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Radio / Bob Kingsley's Country Top 40

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The Spiritual Successor to American Country Countdown, Bob Kingsley's Country Top 40 is a Country Music countdown show begun in 2006.

After 27 years with ACC, Kingsley took the show's format over to Jones Radio (now Dial Global) to create Bob Kingsley's Country Top 40 while Kix Brooks assumed ACC. Country Top 40, or CT40 as the show is sometimes referred to, presents the top 40 country hits for each week according to Mediabase (as opposed to the Billboard charts, which ACC would continue to use through 2009). Other features include listener requests (one per show; two until summer 2014), "CT40 Vault" (a previous #1 hit preceded by snippets of other previous #1 hits, the entireties of which can be listened to online; this feature replaced the second listener request in summer 2014), a handful of classics, stories behind the songs, and interviews with artists. Another feature is "CT40 Flashback", done once a month, which presents several facts on a given year, followed by snippets of the top 5 country hits on the current month in that year. As was the case on ACC, he blocks out the last countdown of the year to present the top 50 hits of the year, calculated with his own methodology.

In October 2019, Kingsley announced he had been diagnosed with bladder cancer and would be departing the show, the intention that it would be a temporary departure. Prior to his departure, he struck an agreement with the Country Music Association to provide guest hosts for the program, all of them female country music stars, through the program airing the weekend of November 30, 2019. Sadly, Kingsley died of cancer just more than a week after the announcement. Following the rotating female guest host series, country music superstar Garth Brooks hosted the final four programs of 2019, including the year-end show on December 28, which Brooks co-hosted with his wife, Trisha Yearwood; additionally, Kingsley’s “Christmas In America” was set to be a “best of” program, collating highlights from the past 25 years.

Beginning with the January 4, 2020, program, radio personality Fitz was named the new host of CT40 and joined Kingsley's KCCS Productions.

Tropes present:

  • Bowdlerize: A strange zig-zagging.
    • Bob seemed just fine playing Zac Brown Band's "Toes" uncensored ("I've got my toes in the water/ass in the sand") when it was scaling the charts, but every occurrence of the song after the fact has deferred to the radio edit ("I've got my toes in the water/toes in the sand").
    • He also censored "marga-daiquiri-screw-olada on the beach" (from Jerrod Niemann's "One More Drinkin' Song") to "…chill-olada" depsite the "screw" referring to a screwdriver drink. Despite this, he never censored "screw the ticket" in "Crying on a Suitcase" by Casey James or "screw you" in Blake Shelton's "Neon Light". (And speaking of Blake, he never censored "She put a big F.U. in my future" from "She's Got a Way with Words".)
    • Zig-zagged with "Ring on Every Finger" by LoCash, which contains the Stealth Pun "Dropping little F-bombs like 'forever'" in the bridge. Instead of playing the radio edit, which changes the line to "love bombs", Bob alternated between playing it uncensored or cutting the bridge out entirely.
  • Cheap Heat: A few songs got edits referencing the show: "Tim McGraw" by Taylor Swift changed "Someday you'll turn your radio on" to "And turn the Bob Kingsley countdown on"; Craig Morgan's "Little Bit of Life" changed "A little bit of radio going boom-boom-boom" to "A little bit of Kingsley..."; and Justin Moore's "Small Town USA" changed "David Allan Coe and a six-pack of Lite" to "CT40 and a six-pack of Lite".
  • Christmas Episode: The six-hour "Christmas in America," which was carried over from his days at ACC. In 2016, a four-hour version, to air the weekend of December 24-25, replaced the normal weekly countdown show, as virtually all affiliates were playing holiday music anyway.
    • The 2019 episode, to air two months after Kingsley’s death, was a Clip Show, with segments from the past 25 years of shows.
  • Cool Old Guy: Kingsley had this air about him until his death: a man in his 70s introducing new artists and songs who weren’t even twinkles in anyone’s eyes when he began with his original show (as producer) in 1974.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The first year or so opened identically to the latter-day Kingsley ACC shows by playing back the previous week's #1, either in its entirety or abridged. He eventually settled on a montage of the previous week's Top 5. It also took him a couple years before introducing "CT40 Flashback".
  • Formula-Breaking Episode: Downplayed example; the 2015 year-end countdown was the first to include "extra" songs (older material from an artist and/or songwriter who had a spot in the countdown).
  • Guest Host: Jeffrey Steele filled in for Bob in late 2008 and 2009. Steele was surprisingly comfortable in the role, often handling listener requests for songs that he co-wrote (including at least one that he sang as Lead Bassist of Boy Howdy) and even hauling out the guitar to perform a cover in the middle of the top 10. Steele's first fill-in was followed by another fill-in by Jack Ingram.
    • Lance Tidwell of 92.5 WWYZ in Hartford, Connecticut filled in for the September 1, 2012 show.
    • For the August 31, 2013 and November 1, 2014 shows, Carolyn Kruse of WKLB in Boston filled in for Bob.
    • Lisa Taylor of 99.5 The Wolf in Fort Worth, TX filled in for the June 3, 2017 show.
    • As mentioned above, several country music singers were guest hosts right after Kingsley's death.
  • Jeopardy! Thinking Music: Used on the 2014 year-end countdown when using Lady Antebellum's credentials as a Final Jeopardy! clue.
  • Previously on…: Each program begins with a montage of the previous week's Top 5 hits.
  • Rearrange the Song: Like its predecessor, it almost always uses the radio edits of songs. Some songs are also cut down or faded out early if time is running short.
    • For some strange reason, certain songs seem to always be played in abridged form. In particular, he seems to have an aversion to the second verse of "Gettin' You Home (The Black Dress Song)" by Chris Young, cutting it to just the first verse and the chorus three times.
    • "Back That Thing Up" by Justin Moore was missing its second verse for almost all of its chart run, even though the song is a measly 2:36 uncut. "Takin' Off This Pain" by Ashton Shepherd also managed to spend the entirety of its chart run without Bob ever playing the second verse, either.
    • In one bizarre zig-zagging, he once used an abridged version of the album version of Montgomery Gentry's "Gone". The radio edit has the backing vocals mixed louder in parts, plus a few more truncations here and there (such as the Hammond organ solo, which is cut in half). The version he played on one show had the softer backing vocals and longer organ solo of the album version, but was hacked up in different spots than the radio edit.
    • In an inversion hearkening back to his last ACC show (the 2005 year-end countdown), the 2014 year-end countdown actually lengthened "Get Me Some of That" by Thomas Rhett (the last verse/chorus was looped).
  • Shown Their Work: After many years of misleading tallies for the total of #1 singles that George Strait has, Bob went out of his way on the May 20, 2013 show to explain that "Give It All We Got Tonight" was Strait's 60th #1 hit if the country music charts of all trade publications are counted (i.e., Billboard, Mediabase, and the defunct Radio & Records, Cash Box, and Gavin Report).note 
  • Spiritual Successor: To Kingsley-era ACC.