When Buddy Jewell won the nationally-televised Nashville Star talent competition, skeptics within the country music industry said, “But will people really buy his album?” The answer is a resounding “yes” — at least for the initial week his first major label release has been in stores.
Buddy Jewell sold 51,765 copies to debut at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart and at No. 13 on the all-genre Billboard 200. According to Sony Music, only two other country artists have tallied higher first week sales of debut albums since SoundScan began tracking music sales in 1991. They are LeAnn Rimes’ 1996 debut, Blue, and Billy Ray Cyrus’ 1992 introduction, Some Gave All.
With Jewell in the top spot, Lonestar’s From There to Here: Greatest Hits dips to No. 2 while Toby Keith’s Unleashed holds steady at No. 3. George Strait, whose Honkytonkville slips two notches to No. 4, is followed by fellow Texan Tracy Byrd, whose The Truth About Men makes an impressive chart debut at No. 5. Slipping one position each to Nos. 6 and 7, respectively, are Shania Twain’s Up! and Kenny Chesney’s No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems. Willie Nelson & Friends’ Live and Kickin’ falls four slots to No. 8, Tim McGraw and the Dancehall Doctors rises one notch to No. 9 and Jimmy Wayne’s self-titled debut rounds out the Top 10.
Other familiar names debut on this week’s country albums chart. Elvis: Close Up, a 4-CD compilation, enters the chart at No. 41. One of the discs is devoted to Presley’s recording sessions in Nashville. Country Music — Marty Stuart’s first album with his new band, the Fabulous Superlatives — debuts at No. 48. Nelson and former boss Ray Price arrive at No. 62 with Run That by Me One More Time, and Suzy Bogguss’ Swing shows up at No. 66.
The songs remain the same atop Billboard’s Hot Country Singles & Tracks with Keith and Nelson’s “Beer for My Horses” remaining at No. 1 for the sixth consecutive week. Remaining at Nos. 2 through 4, respectively are Lonestar’s “My Front Porch Looking In” (also for the sixth week), Wayne’s “Stay Gone” (third week) and Brooks & Dunn’s “Red Dirt Road” (third week). Brad Paisley’s “Celebrity” takes a one-slot rise to No. 5, Montgomery Gentry’s “Speed” slips a notch to No. 6 and Alan Jackson’s duet with Jimmy Buffett on “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” stays at No. 7. Chesney’s “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems” climbs two steps to No. 8. Jeff Bates’ “The Love Song” falls one level to No. 9, and Shania Twain’s “Forever and For Always” slides one position to No. 10.
The Charlie Daniels Band scored the highest-debuting single of the week, with “My Beautiful America” entering the chart at No. 58. The Warren Brothers return again with “Break the Record.” Arriving at No. 59, the track was co-produced by McGraw and Byron Gallimore.