The Past Pulse Of Mainstream Country Music [November 1991]

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This is the Past Pulse Of Mainstream Country Music. Each week, I take a look at the Billboard Country  Airplay Chart from years ago and grade the top 30 songs. Each week will be a different year. The grading format I use each week is every song will receive one of the following scores: +5, +4, +3, +2, +1, 0, -1, -2, -3, -4, -5. These will then be tallied up for an overall score, or pulse of the past top 30 songs, with the highest possible score being a +150 and the lowest possible score being a -150. The grade I would give it determines its Pulse score. The grading key: 10 [+5], 9[+4], 8[+3], 7[+2], 6[+1], 5[0], 4[-1], 3[-2], 2[-3], 1[-4], 0[-5].

The goal of this exercise is to evaluate the past pulse of mainstream country music and determine if it was better or worse compared to now. To see the full list of the top 30 country airplay songs for this week, click here. This week I will take a look at the top 30 songs of the Billboard Country Airplay Chart from November 9th, 1991.

  1. Alan Jackson – “Someday” +4
  2. Travis Tritt – “Anymore” +3
  3. Keith Whitley & Earl Thomas Conley – “Brotherly Love” +4
  4. Garth Brooks – “Shameless” -2 [Worst Song]
  5. Trisha Yearwood – “Like We Never Had A Broken Heart” +3
  6. Patty Loveless – “Hurt Me Bad (In A Real Good Way)” +3
  7. Marty Stuart – “Tempted” +1 (Love Marty, and the production was cool and different for 90’s country, but the lyrics aren’t great)
  8. Alabama – “Then Again” +2 (I like the restrained production here)
  9. Lorrie Morgan – “A Picture Of Me (Without You)” +3 (Solid George Jones cover)
  10. Joe Diffie – “New Way (To Light Up An Old Flame)” +2
  11. Randy Travis – “Forever Together” +2 (Not his best but still good)
  12. Ricky Van Shelton – “Keep It Between The Lines” +4
  13. Billy Dean – “You Don’t Count The Cost” +3
  14. George Strait – “The Chill Of An Early Fall” +4 [Best Song] (One of my favorites of his)
  15. Pam Tillis – “Put Yourself In My Place” +3 (Interesting production. I like the dobro)
  16. Reba McEntire – “For My Broken Heart” +4
  17. Little Texas – “Some Guys Have All The Love” +1 (Hook is a little corny for my tastes)
  18. Dwight Yoakam – “Nothing’s Changed Here” +3 (Dwight always delivers)
  19. Davis Daniel – ‘For Crying Out Loud” +2 (Don’t care for his voice that much)
  20. Clint Black – “Where Are You Now” +3
  21. Suzy Bogguss – “Someday Soon” +4
  22. Diamond Rio – “Mirror Mirror” +3
  23. Vince Gill – “Look At Us” +3
  24. Conway Twitty – “She’s Got A  Man On Her Mind” +3
  25. Lionel Cartwright – “Leap Of Faith”+1
  26. Brooks & Dunn – “My Next Broken Heart” +2
  27. Restless Heart – “You Can Depend On Me” -1 (Too cheesy for me and that falsetto is just….oof)
  28. Sawyer Brown – “The Walk” +3
  29. Steve Wariner – “Leave Him Out Of This” +3
  30. Doug Stone – “I Thought It Was You” +3 (It’s cheesy, but I like the sound enough to bump it up)

The Past Pulse Of Mainstream Country Music: +76

We usually have good weeks, but honestly there was a lot of true quality on this chart. There were A LOT of ballads which makes sense given the time of year. All in all I’m very happy with this chart.

As always, if you have any questions as to why I gave a song a certain grade feel free to ask me. Also, let me know what you guys think of the chart in the comments!

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7 thoughts on “The Past Pulse Of Mainstream Country Music [November 1991]

  1. Hey Zach, just wanted to say I’ve really enjoy the past pulse columns, and they’ve given me song ideas to add to my playlists. Good luck with school.

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  2. Conway Twitty – She’s Got A Man On Her Mind
    Was a Top 40 hit for songwriter Curtis Wright back in 1990. He released a solo album in 1992 (Giant Records Nashville) & formed a duo with his co-writer Robert Ellis Orrall. The duo released an album in 1994 (Giant Records Nashville too). He is still active.
    Vince Gill sang background vocals on “She’s Got A Man On Her Mind” & other tracks (Album: Even Now).
    One of my all-time favourites (+5)

    +4: “Brotherly Love”, “Like We Never Had A Broken Heart”, “The Chill Of An Early Fall”, “For My Broken Heart”, “Someday Soon” & “Leave Him Out Of This”
    All other tracks +3 – +1 except for “Shameless”, “The Walk” & the Restless Heart song (0).

    The last past pulse?! Great column!

    My Top 10 Country Tracks Of The Week:
    #1 – Jamie Richards – “She’s As Cold As The Beer She’s Drinkin'”
    #2 – Jesse Raub Jr. – “She’ll Put The Hurt On You”
    #3 – Tenille Arts – “Dash Light”
    #4 – Little Big Town – “Better Man”
    #5 – Southern Post – “Love & Memories”
    #6 – Darryl Ryan – “Not Enough Town”
    #7 – Deep Creek Road – “If You Only Knew Me When”
    #8 – Post Monroe – “Dixie Dust”
    #9 – Adam Hood – “Whole Lot Of Hard Work”
    #10 – Nathan King feat. Greg Bates – “Scars Heal”

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  3. I like all of the songs in the top 30 and 1991 is one of my favorite years of country music but 1 song that I didn’t like is Pam Tillis “Put yourself in my place” I never cared for that song I would give it a -2. my favorite song on that list is 29 but 1 that stands out is Sawyer Brown “The Walk” that song really got Sawyer Brown back on the hit status after his last 5 singles that flopped on the charts.
    Travis Tritt and vince Gill, and Alan Jackson had good songs and also this was the banner year for Vince, Garth, and Alan. great review Zack.

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  4. Shameless is a Billy Joel cover and while it’s not the most country thing on this chart, it’s one of my favorites

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    • Yep, ‘Shameless’ is on the Billy Joel album ‘Storm Front’ which is a great album and I’m not a really big fan of his but ‘The Downeaster Alexa’ is a great song. But I think the Garth version of ‘Shameless’ is far better than the Billy Joel version and I would in no way call it the worst song on this chart.

      As for the best song here I would go with ‘Someday Soon’. Suzy Bogguss had some really good songs in her prime years like ‘Aces’ and ‘Letting Go’.

      ‘Someday Soon’ is actually the second hit version of this song as it was also done by Moe Bandy a completely different kind of performer. Great song.

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      • Re. “Someday Soon”–Actually it is the third version of that to become a hit, although the first one was only a minor pop hit, for Judy Collins in 1969 (and Suzy, I think, modeled her version off of Judy’s). By the way, just for the record, it was written by Ian Tyson (one half of the 1960s folk duo Ian and Sylvia).

        It’s also instructive to note that Suzy, Trisha, and, to a significant extent, Pam Tillis as well (to name just three) were among those female artists of the Nineties who took their musical cues as much from Linda Ronstadt as they did from anyone else, signaling just how big Linda’s rock-influenced approach to the genre in the 1970s, as well as her good pal Emmylou Harris, was going to have on country music in general, and on the womenfolk in particular, from that point onward.

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