The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Radio [October 10]

Billy Currington Summer Forever

Each week we 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 one of the following scores: +5, +4, +3, +2, +1, 0, -1, -2, -3, -4, -5. 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 +150 and the lowest possible score being a -150. How do I determine the score for the song? The review grade it received on the site or myself will determine this. If it hasn’t been reviewed yet, then I will make the call. The grade it has received or I would give it determines its Pulse score. The grading key: 10 [+5], 9 [+4], 8 [+3], 7 [+2], 6 [+1], 5 [0], 4 [-1], 3 [-2], 2 [-3], 1 [-4], 0 [-5].

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. Billy Currington – “It Don’t Hurt Like It Used To” +2 
  2. Tucker Beathard – “Rock On” -3 (Up 2)
  3. Kenny Chesney & Pink – “Setting The World On Fire” -2
  4. Luke Bryan – “Move” -4 (Up 1)
  5. Cole Swindell – “Middle of a Memory” -2 (Up 2)
  6. LoCash – “I Know Somebody” -5 [Worst Song]
  7. Jason Aldean – “A Little More Summertime” (Up 1)
  8. William Michael Morgan – “I Met A Girl” +3 (Down 6)
  9. Brett Young – “Sleep Without You” -2 (Up 1)
  10. Florida Georgia Line (feat. Tim McGraw) – “May We All” +1 (Up 4)
  11. Tim McGraw – “How I’ll Always Be” +3 (Up 1)
  12. Miranda Lambert – “Vice” +3 (Down 1) 
  13. Old Dominion – “Song For Another Time” -3 
  14. Big & Rich (feat. Tim McGraw) – “Lovin’ Lately” +2 (Up 1)
  15. Keith Urban – “Blue Ain’t Your Color” -4 (Up 1)
  16. Drake White – “Livin’ The Dream” +1 (Up 1)
  17. Maren Morris – “80s Mercedes” -1 (Up 1)
  18. Brett Eldredge – “Wanna Be That Song” (Up 2)
  19. Granger Dibbles Jr. – “If The Boots Fits” -4 
  20. Carrie Underwood – “Dirty Laundry” 0 (Up 1)
  21. Lauren Alaina – “Road Less Traveled” -2 (Up 1)
  22. Chris Stapleton – “Parachute” +3 (Up 1)
  23. Eric Church (feat. Rhiannon Giddens) – “Kill A Word” +4 (Up 2) [Best Song]
  24. Brothers Osborne – “21 Summer” +2
  25. Brad Paisley – “Today” +2 (New to Top 30)
  26. Chris Young (feat. Vince Gill) – “Sober Saturday Night” +1 (Up 1)
  27. High Valley – “Make You Mine” -2 (Down 1)
  28. Thomas Rhett – “Star of the Show” -3 (New to Top 30)
  29. Chris Janson – “Holdin’ Her” +4
  30. Jerrod Niemann & Lee Brice – “A Little More Love” -3 (Down 2)

The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Radio: -12

The pulse improves nine spots this week!

Songs That Dropped Out of the Top 30 This Week:

  • Dierks Bentley & Elle King – “Different For Girls” -3
  • Michael Ray – “Think A Little Less” -5

Songs That Entered The Top 30 This Week:

  • Brad Paisley – “Today”
    • So the lead single off Paisley’s upcoming album is currently unannounced, “Without A Fight,” didn’t exactly live up to his expectations at radio. Paisley was clearly gunning for something big with it, as it feature pop star Demi Lovato. But ultimately it didn’t reach the top ten and forced Paisley to further push his album back in favor of releasing a second single. That new single is “Today” and this is exactly what I’ve been wanting Paisley to return to for quite some time. This is the Paisley from years ago that made him a star and a favorite of country fans. “Today” fits him like a glove! It’s a love ballad, what Paisley excels at, about a couple cherishing what they have right in front of them today and the memories they’re making right now. It’s these memories that will carry with them for the rest of their lives. There’s also noticeable steel guitar throughout, which is just a cherry on top. It’s an all-around feel good song. This isn’t amongst his best love ballads, but it makes me pretty anxious to hear what he has in-store for his new album. 7/10
  • Thomas Rhett – “Star of the Show”

Biggest Gainers This Week:

  • Thomas Rhett – “Star of the Show” – Up 10 from #38 to #28
  • Florida Georgia Line (feat. Tim McGraw) – “May We All” – Up 4 from #14 to #10

Biggest Losers This Week:

  • Dierks Bentley & Elle King – “Different For Girls” – Out of the Top 30 & Done
  • Michael Ray – “Think A Little Less” – Out of the Top 30 (to #31)
  • William Michael Morgan – “I Met A Girl” – Down 6 from #2 to #8

Songs I See Going Recurrent & Leaving The Top 30 Soon:

  • William Michael Morgan – “I Met A Girl”

On The Hot Seat:

  • Miranda Lambert – “Vice” (It might have just been a down week for spins, or it could be the start of the song’s decline. *insert shrugging emoji*)
  • Drake White – “Livin’ The Dream”
  • High Valley – “Make You Mine”

Next Four Songs I See Entering Top 30:

  • Blake Shelton – “A Guy With A Girl”
  • Garth Brooks – “Lay Down and Dance” (This is supposed to be going to country radio tomorrow and I’ll be curious to see if it reaches top 30 next week. I’m guessing it does.)
  • Dustin Lynch – “Seein’ Red”
  • Michael Ray – “Think A Little Less”


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

16 thoughts on “The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Radio [October 10]

  1. OlaR October 12, 2016 / 7:21 pm

    A multiweek #1 for Billy Currington & the song is selling well.
    Not happy with the next songs reaching #1: “Rock On”, the P!nk song (feat. the country singer), Bryan, Swindell & Aldean. Let’s not forget the d-list version of FGL…LoCash.

