Monday, 26 January 2015

Blog Updates

Due to very busy work shift commitments and extra hours from late November we have been unable to update the Blog Posts with the Country News Snippets and Billboard Chart news. 
We have a lot of data logged ready to compile new posts and some new features with perhaps a shift away from the corporate mainstream country music which continues to disappoint with a lack of quality and a continued major absence of female artists.



However as a priority we have spent several days and nights trawling the internet to compile a comprehensive 2015 Tour Dates Page with major additions to UK artist gigs & shows, London dates, Major Festival and Norfolk Festivals. We hope you find this a useful reference to help you plan your Country/Americana/Folk/Roots year – CLICK HERE

With so many albums going under the radar we have also spent time exploring and completing a comprehensive listing of Country/Alt Country/ Americana albums released in 2014.
Do you still have Christmas vouchers left to spend?
Find out our Top album picks for 2014.
Find out all the Forthcoming and Country/Alt Country/ Americana albums so far released in 2015 and ones on the horizon! Check out our Music Store

Brian Clough's American Connection Page has been given a 2015 facelift.
Do you think that country radio programmers should think outside the box more because of what the video and audio streaming services now have to offer on sites such as YouTube, Vevo, BBC Playlister and Spotify? 
Do you listen to country radio shows/ stations?
Contact us using Facebook 

Wishing you a healthy, happy and enjoyable 2015

Thank You
Country Routes News Blogspot

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Country Billboard Chart News December 17, 2014

Country Billboard Chart News December 17, 2014

In Brief:  Billboard Country Charts

Country Album Chart ** No.1 (1 week) Greatest Hits: Decade#1 Carrie Underwood
Hot Country Songs ** No.1 (3 weeks) ** “Shotgun Rider” Tim McGraw
Country Airplay ** No.1 (1 week) ** Shotgun Rider” Tim McGraw
Country Digital Songs ** No.1 ** (1 week) ** “The Old Rugged Cross” Craig Wayne Boyd

In this easy-to-use format discover where your favourite acts songs and album are charting across the four Billboard Country charts. It is prioritized by the first column showing the Hot Country Songs chart frame standings for the week of December 27, 2014.
There are also separate rows highlighting Women of Country music.

Scroll down for further details on each of the individual charts.








































Billboard Top 200 / Country Album Chart News

The Billboard 200 chart now includes on-demand streaming and digital track sales data
The new chart in its second week was compiled using a new multi-metric consumption methodology, adding together pure album sales with track equivalent album sales (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).

  • Year-to-date overall all genre album sales are down 12% year-to-date over 2013.
  • Physical CD sales are up 20% over last week, down 4% over the same week last year and down 16% year-to-date over 2013.
  • Digital album sales are up 7% over last week, down 17% over the same week last year and down 10% year-to-date over 2013.
  • Digital track sales are down 4% over last week, down 9% over the same week last year and down 12% year-to-date over 2013. Track-equivalent album sales are up 12.7% over last week and down 12.1% year-to-date over 2013.
 J. Cole's third album, 2014 Forest Hills Drive, easily debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 Album chart (BB200), marking the rapper's third consecutive chart-topper. He previously led the list with his debut effort, 2011's Cole World: The Sideline Story, and its follow-up, 2013's Born Sinner. 2014 Forest Hills Drive moved 375,000 equivalent units in the week ending Dec. 14, according to Nielsen Music. (The Billboard 200 chart measures multi-metric consumption, including pure album sales. The ranking includes on-demand streaming and digital track sales, in addition to traditional album sales, all measured by Nielsen.)
On the latest Billboard 200, 84% of the chart's total units (adding up the weekly unit totals of Nos. 1 through 200) are pure album sales. The rest of its units are track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).
2014 Forest Hills Drive sold 353,538 copies in it first week, the sum is the fifth-largest sales week for an album in 2014, and the biggest for a hip-hop set in over a year.
 The only larger weeks this year were racked up by Taylor Swift's 1989 (in its first two frames: 1.29 million and 402,000, respectively), One Direction's first week with Four (387,000) and Coldplay's arrival with Ghost Stories (383,000).

Taylor Swift’s1989” fell to No.2 despite a 21% sales increase over last week and after five non-consecutive weeks atop the Billboard 200. 
The Pop album has now surpassed the three million sales mark. “1989” shifted 324,000 units (up 18%), of which 277,607 were pure album sales (up 21%) and it has now scanned 3,003,615 at retail.
Comparing to her previous “country” releases
RED in its 7th week sold 166,999 (+22%; total 2,382,541) and SPEAK NOW in its 7th chart frame sold 201,318 (+14%; total 2,365,339)

