Tag Archives: Billy Currington

Random Thoughts of the Week: Jason Isbell and Alan Jackson Prove Quality is Worth More Than Airplay

Congratulations to Jason Isbell and Alan Jackson, who have claimed the No. 1 and No. 2 spots, respectively, on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart. Both released excellent albums–I reviewed them both here on Country Exclusive–on July 17th, the first Friday release date for albums in North America. Jackson’s Angels and Alcohol was a traditional album by a country veteran, released on a major label. Isbell’s Something More Than Free was an Americana/Southern rock/folk/country blend marked by excellent songwriting, released independently. Musically, these albums were polar opposites–well, as opposite as two albums can be within the same genre. While they both had great songwriting, the content on their albums was quite different, and their ways of storytelling and crafting lyrics aren’t similar either.

So what did these two albums have in common? Musically, although different, each had a distinct country sound. As I have mentioned, each contained quality music marked with great songwriting. I gave each album a 9 when I reviewed them. Each contained many songs written solely by the artist. This is especially surprising in Jackson’s case, considering that most mainstream songs are written by at least three people these days. (It takes at least three to write crap about a dirt road, but one can write good music?) Jackson wrote seven of the ten tracks on his album. Isbell’s songwriting is something he has been praised for and something I discussed at length in his review; for him to write the material on his album, however, is not as unusual because he is an independent artist.

But, wait…there’s something else glaringly obvious these two albums have in common. Neither has had five minutes of radio support. Jackson has had a little and may have more with a future single, but he has not had airplay comparative to what he should have with the No. 2 album in the country. Isbell isn’t getting airplay at all and yet has managed to beat Jackson by less than 500 units after a fight that came down to the wire. Both albums sold over 46,000 copies.

And here I thought if you weren’t on country radio, you didn’t exist. If you were living under a rock in February, that is what Gary Overton, CEO of Sony Music Nashville, who was later fired, infamously told The Tennessean–“If you’re not on country radio, you don’t exist.” Overton’s comments were the cause of an uproar from Texas artists such as Aaron Watson who, after claiming the No. 1 album that very week, noted, “My name is Aaron Watson. I’m not played on country radio. And I have the #1 record in country music this week. I do exist.” Aaron Watson went to settle the matter with Bobby Bones and, in a strange turn of events, was told that he was being “disrespectful to women” for calling a producer “sweetheart.” This led to an epic online rant from Texas artist Charlie Robison–too long to post here–which in turn led to Florida Georgia Line’s tweet that they had “lost a lot of respect” for Robison. His reply was, “How do you lose respect for someone who doesn’t exist?”

Overton’s comments were overshadowed by the idiocy of Keith Hill in May, but they shouldn’t be overlooked. Alan Jackson and Jason Isbell certainly exist–and there is a silent majority out there buying their albums saying they’d rather search the Internet and streaming services to find good music than listen to what is offered on radio. Kacey Musgraves has been all but blacklisted on country radio, and she has held her position on the chart, debuting at No. 1 quietly. We may also see this next week with Ashley Monroe–fingers crossed–whom I have never heard on the radio. Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard don’t get played anymore, and their album Django and Jimmie has had no problem staying in the top ten, while radio-supported Billy Currington, Canaan Smith, Kelsea Ballerini, and Easton Corbin struggle to keep their places on the charts. What would happen if they lost radio support? How long will country radio ignore the numbers? Maybe they can ignore a bunch of traditionalists griping on blogs, but It’s not just people griping on blogs anymore, it’s on the charts now.

Tomato of the Week: Angaleena Presley

As I featured her fellow Pistol Annie Ashley Monroe last week, I thought it fitting that she should be this week. Check out her article on Female Friday!

Random Country Suggestion: Zac Brown Band–“Bittersweet”

Great song off their new album, Jekyll + Hyde. It should be a future single.

Non-Country Suggestion: Chris Tomlin–Love Ran Red

I often post pop music here, but as I’ve mentioned before, I like a little of everything, and I like some Christian music too. If you don’t like Christian music, don’t listen. If you do, you are probably familiar with Chris Tomlin, and his work speaks for itself. He is the Strait or Jackson in the Christian world that just keeps releasing good music, and his latest album is no different.

