O Brother, McGraw Top Country Rankings

With a major boost from last week’s Grammys, O Brother, Where Art Thou? ends Alan Jackson ’s six-week run at the top of the country album chart, and Tim McGraw replaces himself — and Jo Dee Messina — at No. 1 in the country singles rankings.

O Brother, the Coen Brothers’ film soundtrack, claimed the Grammy for album of the year on Feb. 27, and contributors Emmylou Harris , Gillian Welch, Alison Krauss , Ralph Stanley , Dan Tyminski and Pat Enright appeared on the CBS telecast in a special segment devoted to O Brother.

In the week following, the disc sold 209,000 copies, a 260 percent increase, and enough to move it to No. 2 on The Billboard 200 — the overall chart — behind only Alanis Morissette’s newly released Under Rug Swept, which sold 215,000 copies. On the Top Country Albums chart, O Brother qualifies as Greatest Gainer, sweeping to No. 1 past Jackson, who drops to No. 2. O Brother has been at No. 1 on Billboard’s country albums chart for 27 non-consecutive weeks.

Rounding out the top five country album slots are Totally Country: 17 New Chart-Topping Hits at No. 3; Rascal Flatts’ self-titled debut album, at No. 4 and approaching platinum after 91 weeks on the chart; and McGraw’s Set This Circus Down.

Krauss & Union Station’s New Favorite, winner of two Grammys including best bluegrass album, moves into the country Top 10 at No. 8. The Down From the Mountain soundtrack, from a live performance by the O Brother troupe, jumps from 31 to 16. Earl Scruggs and Friends, containing the Grammy-winning track “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” climbs from No. 68 to No. 39 and earns the Pacesetter tag for showing greatest percentage growth.

Making its Hot Shot Debut on the country chart this week is the We Were Soldiers soundtrack which includes tracks by Johnny Cash with Dave Matthews, Carolyn Dawn Johnson , Mary Chapin Carpenter and Tammy Cochran , among others. Also bowing, at No. 62, is Ricky Skaggs & Friends Sing the Songs of Bill Monroe featuring tracks by Skaggs , Bruce Hornsby, Mary Chapin Carpenter, John Fogerty and Patty Loveless , among others.

McGraw’s “The Cowboy in Me” is the top country song this week, displacing “Bring on the Rain,” a Messina-McGraw collaboration that falls to No. 3 on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart. Brooks & Dunn ’s “The Long Goodbye” remains at No. 2; Martina McBride ’s “Blessed” holds at No. 4; and Chris Cagle ’s “I Breathe In, I Breathe Out” moves up four spaces to No. 5.

Jackson’s “Drive (For Daddy Gene)” at No. 15 and the Garth BrooksTrisha Yearwood duet “Squeeze Me In” at No. 17 get Airpower designations for registering in the Top 20 for the first time.

Sara Evans ’ “I Keep Looking” is this week’s Hot Shot Debut single, opening its chart run at No. 46. Also on the country singles chart for the first time: “Frantic” by Jamie O’Neal at No. 49; “Minivan” by Hometown News at No. 58 and “Didn’t I” by Montgomery Gentry , a track from We Were Soldiers, at No. 60.