The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music [May 2]

sam-hunt-take-your-time

Each week I take a look the Billboard Country Airplay chart and grade the top 30 songs. The grading format I use each week is every song will receive either a +1, -1 or a 0. These will then be tallied up for an overall score, or pulse of the current top thirty country songs, with the highest possible score being a +30 and the lowest possible score being a -30. How do I determine if a song is rated a +1, -1 or 0? The rating it received on the site or myself will determine this. If it hasn’t been rated yet, then I will make the call. Songs rated between 7 and 10 receive a +1. Songs rated between 5 and 6.5 receive a 0. Songs rated 4.5 or lower receive a -1.

The goal of this exercise is to evaluate the current state of mainstream country music and determine if it’s improving or getting worse. Let’s take a look at this week’s top thirty…   

  1. Sam Hunt – “Take Your Time” -1 (Up 1)
  2. Dierks Bentley – “Say You Do” +1 (Up 1)
  3. Zac Brown Band – “Homegrown” +1 (Down 2)
  4. Lee Brice – “Drinking Class” +1 (Up 1)
  5. Keith Urban & Eric Church – “Raise ‘Em Up” (Up 1)
  6. Tyler Farr – “A Guy Walks Into A Bar” +1 (Up 1)
  7. Billy Currington – “Don’t It” -1 (Up 1)
  8. A Thousand Horses – “Smoke” (Up 2)
  9. Florida Georgia Line – “Sippin’ On Fire”  -1 (Up 2)
  10. Kenny Chesney & Grace Potter – “Wild Child” +1 (Up 3)
  11. Tim McGraw & Catherine Dunn – “Diamond Rings and Old Barstools” +1 (Up 1)
  12. Easton Corbin – “Baby Be My Love Song” -1 (Up 2)
  13. Carrie Underwood – “Little Toy Guns” +1 (Up 2)
  14. Eric Paslay – “She Don’t Love You” +1 (Up 2)
  15. Brad Paisley – “Crushin’ It” -1 (Up 2)
  16. Kelsea Ballerini – “Love Me Like You Mean It” -1 (Up 2)
  17. Canaan Smith – “Love You Like That” -1 (Up 3)
  18. Miranda Lambert – “Little Red Wagon” -1 (Up 1)
  19. Little Big Town – “Girl Crush” +1 (Up 2)
  20. Frankie Ballard – “Young & Crazy” (Up 2)
  21. Blake Shelton – “Sangria” -1 (Up 7)
  22. Brantley Gilbert – “One Hell of an Amen” 0 (Up 2)
  23. Michael Ray – “Kiss You In The Morning” -1 
  24. Jason Aldean – “Tonight Looks Good On You” -1 (Up 2)
  25. Gloriana – “Trouble” (Up 5)
  26. Eric Church – “Like A Wrecking Ball” -1 (Up 3)
  27. Luke Bryan – “Games” -1 (New to Top 30)
  28. Dustin Lynch – “Hell of a Night” -1 (New to Top 30)
  29. Rascal Flatts – “Riot” (Re-enters Top 30 This Week)
  30. Maddie & Tae – “Fly” +1 (New to Top 30)

Chris Young’s “Lonely Eyes” went recurrent, falling from #4 to out of the top 30.

Cole Swindell’s “Ain’t Worth The Whiskey” went recurrent, falling from #9 to out of the top 30.

Joe Nichols’ “Hard to Be Cool” went recurrent, falling from #25 to out of the top 30.

Josh Turner’s “Lay Low” went recurrent, falling from #27 to out of the top 30.

The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music: -4

The pulse remains at -4 once again this week, despite a ton of movement in the top 30 and a host of songs going recurrent. Chris Young’s “Lonely Eyes” and Cole Swindell’s “Ain’t Worth The Whiskey” are the first two that fell out of the top 30. Young’s team knew they had no shot at #1 and Swindell had already hit #1, so these two dropping out wasn’t a big surprise. However the other two songs that dropped out are surprising. The first is Joe Nichols’ “Hard to Be Cool,” which never even cracked the top 20. It struggled to reach the top 30 really. It wasn’t a good song though, so I won’t miss it. The fourth song that dropped out was a good song though: Josh Turner’s “Lay Low.” This song did even worse than “Hard to Be Cool.” It speaks volumes how terrible the current country radio environment is that Turner’s style of music is no longer successful at radio. This is obviously bad news for traditional country fans and Turner fans, as I’m pretty disheartened by it.

