Lot” +1 (6/10)
46. Mitchell Tenpenny, “Alcohol You Later” -2 (3/10)
47. Brett Young, “Catch” +1 (6/10)
48. Scotty McCreery, “In Between” +1 (6/10)
49. Old Dominion, “One Man Band” +1 (6/10)
50. Jake Owen, “Homemade” (5/10)
Present Pulse (#1—#25) +14
Future Pulse (#26—#50) +5
Overall Pulse +19
Change From Last Week 0

Best Song: “Miss Me More,” 9/10
Worst Song: “REDNECKER,” 2/10
Mode Score: +1 (17 songs)

Gone:

  • Morgan Wallen, “Whiskey Glasses” (recurrent)
  • George Strait, “Every Little Honky Tonk Bar” (recurrent)
  • Caroline Jones, “Chasin’ Me” (dropped below #50)

Leaving:

  • Thomas Rhett, “Look What God Gave Her” (max-spin week is over)
  • Brett Eldredge, “Love Someone” (down from #1 to #9)
  • Kelsea Ballerini, “Miss Me More” (down from #8 to #14)
  • Cody Johnson, “On My Way To You” (down from #11 to #27)

In Real Trouble:

  • Tenille Townes, “Somebody’s Daughter” (down from #29 to #30, gained only six spins and ninety-eight points)
  • Brothers Osborne, “I Don’t Remember Me (Before You)” (up from #35 to #34, but gained only twelve spins and eleven points)
  • Dylan Scott, “Nothing To Do Town” (up from #38 to #37, but gained only twenty-eight spins and eighty-three points)
  • Brad Paisley, “My Miracle” (down from #41 to #42, gained only twelve spins and lost points)

In Some Trouble:

  • Carly Pearce, “Closer To You” (down from #25 to #26 despite a decent point gain, passed by three songs)
  • HARDY, “REDNECKER” (down from #32 to #33, gained only fifty-nine spins and 132 points)
  • Zac Brown Band, “Someone I Used To Know” (up from #39 to #38, but gained only forty-eight spins and 140 points)
  • Dustin Lynch, “Ridin’ Roads” (up from #42 to #41, but gained only thirty-five spins and eighty-five points)
  • Mitchell Tenpenny, “Alcohol You Later” (down from #44 to #46, gained only forty-one spins and eighty-three points)
  • Scotty McCreery, “In Between” (down from #46 to #48, gained only eighteen spins and forty points)

In No Trouble At All:

  • Garth Brooks ft. Blake Shelton, “Dive Bar” (debuts at #23)
  • Trisha Yearwood, “Every Girl In This Town” (up from #49 to #39)
  • Keith Urban, “We Were” (up from #26 to #19)
  • Carrie Underwood, “Southbound” (up from #27 to #21)
  • Tim McGraw, “Thought About You” (up from #23 to #18)
  • Jason Aldean, “Rearview Town” (up from #12 to #8)
  • Chris Lane, “I Don’t Know About You” (up from #28 to #24)

Is Luke Combs:

  • Luke Combs, “Beer Never Broke My Heart” (up from #9 to #6)

Bubbling Under 50:

On The Way:

Overall Thoughts: The charts have been as unsettled as the weather lately, and apparently last week was the calm before yet another storm.

We’ve lost three songs this week (Wallen, Strait, and temporarily Jones) and we’re primed to lose at least three more next week (Eldredge, Ballerini, Johnson), with several others that could be candidates to crash and burn soon (I’ve been monitoring Townes, Allen, Scott, and Paisley for a while now, and Brothers Osborne needs to start thinking of an exit strategy). Peering into the crystal ball, here’s what I’m seeing:

  • Hammack, LoCash, and Mize have been knocking on the door of the charts for a while, so I think all three, plus Sheryl Crow, jump back into the fray in the next week or so.
  • The top of the chart feels weaker than usual right now, which means the stage is set for a strong single to set up camp at #1 for multiple weeks. Who could that be? Don’t look now, but Thanos (Luke Combs) is lurking at #6 and sits atop this week’s spin and point gain charts…

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