Here’s what’s happening on Country Radio this week, for the chart dated July 22:
Top of the Pile
Thomas Rhett ft Maren Morris – Craving You. There was never any doubt, and this has topped the charts after only fifteen weeks. This is his eighth number one. TR is a radio hit-making machine (don’t mention Vacation) whose songs really pop and whose voice is very market-friendly. Sorry to be so cynical – Craving You is a perfectly nice rhythmic pop song about love and stuff – but if this the only way women can get to number one these days, by being a glorified backing vocalist, it doesn’t seem fun. Well done to Maren, all the same, whose I Could Use a Love Song is gently climbing, at 26 this week. This is, by the way, the third time a woman has hit number one in any form since Lauren Alaina took Road Less Travelled to number one (written by three people, two of whom are women). Before her, the Little Big Town ladies took Taylor Swift’s song Better Man to the top earlier in the year. More women at the top, please, especially because TR told Billboard that it was written for a solo male voice (Luke Bryan could have had a hit with this too).
The Sales Number One
Sam Hunt – Body Like a Back Road. Twenty-two weeks at the top, and still at 4 on the airplay charts. Prepare the bunting as he approaches the 24-week record set by Cruise. Amazingly, more people are downloading and streaming it this week than last, so it’s really getting stuck in people’s playlists. Let it be noted that the song has been in the Radio Top 5 for fifteen weeks, more than Live Like You Were Dying and Amazed. This is one of the finest ‘country’ songs of all time…
Billy Currington – Do I Make You Wanna. Not as good as other tracks on his recent album, but pleasant enough to fill time between commercials. It rises to 8.
Carly Pearce – Every Little Thing. The only woman in the top 20 who gets a whole verse to herself, this majestic song hits 20 and keeps climbing. Starting off as a teenage performer at Dollywood, next year she’ll surely be in the UK for Country2Country, playing this to her UK fan base, who are hopefully spreading the word about a performer who has had to graft to get there. (She spoke to Bobby Bones on a Bobbycast, which is worth a listen.)
Kip Moore – More Girls Like You. Another brilliant interview with Bobby Bones on his Bobbycast (find it on iTunes) laid bare the story of Kip. A poor boy who got rich then hankered for his old life, he is a true songwriter who is excited to put out his new album in September. When he comes to the UK, he may continue his custom of staying in hostels, not hotels. The song, which is up to 18 this week, may not be about having kids; an expression of admiration for that special someone he hopes to have one day.
The Lower Reaches
Aaron Watson – Outta Style. Down one place to 30 but still knocking about. He is ahead of Brad Paisley, Luke Combs, Morgan Wallen, Miranda Lambert and Jake Owen, among others. Well done to High Valley, who hit 40 with the song She’s With Me, and Chris Young, who is Losing Sleep at 39.