Country Radio Update: May 24th


Country’s biggest-seller this week is still, STILL, STILL (it’s not moving) Body Like a Back Road by Sam Hunt, but here’s what’s happening on Country Radio this week, for the chart dated June 3.

Top of the Pile

Luke Combs – Hurricane. It all seems very calculated. Luke Combs’s album is out on June 2, while his single about love and that sort of thing is at number one for a second week. It’s got four chords, is sung competently and shows him to be a promising newcomer who can one day become an A list star. Luke has talent, has been plugging away for a wee while (he’s 27, making him a contemporary of Maren Morris) and has a beard. Like Stapleton, but more conventionally radio-friendly. Expect cheers for this at CMA Fest.

The sales Number One

Sam Hunt – Body Like a Back Road. Cheers for this too. 16 in the Hot 100, 1 in the country sales charts. I hear he’s at CMA Fest.

Edging Closer

Rascal Flatts – Yours If You Want It. I’ve heard from a reputable source (the editor of this site) that Kiss You While I Can will be the summer jam. There are at least three others on the new album from the Flatts: Vandalize is a Stapletune; ballad I Know You Won’t is Gary Le Vox doing heartbreak; and Roller Rink is a bit of fun. This is one of the weakest, most commercial tunes, but it’s now up into the top 10, sitting at 10 and climbing. Well done Le Vox, Joe Don and Jay on such a fantastic new album, called Back To Us. You know where you can catch them in June, and it’s not anywhere but Nashville.

Rising Artists

Carly Pearce – Every Little Thing. Again, something seems concocted here. I know some networks (ie one network) push a particular track, giving it heavy rotation, but a thirteen-place jump to 25 for this song is a bit suspect. Nonetheless it’s a super song about heartache, which changes tack before the final chorus. Remember Burning House by Cam? This is like a sequel. Catch her at CMA Fest too.

Old Friends

Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood – Down to 12 the week that Keith, playing the role of Mr Nicole Kidman (she’s got a film premiering in Cannes), guested on The Graham Norton Show. He performed the song with Melanie C doing the ‘what if I fall’ bit; I am sure you watched it. It’s not the best cut on Ripcord – any of the previous four singles are better, but this was always going to be single five – but it’s done fine on the radio and in sales, and keeps Carrie (aka A Female Voice) on the radio as she takes a breather after a hectic year. She’s not at CMA Fest, but you bet he is!

The Lower Reaches

Aaron Watson – Outta Style. Staying at 36. They must be playing this in Texas on the hour every hour. At 35 it’s Eric Church, and at 37 is Easton Corbin. Aaron’s song is getting more radio play than the new songs by Brad Paisley, Chris Stapleton, Kane Brown and Miranda Lambert. One day he’ll be as heralded as they are by the wider country fanbase, but country’s best-kept secret (and a huge favourite of this site) stays in the 40. If any of the acts with more than one Top 40 hit bore you, why not try Aaron Watson at CMA Fest! (Did I mention it’s CMA Fest?)

Jonny Brick

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