For many true country music performers, the bug to write, sing, and play country music bit them at an early age, and never left. For others, country music is simply a vehicle for fame and riches. Specifically, many of them first tried to make it in professional sports before flunking out or getting sidelined with injury.
The inaugural “Nashional” music festival set to transpire in just over a month at Nashville’s Bicentennial Capitol Mall on April 20th and 21st has been cancelled. It was planned, curated, and set to be headlined by genre-bending “country” star Sam Hunt.
So here we are once again staring at a list of the nominees for the ACM Awards, with few surprises, lots of predictable stuff, and finding ourselves full of self-reflection on if we should even care about the annual country music gala that is most susceptible to bloc voting and horse trading.
Friends and neighbors, I know you would rather spend your time reading about something a bit more positive in nature than the rabid attitudinal protestations of some twisted up music critic spouting off about this grotesque specimen of audio diarrhea, and during what is supposed to be a festive season no less….
Man did Music Row in Nashville turn in a whole slew of stinkers this year, setting new lows for the substance, and non-country-ness of “country” songs in 2017. This year was a great example of how you should never think it can’t get any worse, because it can, and did, and by a long stretch.
That’s right. Think about the scores of female country music performers who have dedicated their entire lives to the craft, including many mainstream country pop performers, who have never enjoyed a debut at #1, or a #1 at all. And then a pop star you’ve probably have never heard of shows up and is cresting country music’s top metric for songs.
The nominations for the 2018 Grammy Awards were announced Tuesday morning (11-28), and among the most nominated names are multiple traditional country and roots music favorites, including Chris Stapleton who comes in with three nominations, tied with award show favorites Little Big Town for the most nominations in country.
I don’t care if Walker Hayes is the most upstanding citizen from his affluent suburb, donates to charity, is sweet as pie to his fans, and gives mouth to nose resuscitation to orphaned puppies. This is not the type of incendiarily vapid stuff we need infecting anything being sold as “country.”
Sam Hunt’s historic, and likely insurmountable reign at the top of Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart with his terrible, non-country song “Body Like A Backroad” has finally ended, but only after forever besmirching country music’s history books, and relinquishing the spot to another decidedly non-country “country” performer and song.
The fact that “Vice” has now gone platinum is not entirely surprising as a lead single from a mainstream country star, but what is surprising is the song never cracked the Top 10 on country radio during its ascent. “Vice” stalled out at #11 before being moved to recurrent.
Well, it’s happened. As predicted by Saving Country Music and certain others, Sam Hunt’s “Body Like a Backroad” is now officially the longest-charting #1 single on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in the chart’s nearly 60-year-old history, logging a total of 25 straight weeks at #1.
Artists with the true love of country music in their hearts, they don’t make country music for money or fame. They make it for life. They make it because they have no other choice. They make it whether they succeed, or it costs incredible sacrifice to keep doing it. It isn’t an option, it’s an obligation to themselves, and the music.
Some might think this will sound like a broken record or a tired topic, that all the Chris Stapleton praise and plaudits for his remarkable sales numbers have run their course. But the argument can be made that we’re still not making a big enough about what Chris Stapleton is accomplishing in country music right now.
“Country shows man. Everybody gets way too drunk.” This is one of many things that can be overheard in the disturbing video of a brawl that erupted after the Sam Hunt show in Tinley Park, IL (Chicago area) Saturday night, July 8th.
At the moment there are exactly zero women in country radio’s Top 20, and a whopping total of 4 in the entire Top 50 for an abysmal 8% representation. In fact this 4 out of 50 ratio has been pretty consistent now for the entirety of the “Body Like A Backroad” reign at #1.
‘Country music’ most certainly has a definition because it means something to millions of people. They identify with it. It’s their culture. It’s what gives them meaning and fulfillment. And if lost, and even worse, impugned and dragged through the mud as being irrelevant, uncool, or unwilling to evolve, it leaves them empty feeling and hollow.
Sam Hunt’s smash single “Body Like a Backroad” has already made history, and is set to make more. By now logging 20 weeks at #1, “Body Like a Backroad” and Sam Hunt break a 55-year-old record on the 59-year-old Billboard Hot Country Songs chart previously held by Leroy Van Dyke’s “Walk On By.”
Oh man are these some stinkers. Not only does an elite and highly-trained group of mainstream country artists seem to be like devoted experts at defining new lows for the genre, in 2017 the amount of non-country-ness of some of these “country” songs is so off the charts, it’s like they’re purposely challenging each other.
Body Like a Backroad, Canaan Smith, Carrie Underwood, Chris Janson, Craving You, David Allan Coe, Dustin Lynch, Fix A Drink, Florida Georgia Line, Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Like You That Way, Sam Hunt, The Chainsmokers, The Fighter, The Moonshine Bandits, Thomas Rhett
Sam Hunt’s “Body Like a Backroad” has now topped the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for 17 straight weeks. Meanwhile, “Body Like a Backroad” continues to pick up crossover spins. Unfortunately for Miranda Lambert, her current single “Tin Man” is headed in the opposite direction.
As we continue to ponder what country radio might look like after the impending implosion of iHeartMedia and corporate radio as we know it, some very interesting developments emerged on the country radio charts this week.