2008 Top 40 Countdown

Lee Michael DemseyAs we reported earlier (12/31), WAMU’s Bluegrass Country DJ Lee Michael Demsey saw in the New Year with his Top 40 Countdown computed on the same basis as the Bluegrass Unlimited National Survey.

The full list of 40 songs is shown below, but first there are a couple of observations made by Demsey during the program. The #1 song, Through The Window Of A Train, had been, at the end of 2008, at the top of the Survey for five months. The second song, Alison’s Band, was only a couple of points away from reaching the top spot on the Survey during its 13 month stay on the Survey.

The placement of these two songs mirrors the choices made by IBMA members in the Song Of The Year award in October with both songs being on the final ballot and Through The Window Of A Train triumphing there as well.

A rough assessment of the Top 40 shows that Rhonda Vincent and the Gibson Brothers both had three titles on the chart, Blue Highway, Dailey & Vincent, The SteelDrivers, Cherryholmes and Steep Canyon Rangers all had two entries.

Allocating points for a song relative to its position on the chart makes Dailey & Vincent the top band with 71pts, by virtue of their two top five entries. They are followed by The Gibson Brothers, with 64pts, Steep Canyon Rangers (63pts) third, Blue Highway (54pts) fourth and Rhonda Vincent, fifth with 51pts.

Dailey & Vincent were in the final five on the IBMA ballot for Vocal Group Of The Year as were Blue Highway, who featured in the final five choices for Instrumental Group Of The Year also.

The top albums are, in descending order, Dailey & Vincent, Iron & Diamonds, Lovin’ Pretty Women, Through The Window Of A Train and Good Thing Going.

Dailey & Vincent, Lovin’ Pretty Women and Through The Window Of A Train were in the last five albums on the IBMA ballot for the Album Of The Year award. The sixth placed band, The SteelDrivers, had its album, also called The SteelDrivers, in the final ballot for the Album Of The Year award.

The top record label is Rounder with 14 entries. They are followed by Sugar Hill (with five titles), then Pinecastle, Rebel, Rural Rhythm and Skaggs Family each with three songs on the chart.

See the complete Top 40 listing after the jump.

Title Artist CD Label
40 Secrets Sierra Hull Secrets Rounder
39 One Blue Mule Jim Lauderdale The Bluegrass Diaries Yep Roc
38 Riding Out The Storm Tim Hensley Long Monday Rural Rhythm
37 I Can Go Back Anytime Cassie Hassler CCHR2 Rural Rhythm
36 Leaving Baker County Jnr Sisk Blue Side Of The Blue Ridge Rebel
35 I Don’t Know Cherryholmes Cherryholmes II Skaggs Family
34 Don’t Throw Mama’s Flowers Away Danny Paisley The Room Over Mine Rounder
33 Road That Never Ends Mountain Heart Live Rural Rhythm
32 If It Hadn’t Been For Love The SteelDrivers The SteelDrivers Rounder
31 One Of Those Days
(When I Miss Lester Flatt)
Tom T Hall Tom T Sings β€šΓ„ΒΆ Blue Circle
30 The First Train Robbery Larry Cordle Took Down And Put Up Lonesome Day
29 Good Thing Going Rhonda Vincent Good Thing Going Rounder
28 Goin’ Back To Old Kentucky Ricky Skaggs Honoring The Fathers Skaggs Family
27 Bluegrass Saturday Night Rhonda Vincent Good Thing Going Rounder
26 Just Another Gravel In The Road Blue Highway Through The Window Of A Train Rounder
25 Picker’s Blues Gibson Brothers Iron & Diamonds Sugar Hill
24 You Don’t Know What Love Is Cherryholmes Cherryholmes Skaggs Family
23 The Day That Lester Died Claire Lynch Crowd Favorites Rounder
22 Down On The Crooked Road The Dixie Bee-Liners Ripe Pinecastle
21 Eating Out Of Your Hand Longview Deep In The Mountains Rounder
20 Can You Hear Me Now? Doyle Lawson More Behind The Picture
Than The Wall
Rounder
19 Rambling Man The Steep Canyon Rangers Lovin’ Pretty Women Rebel
18 Hometown Blues The Seldom Scene Scenechronized Sugar Hill
17 Iron & Diamonds Gibson Brothers Iron & Diamonds Sugar Hill
16 If It Wasn’t For Bluegrass (I’d Go Crazy) Tommy Webb Eastern Kentucky Kindred
15 I Won’t Be Coming Back Infamous Stringdusters Infamous Stringdusters Sugar Hill
14 Cabin Down Below Gibson Brothers Iron & Diamonds Sugar Hill
13 I’m Leaving Rhonda Vincent Good Thing Going Rounder
12 Drinkin’ Dark Whisky The SteelDrivers The SteelDrivers Rounder
11 The Last Suit You Wear Larry Sparks The Last Suit You Wear McCoury Music
10 Moneyland The Del McCoury Band Moneyland McCoury Music
9 Wheels Dan Tyminski Band Wheels Rounder
8 Lovin’ Pretty Women The Steep Canyon Rangers Lovin’ Pretty Women Rebel
7 The Train’s Ready Balsam Range Marching Home Mountain Home
6 Dixie Flyer Grasstowne The Road Headin’ Home Pinecastle
5 By The Mark Dailey & Vincent Dailey & Vincent Rounder
4 Sweet Carrie Dailey & Vincent Dailey & Vincent Rounder
3 The Trail Of Aching Hearts Special Consensus The Trail Of Aching Hearts Pinecastle
2 Alison’s Band Charlie Sizemore Band Good News Rounder
1 Through The Window Of A Train Blue Highway Through The Window Of A Train Rounder

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About the Author

Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics. A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe. He wrote the annotated series I'm On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.