Country Chart Action Awaits ACM Awards Fall-out

Action on the Billboard country music charts entered its usual pre-awards show lull as country fans waited for the action on the annual Academy of Country Music Awards show, televised Wednesday (May 22). Traditionally, sales enjoy spikes in the wake of the ACM Awards show in the spring and the CMA Awards show in the fall. Sales bounces usually reach 20 to 30 percent for artists whose current releases are bolstered by the considerable TV exposure.

With that in mind, the new Billboard Top Country Albums chart may see a realignment at the top a week from now. Alan Jackson ’s three ACM awards may propel his current Drive album upward from its current No. 3 slot. Above Jackson is the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack at No. 2 and Kenny Chesney ’s No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems at No. 1. O Brother’s trophy as the ACM’s album of the year may well drive the album’s sales again — even after 76 weeks of country chart success -– and Chesney’s performance on the show could give his title a boost sufficient to hold off contenders for the top spot.

The rest of the Top Country Albums chart is little changed this week, with the exception of Kellie Coffey’s debut album falling four spots to No. 9 and Gary Allan ’s Alright Guy returning to the Top 10 at No. 10. Other Top 10 slots find Rascal Flatts stuck at No. 4, Brad Paisley ’s Part II at No. 5, Toby Keith ’s Pull My Chain at No. 6 and Tim McGraw ’s Greatest Hits and Set This Circus Down at Nos. 7 and 8.

Trick Pony ’s eponymous debut album will without doubt show a sales surge after the group’s ACM Award for top new vocal duo or group — the album already jumps to No. 16 from No. 22 this week. Brooks & Dunn ’s three ACM Awards nabs should nudge sales for the duo’s Steers & Stripes CD, which is at No. 17 this week, after 57 weeks on the chart. No new albums debuted this week

The Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart — which measures radio airplay as opposed to album sales — is less sensitive to the effects of post-show consumer activity.

Jackson’s “Drive (For Daddy Gene)” can be expected to hold its No. 1 spot on the singles chart. Newcomer Steve Azar ’s “I Don’t Have to Be Me (’Til Monday)” moves up this week to No. 2. George Strait ’s “Living and Living Well” likewise slides up a notch to No. 3. Tommy Shane Steiner’s “What If She’s an Angel” drops from its highest chart position at No. 3 to No. 4.

New group Emerson Drive’s “I Should Be Sleeping” climbs up one more notch to its highest position yet at No. 5. Keith’s “My List” drops to No. 6. Paisley’s “I’m Gonna Miss Her (The Fishin’ Song)” sticks at No. 7. Carolyn Dawn Johnson ’s “I Don’t Want You to Go” climbs a notch to No. 8. Lonestar’s “Not A Day Goes By” likewise slides to No. 9, and Allan’s “The One” goes up to No. 10.

New singles this week begin with Jeffrey Steele’s “Good to Go.” The former Boy Howdy lead singer debuts at No. 52. Lee Ann Womack’s new “Something Worth Leaving Behind” hits at No. 54. Rhett Akins ’ “Highway Sunrise” lands at No. 55, and Tammy Cochran ’s “Life Happened” debuts at No. 57.