To purely country music matters Carrie Underwood scored her fifth consecutive top five album, as her Greatest Hits: Decade #1 (19/Arista Nashville/SMN), made a bow at No.4 with 103,000 units (93,714 were pure album sales).
Underwood’s album entered the Billboard Top Country Albums at #1, displacing Garth Brooks's Man Against Machine.
  • It’s the first greatest hits album to top the country chart since Brooks & Dunn's #1s…and Then Some in September 2009; the first by a female artist to do this since Shania Twain's Greatest Hits had 11 weeks on top from November 2004 to January 2005.
  • The two-disc set markedthe biggest debut sales week for a country best-of since Toby Keith’s 35 Biggest Hits bowed with 103,000 on May 24, 2008.
  • It’s the best debut week for a country female artist’s hits package since Reba McEntire’s Reba: #1s began with 117,000 (Dec. 10, 2005).
  • Carrie’s is also the highest BB200 ranking for a newly-released greatest hits album since Kenny Chesney's Greatest Hits II debuted and peaked at #3 in May 2009.
  • This is the first best-of collection for the singer, who previously logged four albums that reached the top two on the BB200: her “Some Hearts” debut (Released Nov 15, 2005; No.2 on Billboard 200; 315,000 debut sales), followed by three No.1s: “Carnival Ride” (Released Oct 23, 2007; 527,101 first week sales), “Play On” (Released Nov 2, 2009; 317,695 first week sales) and “Blown Away” (Released May 1, 2012, debut sales 267,338 copies). Carrie was only the third woman to take three country albums to No. 1 on the Billboard 200, Linda Ronstadt and Faith Hill were the others.
Underwood's latest set is the highest-charting greatest hits album since the chart dated Aug. 25, 2012, when Frank Sinatra's Nothing But the Best re-entered at No. 3 (thanks to deep discounting by Amazon MP3). Underwood logs the biggest sales week for a best-of since Whitney Houston's Whitney: The Greatest Hits shifted 112,000 on the chart dated March 17, 2012 (in the wake of Houston's death), and the biggest sales debut for a hits set since Sinatra's Nothing arrived with 99,000 (at No. 2) on the May 31, 2008 chart.
Greatest hits albums are less vital in the iTunes era than they used to be. In a previous era, Underwood’s album would probably have vied for #1. Many previous artists have marked their first decade in the music business with compilations that had the word “decade” in the title. Underwood’s is the fourth to make the top five. Celine Dion's All the Way…A Decade of Song hit #1 in November 1999. Motley Crue's Decade of Decadence – ‘81-‘91 reached #2 in October 1991. Janet Jackson's Design of a Decade 1986/1996 hit #3 in October 1995.
On Hot Country Songs, “Something in the Water,” Underwood’s new single from the set, bulleted for a second week at No. 2 after a three-week run at No. 1 (having reached the summit on Nov. 22). A second new song, “Little Toy Guns,” enters the multimetric list at No. 40.

Carrie two-disc compilation, Greatest Hits: Decade #1, released Dec 9, 2014 featuring her latest hit, "Something in the Water," celebrates the approaching 10th anniversary of Carrie
launching her career on American Idol back in 2005. Since then, she's scored multiple #1 hits, including "Jesus, Take the Wheel," "Cowboy Casanova," "Before He Cheats" and "Blown Away." Carrie wasn't sure she was ready to put out a best-of compilation when her record label first approached her, though.
"I was the first one to be like, 'I mean, I've only been doing this 10 years,'  but it's been 10 years," Carrie said. "If we waited much longer, we'd be out of two discs, hopefully!". Looking over the track listing, Carrie added, "It's really cool to kinda see my career, and well, my life over the past 10 years kinda chronicled in that way." Carrie's Greatest Hits also includes the rough demo versions of some of her biggest hits, and she was excited to let fans hear how these hits, like "Last Name," sounded before they got polished in the studio.

Promoting the album the pregnant star appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (NBC) on Dec 8th.


Critical reception for Carrie Underwood’s Greatest Hits: Decade #1:
(2-CD) 25 tracks/ Time: 1:40:10 CD - MP3 - Smart Choice Music - Amazon.com 
Allmusic (Rating: 4 STARS).....If the subtitle "Decade #1" seems too optimistic, consider this: back in 2004, few ever would've bet that the winner of the third season of American Idol would still be on the charts. A decade later, Carrie Underwood was a genuine superstar who left her television roots far behind. Greatest Hits: Decade #1 helps bury those early American Idol memories by sandwiching her coronation song "Inside Your Heaven" between two bombastic new songs ("Something in the Water," the better of the two, opens up the proceedings, followed by "Little Toy Guns") and "Jesus, Take the Wheel," the song that truly kicked off her streak at the top of the country charts...... the 21 singles -- which are supplemented by three demos that reveal Carrie works well in a stark setting, too -- are of a piece, expertly constructed post-Shania and Faith Hill country-pop proving that Underwood is the new-millennial heir to their throne.

Rounding out the new Billboard 200's top 10 is Garth Brooks' MAN AGAINST MACHINE, descended 8-10 (2-1 Country) with 62,000 units (up 8% on previous weeks 57K). On the Top Album Sales chart, it fell 7-8 with the same sum, as the album is unavailable on streaming services, and its individual tracks are unavailable to purchase.