Moving on, let’s take a look at the songs that replace them. First is Luke Bryan’s “Games,” which was off of his new spring break EP. It’s not even a single, but radio is treating it like one because they can’t get enough of terrible Bryan songs apparently. The next song is Dustin Lynch’s “Hell of a Night,” which is just another bro country rehash. Also I told you radio is attracted to artists like Lynch. Rascal Flatts’ “Riot” finally escapes #31 hell again and is back in the top 30. It’s been one of my favorite great triumph stories of 2015. And finally Maddie & Tae’s “Fly” cracks the top 30 for the first time. I know it’s a lightweight song and a tad boring for some listeners, but I think it’s a solid song that actually sounds like country music. With this current radio environment it’s easily one of the best on the radio right now.

The inevitable finally happened, as Sam Hunt’s “Take Your Time” dismantled Zac Brown Band’s “Homegrown” from the top spot and is the new #1 this week. Give a hand for “Homegrown,” which had a nice three-week run at the top. It’s going to start slowly losing airplay and should go recurrent in a couple of weeks. For those distraught like me to see Hunt rack up another #1 song on radio, there is a silver lining. It should only get this one week at the top because Dierks Bentley’s “Say You Do” is right on its tail and I’m pretty confident it will be the new #1 next week. It could get multiple weeks too because the only song I see being able to challenge it soon is “Raise ‘Em Up.”

The biggest gainers this week were Blake Shelton’s “Sangria,” which moved up seven spots from #28 to #21 and four other songs moved up five spots on the chart (“Trouble,” “Games,” “Hell of a Night” and “Fly”). The biggest losers this week were obviously the four songs that went recurrent, especially Nichols and Turner. As for songs I see falling out of the top 30 soon, you have to think Miranda Lambert’s “Little Red Wagon” would just go recurrent already. I expected Lambert to have another single lined up by now. Michael Ray’s “Kiss You In The Morning” has been stalled in the 20s for weeks now, so perhaps it’s run may be running out on radio soon too. We can only hope. One other interesting note I would like to point out is Thomas Rhett’s “Crash and Burn” actually lost airplay this week and fell six spots on the chart. I’m sure it’s just temporary, but it caught my eye.

Three of the four songs I predicted would make the top 30 soon last week made it this week. As for this week, the songs outside the top 30 I expect to see in the top 30 soon are Reba’s “Going Out Like That,” Kip Moore’s “I’m To Blame,” Lady Antebellum’s “Long Stretch of Love” and Eli Young Band’s “Turn It On.” Reba’s single has been on the charts for a good 15 weeks now and it’s just now finding an opening on radio. It’s highly likely to make it next week. “I’m To Blame” is another song that’s just been hanging around the charts and doesn’t really have a lot of momentum behind it. Lady A’s new single is going up the chart quick, but I see it reaching the top 20 at best. They’re simply not relevant right now. Eli Young Band’s “Turn it On” fits the current country radio environment perfectly because country radio can’t get enough of terrible party songs with no country elements. So another bad week at country radio and the new songs coming up aren’t any better. Thank goodness for all of the great releases out of Texas country this past week. I’ll be keeping the radio off and their music on.

As always be sure to weigh in on this week’s chart in the comments below.

32 thoughts on “The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music [May 2]

  1. Kevin Davis April 22, 2015 / 1:54 pm

    For what it’s worth, I would like to see Kip Moore’s “I’m To Blame” get some chart success. It may not have the most substantive lyrics, but it’s serviceable as a good summer jam. It has some solid instrumentation, and Kip delivers vocally.

