The Current Pulse Coronavirus Pandemic of Mainstream Country Music: April 12, 2021

Several years ago, Josh Schott started a weekly feature on the 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. Chris Stapleton, “Starting Over” 0 (5/10)
2. Gabby Barrett, “The Good Ones” 0 (5/10)
3. Dustin Lynch, “Momma’s House” -1 (4/10)
4. Jake Owen, “Made For You” 0 (5/10)
5. Tenille Arts, “Somebody Like That” +2 (7/10)
6. Florida Georgia Line, “Long Live” -2 (3/10)
7. Brett Young, “Lady” +1 (6/10)
8. Parmalee ft. Blanco Brown, “Just The Way” 0 (5/10)
9. Rascal Flatts, “How They Remember You” +4 (9/10)
10. Sam Hunt, “Breaking Up With Easy In The 90s” 0 (5/10)
11. Dylan Scott, “Nobody” 0 (5/10)
12. Eric Church, “Hell Of A View” 0 (5/10)
13. Jordan Davis, “Almost Maybes” +1 (6/10)
14. Luke Combs, “Forever After All” 0 (5/10)
15. Dierks Bentley, “Gone” 0 (5/10)
16. Miranda Lambert, “Settling Down” +1 (6/10)
17. Keith Urban and Pink, “One Too Many” 0 (5/10)
18. Jason Aldean, “Blame It On You” +1 (6/10)
19. Blake Shelton, “Minimum Wage” 0 (5/10)
20. Chris Young & Kane Brown, “Famous Friends” -2 (3/10)
21. Tim McGraw & Tyler Hubbard, “Undivided” +1 (6/10)
22. Cole Swindell, “Single Saturday Night” 0 (5/10)
23. Dan + Shay, “Glad You Exist” -1 (4/10)
24. Carly Pearce, “Next Girl” 0 (5/10)
25. Lainey Wilson, “Things A Man Oughta Know” +2 (7/10)
26. Brantley Gilbert, “Hard Days” 0 (5/10)
27. Justin Moore, “We Didn’t Have Much” +2 (7/10)
28. Chase Rice ft. Florida Georgia Line, “Drinkin’ Beer. Talkin’ God. Amen.” -1 (4/10)
29. Elvie Shane, “My Boy” +2 (7/10)
30. Scotty McCreery, “You Time” 0 (5/10)
31. Little Big Town, “Wine, Beer, Whiskey” -3 (2/10)
32. Kane Brown, “Worship You” -1 (4/10)
33. Lee Brice, “Memory I Don’t Mess With” -1 (4/10)
34. Garth Brooks & Trisha Yearwood, “Shallow” +1 (6/10)
35. Luke Bryan, “Waves” -1 (4/10)
36. Lady A, “Like A Lady” 0 (5/10)
37. Priscilla Block, “Just About Over You” 0 (5/10)
38. Jameson Rodgers ft. Luke Combs, “Cold Beer Calling My Name” 0 (5/10)
39. Jimmie Allen & Brad Paisley, “Freedom Was A Highway” 0 (5/10)
40. Kenny Chesney, “Knowing You” 0 (5/10)
41. Michael Ray, “Whiskey And Rain” 0 (5/10)
42. Russell Dickerson, “Home Sweet” +1 (6/10)
43. Jon Pardi, “Tequila Little Time” -1 (4/10)
44. Chris Janson, “Waitin’ On 5” 0 (5/10)
45. LoCash, “Beers To Catch Up On” -1 (4/10)
46. Ingrid Andress, “Lady Like” +2 (7/10)
47. Ryan Hurd & Maren Morris, “Chasing After You” 0 (5/10)
48. Lauren Alaina & Jon Pardi, “Getting Over Him” 0 (5/10)
49. Teddy Robb, “Heaven On Dirt” 0 (5/10)
50. HARDY, “Give Heaven Some Hell” +1 (6/10)
Present Pulse (#1—#25) +7
Future Pulse (#26—#50) 0
Overall Pulse +7
Change From Last Week
-1 😦

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


  • Thomas Rhett, “What’s Your Country Song” (recurrent)


  • Florida Georgia Line, “Long Live” (down from #1 to #6)
  • Brett Young, “Lady” (down from #2 to #7)
  • Parmalee ft. Blanco Brown, “Just The Way” (down from #6 to #8)

In Real Trouble:

  • Little Big Town, “Wine, Beer, Whiskey” (holds at #31, but lost its bullet again)
  • Lauren Alaina & Jon Pardi, “Getting Over Him” (holds at #48, but lost its bullet)
  • Teddy Robb, “Heaven On Dirt” (down from #47 to #49, bullet-less for a second straight week)
  • HARDY, “Give Heaven Some Hell” (holds at #50, but lost its bullet)