The other new entry on the Top 25 Country albums came via The Nashville Season 3, Volume 1 Official Soundtrack which made a debut at No.75 on the BB200 (#10 Country) selling 11,000 copies with the ABC Network program’s Christmas With Nashville holiday album sitting right behind it on both the Billboard 200 and Country Album charts.
As the winter finale of ABC’s “Nashville” drew closer, the plot lines grow thinner and the scant 10-song soundtrack followed suit. Domestic turmoil was the major theme this season as diva Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere) became unexpectedly pregnant before the filming of a Patsy Cline biopic. Unfortunately, Panettiere’s excellent rendition of “Crazy” is omitted on the album. In a tumultuous love triangle, Charles “Chip” Esten (Deacon Claybourne) turns in a clichéd, yet pleasing acoustic ode, “I Know How To Love You Now “to the soon to be married Reyna James (Connie Britton) the woman he will always love...Read More

Critical reception:
Various Artists - Music Of Nashville: Original Soundtrack - Season 3, Volume 1 [US Exclusive Deluxe]
Allmusic (Rating: 4 Stars) ....One can argue that the only thing that keeps Nashville from being a
complete prime-time soap opera is the relatively consistent quality of its music. It is so strategically placed, episode by episode, that it offers both enhancements to and distractions from its various plot lines. Not only is this first soundtrack -- representing the first half of season three -- not an exception, it's among the better titles issued by the franchise and represents its characters well. While it's true that the principals -- actresses Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere -- only have one solo cut apiece, they are both excellent..... About the only thing missing here is a selection from Lennon & Maisy Stella -- which would make it perfect -- but song for song, the music here not only trumps everything the series has previously released, it can stand on its own.

Outside the top 25 Country Albums
On their second week at retail Willie Nelson And Sister Bobbie fell 26-34 with December Day: Willie's Stash. Vol. 1 (Legacy) and at No.44 there was a debut at #44 for Various Artists set Country Christmas (Ume)

2014 Country Album sales Year-To Date:
30,616,000 (Physical sales 20,964,000 (down 9%) + Digital sales 9,652,000 (down -8.2%)) which is 17.0% down at the same point in 2013 (36,901,000 sales)

Billboard Top 200 / Country Album Placings
(Issue dated Chart week of December 27, 2014)
(Country Album positions #1 - #25)
(TW) This Week, (LW) Last Week, Co (Country Album Chart placing / Movement)
Actual Album Sales (NOT including Track Sales + Streams which the Billboard 200 compile)

































Top 25 Hot Country Songs (week of December 27, 2014)



On Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart - which blends:
a) All-format airplay, as monitored by BDS 
b) Sales, as tracked by Nielsen SoundScan and
c) Streaming, (tracked by Nielsen BDS from such services as Spotify, Muve, Slacker, Rhapsody, Rdio and Xbox Music, among others) according to BDS it results in:

  • Tim McGraw held at No.1 for a third successive week with “Shotgun Rider” (McGraw/Big Machine).
  • Craig Wayne Boyd, the newly crowned seventh-season winner of NBC’s The Voice, placed new versions of classic compositions on Hot Country Songs for a fourth straight week. Gospel standard “The Old Rugged Cross” (Republic) is the Hot Shot Debut at No. 7 while his cover of Merle Haggard’s 1969 blue-collar anthem “Workin’ Man Blues” entered at No. 37. Boyd performed both songs on the Dec. 8 episode.
  • On the same evening, coach Blake Shelton and duet partner Ashley Monroe performed current single “Lonely Tonight” (Warner Bros./WMN) which helped it lift 21-5 with top Digital Gainer honours. The pair also performed the track on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Dec. 11. “Lonely Tonight” also reached a new peak (9-2) on Country Digital Songs (41,000 sold, up 147%).
Hot County Songs
** No.1 (3 weeks) ** “Shotgun Rider” Tim McGraw
** Airplay Gainer ** No.3 “Talladega”  Eric Church
** Digital Gainer ** No.5 “Lonely Tonight” “Blake Shelton feat. Ashley Monroe
** Hot Shot Debut ** No.7 “The Old Rugged Cross” Craig Wayne Boyd
** Streaming Gainer ** No.8 “I See You” Luke Bryan
Debut No.37 “Workin’ Man Blues” Craig Wayne Boyd
Debut No.40 “Little Toy Guns” Carrie Underwood
Debut No.49 “When I’ve Been Drinkin’ Jon Pardi