Listen to Love Ran Red

That’s all for this week’s Random Thoughts!

Billboard Country Airplay and Country Albums Chart (July 25th)

Billboard Country Airplay

1. Canaan Smith–“Love you Like That” (up 3)
2. Jason Aldean–“Tonight Looks Good On You”
3. Blake Shelton–“Sangria” (down 2)
4. Little Big Town–“Girl Crush” (up 1)
5. Brantly Gilbert–“One Hell of an Amen” (up 1)
6. Michael Ray–“Kiss you in the Morning” (up 1)
7. Easton Corbin–“Baby, Be my Love Song” (down 4) [biggest loser]
8. Luke Bryan–“Kick the Dust Up” (up 1)
9. Frankie Ballard–“Young and Crazy” (up 3)
10. Zac Brown Band–“Loving You Easy”
11. Brad Paisley–“Crushin’ It”
12. Dustin Lynch–“Hell of a Night” (up 1)
13. Sam Hunt–“House Party” (up 1)
14. Thomas Rhett–“Crash and Burn” (up 1)
15. Eric Church–“Like a Wrecking Ball” (up 1)
16. Chris Janson–“Buy me a Boat” (up 1)
17. Brett Eldredge–“lose my Mind” (up 1)
18. Keith Urban–“John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16” (up 1)
19. Maddie & Tae–“Fly” (up 1)
20. Jake Owen–“Real Life” (up 1)
21. Chase Rice–“Gonna Wanna Tonight” (up 1)
22. Cole Swindell–“Let me See ya Girl” (up 2)
23. Kip Moore–“I’m to Blame”
24. Dan + Shay–“Nothin’ Like You” (up 2)
25. Lady Antebellum–“Long Stretch of Love”
26. Old Dominion–“Break up With Him” (up 1)
27. Kenny Chesney–“Save it for a Rainy Day” (entering top 30)
28. Florida Georgia Line–“Anything Goes” (entering top 30)
29. Cam–“Burning House” (entering top 30)
30. Big & Rich–“Run Away With You” (down 1)

  • new No. 1: “Love You Like That” (after a completely corrupt and artificial push from Canaan’s label
  • next week’s No. 1 prediction: “Tonight Looks Good on You”
  • Florida Georgia Line and Cam enter top 30 together…how can they be played on the same station?
  • Tim McGraw and Catherine Dunn’s “Diamond Rings and Old Barstools” fell out of the top 30 from No. 8
  • Reba’s “Going out Like That” fell out of the top 30 from no. 28
  • Brothers Osborne’s “Stay a Little Longer” fell out of the top 30 after entering last week at No. 30

Billboard Top Country Albums

1. Easton Corbin–About to Get Real
2. Kacey Musgraves–Pageant Material
3. Sam Hunt–Montevallo
4. Zac Brown Band–Jekyll + Hyde
5. Various Artists–Now That’s What I Call Country, Volume 8
6. Little Big Town–Painkiller
7. Eric Church–The Outsiders
8. Brantley Gilbert–Just As I Am
9. Willie Nelson/Merle Haggard–Django and Jimmie
10. Jason Aldean–Old Boots, New Dirt
11. Florida Georgia Line–Anything Goes
12. Blake Shelton–Bringing Back the Sunshine
13. Canaan Smith–Bronco
14. Luke Bryan–Spring Break, Checkin’ Out
15. Luke Bryan–Crash my Party
16. Carrie Underwood–Greatest Hits, Decade #1
17. Cole Swindell–Cole Swindell
18. A Thousand Horses–Southernality
19. Chase Rice–Ignite the Night
20. Kelsea Ballerini–The First Time
21. Chris Stapleton–Traveler
22. Tim McGraw–35 Biggest Hits
23. Darius Rucker–Southern Style
24. The Lax–Outlaw in Me
25. Billy Currington–Summer Forever

  • Chase Rice’s Ignite the Night moved up 5 spots from No. 24 to No. 19
  • the first 16 spots were the same as last week’s
  • music will now be released on Friday, and so there are no new releases on this week’s chart

Source: Billboard

Billboard Country Airplay and Country Albums Chart (July 18th)

