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!
Best Song: “How They Remember You,” 9/10
Worst Song: “Wine, Beer, Whiskey,” 2/10
- Russell Dickerson, “Love You Like I Used To” (recurrent)
- Jimmie Allen & Noah Cyrus, “This Is Us” (recurrent)
- HARDY ft. Lauren Alaina & Devin Dawson, “One Beer” (down from #1 to #5)
- Morgan Wallen, “More Than My Hometown” (down from #5 to #7)
In Real Trouble:
- Maren Morris, “To Hell & Back” (down from #29 to #30, lost its bullet)
- Taylor Swift, “Betty” (down from #34 to #35, bullet-less for a second straight week)
- Cole Swindell, “Single Saturday Night” (up from #44 to #43, lost its bullet with a 200+ point loss)
- Priscilla Block, “Just About Over You” (down from #45 to #47, bullet-less for a second straight week)
- Robert Counts, “What Do I Know” (holds at #46, but lost its bullet again)
In Some Trouble:
- Dustin Lynch, “Momma’s House” (holds at #17, but gained only fifty spins and fifty-three points)
- Jordan Davis, “Almost Maybes” (down from #21 to #22, gained only thirty-three spins and ninety-two points)
- Brothers Osborne, “All Night” (holds at #25, but gained only fifty-two spins and seventy-seven points)
- Dierks Bentley, “Gone” (up from #32 to #31, but gained only thirty spins and two points)
- Runaway June, “We Were Rich” (down from #35 to #36, but gained only seventy-three spins and 196 points)
- Frankly, no one below #37 had a stellar week besides *gag* Chase Rice…
In No Trouble At All:
- Chase Rice ft. Florida Georgia Line, “Drinkin’ Beer. Talkin’ God. Amen.” (debuts at #40)
- Eric Church, “Hell Of A View” (up from #40 to #32)
- Jason Aldean, “Blame It On You” (up from #48 to #42)
- Luke Combs, “Better Together” (up from #11 to #10)
Bubbling Under 50:
- Cody Johnson & Reba McEntire, “Dear Rodeo”
- Scotty McCreery, “You Time” (5/10)
- Chris Young & Kane Brown, “Famous Friends”
- LoCash, “Beers To Catch Up On” (4/10)
On The Way:
- Jameson Rodgers ft. Luke Combs, “Cold Beer Calling My Name”
- Chris Bandi, “Would Have Loved Her”
Overall Thoughts: ‘Tis the season to…trade on someone else’s name?
This week is a pretty good summation of the trends we’ve been tracking this year:
- Yet another big debut hit the charts this week, although FGL could only carry’s Rice sorry behind to #40.
- Whatever gains that were available were scooped up by the top half of the charts (and even then there were some upper-half tracks that struggled), leaving the bottom of the charts fighting over scraps. Look for a few of songs stuck in the 40s (and even some stuck just below #50) to run out of gas soon.
The rise of new “duets” from Rice, Johnson, and Rodgers also hint as a new development for 2021: Newer/lower-tier jumping into collabs with current/former A-listers in hopes of becoming popular by association. There aren’t enough datapoints out there yet to call this a trend yet, but it’s definitely something to keep an eye on as we move into 2021.
The winter might not look great for country music, but it looks really bad for America: Our coronavirus death toll is now over 286,000, which means we’ve averaged over 2,000 deaths a day since last week’s Pulse report. State and local authorities are starting to respond with harsher restrictions and lockdowns, but the truth is that it will take several weeks (at least) to see any impact from these changes. We’re basically guaranteed to spend the rest of the year watching our hospitals overflow and our friends, family, and community members perish in what Dr. Deborah Birx called “the worst event that this country will face.” At this point, all we can do as individuals is hunker down, wear our masks, wash our hands, and hope like heck that everyone else does the same thing, because the possible outcomes for this winter now only range from horrifically bad to catastrophically bad.
Stay safe the best you can out there, folks. It’s not going to be a fun ride.
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 PulseCoronavirus Pandemic of Mainstream Country Music: December 7, 2020”
This duet concept is nothing new, although it is kinda strange to see so many of them out at once. Morgan Wallen rose to stardom through FGL, David Lee Murphy jumped back into the scene through Kenny, even going back to the 90’s…Chris Ledoux brought in Garth Brooks to try to make it big-time.
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