Billboard Country Airplay Chart Week of December 27, 2014

Tim McGraw collected his 27th No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay tally with “Shotgun Rider” (McGraw/Big Machine), which drew 47.603 million audience impressions (up 8%, a gain of +3.575 million) and received 7,813 radio plays (+732) and stepped 2-1, thus becoming the artist with the most No.1s dating to the chart’s launch 25 years ago (January 1990). 
During that time frame, McGraw breaks out of a three-way tie with Alan Jackson and George Strait (26 apiece) on a list that also includes Kenny Chesney (23), Brooks & Dunn (20), Toby Keith (20), Blake Shelton (18), Brad Paisley (18), Garth Brooks (18) and Keith Urban (17).
“Rider” written by Marv Green, Hillary Lindsey and Troy Verges was first released on Sept 8, 2014 as the third single from his second studio album for Big Machine Records, SUNDOWN HEAVEN TOWN. It peaked in its 15th chart week, marking the artist’s quickest chart-topping ascent in nearly four years. He hasn’t reached the summit faster since “Felt Good on My Lips” reigned in its 14th week on the Jan. 8, 2011 list. He clocked his fastest No. 1 when “It’s Your Love” (with Faith Hill) needed just five weeks to peak (June 7, 1997).
Top local audience exposure for “Rider” during the Dec. 8-14 Nielsen Music tracking week: KKBQ Houston (1.4 million impressions), WNSH New York (1.3 million), KKGO Los Angeles (1.1 million), WKLB Boston (1.1 million) and KMNB Minneapolis (902,000).












  • The heat quickly cooled on last week’s No.1 as Maddie & Tae’sGirl In A Country Song” which slumped 1-7 a 11.683 million audience loss and 5,610 radio plays (down 2,038).
  • Florida Georgia Line scored its seventh straight top 10 single with “Sun Daze” (Republic Nashville), which hopped 11-9 in its 10th chart week. The track is the second single from the duo’s sophomore album, ANYTHING GOES, which has sold 407,000 copies through the week ending Dec. 7, according to Nielsen Music. During that time frame, “Sun Daze” has sold 200,000 downloads — it debuted and peaked at No. 4 on the Oct. 4 Country Digital Songs chart.
  • Luke Bryan’sI See You” (Capitol Nashville) became the artist’s 17th top 10 on the Country Airplay chart, where it advanced 13-10 in its sixth chart week.
  • Blake Shelton’sLonely Tonight” (Warner Bros./WMN), featuring Ashley Monroe, earned Most Increased Audience honours logging 19.689 million impressions, up 30%, a gain of +4.514 million and received 3,335 radio plays.
  • Dierks Bentley stacked up the Most Added honours with “Say You Do” (Capitol Nashville) receiving 1,440 radio plays (+312) thanks to 17 fresh radio commitments (ADDS)
Women of Country 2014 Watch:

There were two solo female artists on the Top 30 Country Airplay songs with Carrie Underwood’s “Something In The Water” (7-5) and RaeLynn’s “God Made Girls” moving 21-20.
Kelsea Ballerini #35, Lucy Hale #58 and Katie Armiger #60 were the additional three solo females in the remaining 31-60 slots, to make it just 8.33% of the entire Top 60 chart.

Country Airplay
*** No.1 (1 week) *** "Shotgun Rider” Tim McGraw
** Most Increased Audience ** “Lonely Tonight” No.17 Blake Shelton feat. Ashley Monroe
** Most Added ** “Say You Do” No.27 Dierks Bentley
** Hot Shot Debut ** No.55 "Girl Crush" Little Big Town
Debut No.57 “House Party” Sam Hunt
Debut No.59 “Raised By A Good Time” Steven Lee Olsen


Billboard Country Digital Singles Chart Week of December 27, 2014
With a similar pattern to the previous week saw NBC’s The Voice effect the Top 5 Downloads show contestant Craig Wayne Boyd along with his coach Blake Shelton, dominate the chart. Boyd returned to #1 with a southern gospel classic “The Old Rugged Cross” .
Watch his performance on the Live Semi Final.
Blake Shelton and Ashley Monroe’s “Lonely Tonight” jumped 9-2 thanks to their performance of the song on the TV show. Last weeks No.1 RaeLynn with “God Made Girls” fell 1-5 to round out the top 5 shifting a further 22,000 downloads.
Just edged out of the Top 30 Carrie Underwood’sLittle Toy Guns” the second new song from her Decade #1 hits set made a bow at #31 selling 8,000 copies.

Women Of Country Watch
RaeLynn (1-5) with “God Made Girls”, Carrie Underwood with “Something In The Water” (No.3), Brenda Lee with the Christmas classic Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree (18-17) and Faith Hill’s ” Where Are You Christmas? (27-30) were the 4 solo female acts on the Top 30.

Dropping off the Top 30:
5 - Off The Chart Craig Wayne Boyd “Take It Easy” 
21 - Off The Chart  Blake Shelton “God Gave Me You”   
22 - Off The Chart Kid Rock feat Sheryl Crow “Picture”
23-32 Frankie Ballard “Sunshine & Whiskey”   
27-36 Big & Rich “Look At You”
17-46 Craig Wayne Boyd “I Walk The Line”

Year-Over-Year Country Digital Track Sales:
2014: 126,861,000 ; down 16.8% compared to 152.464,00 million in 2013

Top 30 Digital Singles in Country Music (published December 18, 2014)
 (LW) Last Week (TW) This Week
*Numbers are rounded to nearest 1000th



































Country Aircheck MEDIABASE Chart

Tim McGraw moved 2-1 to land No1 on Mediabase with “Shotgun Rider” (Big Machine). The song logged 7,914 radio spins (+616) and 56.273 million audience impressions from 149 tracking stations for the tracking week December 7 to December 13, 2014 and published chart December 15th.    
Congratulations to BIG MACHINE SVP/Promotion Jack Purcell, Nat. Dir./Radio Marketing Mandy McCormick, and the entire Big Machine Promotion team for scoring the week's #1 single on the MEDIABASE Country singles chart with Tim McGraw's "Shotgun Rider." The single is McGraw's third from his current album "Sundown Heaven Town." 