    Liked by 1 person

    • NoahHibiscusEaton April 22, 2015 / 2:46 pm

      That’s unlikely to happen, as long as it has the worst sales of any surrounding chart rival as of late (it’s currently at #69: barely faring better than Mickey Guyton’s “Better Than You Left Me” and only faring better than Chase Rice’s “Gonna Wanna Tonight”, Lady Antebellum’s “Long Stretch of Love”, Frankie Ballard’s “Young & Crazy” and Dustin Lynch’s “Hell of a Night”)

      Looks like three strikes for Kip Moore! =/

      I have to say I like Moore’s distinctively rough, even menacing, vocals in this song, and it doesn’t commit any red flags in any area…………………but it’s just “there”. Plus, at barely above two minutes, it just fleets by without making any real lasting impression. I’ve long said, just as it can be risky releasing singles with runtimes above four minutes, the same is equally true with singles well below three minutes long. Why? Because particularly short songs provide much less of an opportunity to get lodged in your memory. It’s all in, over and out, blink and you’d miss it.

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      • Kevin Davis April 22, 2015 / 4:02 pm

        Thanks for the stats, Noah. I guessed it must be doing poorly — I first heard it on the radio here about three weeks ago, and then I heard it a few days ago. That’s it, just twice, and I manage to hear quite a lot of country radio per week, because I have a 45-minute commute to and from work. I do enjoy Moore’s vocals, and it’s a good car-ride song.

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  2. Raymond April 22, 2015 / 2:07 pm

    Well I wasn’t surprised by Lay Low or Hard To Be Cool dropped out let me take this song by song Josh and I will explain

    First Hard To Be Cool recall back to August 2014 when this was first being released there was way too many new releases from Jason Aldean FGL and with well Sam Hunt Maddie & Tae being hyped their songs took front Joe was on his third single from his album so this was already having an uphill battle fast-forward too Late December this song was still just going along with the flow but the bigger releases from Luke Blake/Ashley Jason they had to put Joe aside the final nail in the coffin the digital salsa never took off

    As for Lay Low. Josh Turner right now has ZERO MOMENTUM that’s what caused it he Gloriana heck Kip Moore Lady A there’s a lot of them are struggling and they have to put the popular artists first like Luke Bryan FGL Cole Swindell Carrie Underwood Blake Shelton Miranda so Josh was put on the backburner considering Find Me A Baby bombed all the momentum from Time Is Love. Lay Low did as good as I expected. Now I did want it to do better but when you have no momentum Top 25 is the best you can do. Ultimately though expect a new song sooner than later.

    As for the rest of the chart well for number 1 expect Say You Do to get #1 week at number 1 with it probably looking like Drinking Class & Raise Em Up for a BB MB followed by probably Domt It and Smoke cause I don’t see Tyler Farr breaking #1 cause his album dropping will mean Tyler is peaking soon

    Look for A Thousand Horses FGL to duke it out afterwards Kenny/Grace will probably follow but I don’t see Tim McGraw making it due to poor digital sales. Expect Easton to peak in the Top 10. Carrie is the interesting case indeed she can get number 1 but only if songs from Blake & Jason don’t catch her. Eric and Brad however won’t last much longer Eric especially is in trouble. Brad I can see a maybe for a Top 10. Kelsea should pass Eric and Brad sorry I can’t help myself from requesting it Kelsea is still doing solid and looks for Top 10 and even Top 5 in which she would become the first non Miranda/Carrie/Taylor to hit Top 5 since Jana Kramer with Why Ya Wanna

    Latter portions Canaan look for a Top 10 Miranda should get one last week and that’ll be it for her LBT however could get a #1 out of their song. Frankie looks to peak in the teens due to bad digital sales. Blake is an obvious number 1 nothing more nothing less. Brantley has picked up the pace and should finish Top 10. Expect Michael Ray to pull a Raelynn and peak below the Top 15. Jason #1 nough said. Gloriana this might be it for them in all cause Trouble looks to leave soon and Gloriana could be looking to loose their contract as they have no momentum and can’t sell worth a crap disappointing but true.

