Real Country Music has the story on the Reba McEntire "payola" issue.
Good luck to her for her long and distinguished career, but is anyone really suprised this kind of manipulation goes on? I can't believe its an isolated incident but I guess the easy solution is to ignore the charts entirely which is pretty much what I do now anyway.
Music Row Fax provides the details, including Reba's personal phone calls to some 70 radio stations requesting that they play her single more and more during one particular week. Rumors are that a substantial number of the increased spins that Reba obtained came in the middle of the night when no one was much listening to the stations in question. Apparently these "programmed spins" can be purchased just like any advertising that a station sells. The difference here is that this bought advertising resulted in Reba jumping to the top of the charts.
In a remarkable feat of longevity and reinvention, Reba McEntire has returned to the No. 1 spot on Billboard's country chart for the 22nd time with "Somebody." McEntire's first No. 1, "I Can't Even Get the Blues," topped the chart on Jan. 8, 1983.
To put this accomplishment in perspective, consider that other No. 1 songs in 1983 include the Kenny Rogers-Dolly Parton duet, "Islands in the Stream," Larry Gatlin's "Houston" and John Anderson's "Swingin'," and that McEntire was competing for airplay against John Conlee, Janie Fricke, Crystal Gayle, Mickey Gilley, Ronnie McDowell, Ronnie Milsap, Anne Murray, T.G. Sheppard and Shelly West.
The landscape has certainly changed, but the country singles chart always remains a battle.
This week, Tim McGraw's "Live Like You Were Dying" and Kenny Chesney's "I Go Back" each fall a spot to second and third place, respectively, while Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss' "Whiskey Lullaby" and Billy Currington's "I Got a Feelin'" hold steady at fourth and fifth. Josh Gracin's "I Want to Live" and Terri Clark's "Girls Lie Too" stick to No. 6 and No. 7, respectively, while Keith Urban's "Days Go By," Jimmy Buffett's "Hey, Good Lookin'" and Andy Griggs' "She Thinks She Needs Me" round out the Top 10.
Blake Shelton gets into the tropical mood, with "Some Beach" debuting at No. 51. Other new singles include Trent Willmon's "Dixie Rose Deluxe's" at No. 56 and Hal Ketchum's "My Love Will Not Change" at No. 60. The latter song has also been recorded by the Del McCoury Band, with a corresponding video airing on CMT.
Buffett's License to Chill keeps its No. 1 spot on the country albums chart, followed by Gretchen Wilson's Here for the Party and Big & Rich's Horse of a Different Color. Chesney's When the Sun Goes Down and Paisley's Mud on the Tires stay at fourth and fifth place. The latest albums from Toby Keith, Urban, Alan Jackson, Trace Adkins and Gracin complete the Top 10.
No new country albums debuted this week