Congratulations to UMG NASHVILLE SVP/Promotion Royce Risser, Capitol Nashville VP/Promotion Shane Allen and the entire Capitol Promotion team for earning 49 MEDIABASE adds on Little Big Town's new single, "Girl Crush." Those adds give LBT the "Most Added" title for the tracking week. Treats were due to be delivered to the staff (Dec 15) to celebrate their success.

For a detailed report check out Country Aircheck Weekly Issue 427 - December 15, 2014 [PDF File]
For the very latest up to the minute Mediabase Chart (Past 7 Days) go here - www.mediabase.com

Friday, 26 December 2014

Country Billboard Chart News December 11, 2014

Country Billboard Chart News December 11, 2014

RIAA Certifications

Platinum = Sales of over 1-million units
Gold = Sales of over 500,000 units

Dec 8: Broken Bow Records superstar Jason Aldean joined only Sam Smith and Taylor Swift as artists who scored Platinum RIAA Certifications for albums released in 2014.
The superstar’s latest OLD BOOTS NEW DIRT opened with 278,096 copies scanned (chart week ending Oct. 12) and now has enough copies in stores to garner the certification from the RIAA (Units shipped, which tracks album sales to retail and digital retailers and not just to retail consumers who buy physical and digital media) and also earned a Gold certification from the RIAA in the December RIAA newsletter. Ironically the album has sold a combined 616,000 copies (Physical and Digital) at retail to date some 384,000 short of actually selling 1-million!

In Brief:  Billboard Country Charts

Country Album Chart ** No. 1 (4 weeks) “Man Against Machine” Garth Brooks
Hot Country Songs ** No.1 (2 weeks) ** “Shotgun Rider” Tim McGraw
Country Airplay ** No.1 (1 week) ** “Girl in a Country Song” Maddie & Tae
Country Digital Songs ** No.1 ** (1 week) ** “God Made Girls” RaeLynn

In this easy-to-use format discover where your favourite acts songs and album are charting across the four Billboard Country charts. It is prioritized by the first column showing the Hot Country Songs chart frame standings for the week of December 20, 2014.
There are also separate rows highlighting Women of Country music.

Scroll down for further details on each of the individual charts.








































Billboard Top 200 / Country Album Chart News

The Billboard 200 chart now includes on-demand streaming and digital track sales data. The new chart in its second week was compiled using a new multi-metric consumption methodology, adding together pure album sales with track equivalent album sales (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).

Taylor Swift's 1989 held steady at No.1 on the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart (BB200) for a fifth non-consecutive week (out of six weeks in release). Swift has now spent a cumulative total of 29 weeks at No. 1 with her four chart-topping albums.
Among women, only Whitney Houston (with 46 weeks at No. 1) and Mariah Carey (30) have more weeks atop the tally. It’s the first album to spend five of its first six weeks at #1 since Eminem's Recovery in 2010.
On the latest Billboard 200, 81.4 percent of Taylor’s total album equivalent units (adding up the weekly unit totals of Nos. 1 through 200) are pure album sales. The rest of its units were track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).
Swift's 1989 moved 274,000 units in the week ending Dec. 7. That's down 19% from its 339,000 sum a week earlier. It's not unusual for albums to dip a bit on the chart in the week following the always-busy Thanksgiving shopping frame (which was reflected on last week's chart).
 “1989” is the first album to spend five of its first six weeks at #1 since Eminem's Recovery in 2010. That album did indeed mark a commercial and creative recovery for Eminem. It spent seven weeks on top, becoming his longest-running #1 album in 10 years. By contrast, Swift has yet to dip, even a little. 1989 is her fourth consecutive studio album to spend five or more weeks at #1. 1989 moved 274K units this week, which included 230,238 in pure album sales. (The rest is a reflection of on-demand streaming and digital track sales.)