    Eric will pick it up once Raise Em Up is out you can’t have too much Eric. Luke looks to peak as soon as he releases a new song. Dustin might get Top 20 but that’ll be it. Rascal Flatts look to leave soon as they’ve already been sent recurrent on indictator. For Maddie & Tae it’s a little hard to tell but if they want a #1 Dot Records will need to be in it for the long haul to get that #1.

    Hope that helps Josh

    So that’s an explanation of the Top 30 songs and for their future.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lorenzo April 22, 2015 / 2:29 pm

    I’m so sad that Lay Low only peaked at #25. I can’t believe it, this will delay Josh’s album and it makes me mad. However I’m the creator of the most popular country music playlist on youtube and I will bring Josh’s video up to #1. This should give him at least +750.000/1.000.000 views. I really hope his label will hold on to him.

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    • Josh Schott April 22, 2015 / 3:40 pm

      Me too Lorenzo. It’s a damn shame. So you’re the creator of the most popular country music playlist on YouTube? Mind sharing a link? I’d like to check it out.

      Like

      • Lorenzo April 22, 2015 / 4:25 pm

        it is getting +100.000/150.000 per day. sadly to keep these numbers high I have to include some crappy music in it .-.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Lorenzo April 22, 2015 / 4:39 pm

        it’s modulated on weekly charts. However, I categorically refuse to include crap like jason aldean in it. right now I’m trying to promote through it ‘Kiss Me When I’m Down’ by Gary Allan, ‘July in Cheyenne’ by Aaron Watson, ‘Put My Heart Down’ by Sara Evans, ‘I can’t Change the World’ by Brad Paisley and ‘Spirit of a Boy, Wisdom of a Man’. until March I had ‘Send it on Down’ by Lee Ann Womack and ‘that’s what Dreamers Do’ by Travis Tritt, respectively at #47 and #56. I had to remove them because the listeners’ feedback was negative: analytics shows me that they only watched 35-40% of those videos, while an upbeat song like David Nail’s ‘I’m a Fire’ (which is not even a single) is around 65%. I find this interesting since it shows how country audience has changed: country listeners don’t care about ballads anymore. and it makes me sad.

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        • Josh Schott April 22, 2015 / 4:44 pm

          That’s interesting numbers and I’m glad you’re promoting some worthy music. Yes it is sad ballads are frowned upon now in country. They’re an important part of the genre and I hate to see them get negative feedback.

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      • Lorenzo April 22, 2015 / 4:51 pm

        one event that really caught my attention this year was Justin Moore releasing ‘This Kind of Town’ to country radio and that song peaking just outside the top 40. I think I can compare this event to ‘Miss you’by Darius Rucker and ‘Bourbon in Kentucky’ by Dierks Bentley.

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  4. NoahHibiscusEaton April 22, 2015 / 2:30 pm

    Oh damn! Dierks Bentley couldn’t advance fast enough to keep Sam Hunt’s so-called “country” song fated to a #2 peak! (shakes fist at cloud above the single cover art) 😉

    On that note, off I go to a “Vietnamese restaurant” for some gazpacho to clear my head, perhaps a side of hush puppies! 😉

    *

    “Hard To Be Cool” never gained any traction with sales, so the writing was on the wall for that release all along. I personally find that song lyrically eye-rolling, but that aside, it was just kind of “there”. I may not have liked “Yeah” either, but I can at least admit it had an earworm of a chorus, while this just sort of fleets by without enough time to lodge in the memory. Plus, Red Bow has shifted its priorities to promoting Chase Bryant’s sophomore single as well as Craig Campbell’s debut single with them. I’m sure when Joe Nichols preps up the lead single from his forthcoming album, it will do fine.

    And I’ve already talked about “Lay Low” before. The writing was always on the wall with regard to that release as well. Obviously I’m crushed in this case, but if I’m being completely honest, it’s clear the general listening public was indifferent towards it as a whole because it just never gained any traction with sales nor airplay. I don’t recall it ever surging above #50 on the iTunes Country Chart. It was among the poorest selling singles relative to airplay, and suffice to say it kind of got its just desserts. But what this also means, in most depressing fashion, is that it’s going to be months before we get our next full-length album from Josh Turner. I’m confident he will push back from increased pressure to sell out, unlike Easton Corbin, and release a bro-country lite song like “Baby Be My Love Song” to return to relevance with radio…………but this may also mean he’ll have to leave his current label and go independent in order to get new music out there! =(

    *

    To be blunt, I’m already bored by Maddie & Tae’s “Fly”.

