The Current Pulse Polls of Mainstream Country Music: November 2, 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. Matt Stell, “Everywhere But On” 0 (5/10)
2. Russell Dickerson, “Love You Like I Used To” 0 (5/10)
3. Morgan Wallen, “More Than My Hometown” -1 (4/10)
4. Jason Aldean, “Got What I Got” +2 (7/10)
5. Blake Shelton ft. Gwen Stefani, “Happy Anywhere” +1 (6/10)
6. Jameson Rodgers, “Some Girls” 0 (5/10)
7. HARDY ft. Lauren Alaina & Devin Dawson, “One Beer” -1 (4/10)
8. Chris Lane, “Big, Big Plans” +1 (6/10)
9. Parker McCollum, “Pretty Heart” -1 (4/10)
10. Jon Pardi, “Ain’t Always The Cowboy” 0 (5/10)
11. Kenny Chesney, “Happy Does” 0 (5/10)
12. Dan + Shay, “I Should Probably Go To Bed” 0 (5/10)
13. Lady A, “Champagne Night” 0 (5/10)
14. Kelsea Ballerini, “Hole In The Bottle” +2 (7/10)
15. Darius Rucker, “Beers And Sunshine” 0 (5/10)
16. Chris Stapleton, “Starting Over” 0 (5/10)
17. Niko Moon, “GOOD TIME” -1 (4/10)
18. Rascal Flatts, “How They Remember You” +4 (9/10)
19. Dustin Lynch, “Momma’s House” -1 (4/10)
20. Luke Combs, “Better Together” +0 (5/10)
21. Florida Georgia Line, “Long Live” -2 (3/10)
22. Kip Moore, “She’s Mine” +1 (6/10)
23. Tenille Arts, “Somebody Like That” +2 (7/10)
24. Jordan Davis, “Almost Maybes” +1 (6/10)
25. Dylan Scott, “Nobody” 0 (5/10)
26. Brothers Osborne, “All Night” -1 (4/10)
27. Morgan Wallen, “7 Summers” +1 (6/10)
28. Luke Bryan, “Down To One” 0 (5/10)
29. Maren Morris, “To Hell & Back” +2 (7/10)
30. Gabby Barrett, “The Good Ones” 0 (5/10)
31. Parmalee ft. Blanco Brown, “Just The Way” 0 (5/10)
32. Brett Young, “Lady” +1 (6/10)
33. Keith Urban and Pink, “One Too Many” 0 (5/10)
34. Taylor Swift, “Betty” +1 (6/10)
35. Sam Hunt, “Breaking Up With Easy In The 90s” 0 (5/10)
36. Brantley Gilbert, “Hard Days” 0 (5/10)
37. Brett Eldredge, “Gabrielle” 0 (5/10)
38. Runaway June, “We Were Rich” +2 (7/10)
39. Little Big Town, “Wine, Beer, Whiskey” -3 (2/10)
40. Miranda Lambert, “Settling Down” +1 (6/10)
41. Jake Owen, “Made For You” 0 (5/10)
42. Jimmie Allen & Noah Cyrus, “This Is Us” 0 (5/10)
43. Robert Counts, “What Do I Know” -3 (2/10)
44. Cole Swindell, “Single Saturday Night” 0 (5/10)
45. Dierks Bentley, “Gone” 0 (5/10)
46. Priscilla Block, “Just About Over You” 0 (5/10)
47. Carly Pearce, “Next Girl” 0 (5/10)
48. Caroline Jones, “All Of The Boys” 0 (5/10)
49. Old Dominion, “Never Be Sorry” 0 (5/10)
50. Michael Ray, “Whiskey And Rain” +1 (6/10)*
Present Pulse (#1—#25) +11
Future Pulse (#26—#50) -2
Overall Pulse +9
Change From Last Week
-9 🤮

*Preliminary Grade
Best Song: “How They Remember You,” 9/10
Worst Song: “Wine, Beer, Whiskey,” 2/10

