Sam Hunt Takes Airplay Crown With “Body Like a Back Road”

Keith Urban’s Ripcord Continues as Top Country Album

Will someone please trot over to Music Row and wake up the record labels? They seem to be dozing this week. Where’s that torrent of new albums and songs we’ve come to expect in the spring — the ones propelled into prominence by the Grammy and Academy of Country Music awards shows?


First, though, let’s cease the righteous harangue to note that Sam Hunt’s “Body Like a Back Road” has arrived at No. 1 on Billboard’s country airplay list, concluding a relatively brief 12-trek.

And Keith Urban’s recently revivified Ripcord is spending its second straight week as the top country album.

There’s just one new album breaking into the Top 50. It’s Hosier’s Paving My Way, which debuts at No. 37. Justin Moore’s Kinda Don’t Care pops back in at No. 49.

Two other albums show notable momentum: Blake Shelton’s If I’m Honest leaps from No. 17 to No. 8, and The Legend of Johnny Cash collection vaults from No. 34 to No. 13.

We count two new songs: Jake Owen’s “Good Company” (No. 53) and Brooke Eden’s “Act Like You Don’t” (No. 59).

Completing the Top 5 albums array in descending order are Chris Stapleton’s Traveller, Florida Georgia Line’s Dig Your Roots, the eponymous Brett Young and Hunt’s Montevallo.

While these are all worthy packages, the number of weeks they’ve been on the charts illustrates the dearth of strong new material. Ripcord has been on for 50 weeks, Traveller 103, Dig Your Roots 34 and Montevallo 114.

Only Brett Young — with a 10-week life span — can be considered a newcomer.

The No. 2 through No. 5 songs are Josh Turner’s “Hometown Girl,” Jason Aldean’s “Any Ol’ Barstool” (last week’s No. 1), Luke Combs“Hurricane” and Kelsea Ballerini’s “Yeah Boy.”

Maybe next week, huh?

Edward Morris is a veteran of country music journalism. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a frequent contributor to