    The new Brad Paisley tune (“Today”) is a step in the right direction.
    The only other new track is “Yeah Boy” (Kelsea Ballerini – #56)

    The weekly Bullet-Audience-Plays-Lottery:
    LANco, Artists Of Then, Now & Forever, Eli Young Band, Runaway June, Dylon Scott, Mickey Guyton, Chase 1, the other Chase, Dunn with Brooks, Frankie Ballard & Gary Allan without bullet.
    RaeLynn & Toby Keith are back on the sunny side. “Love Triangle” #52 & “A Few More Cowboys” #51.
    TBP is down in audience & plays. With a bullet. But lost 2 places (#41).

    Billboard Top Country Albums:
    #1 – Jason Aldean
    #2 – New – John Prine – For Better, Or Worse
    #3 – FGL
    #5 – New – William Michael Morgan – Vinyl
    #11 – New – Nitty Gritty Dirt Band – Verylongalbumtitle

    Billboard Canada Country National Airplay:
    #1 – Kenny Chesney feat. P!nk – 2nd week
    #2 – Billy Currington
    #3 – Luke Bryan
    #7 – Dallas Smith – “Autograph” (highest canadian track)

    Country Tracks Top 40 Australia:
    #1 – Doug Bruce – “Bad Weather” – back to #1 (5th week)
    #2 – Amber Lawrence – “Happy Ever After”
    #3 – Natalie Howard – “A Little Cold Right Now”
    #10 – Troy Kemp – “A Little More Country” – highest new entry


  2. Raymond October 12, 2016 / 8:26 pm

    Josh, I did the math and I am confused obviously the pulse went up 9 spots. I thought it was only 7 cause the Dierks Bentley and Thomas Rhett cancel each other out and Brad Paisley adds 7 positive points. So I am just a little confused.

    I have heard Brad Paisley song and I’d probably give it a 7. It suits him really well and I really am hoping this next album he releases will be solid and better than Moonshine In The Trunk.


    • Josh Schott October 12, 2016 / 8:34 pm

      I raised the grade on “Road Less Traveled” up to -1 from -3


      • Scotty J October 12, 2016 / 8:57 pm

        And Raymond missed this reevaluation of his girl? Shame!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Raymond October 12, 2016 / 9:02 pm

        It’s showing a -2 now that I see so wait where’s the other point? I am still confused.

        Thank you for bumping up “Road Less Traveled”, I know you still don’t like the song but I find it to be one of those songs that is good regardless of genre. Just wish their was a little more of a country flare too it.

        But thanks for the update. I just assumed all the scores stay the same.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Josh Schott October 12, 2016 / 9:13 pm

          Oops my bad. I meant -2. No, there’s always a chance of a score being changed. My mind can change on songs for the better and the worse.


  3. KQ October 12, 2016 / 10:17 pm

    What song are you predicting will be #1 next week? I looked a couple of times and I don’t see it.


    • Josh Schott October 12, 2016 / 10:22 pm

      I’ve decided to take away that prediction because it’s hard to predict all of the gerrymandering by the labels. According to my go to radio source, three songs are pushing for #1 this week. So who knows what happens.


    • seak05 October 13, 2016 / 10:23 am

      yeah, a whole bunch of people are pushing…and none of them may get it. It’s actually sort of refreshing to see some competition For a while it was to much turn taking.


  4. petemarshall724 October 12, 2016 / 10:26 pm

    Kenny Chesney with Pink will be #1 next week. It’s #1 this week on Hot Country Songs chart.


    • Raymond October 12, 2016 / 10:33 pm

      Just cause it is #1 on the Hot Country Songs chart doesn’t mean anything.

      Kenny Chesney isn’t pushing too the top yet. Billy Currington is trying to hold on for a third week while Tucker Beathard is trying to hang in there for another week while Luke Bryan looks to temporarily pass Kenny Chesney and LoCash is gping for #1..Right now it looks like a 4 song race between Billy Currington, Tucker Beathard, Luke Bryan (as his gains are really strong) and LoCash as a dark horse canidate.

      The Billboard Country Song chart should be taken with an overall feel of what is popular, not what radio is playing.


      • KQ October 12, 2016 / 11:32 pm

        That’d be awesome if Billy can hold out for 1 more week. Love that song.


      • seak05 October 13, 2016 / 10:25 am

        Kenny isn’t pushing yet, his album drops on the 28th, so you should see a push in the next couple weeks. Locash, Tucker, and Billy are all pushing this week. Billy has already had multiple weeks though, Locash is to far out, and Tucker pushed last week and radio doesn’t seem interested in a multi-week push. So Kenny might actually take it on mediabase, but he’s actually behind Luke in BB. So yeah, it’s convoluted.


  5. seak05 October 13, 2016 / 10:30 am

    Garth is getting iheart hourly play, so it’s almost certain to hit top 30, the more interesting question is what happens after, will it continue to get play or die out. Same thing with Brad’s. Good news for Brad is that it picked up a bunch of spins this week after its hourly promo ended.


  6. Amanda October 13, 2016 / 11:04 am

    Personally, I don’t care for the new Garth Brooks song. Brad Paisley’s new song, on the other hand, is good. 🙂


    • seak05 October 13, 2016 / 11:31 am

      Agree, for me the new Garth song falls into that bad country song category

      Bad Songs (songs that are bad but wouldn’t be out of place on other radio mediums) re: vacation
      Bad country songs (crappy songs, but that any other radio medium would immediately say this is country): Move, this Garth song.
      Indifferent (songs that are neither good nor bad, have a country influence but not straight country): Peter Pan
      Good songs that aren’t really country: Vice
      Good songs that are indisputably country: Missing, Today


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