Taylor Swift Data:
This Weeks Sales: 274,000
% Change: -19%
Last Weeks Sales: 339,276
Album Sales: 230,238 (Last week: 281,212)
Song Sales: 435,000
Stream Sales: 26,600

The numbers for "Song Sales" & "Stream Sales" are the pure sales/streams so you have to divide them by the factor 10 (for sales) or 1500 (for streams).
435,000/10 = 43.500
26,600/1500 = 17.333
Therefore Taylor’s 1989 Total Album Equivalent for the chart week: 230,238 Album Sales + 43,500 + 17.3 = 273,755 (274K)

Garth Brooks' MAN AGAINST MACHINE rose 11-8 on the Billboard 200 (BB200) in its fourth week (57,000 sales; down 10% 2%) and held on to #1 on Top Billboard Country Albums for a fourth second week. It’s the first album to top the country chart for four consecutive weeks since Brooks’s last album, Blame It All on My Roots: Five Decades of Influences was #1 for five weeks running in late 2013. Regarding the BB200 the album received 0 song sales points and 0 stream sales points so his chart placing is driven entirely by pure album sales (It was sold digitally on GhostTunes which SoundScan does not monitor and is unavailable on streaming services) 

Kentucky duo Sundy Best who comprise Nick Jamerson and Kris Bentley made a debut at #22 Country with their new set SALVATION CITY. 
Produced by RS Field (Shaver's Tramp on Your Street, Steve Earle's upcoming Terraplane), Salvation City is a sonic ride, 10 songs that range from down-home hootenannies ("Fishin'") to soulful ballads ("Piece of Work)." Opening track "Shotgun Lady" is a staccato sing-along, kicking off with an electric riff that announces something new this way comes.
"I feel like country music is an essence. You don't have to spend the whole time in a song talking about how country you are or how big your truck is. If that's what you are, people will know," says Jamerson, who settled on the title Salvation City after weathering a nearly nonstop touring schedule with Bentley. Near the end, the two were burned out.
"Salvation City is where you go or what you turn to when you're stretched out and you need a break from everything. We had found the only time we were really getting to enjoy ourselves in the whole rat race was when we were performing and playing music," he says. Jamerson, the quiet brooder to Bentley's happy-go-lucky persona, credits two concerts he caught this summer — one by the Allman Brothers, the other by Tom Petty — with restoring his psyche.
Listen/ Read more at rollingstone.com

In her 5th chart frame LeAnn Rimes finally made the top 25 Country album chart moving 42-20 with holiday set One Christmas: Chapter One after selling just 1,000 copies and a lowly debut at #47 Country on its debut week. It was spurred by a TV appearance for LeAnn on "Christmas In Rockefeller Center" (NBC) on Dec 3, 2014.

Outside the top 25 Country Albums
Country music legend Willie Nelson opened his vault with the launch of a brand-new archival series, titled Willie's Stash. The first release of the series was titled, December Day Willie's Stash Vol.1 (Legacy) which makes its debut at No.26 Country. Central to December Day is the collaboration of Willie and Sister Bobbie. From Willie's earliest years in his native Abbott, Texas, Bobbie, two years his senior, was a part of his musical upbringing; the duo learned to read music and play instruments at an early age under the tutelage of their grandparents.

Corey Smith released his new acoustic album, MAYSVILLE IN THE MEANTIME (UNDERtone) on Dec 2nd. The set (this his 9th release) comprised a 13 song CD and accompanying 45 minute DVD and it made a bow at No.37 Country.

2014 Country Album sales Year-To Date:
28,551 (Physical sales 20,005,000 (down 9%) + Digital sales 9,477,000 (down -8.2%)) which is 17.1% down at the same point in 2013 (35,554,000 sales)

Billboard Top 200 / Country Album Placings
(Issue dated Chart week of December 20, 2014)
(Country Album positions #1 - #25)
(TW) This Week, (LW) Last Week, Co (Country Album Chart placing / Movement)
Actual Album Sales (NOT including Track Sales + Streams which the Billboard 200 compile)
































Billboard Country Catalog Albums


#1 2  27  Cheers, It's Christmas  -  Blake Shelton 
#2 3  17  Duck The Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas  -  The Robertsons
#3 4  24  On This Winter's Night  -  Lady Antebellum   
#4 8  7  Merry Christmas... Love, Elvis  -  Elvis Presley 
#5 7  141  Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer  -  Burl Ives 
#6 9  5  The Classic Christmas Album  -  Elvis Presley 
#7 5  169  The Ultimate Hits  -  Garth Brooks 
#8 1  2  Here's To The Good Times  -  Florida Georgia Line 
#9 10  249  The Legend Of Johnny Cash  -  Johnny Cash 
#10 15  138  White Christmas  -  Martina McBride
#11 14  111  Red  -  Taylor Swift 
#12 6  89  Based On A True Story ...  -  Blake Shelton 
#13 19  96  Once Upon A Christmas  -  Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton
#14  16  64  The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection (EP) - Taylor Swift 
#15  18  12  The Classic Christmas Album  -  Martina McBride 


Top 25 Hot Country Songs (week of December 20, 2014)

On Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart - which blends:
a) All-format airplay, as monitored by BDS 
b) Sales, as tracked by Nielsen SoundScan and
c) Streaming, (tracked by Nielsen BDS from such services as Spotify, Muve, Slacker, Rhapsody, Rdio and Xbox Music, among others) according to BDS it results in:

  • Tim McGraw held at No.1 for a second week with “Shotgun Rider” (McGraw/Big Machine).
  • RaeLynn the second-season The Voice (NBC) contestant returned to the show on Dec. 2 and performed her current single, “God Made Girls” (Valory). The visit proved valuable, as “Girls” flew 17-7 adding Digital Gainer applause, as the track vaulted 12-1 on Country Digital Songs (34,000 downloads sold, up 116%). The track has sold 250,000 total downloads through the week ending Dec. 7. The Texas native (real name Racheal Lynn Woodward) scored her first Billboard top 10 when “Boyfriend” debuted and peaked at No.10 on Country Digital Songs after she performed the song on the third-season Voice semi-finals in December 2012. Streaming also spiked for “Girls,” which reached a new peak on Country Digital Songs (20-13) with 834,000 U.S. streams, a 19% gain. The song bulleted at No. 21 in its 23rd week on the Billboard Country Airplay tally where it peaked at No. 20 on Nov. 15.
  • Speaking of The Voice, current contender Craig Wayne Boyd debuted for the second time in as many weeks on Hot Country Songs and Country Digital Songs, as “Take It Easy” (Republic) started at No.31 on the former list and at No. 5 on the latter (20,000 downloads). Boyd’s cover of the Eagles’ 1972 debut hit (it reached No.12 on the Billboard Hot 100) is the song’s third Hot Country Songs appearance. West Coast country star Billy Mize’s version peaked at No. 66 in 1972 (when the chart ran 75 positions deep) and Travis Tritt’s take for the Common Thread: Songs of the Eagles tribute album peaked at No. 21 in 1994. (The latter’s video includes the band, and helped spurred the Eagles’ reunion as a touring and recording act that year after a 14-year break.)
  • Luke Bryan claimed his 17th top 10 on Hot Country Songs with “I See You” (Capitol Nashville). It nabbed the top Airplay Gainer trophy and soared 19-10. On Country Airplay, “See” surges 16-13 (24 million audience impressions, up 19%. It additionally blasts 17-7 on Country Digital Songs (20,000, up 38%).

Of Note: On the Billboard Hot 100 Taylor Swift's pop single 'Blank Space' reigned for a fourth week fueled by its fifth nonconsecutive week atop the Digital Songs chart with 254,000 downloads sold (down 26%) in the week ending Dec. 7, according to Nielsen Music. She matched her longest command on Digital Songs, as well, first set by " We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together." Meanwhile Megan Trainor's 'Lips Are Movin' leapt 13-8 … after the pair teamed up to break a record first set by the Beatles 50 years ago.
In the Hot 100's 56-year history, no two acts had teamed up for a longer streak of monopolizing the top two positions. Swift and Trainor beat the Beatles and Lesley Gore, who blocked all other competitors from the region for 13 weeks a little more than 50 years ago. Most of that run was courtesy of the Fab Four: the week that their iconic "I Want to Hold Your Hand" hit No. 1, on Feb. 1, 1964, Gore's "You Don't Own Me" began its three-week peak at No. 2. For the 10 weeks after that, it was all-Beatles, thanks to "Hand," "She Loves You," "Can't Buy Me Love" and "Twist and Shout."

Hot County Songs
** No.1 (2 weeks) ** “Shotgun Rider” Tim McGraw
** Streaming Gainer ** No.6 “Talladega”  Eric Church
** Digital Gainer ** No.7 “God Made Girls” RaeLynn
** Airplay Gainer ** “I See You” Luke Bryan
** Hot Shot Debut ** No.30 “Angels We Have Heard On High” Home Free
Debut No.31 “Take It Easy” Craig Wayne Boyd


Billboard Country Airplay Chart Week of December 20, 2014

After ribbing their chart-topping country brethren, Maddie & Tae showed that they can dominate themselves. Dating to the introduction of Billboard’s Country Airplay chart almost 25
years ago (Jan. 20, 1990), Maddie & Tae’s guy-teasing “Girl in a Country Song” (Dot) is just the second debut single by a female duo to reach No.1. 

The Wreckers first accomplished the feat when “Leave the Pieces” spent the first of two weeks at the summit on Sept. 9, 2006. (“Girl” hits the top in its 23rd chart week, a frame longer than it took “Pieces.”) So many current country hits “have this super-smoking-hot girl. She’s always barefoot on a tailgate dancing in cutoff jeans and a bikini top,” says Maddie Marlow. (Tae Dye completes the pair.) “We thought it would be fun to come at [it] from how we would feel being in those songs. We want to look good for these boys, but that’s not all we have to offer.”
“Girl In A Country Song” moved 2-1 logging 47.955 million audience impressions (+1.957 million) and received 7,648 radio plays (+264) during the tracking week. The song written by Taylor Dye, Maddie Marlow along with Aaron Scherz was first released on July 15, 2014 
Top local audience reach for “Girl” during the Dec. 1-7 Nielsen Music tracking week: WUSN Chicago (1.4 million impressions), WNSH New York (1.3 million), KKBQ Houston, WKLB Boston and KKGO Los Angeles (1.1 million each).
The track has sold 424,000 downloads through the week ending Nov. 30 and peaked at No.6 on the Nov. 1 Country Digital Songs chart. On last week’s sales/airplay/streaming hybrid Hot Country Songs survey (dated Dec. 13), “Girl” reached a new peak of No. 4 in its 20th week. Label sources have confirmed that Maddie & Tae’s second radio single will be “Fly,” a track from the duo’s self-titled, four-song EP, which was released in November and has sold 5,000 copies.












