While most of the Top 10 songs on Billboard’s country airplay chart this week are from familiar voices, Craig Morgan and Sugarland have each managed to shake things up a little bit.
Morgan, who scored a big hit in 2003 with “Almost Home,” returns with “That’s What I Love About Sunday” at No. 9. Morgan is a native of the Nashville area and worked as an emergency medical technician and served in the Army before pursuing a career in country music. He started as a demo singer, then released a major label album in 2000. When the label closed, he moved to independent Broken Bow Records. A few years later, “Almost Home” surprised the music industry by proving that there’s room on the radio for talent without a million-dollar budget. His new album My Kind of Livin’ is scheduled for a March 8 release.
At No. 10, Sugarland continue to crawl up the chart with “Baby Girl,” an infectiously upbeat tune about a hopeful bar singer who dreams of the big time. The Atlanta-based trio of Jennifer Nettles, Kristian Bush and Kristen Hall are all veterans of the live music scene, playing in other bands before uniting in 2003. Written almost exclusively by the trio, Sugarland’s debut album, Twice the Speed of Life, reaches No. 21 this week, its highest position yet.
Meanwhile, Rascal Flatts remain at No. 1 on the singles chart for the second week with “Bless the Broken Road.” Keith Urban’s “You’re My Better Half” moves up a spot to No. 2, followed by Brad Paisley’s “Mud on the Tires,” Josh Gracin’s “Nothin’ to Lose” and LeAnn Rimes’ “Nothin’ ’Bout Love Makes Sense,” in third through fifth place, respectively. Alan Jackson’s “Monday Morning Church,” Reba McEntire’s “He Gets That From Me” and Blake Shelton’s “Some Beach” dock at No. 6 through No. 8.
New singles include RCA newcomer Bobby Pinson’s “Don’t Ask Me How I Know” at No. 50, just ahead of Julie Roberts’ “Wake Up Older” at No. 51 and Big & Rich’s “Big Time” at No. 52. Jedd Hughes’ ballad “Soldier for the Lonely,” with Patty Loveless on harmony, debuts at No. 60.
On the country albums chart, the Top 10 list remains the same but in a slightly different order. Kenny Chesney rests easy at No. 1 with Be As You Are: Songs From an Old Blue Chair. Shania Twain’s Greatest Hits and Rascal Flatts’ Feels Like Today move up to second and third, as Rimes’ This Woman slips two spaces in its second week to No. 4. Gretchen Wilson’s Here for the Party stays at No. 5.
At No. 6, George Strait’s 50 Number Ones trades places with Toby Keith’s Greatest Hits 2, which lands at No. 7. In addition, Tim McGraw’s Live Like You Were Dying (No. 8) exchanges positions with Big & Rich’s Horse of a Different Color (No. 9). Chesney’s When the Sun Goes Down remains at No. 10.
No new albums debuted this week.