Garth Brooks

2015 CMA Nominations

September 9, 2015 // 19 Comments

Throughout 2015, there have been rumblings of a backlash against the prevailing trends at country radio, and that backlash is certainly reflected in the year’s crop of CMA nominees.

Top Five: Leaving Home

September 4, 2015 // 14 Comments

September is upon us, which means that young adults have excitedly headed off to college while parents have sent their babies off to join the world. What are some of your favorite songs about children leaving home to spread their wings, whether it’s for college or another adventure away from home, and/or parents who have to let them go? Brad Paisley & Pat Green, “College” Alan Jackson, “You Can Always Come Home” Garth Brooks, “Send ‘Em on Down the Road” Suzy Bogguss, “Letting Go” Dixie Chicks, “Wide Open Spaces”

The Best Singles of 1993, Part Two: #30-#21

July 26, 2015 // 4 Comments

Our Best Singles of 1993 list continues with a collection of #1 hits, breakthrough hits, and should’ve been hits.  Kicking things off is the debut single from one of the decade’s most successful vocal groups. #30 “Goodbye Says it All” BlackHawk Written by Bobby Fischer, Charlie Black and Johnny MacRae Peak: #11 #9 – SG | #31 – BF BlackHawk enjoyed a nice run of hits from their debut album, including this kiss-off song. Lead singer Henry Paul was best known for his work in the Southern Rock band The Outlaws, but his distinctive voice adapted well to mainstream country, too. “Goodbye” showed off the great harmonies from the trio (Paul, Dave Robbins and the late Van Stephenson), and it also proved the adage that nothing good has ever written been down in lipstick (Patty Loveless’ “She Drew a Broken Heart” is Exhibit B). – Sam Gazdziak

The Best Singles of 1993, Part One: #40-#31

July 25, 2015 // 2 Comments

How strong a year for country music was 1993? Well, if our Best Albums list revealed how many great artists were overlooked, our Best Singles list reveals why there is so little room at the inn. Out of the forty singles ranked among our best, all but five reached the top twenty of the Billboard country singles chart.    Ten of them made it all the way to #1, and another nine of them stopped at #2.   Country radio in 1993 was good. Our list kicks off today with the first ten entries of the top forty.  We’ll reveal ten more every day until we get to the top of the list on Tuesday. Under each entry, you’ll see each single’s peak position on the Billboard chart and the individual ranking for each writer who included it on their own top forty list. #40 “On the Road” Lee Roy Parnell Written Read More

Daily Top Five: Favorite Friend Songs

July 21, 2015 // 14 Comments

Whether they’re about lovers and friends or simply platonic friendships,  country music has a ton of songs about friends and tributes to friends. What are some of your favorite friend songs? Here’s my list: Dan Seals, “One Friend” Vince Gill, “That Friend of Mine” Don Williams, “You’re My Best Friend” Tracy Lawrence, “Find Out Who Your Friends Are” Garth Brooks, “A Friend to Me”

The Best Albums of 1993, Part 2: #10-#1

July 12, 2015 // 15 Comments

The combined efforts of nine women and three men form the upper echelon of our Best Albums list from 1993. This embarrassment of riches showcases just how much great music there was to choose from that year, especially given how many of the genre’s biggest and most acclaimed stars – Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Reba McEntire, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and Pam Tillis, just to name a few – were between albums that year. It was also a strong and diverse enough year that despite some overall consensus among the lists of all of the writers, each one of us has a different album at #1 on our personal lists. Enjoy the second half of our list, and look for the Singles list to kick off next weekend. #10 Uncle Tupelo Anodyne #1 – JK | #3 – SG In jumping to a major label, Uncle Tupelo was supposed to give Read More

Daily Top Five: Not Better With Time

June 10, 2015 // 14 Comments

Just as songs can grow on us over time, songs can lose their shine just as easily. These are the songs that I once enjoyed and even loved in some cases, but have lost their appeal either due to over exposure or changing tastes. What songs did you once enjoy, but now no longer appreciate? Here’s my list: Tim McGraw, “Don’t Take the Girl” Garth Brooks, “The Dance” Garth Brooks, “The River” Brad Paisley, “Online” Dolly Parton, “Think About Love” (Though I’d like this one again with updated production)

Say What? – Keith Hill

May 28, 2015 // 54 Comments

UPDATE: Check out the impeccably researched work of Deb B, also known as Windmills, over at MJ’s Big Blog: Country Radio & The Anti-Female Female Myth: A Data-Based Look ORIGINAL POST: Via Terri Clark’s Twitter, this gem from radio consultant Keith Hill: This One’s Not For The Girls: Finally, Hill cautions against playing too many females. And playing them back to back, he says, is a no-no. “If you want to make ratings in Country radio, take females out,” he asserts. “The reason is mainstream Country radio generates more quarter hours from female listeners at the rate of 70 to 75%, and women like male artists. I’m basing that not only on music tests from over the years, but more than 300 client radio stations. The expectation is we’re principally a male format with a smaller female component. I’ve got about 40 music databases in front of me and the Read More

2015 ACM Awards: Country Universe Viewer’s Guide

April 19, 2015 // 14 Comments

The fiftieth annual Academy of Country Music Awards air tonight, and Country Universe has you covered!  Here’s a rundown of all of the major categories, along with some commentary from our writers about who should win, who will, and what the nominations as a whole say about the current state of country music. Share your thoughts about this year’s show in the comments, and check back for a list of winners when it’s all said and done. Update: Join the CU crew on Twitter (@CountryUniverse) during the show to share your thoughts as things unfold! Entertainer of the Year Should Win: Jason Aldean Garth Brooks – Jonathan Luke Bryan – Sam Florida-Georgia Line Miranda Lambert – Ben, Kevin Will Win: Jason Aldean Garth Brooks Luke Bryan Florida Georgia Line Miranda Lambert – Jonathan, Ben, Sam, Kevin BF: I think Lambert is due, but I could get on board with a Read More

2015 ACM Awards: Nominations & Analysis

January 31, 2015 // 14 Comments

The third most prestigious country music industry award nominations – but the most important ones handed out in the spring – have been announced.  Here’s a rundown of all the major categories, along with some back-of-the-envelope analysis: Entertainer Jason Aldean Garth Brooks Luke Bryan Florida Georgia Line Miranda Lambert Who’s In: Jason Aldean, Garth Brooks, Florida Georgia Line Who’s Out: Blake Shelton, George Strait, Taylor Swift Last year’s winner, George Strait, didn’t get a return invitation, but Garth Brooks, who has won this award six times before, returns to the competition.  Much like Strait’s farewell tour was a reminder of his extensive popularity, Garth’s ability to sell out several dates per city overshadows the lukewarm reception to his new material at radio and retail.   Taylor Swift’s exit is directly tied to her cutting ties with the genre. Jason Aldean’s return makes logical sense, but it’s quite the mystery to see Read More

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