- Hot Country Songs
Hot Country Songs is a chart published weekly by Billboard magazine in the United States.
This 60-position chart lists the most popular country music songs, calculated weekly mostly by airplay and occasionally commercial sales. The chart does not count music downloads towards chart tabulation (although singles that are only available as downloads do chart if they receive enough airplay).
The current number-one song, as of the chart dated for December 3, 2011, is "Country Must Be Country Wide" by Brantley Gilbert.
Billboard began compiling the popularity of country songs with its January 8, 1944 issue. Only the genre's most popular jukebox selections were tabulated, with the chart titled "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records." The chart length was not standardized; a given week had anywhere from two to eight positions.
For approximately ten years, from 1948–1958, Billboard used three charts to measure the popularity of a given song. In addition to the jukebox chart, these charts included:
- The "best sellers" chart – started May 15, 1948 as "Best Selling Retail Folk Records." This chart had anywhere from 10-20 positions during its ten-year life, with the number of positions varying each week.
- A "jockeys" chart – started December 10, 1949 as "Country & Western Records Most Played By Folk Disk Jockeys." This chart had anywhere from eight to 15 positions, varying from week to week.
The names of each chart changed slightly during each chart's life. The "jukebox" chart – which by 1956 was known as "Most Played C&W in Juke Boxes" – ended on June 17, 1957. The "best sellers" and "jockeys" charts continued until October 13, 1958.
Starting with the October 20, 1958 issue, Billboard began combining sales and radio airplay in figuring a song's overall popularity, counting them in one single chart called "Hot C&W Sides." The chart began with a standard length of 30 positions each week. The name of the chart, and the number of positions varied through the years: Its name was switched to "Hot Country Singles" on November 3, 1962; it was expanded to 50 slots on January 11, 1964; then 75 on October 15, 1966; and finally 100 beginning July 14, 1973.
On January 20, 1990, the Hot Country Singles chart was reduced back to 75 positions and began to be compiled entirely from information provided by Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems, a system which electronically monitors radio airplay of songs. Four weeks later, on February 17, the chart was retitled "Hot Country Singles & Tracks." Beginning with the January 13, 2001 issue, the chart was cut from 75 to 60 positions to reduce the number of album cuts that were reaching the charts; and effective April 30, 2005 the chart was renamed "Hot Country Songs".
From its inception in 1973 through August 2009, American Country Countdown used this chart in its programming, using the top 40 singles/tracks on it for each week.
As with most other Billboard charts, the Hot Country Songs chart features a rule for when a song enters recurrent rotation. Starting with the chart week of December 2, 2006, a song is declared recurrent on the country charts if it has been on the charts longer than twenty weeks; is not gaining in spins or audience impressions; and is lower than #10 in rank for either audience impressions or spins. Since December 2008, any song that has not shown an increase in audience or spins for more than two weeks is also declared recurrent, even if it has not charted for twenty weeks.
- Whitburn, Joel. Top Country Songs 1944-2005 - 6th Edition. 2006.
- Billboard Hot Country Songs chart – online version.
- List of number-one country hits (United States)
- American Country Countdown
- List of Billboard Hot Country Songs chart achievements
- List of years in country music
- List of artists who reached number one on the U.S. country chart
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reached number one
See alsoHot 100 50th Anniversary Charts • Billboard Radio Monitor (defunct) • List of Billboard Hot 100 chart achievements and milestones • Hot Country Songs achievements • R&R (defunct) • Billboard Greece • Billboard Türkiye • Billboard Brasil • Billboard En Español • Billboard Social 50 • Uncharted
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