Welcome to the debut of the Top 60 Country Songwriter Chart— the first and only songwriter chart. This elite list represents country music’s successful writers whose songs are currently being heard on radio, downloaded as tracks and streamed across America.
The week’s top song scribe is Ashley Gorley and judging by his list of nine active songs he doesn’t intend to take a “chart vacation” anytime soon. (Gorley just celebrated his thirteenth No. 1 song—“That’s My Kind Of Night” recorded by Luke Bryan and co-written with Dallas Davidson, No. 23 and Chris DeStefano, No. 5.)
Gorley, whose work is published by Combustion Music, is a Belmont University graduate (1999). In 2008 and 2009 he won the CMA’s Triple Play Award given to writers with three No. 1 songs in a one-year span and graced Billboard’s Top Ten Writers of the Year list. ASCAP named him its Country Songwriter of the Year in 2009. For a more complete list of Gorley’s songs and honors click here.
Highlights And Methodology
Weekly points for each song are evenly split amongst the co-writers, so for example, Taylor Swift, who wrote “Red” all by herself, resides at No. 6 based upon total points from that one highly successful song. Meanwhile, Chris Tompkins earned partial points from five songs to land at No. 9.
Rhett Akins is the lone Top Ten writer moving higher this week as evidenced by the green symbol on his chart number. Akins partnered with Gorley on “Hey Girl” but has 5 other active songs also earning him points. Also of note at No. 22 is Cole Swindell whose entry is all green indicating “Highest Gainer” status.
One of the questions facing every chart is how many positions to feature. We chose to include a Top 60 so we could honor as many writers as possible. As a result you will notice that the lower end of the chart has a number of ties. For example, it appears that the five co-writers on “Stay” and three co-writers on “I Can’t Change The World” earned an equal number of points. In coming weeks we will see if there is a way to tweak (not twerk) the system a bit to add greater clarity for that chart region.
Arriving at today’s launch has been a challenging enterprise. In many ways this is actually a beta launch, because there are still a few more “bells and whistles” which we are hoping to add to the functionality. Thanks to HitShop Records President Skip Bishop for making this launch possible and to the publishers and writers who provided insights that helped keep it on track. Please email me David M. Ross with your thoughts and suggestions.
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