    I’ve given “Fly” a 0 from the start, but its burn rate is higher than the average single, I’ve been finding. I hate to admit it, because I’m certainly not typically the kind of sex-biased listener according to radio research that instantly favors male vocalists over female vocalists………..but I’m just not all that impressed by “Fly”. I definitely give them props for their beautiful harmonies and vocals, and the production is pretty enough. But lyrically I’ve mentioned before how sloppy it is in that it hops from second person to third person without any cohesion, and when you really take it in it’s just another dime-a-dozen “Hang In There!” Cat-On-Clothesline Pseudo-Inspirational Poster Put To Song kind of record that’s rendered forgettable by cliches and a lethargic pacing.

    Frankly, I don’t get why Big Machine didn’t release an album around the time “Girl In A Country Song” peaked. It seems like a distant memory now since that song made an impressive vault to #1 and generated a lot of press. At the current pace it is moving, “Fly” isn’t going to get any higher than #20 by the time “Start Here” is released this early June. I still think they should have released “Sierra” as the second single, but anyway…

    *

    “Kiss You In The Morning” has been selling poorly from the start (it’s at #44 presently on the iTunes Country Chart: worse than all airplay chart rivals surrounding it except Tim McGraw’s “Diamond Rings and Old Barstools”, which may have been temporarily hurt by the Sandy Hook controversy, and Gloriana’s “Trouble”) so no surprise there whatsoever. And we are all the better off in its eternal struggle failing to find momentum! 😉

    Seriously, this proves Clear Channel’s “On The Verge” is mostly pointless from even a business standpoint. The only recent artist besides Sam Hunt that hasn’t been hurt somewhat by this strategy is A Thousand Horses (they’ll get to #1 after Florida Georgia Line do in the coming weeks). But where’s Chase Bryant now? Or RaeLynn? Or Craig Campbell? …………………yeah……………….that’s what I thought.

    *

    I have to say that these coming two weeks are going to be very refreshing to behold in that we’ll get our first major spring cleaning on the charts since the very beginning of 2015, and things will finally start to get more fresh.

    After Zac Brown Band and Sam Hunt’s ridiculously lofty audience numbers weighed down the rest of the chart to the point as many as twenty songs beneath it netted declines in audience a week ago, their simultaneous decline means that songs beneath it will start gaining traction again. Also, Tyler Farr and Lee Brice’s current hits are both ancient at this point within the Top, so both are going to peak at about the exact same time and free up more space.

    Meanwhile, look at all the currently charting singles that have burned through many weeks and are struggling in the meantime. “She Don’t Love You” (sadly! =( ) and “Little Red Wagon” (good riddance) are already on their ways out. Brad Paisley’s “Crushin’ It” isn’t selling that hot and has a very meager +59 bullet on Mediabase currently. Gloriana’s “Trouble” is likely finished with poor sales and with a spins decline at the moment. “Riot” only has a +90 bullet despite their ACM performance boosting the song in terms of sales to the all-genre Top 100. “Kiss You In The Morning” and “Hell Of A Night” are also treading water and selling poorly. Below the Top Thirty, it looks like “Better Than You Left Me” ( =( =( =( ), “Gonna Wanna Tonight” (no matter) and “Run Away With You” (eh…) are all biting the dust at once, and Kip Moore’s “I’m To Blame” may follow suit at any moment with poor sales.