Gone:

  • Tim McGraw, “I Called Mama” (recurrent)
  • Eric Church, “Stick That In Your Country Song” (recurrent)
  • Zac Brown Band, “The Man Who Loves You The Most” (no one knew it was here anyway)

Leaving:

  • Jameson Rodgers, “Some Girls” (down from #1 to #6)
  • Jason Aldean, “Got What I Got” (down from #2 to #4)
  • Kip Moore, “She’s Mine” (down from #15 to #22)

In Real Trouble:

  • Brett Eldredge, “Gabrielle” (holds at #37, barely regains its bullet with a fifty-six point gain despite losing spins)
  • Jake Owen, “Made For You” (down from #43 to #41, but gained only twenty-one spins and 129 points)
  • Jimmie Allen & Noah Cyrus, “This Is Us” (up from #44 to #42, but lost spins and gained only six points)
  • Cole Swindell, “Single Saturday Night” (up from #46 to #44, but bullet-less for a second straight week)
  • Carly Pearce, “The Next Girl” (up from #49 to #47, but gained only twenty-three spins and eighty-two points)
  • Caroline Jones, “All Of The Boys” (up from #50 to #48, but gained only seventeen spins and one point)

In Some Trouble:

  • Parmalee ft. Blanco Brown, “Just The Way” (holds at #31, gained only forty-nine spins and eighty-one points)
  • Taylor Swift, “Betty” (holds at #34, but gained only twenty-one spins and 142 points)

In No Trouble At All:

  • Sam Hunt, “Breaking Up Easy In The 90s” (up from #41 to #35)
  • Miranda Lambert, “Settling Down” (up from #45 to #40)
  • Luke Bryan, “Down To One” (up from #32 to #28)
  • Runaway June, “We Were Rich” (up from #42 to #38)
  • Robert Counts, “What Do I Know” (up from #47 to #43)

Is Thanos:

  • Luke Combs, “Better Together” (up from #22 to #20)

Bubbling Under 50:

  • Cody Johnson and Reba McEntire, “Dear Rodeo”
  • Justin Moore, “We Didn’t Have Much”
  • Elvie Shane, “My Boy”

On The Way:

  • Lee Brice, “Memory I Don’t Mess With”

Overall Thoughts: There are actually some interesting storylines to discuss this week: The Pulse crash following the loss of both McGraw and Church, Bentley’s post-debut release of spins back into the wild, and the sudden swing of certain songs from struggling to surging (Lambert, Runaway June, Counts).

But let’s be honest: These are the only numbers you care about right now:

Image from NPR

As of right now, Joe Biden leads Donald Trump 264-214 in presumptive electoral votes, with several states (most notably Pennsylvania) too close to call because they’re still counting their ballots. Things have been relatively calm so far, but look for the tension to ramp up when a winner is finally called and the lawsuits really start flying.

I’ll be honest: I cast my ballot for Biden, and I’ll be extremely pleased if he manages to win the presidency. However, a Biden victory is only the first step towards fixing what’s broken in America right now, and he and Kamala Harris will have a lot of work to do to combat the pandemic, rebuild the economy, and heal the divisions that have been tearing this nation apart (and given that Mitch McConnell will likely still be presiding over the Senate, I’m not sure how much they’ll actually be able to do). In truth, we’ve all got our work cut out for us to get America back on track, and it starts with curbing the spread of COVID-19 (which has now killed over 232,000 people in the US). As I said two weeks ago: “Wash your hands, wear a mask, limit your outings, and reach out for help and support if you’re feeling isolated or depressed, because we’re all still in this together.” At least, I hope we’re all still in this together…

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

One thought on “The Current Pulse Polls of Mainstream Country Music: November 2, 2020

  1. I’m not really surprised by the charts anymore, to be honest LOL. This election has a lot of folks on pins and needles & I fear that things will get REALLY ugly once a winner is declared.

    BTW: I also voted for Biden.

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