  • Scotty McCreery collected his second Country Airplay top 10 with “Feelin’ It” (Mercury), which shifted 11-10 in its 35th chart week. McCreery notched his first top 10 with “See You Tonight,” which peaked at No. 8 on the March 15 chart. His new song reaches the upper region nine weeks quicker than “Tonight,” which remains the second-steadiest riser to the top 10 in the chart’s history.
  • Luke Bryan’sI See You” (Capitol Nashville) earned Most Increased Audience honours in its fifth chart week, rising 16-13 with 23.853 million audience impressions (up 19%; a gain of +3.738 million).
  • Blake Shelton feat. Ashley Monroe with “Lonely Tonight” drew Most Added honours for a second successive week receiving 2,447 radio plays (+546) thanks to another 28 fresh radio commitments (ADDS)
Women of Country 2014 Watch:

There were two solo female artists on the Top 30 Country Airplay songs with Carrie Underwood’s “Something In The Water” (9-7) and RaeLynn’s “God Made Girls” a non mover at No.21.
Jana Kramer #33, Kelsea Ballerini #42, Lucy Hale #58 and Katie Armiger #60 were the additional four solo females in the remaining 31-60 slots, to make it just 10% of the entire Top 60 chart.

Country Airplay
*** No.1 (1 week) *** "Girl In A Country Song" Maddie & Tae
** Most Increased Audience ** No.13 "I See You" Luke Bryan
** Most Added ** “Lonely Tonight” No.22 Blake Shelton feat. Ashley Monroe
** Hot Shot Debut ** No.60 "One Night Between Friends" Katie Armiger


Billboard Country Digital Singles Chart Week of December 20, 2014

Thanks to NBC’s “The Voice, RaeLynn took over the #1 with a massive sales spike (up 116% on previous week tally of 16,000) for “God Made Girls”. The pretty second-season contestant with #TeamBlake returned to the show Dec. 2 and performed her current single written by Nicolle Anne Galyon, Liz Rose, Lori Mckenna and Racheal Woodward


Watch “Girls” on >> YouTube as seen in the UK on the Phil Mack International “Keep It Country” show on Sky & Freesat.

First released on July 27, 2014 the track is available for download on Amazon.UK

Connect with Raelynn on Twitter 

Somebody's gotta wear a pretty skirt,
Somebody's gotta be the one to flirt,
Somebody gotta wanna hold his hand so God made girls

Somebody's gotta make 'em get dressed up,
Somebody's gotta give 'em a reason to wash that truck,
Somebody gotta teach 'em how to dance so God made girls


The Voice 2014 show contestant Craig Wayne Boyd made a debut at #5  with his cover of The Eagles “Take It Easy” following on from his No.1 debut last week with the 42K opening sales for his take of  the Johnny Cash classic “I Walk The Line” (which slid 1-17) 

Women Of Country Watch
RaeLynn (12-1) with “God Made Girls”, Carrie Underwood with “Something In The Water” (2-3), Brenda Lee with the Christmas classic Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree (29-18) and Faith Hill’s ” Where Are You Christmas? (46-30) were the 4 solo female acts on the Top 30

Top 30 Digital Singles in Country Music (published December 11, 2014)
 (LW) Last Week (TW) This Week
*Numbers are rounded to nearest 1000th




































Country Aircheck MEDIABASE Chart

Maddie & Tae moved 2-1 to land No1 on Mediabase with “Girl In A Country Song” (Dot Records). The song logged 7,986 radio spins (+509) and 57.177 million audience impressions from 149 tracking stations for the tracking week November 30 to December 6, 2014 and published chart December 8th.
Congratulations to Dot Records GM Chris Stacey, Dir./National Promotion Kris Lamb, and the entire DOT Promotion team for scoring this week's #1 single on the MEDIABASE Country singles chart with Maddie & Tae's "Girl In A Country Song.
The single is not only the first for the female duo, but the first for the newly-revived Dot Records who signed them as its inaugural act this Summer



















Congratulates Warner Music Nashville (WMN) SVP/Promotion Kevin Herring, VP/Promotion Kristen Williams, Dir./National Promotion Katie Bright, and the entire WMN Promo team for earning 28 MEDIABASE Country adds with Blake Shelton's "Lonely Tonight" featuring Ashley Monroe.
Those adds gave Shelton the "Most Added" title this week. Bagels were due to be delivered to WMN's office (Dec 9) to congratulate the staff on their success.
       
For a detailed report check out Country Aircheck Weekly Issue 426 - December 8, 2014 [PDF File]
For the very latest up to the minute Mediabase Chart (Past 7 Days) go here - www.mediabase.com