Wallen, Combs, and a 1981 Chevy Chevette

Let’s hop in the time machine for a second. Traveling back to 1981, a time of cultural and musical highlights, Ronald Reagan was holding down the oval office despite surviving an assassination attempt. The “Pac-Man” video game was recently released, becoming a cultural phenomenon and one of the most successful and recognizable games of all time. On the airwaves, artists like Michael Jackson, Dolly Parton, Prince, Bruce Springsteen, and Journey were dominating the music scene. 


Cruising in your Chevrolet Chevette, you head to pick up your date, anticipating she’ll be “running behind”. With a freshly lit cigarette in your hand, you grab the Billboard magazine you purchased earlier and browse through its pages. As you glance at the Billboard Top 100, you notice the latest top songs sweeping the nation. The top five lineup includes hits like “Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield, “(Just Like) Starting Over” by John Lennon, “Lady” by Kenny Rogers, “Endless Love” by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie, and claiming the number one spot is “Bette Davis Eyes” by Kim Carnes.


This nostalgic trip back in time holds strong relevance to today. For the first time since 1981, two country songs have claimed the top two spots on Billboard’s Top 100 chart. Morgan Wallen’s infectious hit “Last Night” continues its reign at number one for the twelfth consecutive week, while Luke Combs’ heartfelt rendition of “Fast Car” secures the impressive number two position. With these two arguably at the top of the country music scene, as a fan of the genre as a whole, it’s cool to see “our guys” at the top of the list. Despite the criticism and skepticism surrounding these hits, it’s essential to appreciate their achievements and the connection they have built with listeners.


The debates about whether these songs truly belong in the country genre or if one is merely a cover version miss the point. Wallen’s continued dominance and Combs’ homage to Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” demonstrate their versatility and artistry. Being at the top of the charts requires talent that transcends genres, connecting with a wide range of listeners. Wallen and Combs exemplify this, and their success at claiming the top two spots on Billboard after more than four decades is a significant moment for the music industry as a whole. It highlights the evolving landscape of music and the ability of talented artists to resonate with diverse audiences. So let’s put our raging typing fingers down, sit back, and appreciate that country music is at the top…where it belongs.


Ain’t this thing kinda badass?

Share this post