    Beyond that still, Tim McGraw’s current single is limping at the moment beneath the Top Ten (again, remains to be seen how much of a factor Sandy Hook plays into it, but my hunch is its struggles can be attributed prmarily to mediocre sales and being a bold traditional-leaning song in this current climate). Kelsea Ballerini’s single is (quixotically) doing great still in the meanwhile, but being on Black River Entertainment means it will be a struggle climbing all that much higher. Eric Church’s “Like A Wrecking Ball” is enjoying fabulous sales that rate among the best sales-per-spin ratios of all singles at the moment, and yet it has a pathetic +52 bullet at the moment. And who knows how much further Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush” can go despite outstanding sales (it’s at frickin’ #2 on the ALL-GENRE chart presently! O__O )

    So we have a whopping seventeen (you heard me correctly, seventeen!!!) songs in the Top Forty that could potentially bow out in the next three-to-four weeks and result in a dramatic spring cleaning of the chart. Which, frankly, we badly need……………….as depressing as it is to see several outstanding songs among the casualties.

    *

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    • bob April 22, 2015 / 3:55 pm

      I only bought 1 song from Craig Campbell’s last album, Never Regret”. It was “You Can Come Over” written by Brandy Clark, Jessie Jo Dillon & Mark Narmore. Very good song but it was not released as a single. I heard Brandy sing it once. She should put it on her new album. Any chance of that happening?

      Like

      • Josh Schott April 22, 2015 / 4:02 pm

        I could see Clark cutting it. The person to ask would be Windmills, as she’s on the ball when it comes to this kind of stuff.

        Like

    • Josh Schott April 22, 2015 / 3:59 pm

      I like the sound of spring cleaning! It’s long overdue as you said and I’m interested to hear some new material. I’m just worried the new material isn’t going to be an improvement, but hopefully I’m proven wrong. You’d have to think Luke Bryan would have released a new single by now, but perhaps they’re going to roll with “Games”? I got to tell you the chart as a whole is giant crapshoot, largely as you said because of so many songs getting ready to peak. Brett Eldredge may be looking like a genius by releasing his new single right now because it should go up the charts pretty quickly with so many songs dropping off and the fact that Eldredge has a nice track record at radio.

      I honestly think Josh Turner would be better off independent because I think his shot at radio, at least for now, is done. He’s better off bowing out gracefully and releasing a killer album. Maybe pull an Alan Jackson and release like a bluegrass album. I see no chance of him selling out to the popular sound. He’s someone who actually cares about his legacy. Plus with his deep Christian values he couldn’t bring himself to sing about sugar shakers and getting stoned like FGL.

      Michael Ray fading away is something I’m very happy about. And as you said proves On The Verge is a damn joke. Sam Hunt and A Thousand Horses have gotten over with the audience more because of their sound rather than On the Verge I believe. Look on the sidebar on the side of site and you’ll see that my review on “Smoke” is one of the most popular posts everyday on the site. They’re building a nice fan base and a lot of people are getting behind them. Their new album Southernality may sell really well too. Hunt losing New Artist of the Year at the ACM Awards proved his fan base is nothing but pop fans. This is backed up by almost every review I see of his album on iTunes, Amazon and Google Play. I’ve been wondering why he hasn’t been pushed even more and this explains it. You can’t market country to pop fans, although I’m not sure the Hunt copycats realize this. 🙂

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      • Raymond April 22, 2015 / 4:12 pm

        Hey Josh a couple of things
        1. Why do you think that Smoke review has gotten so many hits
        2. Sam is already getting pop Airplay Take Your Time has crossed over to pop so maybe within a few album cycles Sam will leave
        3. Sorry for my super-long comment up there.

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        • Josh Schott April 22, 2015 / 4:21 pm

          1. Well it’s partly because my review was one of the first written about the single, so it ranks well in Google search. If you type in A Thousand Horses Smoke review it comes right up. Mostly though I think it’s because of their southern rock influences. Remember many abandoned rock fans have flocked to country and the band’s sound reminds them of Lynyrd Skynyrd and Kid Rock, two artist with huge followings. A lot of people miss southern rock on radio. But to them I say why wouldn’t you just listen to Zac Brown Band or Blackberry Smoke because those two bands do that sound so much more justice.
          2. I think Hunt could go pop on his next album. The backlash he’s receiving is ten times worse than what Taylor Swift received when she was in country making pop music. Hunt has to realize this, as well as his team. They could do just fine in sales over in pop.
          3. It’s no problem. There are no character limits in the comments, so fire away!

