The Current Pulse Coronavirus Pandemic of Mainstream Country Music: March 8, 2021

Several years ago, Josh Schott started a weekly feature on the Country Perspective blog (side note: I’m sad to report that Josh will be stepping away from CP, but I wish him all the best in his next endeavor!) 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. Niko Moon, “GOOD TIME” -1 (4/10)
2. Parmalee ft. Blanco Brown, “Just The Way” 0 (5/10)
3. Thomas Rhett, “What’s Your Country Song” 0 (5/10)
4. Luke Bryan, “Down To One” 0 (5/10)
5. Brett Young, “Lady” +1 (6/10)
6. Florida Georgia Line, “Long Live” -2 (3/10)
7. Chris Stapleton, “Starting Over” 0 (5/10)
8. Gabby Barrett, “The Good Ones” 0 (5/10)
9. Dustin Lynch, “Momma’s House” -1 (4/10)
10. Tenille Arts, “Somebody Like That” +2 (7/10)
11. Darius Rucker, “Beers And Sunshine” 0 (5/10)
12. Rascal Flatts, “How They Remember You” +4 (9/10)
13. Dylan Scott, “Nobody” 0 (5/10)
14. Jake Owen, “Made For You” 0 (5/10)
15. Eric Church, “Hell Of A View” 0 (5/10)
16. Jordan Davis, “Almost Maybes” +1 (6/10)
17. Sam Hunt, “Breaking Up With Easy In The 90s” 0 (5/10)
18. Tim McGraw & Tyler Hubbard, “Undivided” +1 (6/10)
19. Keith Urban and Pink, “One Too Many” 0 (5/10)
20. Dierks Bentley, “Gone” 0 (5/10)
21. Blake Shelton, “Minimum Wage” 0 (5/10)
22. Brothers Osborne, “All Night” -1 (4/10)
23. Miranda Lambert, “Settling Down” +1 (6/10)
24. Jason Aldean, “Blame It On You” +1 (6/10)
25. Carly Pearce, “Next Girl” 0 (5/10)
26. Chris Young & Kane Brown, “Famous Friends” -2 (3/10)
27. Cole Swindell, “Single Saturday Night” 0 (5/10)
28. Brantley Gilbert, “Hard Days” 0 (5/10)
29. Dan + Shay, “Glad You Exist” -1 (4/10)
30. Justin Moore, “We Didn’t Have Much” +2 (7/10)
31. Little Big Town, “Wine, Beer, Whiskey” -3 (2/10)
32. Chase Rice ft. Florida Georgia Line, “Drinkin’ Beer. Talkin’ God. Amen.” -1 (4/10)
33. Scotty McCreery, “You Time” 0 (5/10)
34. Elvie Shane, “My Boy” +2 (7/10)
35. Kane Brown, “Worship You” -1 (4/10)
36. Lee Brice, “Memory I Don’t Mess With” -1 (4/10)
37. Runaway June, “We Were Rich” +2 (7/10)
38. Garth Brooks & Trisha Yearwood, “Shallow” +1 (6/10)
39. Priscilla Block, “Just About Over You” 0 (5/10)
40. Robert Counts, “What Do I Know” -3 (2/10)
41. Michael Ray, “Whiskey And Rain” 0 (5/10)
42. Lainey Wilson, “Things A Man Oughta Know” +2 (7/10)
43. Jimmie Allen & Brad Paisley, “Freedom Was A Highway” 0 (5/10)
44. Cody Johnson & Reba McEntire, “Dear Rodeo” 0 (5/10)
45. Jameson Rodgers ft. Luke Combs, “Cold Beer Calling My Name” 0 (5/10)
46. Chris Janson, “Waitin’ On 5” 0 (5/10)
47. Jon Pardi, “Tequila Little Time” -1 (4/10)
48. Ingrid Andress, “Lady Like” +2 (7/10)
49. LoCash, “Beers To Catch Up On” -1 (4/10)
50. Luke Combs, “Forever After All” 0 (5/10)
Present Pulse (#1—#25) +6
Future Pulse (#26—#50) -2
Overall Pulse +4
Change From Last Week
0

