Tag Archives: Cruise

Still Cruisin’ After All These Years: Flooring It To The Forty

Another sawng to add to the list.

Another sawng to add to the list.

They might not be The Everly Brothers or The Bellamy Brothers; in fact, they’re not brothers at all. However, Florida Georgia Line are the latest male duo to take on the Country survey as well as the Hot 100. In fact, both of those previous twosomes managed to land a #1 single on the Hot 100 while accumulating many more on the Country chart. The duo of Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard do have to catch up in that regard; their debut single, “Cruise”, is a former #1 Country single that recently cruised on into a new peak of #8 on the Hot 100 after a remix with Nelly has been picking up airplay at mainstream radio. Speaking of cruising, I say we put our pedal to the metal and race down that road to pop perfection to see what other hits have entered the Hot 100 with similar words in their titles. Fasten your seat belts, this may just be a bumpy Billboard ride.

“Sea Cruise”, Frankie Ford (#14, 1959) / “Sea Cruise”Johnny Rivers (#84, 1971)
From Louisiana, this Southern boy rocked the seas with his top 40 trip, which also cracked the top 20 back in 1959 and was certified Gold. It was Ford’s biggest single to make the Hot 100, but he had a handful of other charting songs which attained minor peaks through the 1960’s. Over a decade later, Rivers took his version onto the national survey, but it didn’t do particularly and is largely forgotten today amongst his bigger singles like “Memphis” (#2, 1964) and “Poor Side Of Town” (#1, 1966). Both male soloists are inducted in the Louisiana Hall Of Fame.

“Shakedown Cruise”, Jay Ferguson (#31, 1979)
After ranking several singles in the 60’s with Spirit and one in 1973 with Jo Jo Gunne, Ferguson decided that third time was the charm and embarked on his own solo career. You may remember his top ten hit from 1978 entitled “Thunder Island”. This was his only other charting song, which got lost in the heat of the disco era. He last released a full-length album in 1982, but he continues to produce and score, best known today for composing the opening theme to The Office.

“Cruisin'”, Smokey Robinson (#4, 1980) / “Cruisin'”D’Angelo (#53, 1995)
After parting with The Miracles, Robinson began a solo career and scored a number of R&B hits, only two of them became minor top 40 singles on the Hot 100. It was this song that brought him to a #4 peak on both the pop and R&B surveys with a lengthy chart run. It remains his second biggest hit as solo artist behind “Being With You”, which went to #2 in 1981. D’Angelo‘s cover, from his album Brown Sugar, also went to #10 on the R&B chart. A remake by Gwenyth Paltrow and Huey Lewis, from the movie Duets, was a #1 Adult Contempoary hit that just missed the big chart at the end of 2000.

“Still Cruisin’ (After All These Years)”, The Beach Boys (#93, 1989)
Before we surfed the web, we were surfing the waves thanks to these boys from California. After twenty-one top 40 singles between 1962 and 1969, their success abruptly cut off, leading to only six of their singles going top 40 between 1976 and 1985. After a grand resurgence in 1988 with the #1 single “Kokomo”, from the movie Cocktail, they released this. “Still” would be the last song from the Boys to hit the Hot 100, even if it barely made it on. They’ve had four other singles enter the Adult Contemporary chart since then: three in the 90’s and one last year, the #30 “That’s Why God Made The Radio”.

“Cruising For Bruising”, Basia (#29, 1990)
This Polish singer blended pop and jazz and charted with several singles that did even better on the Adult Contemporary chart. Her first two albums both went to #1 on the Jazz chart and also made the top 40 on the Billboard 200. Following a #26 peak for “Time And Tide” in 1988, this could only muster a #29 peak two years later, and she was gone from the charts several months later. Despite a #1 Dance hit in 1994 and a minor Jazz hit a few years ago, she still remains relatively quiet when it comes to recording music and touring.

Of course, if you’re a fan of artists with Cruise in their name, there aren’t many of those. The most successful of them was the quartet Pablo Cruise, who had two #6 singles:  “Whatcha Gonna Do?” from 1977 and “Love Will Find A Way” a year later. A total of five of their songs made the top 40 until 1981.

What’s your favorite song to cruise to? Let me know! Comment below or find me on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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Cruises and Caskets: Is Mainstream Radio Due For A Twangover?