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      • Raymond April 22, 2015 / 4:31 pm

        Ok well next set of questions
        1. Once again sorry for requesting Kelsea Ballerini at radio she and Taylor Swift are my guilty pleasure artists I’d imagine Josh you’d have in mainstream country at
        2. If Josh Turner did do a bro-lite song would your opinion about him change
        3. Does Gloriana have a single +1 song,

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        • Josh Schott April 22, 2015 / 4:46 pm

          Request who you want to. It’s your prerogative. Yes I probably would be disappointed in him. As for Gloriana, I’m not sure. It’s something I’ll have to look at when I re-grade the mainstream artists this summer.

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      • Raymond April 22, 2015 / 5:02 pm

        Last thing what’d you think of my giant comments

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        • Josh Schott April 22, 2015 / 5:03 pm

          Like I said I don’t mind at all.

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      • NoahHibiscusEaton April 22, 2015 / 5:52 pm

        I can’t get behind your argument as to why Sam Hunt lost, unfortunately.

        Sam Hunt lost to Cole Swindell because the former only emerged halfway through the ACM calendar year, and according to the ACM academy itself, each award is “presented to the individual, duo or group who showed the most overall success in the country music industry during the prior calendar year … The factors to be considered include, but are not limited to, success at radio, sales of pre-recorded music, success of music videos, vocal performances, live concert ticket sales, artistic merit, appearances on television, appearances in films, songwriting, success in digital media, and contributions to the country music industry.”

        I place emphasis on the “MOST OVERALL SUCCESS IN THE COUNTRY MUSIC INDUSTRY DURING THE PRIOR CALENDAR YEAR” part in particular. Sam Hunt was already out of luck on that basis alone.

        *

        And do you really think Hunt cares about how much true country fans are saying he’s not as country as ___________?

        Why do you think he styled his hair the way he did at the ACMs? Because, like Trigger stated in an article on Saving Country Music, as to say (quoting his article): “I’m here. And you’re just going to have to get comfortable with it, because this is country music now. It’s stylized suits and metrosexual hairstyles. It’s EDM dance beats. And if it makes you feel uncomfortable, good. Because I’m not going anywhere.”

        Hunt KNOWS how fickle and divided the country music’s mainstream is at the moment, and he is basically going all-in as long as he can muster. Hunt is here to stay as long as listeners are willing to want him around, plain and simple.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Raymond April 22, 2015 / 5:52 pm

      Oh no Noah No I’m making sure Kelsea at least gets a Top 5 out of this song her song has plenty of life out of it. I will agree Eric and Miranda Brad Paisley should though make Top 10. Yeah I don’t like being mentioned of the fact Trouble had bad sales and by bad about as bad as any Top 30 song has ever had. Riot looks to leave soon so we agree there. Kiss You In The Morning should hit a brick wall in the Top 20. Dustin should also get a Top 20 Chase Rice though looks lie Top 30 and I still see plenty of life in Mickey Guyton if her label is in it for the long haul this should get Top 30. Big & Rich won’t leave yet they should get a Top 30. Same thing with Kip. Tim McGraw is a definite interesting case and well I’m gonna make sure Kelsea gets into that Top 10 whoever gets sacrificed whatever.

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  5. Pete Marshall April 22, 2015 / 6:24 pm

    I really like Josh Turner song “Lay Low” I wish that song would hit top 10. I would like Gloriana “Trouble” be a big hit. Don’t get me wrong, but I really like Easton Corbin’s new song “Baby be my love song” I don’t really care for Sam Hunt “Take Your time” because the song doesn’t sound country. Why is Rascal Flatts songs not doing good lately?

