Charlie Cook On Air: The 10 Best Songs On Country Radio

CCook-onair-sm111I like lists. I find myself reading lists. I like the simplicity of lists. They are easy to follow and you can quit after any number and still feel like you have gleaned some information.

Here is a list of the 10 best songs on Country radio right now. Okay, according to me. What criteria did I use? If I turn up the radio when it comes on I give it points. If I sing along to it I give it more points. If I actually know the words that I am singing along to it gets even more points. That’s it. Oh, one more thing. I am going to list songs that are what radio programmers call recurrents along with what record companies refer to as currents.

10. “Sure Be Cool if You Did”—Blake Shelton (R. Clawson, C. Tompkins, J. Robbins). If you’re like most Country Music fans you look forward to Blake Shelton music. This one raced up the charts. Your Pretty Pink Lemonade Shooter. Come on wouldn’t you walk right up to a girl drinking that? A half ounce of Triple Sec, a half ounce of lemon vodka and 1 oz. of lemonade. That is a recipe for dancing on the bar, at minimum.

9. “I Drive Your Truck”—Lee Brice (J. Alexander, C. Harrington, J. Yeary). This one took me a couple of listens. About two minutes into the song you can begin to hear the pain in Lee’s voice. He really nails this song. You believe that this is real for him and his performance makes me stop and think about how I would respond in that situation. Driving the truck is a real salute.

8. “Merry Go ‘Round”—Kacey Musgraves (K. Musgraves, J. Osborne, S. McAnally). The best part of Country Music is that the writer’s use of the English language is unparalleled by other musical formats. This was not written in 15 minutes. Populating the Merry Go ‘Round with a number of Marys is not something that falls in your lap.

7. “Highway Don’t Care”—Tim McGraw/Taylor Swift (M. Irwin, J. Kear, B. Warren, B. Warren). In case you haven’t noticed, Scott Borchetta is a pretty smart guy.

6. “For You”—Keith Urban (K. Urban, M. Powell). Have you seen the video? Oh my gosh! If you aren’t absolutely moved by these lyrics go to 1:30 into the song and listen for the next 30 seconds.

5. “Fly Over States”—Jason Aldean (N. Thrasher, M. Dulaney). This took one listen. Growing up in the Midwest myself, and living in NY and LA I know what the coasters really think of the rest of the country. I also know that they are full of crap. I would have liked the song to be a little more biting on the topic but…

4. “Springsteen”—Eric Church (E. Church, J. Hyde, R. Tyndell). I will say right out, I am not a big Springsteen fan. I appreciate him but I went to one concert. At about 10 hours in, when I recognized only two songs, I knew that this wasn’t for me but I just insert Seger when Eric sings Springsteen and I am good to go.

3. “More Trucks than Cars”—Craig Morgan (C. Morgan, P. O’Donnell, C. Wiseman). Come on, I live in West Virginia. And have you been to a Wal-Mart parking lot recently? This is not just about Country Music fans. This is about ‘merica.

2. “Don’t Rush”—Kelly Clarkson/Vince Gill (B. Sanders, N. Hemby, L.D. Chapman). We now have a challenger for the best female voice on Country Music radio. Kelly wants to be part of the format but AC and Hot AC are not going to roll over. She is a VERY important part of those formats too. Honestly this became my favorite song from the first time I heard it. Kind of like love at first sight. Stopping every minute just because you’re in it is brilliant. I wish radio programmers would get on board more enthusiastically. I think many are missing what could be a song of the year candidate.

1. “She Cranks My Tractor”—Dustin Lynch (D. Lynch, B. Beavers, T. Nichols). I told you that being able to sing along was worth points. I am not too sure about 10 pounds of sugar in a five pound sack. That can easily get out of control. But seriously don’t you want a John Deere in the garage after hearing this song?

(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of MusicRow.)



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