Religious Albums Climb the Country Chart

Travis, Gaither, Cyrus and Parton Set the Pace This Week

Perhaps it’s the almighty roar over The DaVinci Code and The Passion of the Christ, but several religious albums have risen again on the Billboard country albums chart this week.

Randy Travis’ Worship & Faith jumps six spots to No. 29, and his 2002 album Rise & Shine (featuring the No. 1 hit “Three Wooden Crosses”) moves up nine spots to No. 43. At No. 52, Bill Gaither Presents: A Gospel Bluegrass Homecoming Volume One earns the chart’s Pacesetter notation while Gaither’s Volume Two lands at No. 64.

Billy Ray Cyrus’ inspirational The Other Side ascends six spots to No. 61, and Dolly Parton’s For God and Country reappears on the chart at No. 69 amid a host of albums that are mostly on their way down. Meanwhile, Gaither lands at the second and third positions on the bluegrass albums chart (just behind Alison Krauss & Union Station). Three other sacred titles make their mark there as well: Best of Bluegrass Gospel at No. 6, Heaven Bound: The Best of Bluegrass Gospel at No. 12 and the Isaacs’ Songs of the Faith at No. 14.

Otherwise, the country albums chart is essentially unchanged. Rodney Carrington’s Greatest Hits debuts at No. 11, and Conway Twitty the Legend arrives at No. 73. Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith, Alan Jackson, Josh Turner and Keith Urban hold the top five slots, Martina McBride’s Martina moves up to No. 6 and Keith’s 2002 album Unleashed slips to No. 7. Gary Allan’s See If I Care, Shania Twain’s Up! and Chesney’s No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems round out the Top 10.

Despite fewer spins this week, Keith maintains the No. 1 spot on the singles chart with “American Soldier.” Fighting for the top rank, Brad Paisley’s “Little Moments” pushes up to No. 2, one spot ahead of Tim McGraw’s “Watch the Wind Blow By.” Jackson’s “Remember When” tumbles to No. 4, and McBride’s “In My Daughter’s Eyes” loses momentum at No. 5. Jimmy Wayne’s “I Love You This Much,” Trace Adkins’ “Hot Mama,” Sara Evans’ “Perfect,” Urban’s “You’ll Think of Me” and Buddy Jewell’s “Sweet Southern Comfort” complete the Top 10.

Meanwhile, Chesney and Uncle Kracker’s “When the Sun Goes Down” rides the wave to No. 11. John Michael Montgomery’s “Letters From Home” cracks the Top 20 in its seventh week, at No. 20. New singles include Gretchen Wilson’s “Redneck Woman” at No. 48, Blake Shelton’s “When Somebody Knows You That Well” at No. 55 and American Idol‘s Josh Gracin’s “I Want to Live” at No. 57. New artist Rachel Proctor gives it another shot with her third single, “Me and Emily” at No. 59. Chely Wright brings up the rear with “Back of the Bottom Drawer” at No. 60.