On the heels of a topic I just posted about the relevance of folk music on mainstream radio comes an interesting an occurrence on Country radio. Both “Ho Hey” by The Lumineers and “I Will Wait” by Mumford & Sons currently rank in the top 60 according to Billboard. It’s hard enough to break a new Country act on the survey, so I’m sure a few people are at least a little annoyed that they’re taking up space. This, however, brings up the idea of country acts crossing over to the pop survey. Hunter Hayes has managed a decent-sized hit with “Wanted” off of his recent GRAMMY buzz. Could other acts follow? Here are two recent #1 songs on the Country chart that I think could make successful leaps.

Hold the Line. (Crossovers aren't always on time.)

Hold the Line. (Crossovers aren’t always on time.)

FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE featuring NELLY – “Cruise”
Billboard Country Airplay #1: December 15-29 (three weeks)

The duo of Brian Kelley (from Florida, at right) and Tyler Hubbard (from Georgia, at left) got together back in 2010, recording some independent EPs. Last year, they signed to Republic Nashville Records, and their partnership has struck all the right notes. They recently took this song to the top of the Country chart in Decemb er. It’s sold north of 2 million copies in download sales from just that push. Republic Records and their Nashville department handled the Country promotion of the record; their main division is taking on the CHR side of this. The summer-sounding song is your typical back road banjo bash, filled with incorrect grammar (“Baby, you a song”; I’m in a English major, deal with it) and musical references that will have your 14-year-old daughter wondering if the Marshall Tucker Band sounds anything like One Direction. (Spoiler alert: They don’t.) Most of all, it’s been remixed with St. Louis rapper Nelly. Surprisingly enough, it’s not all that bad. In fact, I think I prefer it to the original. There’s an added line of hand clips in the arrangement, while the guitars are brought down, the twangy ones significantly. The rapper’s section is harmless too. Coming off of “Hey Porsche”, I think this is more refreshing. However, the song’s going to run into some problems down the road. There’s also a question of whether the Southern localization of the lyrics (“every little farm town” and “south Georgia water”, for example) would turn mainstream listeners off up north or out west. It’s a pretty polarizing record depending on who you talk to, but once those young girls see our fellows at the gas station, they’ll likely be fueling up for more. Follow-up single “Get Your Shine On” is already top 15 on Billboard’s Country Airplay survey, no surprise there, and parent album Here’s To The Good Times is in stores now.

Can you "Dig" it?

Can you “Dig” it?

THE BAND PERRY – “Better Dig Two”
Billboard Country Airplay #1: February 23 – March 2 (two weeks)

Yeehaw! Our favorite trio of siblings Kimberly, Neil and Reid are back with the current #1 song on Country radio that is also top 40 on iTunes. It was quickly certified Gold within two months of releases and Platinum status isn’t far behind given the continued popularity of it. Big Machine has done a great job of promoting their releases, including this one which stands at the top for a second week. If you strictly know them from hearing “If I Die Young” on your local adult contemporary or pop station a few years ago, then you have a right to be concerned about a potential crossover from it. Two songs in a row about death from them, and it’s two people this time? I would certainly be worried too. Alas, they do have other songs in their catalogue. In fact, they’ve had six top-40 singles on Country radio, the last five (including “Dig”) which have gone top ten. The arrangement would probably need to bare a slight change if the label’s looking for a decent amount of airplay. The crossover mix of “Young” went heavy on the guitar and drum to mask a lot of the strings on the album version. However, the twangy sounding guitars shouldn’t be a huge problem for most program directors as they fit in with the current sound. The group’s second album, Pioneer, is due on April 2. A second single at Country radio, “Done.”, is currently gracing the top 40 on Billboard’s most recent update. That one could do even better than “Dig”, but hey, one song at a time. Perhaps it will see its time in the crossover spotlight later this year.

Who could be next to see the crossover treatment? I would venture to guess that Carrie Underwood‘s “Two Black Cadillacs” or Hunter Hayes‘s “Somebody’s Heartbreak” could make decent chartings at adult contemporary radio, maybe even Lady Antebellum’s “Downtown”. How about you? Do you want to hear these Country hits in-between your favorite dance and pop songs? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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Filed under Charts/Trade Papers, Music News