Billboard Country Airplay

1. Blake Shelton–“Sangria” (2nd week at No. 1)
2. Jason Aldean–“Tonight Looks Good on You” (up 2)
3. Easton Corbin–“Baby, be my Love Song” (up 2)
4. Canaan Smith–“Love You Like That” (up 3)
5. Little Big Town–“Girl Crush” (up 3)
6. Brantley Gilbert–“One Hell of an Amen” (up 3)
7. Michael Ray–“Kiss You in the Morning” (up 3)
8. Tim McGraw and Catherine Dunn–“Diamond Rings and Old Barstools” (down 5)
9. Luke Bryan–“Kick the Dust Up” (up 2) [OH God this shit has hit the top ten]
10. Zac Brown Band–“Loving You Easy” (up 3)
11. Brad Paisley–“Crushin’ It” (up 1)
12. Frankie Ballard–“Young and Crazy” (up 2)
13. Dustin Lynch–“Hell of a Night” (up 2)
14. Sam Hunt–“house Party” (up 2)
15. Thomas Rhett–“Crash and Burn” (up 3)
16. Eric Church–“Like a Wrecking Ball” (up 1)
17. Chris Janson–“Buy me a Boat” (up 2)
18. Brett Eldredge–“Lose my Mind” (up 2)
19. Keith Urban–“John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16” (up 3)
20. Maddie & Tae–“Fly” (up 1)
21. Jake Owen–“Real Life” (up 4) [biggest gainer…sadly]
22. Chase Rice–“Gonna Wanna Tonight” (up 1)
23. Kip Moore–“I’m to Blame” (up 1)
24. Cole Swindell–“Let me See ya Girl” (up 2)
25. Lady Antebellum–“Long Stretch of Love” (up 2)
26. Dan + Shay–“Nothin’ Like You” (up 3)
27. Old Dominion–“Break up With Him” (up 1)
28. Reba–“Going out Like That” (up 2)
29. Big & Rich–“Run Away With You” (entering top 30)
30. Brothers Osborne–“Stay a Little Longer” (entering top 30)

  • new No. 1: “Sangria” stays at No. 1 for a 2nd week
  • next week’s No. 1 prediction: “Tonight Looks Good on You”
  • Carrie Underwood’s “little Toy Guns” fell from No. 2 to out of the top 30
  • Kelsea Ballerini’s “Love me Like You Mean It” fell from No. 6 to out of the top 30
  • Maddie & Tae and Reba are the only women left in this entire countdown outside of a group or collaboration

Billboard Top Country Albums

1. Easton Corbin–About to Get Real [debut]
2. Kacey Musgraves–Pageant Material
3. Sam Hunt–Montevallo
4. Zac Brown Band–Jekyll + Hyde
5. Various Artists–Now That’s What I Call Country, Volume 8
6. Little Big Town–Painkiller
7. Eric Church–The Outsiders
8. Brantley Gilbert–Just as I Am
9. Willie Nelson/Merle Haggard–Django and Jimmie
10. Jason Aldean–Old Boots, New Dirt
11. Florida Georgia Line–Anything Goes
12. Blake Shelton–Bringing Back the Sunshine
13. Canaan Smith–Bronco
14. Luke Bryan–Spring Break, Checkin’ Out
15. Luke Bryan–Crash my Party
16. Carrie Underwood–Greatest Hits: Decade #1
17. A Thousand Horses–Southernality
18. Chris Stapleton–Traveler
19. Cole Swindell–Cole Swindell
20. The Lax–Outlaw in me
21. Kelsea Ballerini–The First Time
22. Darius Rucker–Southern Style
23. Tim McGraw–35 Biggest Hits
24. Chase Rice–Ignite the Night
25. Billy Currington–Summer Forever

  • Easton Corbin’s forgettable About to Get Real debuts at No. 1
  • Blake Shelton’s Bringing Back the Sunshine moved up 9 spots to No. 12
  • Cole Swindell’s self-titled debut moved up 6 spots to No. 19

Source: Billboard

Billboard Country Airplay and Country albums Chart (July 11th)