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    • Raymond April 22, 2015 / 6:38 pm

      Everybody is grieving Lay Low Trust me no one is handling Gloriana Trouble worst than me but a Top 25 peak for both songs are pretty respectable but my fear is Gloriana is gonna get dropped from their label and well I don’t know if I can handle.Easton’s song has grown on me a little and I think next week when I myself comment I’ll break down the Top 60 I think Easton’s song has done enough to warrant a 0. Sam Hunt however no he makes Kelsea Ballerini look country but then again I do love Kelsea. Rascal Flatts well it’s the third single off an album that didn’t sell great and their previous song PayBack killed any momentum they could’ve had looked for Riot to peak Top 25. Hopefully this helped

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  6. Zack April 22, 2015 / 6:40 pm

    Hey Derek, seeing as how Josh already does the top 30 songs, have you ever considered doing your own pulse of say the bottom 30 songs? I was looking at the chart today and it was absolutely horrendous (even compared to FGL, Aldean and Bryan sitting at the top there).
    Here’s my pulse for the bottom 30:

    31. Reba- Going Out Like That -1
    32. Kip Moore- I’m To Blame 0
    33. Chase Rice- Gonna Wanna Tonight -1
    34. Big and Rich- Run Away With You 0
    35. Lady Antebellum- Long Stretch Of Love +1 (admittedly a guilty pleasure that I’m embarrassed about….)
    36. Mickey Guyton- Better Than You Left Me +1
    37. Eli Young Band- Turn It On -1
    38. Dan + Shay- Nothin’ Like You -1 (after the ACM’s I should give this a -2!)
    39. Parmalee- Already Callin’ You Mine -1
    40. Jana Kramer- I Got The Boy +1
    41. Kacey Musgraves- Biscuits -1
    42. Gary Allan- Hangover Tonight -1 (it pains me to put that there)
    43. Brothers Osborne- Stay A Little Longer 0
    44. Thomas Rhett- Crash & Burn -1
    45. Mo Pitney- Country 0
    46. Drake White- It Feels Good -1
    47. George Strait- Let It Go 0
    48. Austin Webb- All Country On You -1
    49. Old Diminion- Break Up With Him -1
    50. Thompson Square- Trans Am -1
    51. Montgomery Gentry- Folks Like Us -1
    52. Cam- My Mistake 0
    53. Cole Swindell- Let Me See Ya Girl -1
    54. Locash- I Love This Life -1
    55. Casey James- Fall Apart 0
    56. Ashley Monroe- On To Something Good 0
    57. Chase Bryant- Little Bit Of You -1
    58. Waterloo Revival- Hit The Road -1
    59. Sam Hunt- House Party -1
    60. Raelynn- For A Boy -1

    Total: -16

    Also is that New York City in that Sam Hunt single art? If so it’s quite fitting, let Sam go there and make his shitty pop music…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Derek Hudgin April 22, 2015 / 7:56 pm

      I’ve not considered my own pulse. But my bottom 30 pulse comes in at -15. My differences:
      “Long Stretch of Love” 0
      “Buiscuts” 0
      But we’re on par with the other 28 songs there.

      I was trying to figure out something weekly or biweekly I could do aside from reviews, but then work/life got crazy busy and I’m lucky to get a review a week done! Haha Things should calm down in about a month, then I’ll try to figure out something to pitch to Josh 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Derek Hudgin April 22, 2015 / 7:57 pm

        Ah! Also “It Feels Good” gets a 0 as well. I knew my math was off…

        Like

      • Raymond April 22, 2015 / 8:01 pm

        Wait even Cam with My Mistake would their be any differences in the Top 30 than Josh or would that be the same

        Like

      • Derek Hudgin April 22, 2015 / 8:24 pm

        Raymond,
        My only difference there is I’d put “Drinking Class” at a 0. That song just doesn’t do it for me.

        Like

      • Raymond April 22, 2015 / 8:36 pm

        Oh wow Sangria a -1. I feel like it’s a 0. Also I feel like that for the pulse and even past pulse if they’re not labeled put what would you put out of 10.

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  7. Ron April 24, 2015 / 1:18 pm

    By the way looking at the mediabase tracking chart Lee Brice is making a last minute surge to overtake Dierks. Lee’s ahead in spins now for #1 but trails by 1.5 mil in the audience

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raymond April 24, 2015 / 1:32 pm

      Expect it to be a mediabase only #1 Dierks is too far ahead in Billboard audience look for next week to have Dierks on top with Lee Brice finally stopping at #2

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