The Temporary Pulse of Mainstream Country Music: December 24, 2019

Several years ago, Josh Schott started a weekly feature on the now-reborn 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.

Unfortunately, it looks like Country Aircheck isn’t publishing this week (not working during the holidays? What slackers…), so this edition of the Pulse is based on the Mediabase daily chart for today (which means it’s going to be shorter). Without further ado, let’s get to the numbers!

Song Score
1. Thomas Rhett, “Remember You Young” +2 (7/10)
2. Dustin Lynch, “Ridin’ Roads” -2 (3/10)
3. Luke Combs, “Ever Though I’m Leaving” 0 (5/10)
4. Old Dominion, “One Man Band” +1 (6/10)
5. Dan + Shay ft. Justin Bieber, “10,000 Hours” -2 (3/10)
6. Lady Antebellum, “What If I Never Get Over You” +1 (6/10)
7. Jon Pardi, “Heartache Medication” +1 (6/10)
8. Jimmie Allen, “Make Me Want To” -1 (4/10)
9. Sam Hunt, “Kinfolks” -2 (3/10)
10. Maren Morris, “The Bones” 0 (5/10)
11. Kane Brown, “Homesick” +1 (6/10)
12. Jason Aldean, “We Back” -1 (4/10)
13. Garth Brooks ft. Blake Shelton, “Dive Bar” +1 (6/10)
14. Luke Bryan, “What She Wants Tonight” -2 (3/10)
15. Jordan Davis, “Slow Dance In A Parking Lot” +1 (6/10)
16. Brett Young, “Catch” +1 (6/10)
17. Ingrid Andress, “More Hearts Than Mine” +3 (8/10)
18. Jake Owen, “Homemade” 0 (5/10)
19. Kelsea Ballerini, “Homecoming Queen?” +1 (6/10)
20. Blake Shelton ft. Trace Adkins, “Hell Right” -2 (3/10)
21. Riley Green, “I Wish Grandpas Never Died” 0 (5/10)
22. Carly Pearce & Lee Brice, “I Hope You’re Happy Now” 0 (5/10)
23. Ryan Hurd, “To A T” 0 (5/10)
24. Travis Denning, “After A Few” 0 (5/10)
25. Kenny Chesney, “Tip Of My Tongue” -2 (3/10)
26. Scotty McCreery, “In Between” +1 (6/10)
27. Keith Urban, “We Were” 0 (5/10)
28. Gabby Barrett, “I Hope” +2 (7/10)
29. Trisha Yearwood, “Every Girl In This Town” +1 (6/10)
30. Eric Church, “Monsters” 0 (5/10)
Overall Pulse +3 🙂

Best Song: “More Hearts Than Mine,” 8/10
Worst Song: “Hell Right,” 3/10


  • Thomas Rhett, “Remember You Young” (holds at #1 despite a 900+ point loss)
  • Old Dominion, “One Man Band” (down from #3 to #4)
  • Blake Shelton ft. Trace Adkins, “Hell Right” (this seems premature, but it’s down from #17 to #20 with a 500+ point loss, which tells me it’s pretty much history)
  • Kenny Chesney, “Tip Of My Tongue” (down from #8 to #25)
  • Keith Urban, “We Were” (down from #13 to #27)

Is Thanos:

  • Luke Combs, “Even Though I’m Leaving” (down from #2 to #3)

Overall Thoughts: For an abbreviated chart, there’s a lot to like here. Chesney’s unexpected exit is a plus, Shelton and Adkins’s even-more-unexpected exit is an even bigger plus, and Barrett’s jump into the top 30 helps avoid a mid-week negative Pulse. With some of the big Boyfriend country players nearing the end of their chart runs (Dan + Shay + Biebs and Hunt are already closing in on #1), we might just avoid the chart crisis I was fearing. That’s as good of a holiday miracle as I could have asked for!

I’m not sure how active the blog will be between now and the end of the year (besides the Song of the Decade tournament, there isn’t a whole lot to say), but rest assured that we’ll be back in 2020 with all the analysis and complaining you’ve all got to expect.

Happy Holidays everyone!