The Current Pulse Coronavirus Pandemic of Mainstream Country Music: June 29, 2020

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.

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. Kenny Chesney, “Here And Now” 0 (5/10)
2. Luke Bryan, “One Margarita” 0 (5/10)
3. Sam Hunt, “Hard To Forget” 0 (5/10)
4. Miranda Lambert, “Bluebird” -1 (4/10)
5. LoCash, “One Big Country Song” 0 (5/10)
6. Chris Janson, “Done” 0 (5/10)
7. Justin Moore, “Why We Drink” -1 (4/10)
8. Maddie & Tae, “Die From A Broken Heart” +2 (7/10)
9. Florida Georgia Line, “I Love My Country” -3 (2/10)
10. Scotty McCreery, “In Between” +1 (6/10)
11. Thomas Rhett ft. Reba McEntire, Hillary Scott, Keith Urban and Chris Tomlin, “Be A Light” +1 (6/10)
12. Keith Urban, “God Whispered Your Name” 0 (5/10)
13. Kane Brown, “Cool Again” -1 (4/10)
14. Carly Pearce & Lee Brice, “I Hope You’re Happy Now” 0 (5/10)
15. Ashley McBryde, “One Night Standards” +5 (10/10)
16. Tim McGraw, “I Called Mama” +4 (9/10)
17. Chase Rice, “Lonely If You Are” -2 (3/10)
18. Jameson Rodgers, “Some Girls” 0 (5/10)
19. Jason Aldean, “Got What I Got” +2 (7/10)
20. Carrie Underwood, “Drinking Alone” 0 (5/10)
21. Matt Stell, “Everywhere But On” 0 (5/10)
22. Kip Moore, “She’s Mine” +1 (6/10)
23. Brad Paisley, “No I In Beer” 0 (5/10)
24. Lee Brice, “One Of Them Girls” -1 (4/10)
25. HARDY ft. Lauren Alaina & Devin Dawson, “One Beer” -1 (4/10)
26. Parker McCollum, “Pretty Heart” -1 (4/10)
27. Luke Combs, “Lovin’ On You” +2 (7/10)
28. Midland, “Cheatin’ Songs” +4 (9/10)
29. Jon Pardi, “Ain’t Always The Cowboy” 0 (5/10)
30. Eric Church, “Stick That In Your Country Song” +5 (10/10)
31. Old Dominion, “Some People Do” +3 (8/10)
32. Lady A, “Champagne Night” 0 (5/10)
33. Russell Dickerson, “Love You Like I Used To” 0 (5/10)
34. Dustin Lynch, “Momma’s House” -1 (4/10)
35. Lauren Alaina, “Getting Good” +2 (7/10)
36. Jon Langston, “Now You Know” -2 (3/10)
37. Gone West, “What Could’ve Been” +1 (6/10)
38. LANco, “What I See” -1 (4/10)
39. Chris Lane, “Big, Big Plans” +1 (6/10)
40. Morgan Wallen, “More Than My Hometown” -1 (4/10)
41. Brett Eldredge, “Gabrielle” 0 (5/10)
42. Kane Brown, “Worldwide Beautiful” +2 (7/10)
43. Tenille Arts, “Somebody Like That” +2 (7/10)
44. Dylan Scott, “Nobody” 0 (5/10)
45. Brothers Osborne, “All Night” -1 (4/10)
46. Maren Morris, “To Hell & Back” +2 (7/10)
47. Brett Young, “Lady” +1 (6/10)
48. Rascal Flatts, “How They Remember You” +4 (9/10)
49. Granger Smith, “That’s Why I Love Dirt Roads” 0 (5/10)
50. Jordan Davis, “Almost Maybes” +1 (6/10)
Present Pulse (#1—#25) +10
Future Pulse (#26—#50) +20
Overall Pulse +30
Change From Two Weeks Ago
+4 😎

Best Song: “Stick That In Your Country Song,” 10/10
Worst Song: “I Love My Country,” 2/10
Mode Score: 0 (13 songs)

Gone:

  • Travis Denning, “After A Few” (recurrent)
  • Luke Combs, “Six Feet Apart” (recurrent)

Leaving:

  • Scotty McCreery, “In Between” (down from #1 to #10)
  • Carly Pearce & Lee Brice, “I Hope You’re Happy Now” (down from #8 to #14)
  • Carrie Underwood, “Drinking Alone” (down from #15 to #20)
  • Gone West, “What Could’ve Been” (down from #28 to #37)

In Real Trouble:

  • Jon Langston, “Now You Know” (down from #33 to #36, and barely regained its bullet by gaining fifteen spins and fifty-three points)
  • LANco, “What I See” (up from #39 to #38, but gained only thirty-nine spins and seventy-four points)
  • Brett Eldredge, “Gabrielle” (down from #40 to #41, barely regains its bullet by gaining thirty-four spins and losing points)

In Some Trouble:

  • Kane Brown, “Worldwide Beautiful” (holds at #42, but gained only fifty-five spins and forty-three points)
  • Dylan Scott, “Nobody” (holds at #44, but gained only thirty-one spins and fifty-seven points)
  • Maren Morris, “To Hell & Back” (down from #45 to #46, gained only nineteen spins and ten points)
  • Granger Smith, “That’s Why I Love Dirt Roads” (holds at #49, but gained only thirty-two spins and seventy-one points)

In No Trouble At All:

  • Eric Church, “Stick That In Your Country Song” (debuts at #30)
  • Old Dominion, “Some People Do” (up from #37 to #31)
  • Morgan Wallen, “More Than My Hometown” (up from #46 to #40)
  • Justin Moore, “Why We Drink” (up from #12 to #7)
  • Maddie & Tae, “Die From A Broken Heart” (up from #13 to #8)

Is Thanos:

  • Luke Combs, “Lovin’ On You” (up from #35 to #27)

Bubbling Under 50:

On The Way:

  • Runaway June, “We Were Rich”
  • Zac Brown Band, “The Man Who Loves You The Most”

Overall Thoughts: Where last week was volatile, this one was surprisingly stable…on the country charts at least.

The escalator was fully operational this week, with little movement besides short steps past the departing Denning (“Six Feet Apart” was already at #50). Despite Church crashing the charts at #30, the combination of Rascal Flatt’s market correction, McCreery’s hard crash from #1 to #10, and the continued losses of Gone West, Underwood, and Pearce/Brice meant there were plenty of spins to go around, giving everyone an opportunity for solid growth for a change. Not everyone took advantage of the opportunity, and some took more than their fair share (*cough* Thanos *cough), but it’s nice to see track get decent gains across the board. (That said, look for a bit more movement next week as three or four songs drop off the charts and folks like Ballerini and Brantley break into the Top 50.)

On the pandemic front: Last week I broached the possibility of “re-closing” parts of America as the coronavirus continued raging on (we’re now regularly topping 40,000 new cases a day, and the death toll is now above 127,000), but we’re wayyyyyy past the discussion phase now. States like Texas, Florida, and Arizona have starting reimposing restrictions to try to slow the spread of the virus (California is expected to join them today), and with case counts currently rising in FORTY (!) states, I expect more states to join them within the next few weeks. While the daily death counts have not risen with the overall case counts yet, the fear is that they will catch up within a few weeks at data comes in and hospitals get overwhelmed once again.

I’m sure this is the hundredth time you’ve heard this, but please:

In other words: Try to be part of the solution, not the problem.

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