Daily Top Five: Strengthen Country Radio

Old Crow Medicine Show RemedyActively writing single reviews again has me also looking at the radio charts again.   What a bleak landscape of interchangeable singers and songs!  I can’t remember things ever being this generic and bland.  We flirted with it back in the Kellie Coffey days, but the bottom didn’t fall out.

Today, is there even a bottom?  An old friend of mine listened to country radio for the first time in presumably years and asked, “Am I crazy, or is everyone getting drunk on country radio?”

He’s not crazy.  What can we do to fix this?

Today’s Top Five asks: What five songs would you immediately put in heavy rotation on country radio?

They can already be singles, or could be unreleased songs that you think should be singles, but they should be current enough to be featured on an artist’s most recent album.

Here’s my top five:

  1. Old Crow Medicine Show, “Mean Enough World”
  2. Trisha Yearwood, “You Can’t Trust the Weatherman”
  3. Jason Isbell, “Songs that She Sang in the Shower”
  4. Nickel Creek, “You Don’t Know What’s Going On”
  5. Reba McEntire, “Just Like Them Horses”



  1. Album Tracks
    1. Gloriana Where My Heart Belongs
    2. Maddie & Tae Sierra (if)
    3. Little Big Town Shut Up Train
    4. Lady Antebellum Damn You Seventeen (if)
    5. Kelsea Ballerini Dibs (if)

  2. I absolutely loved having a weekly radio show in college for just this reason! Things I would put into heavy rotation:

    1. Allison Moorer, “Tear Me Apart”
    2. Punch Brothers, “Why, Oh Why”
    3. Rhiannon Giddens, “She’s Got You”
    4. Old Crow Medicine Show, “Brushy Mountain Conjugal Trailer”
    5. Zac Brown Band, “Dress Blues”

  3. 1. John Moreland–“Cherokee”
    2. Stoney Larue–“Aviator”
    3. Randy Rogers/Wade Bowen–“Standards”
    4. Chris Stapleton–“When The Stars Come Out”
    5. Tyler Farr–“Suffer in Peace”

    Before everyone thinks I am crazy for including Farr on this list, I must admit I am generally not a fan of his. I actually find his bluster really annoying at times, but he cut a really good song with “Suffer in Peace”. It doesnt have the bluster that so many modern Country singles have, it’s just a good song with plenty of steel guitar in the mix.

    I doubt the rest of the album will be very good, but I have to give him props for “Suffer in Peace”, it’s probably the best song he will ever cut and will likely end up on some “best unreleased Country songs of 2015” lists.

  4. Can I just say how freakin’ over the moon I am that Dierks Bentley’s “Say You Do” is #2 this week on Billboard’s Country Airplay Chart? It just might be my favorite single he’s ever released.

    1. Jason Isbell, “Cover Me Up”
    2. Rosanne Cash, “When The Master Calls The Roll”
    3. Trisha Yearwood, “End of the World”
    4. Rodney Crowell, “The Flyboy and the Kid”
    5. Brandy Clark, “In Some Corner”

  5. Aaron Watson, “Bluebonnets”
    Sturgill Simpson, “Long White Line”
    William Clark Green, “Rose Queen”
    Lee Ann Womack, “Don’t Listen to the Wind”
    Adam Hood, “I’ll Sing About Mine”

  6. Rodney Crowell, “The Flyboy and the Kid”

    Also, pretty much any song from Tarpaper Sky would be a MASSIVE improvement over what’s being played on country radio now….

  7. 1. Radney Foster, “Not in my House
    2. Rosanne Cash, “50 Thousand Watts”
    3. Reba McenTire, “Just Like Them Horses”
    4. Rodney Crowell, “Oh, What A Beautiful World”
    5. Stergill Simpson, “Long White Line”

  8. 1. Randy Roger/Wade Bowen: “El Dorado”
    2. Reba: “Just Like Them Horses”
    3. Brandi Carlile: “Wherever Is Your Heart”
    4. Zac Brown Band: “Dress Blues”
    5. Tyler Farr: “Suffer In Peace”

  9. 1. ZBB – Dress Blues
    2. Gretchen Peters – When All You Got Is A Hammer
    3. Brandy Clark – I Cried
    4. Striking Matches – When the Right One Comes Along
    5. The Western Swing Authority – Sweet Harriet

  10. 1. Only Me – Rhonda Vincent
    2. It’s Been a Great Afternoon – Roy Rogers & Wade Bowen
    3. Southern Comfort – Stone Silo
    4. Life of Sin – Sturgill Simpson
    5. Unhappily Married – Pistol Annies

  11. YES! This is a GREAT category, my favorite yet. I couldn’t stop myself from going beyond five and so I went with a total of 7 songs from top independent artists that I think would shine on country radio. Really, I could have put 500 on a list with this category.

    1. Give It Away – The Trishas
    2. Cover Me Up – Jason Isbell
    3. Ok Whiskey – Jason Eady
    4. Fences – Jason Boland & The Stragglers
    5 (A). Standards – Randy Rogers & Wade Bowen
    5 (B). Money – Karen Jonas
    5 (C). The Highway – Holly Williams

  12. 1. Randy Rogers & Wade Bowen – “Standards”
    2. Striking Matches – “Hanging On A Lie”
    3. Chris Stapleton – “Traveller”
    4. Sunny Sweeney & Will Hoge – “My Bed”
    5. Micky & The Motorcars – “Long Road To Nowhere”

  13. My radio station will only play 5 people on a loop all day long. You can call in a request and they flat out say no sorry we can only play certain artists. even calling and requesting Reba falls on deaf ears

  14. Top idea for a post guys! Although if I don’t get any work done tonight, I’m gonna blame everyone for their great posts above :)

    1. I’m Not Jealous – Sam Outlaw
    2. El Dorado – Wade Bowen & Randy Rogers
    3. Pray to Jesus – Brandy Clark
    4. The Underdog – Aaron Watson
    5. Ir’s Not the Fall – Roo Arcus

  15. My top 5 to save Country radio!

    1. “I’ll Go On” – Reba
    2. “On to Something Good” – Ashley Monroe
    3. “With You Whiskey” – Brea Lawrenson
    4. “The Secret” – David Nail
    5. “What a Memory” – Deric Ruttan

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