Billboard Country Airplay

  • 1. Blake Shelton–“Sangria” (up 1)
  • 2. Carrie Underwood–Little Toy Guns” (up 1)
  • 3. Tim McGraw and Catherine Dunn–“Diamond Rings and Old Barstools” (up 2)
  • 4. Jason Aldean–“Tonight Looks Good on You” (up 2)
  • 5. Easton Corbin–“Baby, Be my Love Song” (down 1)
  • 6. Kelsea Ballerini–“Love Me Like You Mean It” (down 5) [biggest loser]
  • 7. Canaan Smith–“Love You Like That”
  • 8. Little Big Town–“Girl Crush” (up 1)
  • 9. Brantly Gilbert–“One Hell of an Amen” (up 1)
  • 10. Michael Ray–“Kiss You in the Morning” (up 2)
  • 11. Luke Bryan–“Kick the Dust Up” (up 2)
  • 12. Brad Paisley–“Crushin’ It” (down 1)
  • 13. Zac Brown Band–“Loving You Easy” (up 2)
  • 14. Frankie Ballard–“Young and Crazy”
  • 15. Dustin Lynch–“Hell of a Night” (up 1)
  • 16. Sam Hunt–“House Party” (up 2)
  • 17. Eric Church–“Like a Wrecking Ball”
  • 18. Thomas Rhett–“Crash and Burn” (up 1)
  • 19. Chris Janson–“Buy me a Boat” (up 1)
  • 20. Brett Eldredge–“Lose my Mind” (up 1)
  • 21. Maddie & Tae–“Fly” (up 1)
  • 22. Keith Urban–“John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16 (up 7) [biggest gainer]
  • 23. Chase Rice–“Gonna Wanna Tonight”
  • 24. Kip Moore–“I’m to Blame”
  • 25. Jake Owen–“Real Life
  • 26. Cole Swindell–“Let me See ya Girl” (up 1)
  • 27. Lady Antebellum–“Long Stretch of Love” (entering top 30)
  • 28. Old Dominion–“Break up With Him” (up 2)
  • 29. Dan + Shay–“Nothin’ Like You” (down 3)
  • 30. Reba–“Going out Like That” (down 2)
    • New NO. 1: “Sangria”
    • Next week’s No. 1: “Sangria” or “Tonight Looks Good on You” (Carrie has no chance)
    • biggest gainer: “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16”
    • Biggest Loser: “Love me Like You Mean It”
    • Kenny Chesney and Grace Potter’s “Wild Child” fell out of the top 30

    Billboard Top Country Albums

  • 1. Kacey Musgraves–Pageant Material(debut)
  • 2. Sam Hunt–Montevallo
  • 3. Zac Brown Band–Jekyll + Hyde
  • 4. Canaan Smith–Bronco (debut)
  • 5. Various Artists–Now That’s What I Call Country, Voulume 8
  • 6. Little Big Town–Painkiller
  • 7. Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard–Django and Jimmie
  • 8. Eric Church–The Outsiders
  • 9. Brantley Gilbert–Just as I Am
  • 10. Jason Aldean–Old Boots, New Dirt
  • 11. Florida Georgia Line–Anything Goes
  • 12. Luke Bryan–Crash my Party
  • 13. Luke Bryan–Spring Break, Checkin’ Out
  • 14. Tim McGraw–35 Biggest Hits
  • 15. A Thousand Horses–Southernality
  • 16. Carrie Underwood–Greatest Hits, Decade #1
  • 17. Darius Rucker–Southern Style
  • 18. The Lax–Outlaw in Me
  • 19. Kelsea Ballerini–The First Time
  • 20. Billy Currington–Summer Forever
  • 21. Blake Shelton–Bringing Back the Sunshine
  • 22. Chase Rice–Ignite the Night
  • 23. Corey Smith–While the Gettin’ is Good
  • 24. Kenny Chesney–The Big Revival
  • 25. Cole Swindell–Cole Swindell
    • Kacey Musgraves’s excellent Pageant Material debuts at No. 1, replacing Jekyll + Hyde
    • Canaan Smith’s Bronco debuts at no. 4
    • Kelsea Ballerini’s The First Time moved up 6 spots from no. 25 to No. 19
    • after debuting at No. 12 last week, Big Smo’s EP Bringin’ it Home fell out of the top 25
    • Hank Williams Jr.’s 35 Biggest Hits album fell out of the top 25 after last week’s debut at No. 16

    Have a great Independence Day weekend!

    Source: Billboard