Faith Hill and Toby Keith Continue Their Reigns

Alan Jackson Scores the Week's Highest-Debuting Country Single

Can you say “doldrums”? There’s not much action on Billboard’s country albums and singles charts this week. Again, Faith Hill’s Fireflies tops the album list, while Toby Keith’s “As Good As I Once Was” holds the No. 1 perch on the singles rankings — for the sixth straight week.

There are, however, five new songs on the singles menu. We’ll get back to them a few paragraphs hence.

Waiting for Hill to succumb to altitude sickness are Keith Urban’s Be Here, which bounces into the No. 2 slot after having dropped to No. 5 the week before; Rascal Flatts’ Feels Like Today at No. 3, a one-place slide from its last appearance; Sugarland’s Twice the Speed of Life, which hovers for a second week at No. 4; and Keith’s Honkytonk University, down from No. 3 to No. 5. The remainder of the Top 10 is unchanged. George Strait holds onto No. 6 with Somewhere Down in Texas followed by Gretchen Wilson’s Here for the Party, Jason Aldean’s self-titled debut, Keith’s Greatest Hits 2 and Big & Rich’s Horse of a Different Color.

Van Zant’s Get Right With the Man, which topped out at No. 2 ages ago, shows that it still has some spring by rebounding from No. 15 to No. 12. Equally energetic are Trace Adkins’ Songs About Me and Craig Morgan’s My Kind of Livin’, which claw their way back from No. 26 to No. 21 and No. 28 to No. 22, respectively. The gaseous titled John Denver: Definitive All-Time Greatest Hits — a collection that peaked at No. 9 — trampolines from No. 72 to No. 60.

Of the 75 albums listed on the country chart, 22 had reached No. 1. The albums with the longest tenure are Sara Evans’ Restless and Dierks Bentley’s self-titled debut, each of which has been on the charts for 104 weeks.

With its tenacious hold on No. 1, Keith’s “As Good As I Once Was” holds at bay Sugarland’s “Something More” (No. 2), Hill’s “Mississippi Girl” (No. 3), Brooks & Dunn’s “Play Something Country” (No. 4) and Brad Paisley’s “Alcohol” (No. 5), Tim McGraw’s “Do You Want Fries With That” (No. 6) and Evans’ “A Real Fine Place to Start” (No. 7). These are precisely the same positions the runners-up held last week. Van Zant’s “Help Somebody” rises two levels to No. 8, and Rascal Flatts’ recent No. 1, “Fast Cars and Freedom,” moves a little closer toward the exit ramp by slipping from No. 8 to No. 9. Wilson’s “All Jacked Up” makes a sizable pounce — from No. 15 to No. 10.

Elsewhere on the singles chart, Lonestar marches in place with “You’re Like Comin’ Home,” which holds at No. 20 for the second week. Urban’s “Better Life” vaults from No. 34 to No. 22, a 12-place leap that’s matched by Joe Nichols, whose “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off” bounds from No. 52 to No. 40. Martina McBride comes close, though, with “(I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden.” It moves from No. 53 to No. 42 in its second week on the charts. Luke Stricklin’s right-field hit, “American by God’s Amazing Grace,” sprints from No. 58 to No. 52, also in its second week.

New on the charts this week are Alan Jackson’s “USA Today” (No. 49), Keni Thomas’ “Gloryland,” featuring BlackHawk (No. 56), Ray Scott’s “My Kind of Music” (No. 58), Cory Morrow’s “Beat of Your Heart” (No. 59) and Randy Rogers Band’s “Down and Out” (No. 60).

Stay tuned.

Edward Morris is a veteran of country music journalism. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a frequent contributor to