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

Gone:

  • Kelsea Ballerini, “Hole In The Bottle” (recurrent)
  • Teddy Robb, “Heaven On Dirt” (down to #51)

Leaving:

  • Luke Bryan, “Down To One” (down to #4)
  • Darius Rucker, “Beers And Sunshine” (down from #5 to #11)
  • Runaway June, “We Were Rich” (down from #33 to #37 with a 750+ point loss)

In Real Trouble:

  • Priscilla Block, “Just About Over You” (holds at #39, but gained only nine spins and seventeen points)
  • Robert Counts, “What Do I Know” (up from #41 to #40, but lost its bullet again)
  • Chris Janson, “Waitin’ On 5” (down from #44 to #46, gained only sixteen spins and thirty points)
  • Jon Pardi, “Tequila Little Time” (holds at #47, but gained only twenty-seven points and seventy-seven points)
  • LoCash, “Beers To Catch Up On” (down from #45 to #49, lost spind and gained only eleven points)

In Some Trouble:

  • Brothers Osborne, “All Night” (down from #21 to #22, lost spins and gained only twenty points)
  • Miranda Lambert, “Settling Down” (down from #22 to #23, gained only seven spins and eight points)
  • Little Big Town, “Wine, Beer, Whiskey” (up from #32 to #31, but gained only fifteen spins and 104 points)

In No Trouble At All:

  • Lainey Wilson, “Things A Man Oughts Know” (gained 37 adds as the latest ‘On The Verge’ artist)
  • Cody Johnson & Reba McEntire, “Dear Rodeo” (up from #49 to #44)
  • Chase Rice ft. Florida Georgia Line, “Drinkin’ Beer. Talkin’ God. Amen.” (up from #36 to #32)

Is Thanos:

  • Luke Combs, “Forever After All” (already at #50 despite not officially releasing until this week)

Bubbling Under 50:

On The Way:

  • Kenny Chesney, “Knowing You”
  • Lady A, “Like A Lady”

Overall Thoughts: The charts remain mostly frozen in place this week, but there are signs that the ice may be cracking. Not only has Thanos cracked the top fifty before his single officially released, but another shoe has dropped in seasonal rotation as “We Were Rich” has reached the end of its run (I still like the song, but it’s been apparent for a while now that it wasn’t going anywhere). The charts are in desperate need of a shakeup right now (Country Aircheck‘s latest issue mentions the strength of country gold rotations, which isn’t a great sign if your new stuff can’t dislodge the old stuff), so I’m holding out hope that warmer weather will bring some more interesting tracks to the airwaves. (However, given the flotsam hovering around that #50 spot, I’m not sure how realistic said hope is…)

On the pandemic front, the news remains mixed: There’s a lot of potential out there (vaccine production and distribution continue to increase), but the current levels of community spread remain uncomfortably high (the average daily infection count is still above 50,000, and the daily death average is still well over 1,000). With more states moving to lossen restrictions, it’s fair to ask whether the nation will be able to maintain its momentum in trying to contain the virus, or if we’re setting ourselves up for another springtime surge. As I said last week, “we should be sticking to what works: Mask mandates, limits on gathering size, and stringent social distance guidelines,” and I urge folks to keep doing their due diligence and taking the necessary precautions, even if they’re not officially required to. The promise of a better summer is out there, but whether or not we see that promise fulfilled depends on how well we behave right now.

One thought on “The Current Pulse Coronavirus Pandemic of Mainstream Country Music: March 8, 2021

  1. Jeez, why does it seem like the radio’s struggling so much to get new songs on the airwaves? It’s been these same old songs for a while now. At least some of the songs that were clogging up the middle areas of the chart are finally close to the top so we can get rid of them soon, but there’s still a bunch of not-going-anywhere songs that are here, like We Were Rich, Just About Over You, Hard Days, What Do I Know, etc. I can’t wait for Thanos to disrupt the charts so we can get at least some sort of movement!

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