In Some Trouble:

  • Blake Shelton, “Minimum Wage” (down from #18 to #19, gained only eleven spins and eighty-four points)
  • Carly Pearce, “Next Girl” (up from #25 to #24, but gained only sixty-eight spins and eighty-five points)
  • Elvie Shane, “My Boy” (holds at #29, but lost spins and gained only twenty-six points)
  • Jimmie Allen & Brad Paisley, “Freedom Was A Highway” (down from #37 to #39, broke even on spins and gained only forty-seven points)
  • Chris Janson, “Waitin’ On 5” (holds at #44, but gained only twenty spins and sixty-nine points)
  • LoCash, “Beers To Catch Up On” (holds at #45, but gained only eight spins and thirteen points)
  • Ingrid Andress, “Lady Like” (holds at #46, but gained only twnety-five spins and thirty points)

In No Trouble At All:

  • Luke Bryan, “Waves” (debuts at #35)

Is Thanos:

  • Luke Combs, “Forever After All” (up from #20 to #14)

Bubbling Under 50:

  • None listed by Country Aircheck this week.

On The Way:

Overall Thoughts: Is the spring thaw finally about to happen? With three tracks falling in the top ten (and a few more that look weak on the other end of the charts, and Stapleton likely to crash hard after his push to #1), it sure looks like it. The problem, however, is that the A-listers of the genre are simply using the express lane to jump right back into the fray (Bryan had a big debut this week; expect Rhett and possibly Ballerini/Chesney to do the same next week), and the floatsam keep piling in the lower half of the charts (songs like Janson’s, LoCash’s, and possibly Robb’s stick out this week, but for crying out loud, how many times does “Wine, Beer, Whiskey” have to lose its bullet before Little Big Town realizes it’s a dead song walking?). The charts remain in need of a good flushing, and despite all the songs scheduled to leave, I’m not sure it’s going to get one.

The coronavirus needs to be flushed from the nation as well, but it looks like that’s going to take a while too, with new cases on the upswing, daily death counts leveling off at an unacceptably-high number (the total count stands at over 563,000 now), and new hotspots beginning to flare up (most notably Michigan, but the Northeast as a region isn’t doing so well either). However, the vaccine will officially be eligible to everyone 18 and older next week, so if your moment to get an appointment hasn’t arrived yet, it will soon. Sadly, the distance between being eligible for an appointment and actually getting the vaccine can be far apart (for example, I’m stuck waiting another month for my shot), so we need to keep following best practices: Wear your masks, wash your hands, avoid large crowds, and do what you can to keep the people you care about safe.

Another pandemic returned to the headlines this week: The scourge of systemic racism, as shown by the recent shooting of Daunte Wright and the release of video showing police pepper-spraying Second Lieutenant Caron Nazario during a traffic stop. After all the marches and outrage that came about after the killing of George Floyd, we’re still stuck in the same place we were nearly a year ago, the same place we’ve been stuck for decades and even centuries. These acts may have left the front pages, but they’re still happening, and for all our high and mighty talk of last summer, we’ve made embarrassingly little progress towards rectifying the situation.

This sort of prejudiced bullshit needs to stop, and it needed to stop a long time ago. Black lives matter, even if our police departments don’t seem to think so. I don’t know if it’s police training or police culture or what, but we need to figure out why this sort of stuff keeps happening, and then take tangible, concrete steps to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. Otherwise, we’ll be right back here next year, mourning another life taken too soon.

One thought on “The Current Pulse Coronavirus Pandemic of Mainstream Country Music: April 12, 2021

  1. I hope to God that stupid old “Just the Way” song leaves the charts soon and is quickly forgotten about, just like that stupid old “Git-Up” crap that Blanco Brown created. That whole damn thing was just Nashville’s attempt to be hip and down with the kids. Remember when that was on the news and some of the reporters tried to do that dance? When I first heard of the “Git-Up”, I thought, “My God, what’s gonna happen to country music?” Basically that resulted in more disruption whilst Roger Miller kept spinning in his grave! If you ask me, Nashville making the “Git-Up” a trend was worse than the time Dan and Shay first came onto the scene or when Nelly collaborated with Florida-Georgia Line! Every day, I have nightmares about it… someday country music may not be country at all! It’ll be just dudes with Drake-style haircuts simping over women while the bros wearing their John Deere caps will sing about riding around in their modified trucks whilst getting drunk! George Strait and Alan Jackson had better do a second version of “Murder On Music Row” or else country music will be dead! I think I appreciate “Murder On Music Row” a whole lot more now….


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