Jason Aldean’s First No. 1 Single Underscores Indie Label’s Clout

Rascal Flatts Cling to the Top of the Country Albums Chart

Broken Bow Records isn’t the biggest record company in Nashville, but thanks in large part to Jason Aldean, the independent company is becoming a significant force in the country music marketplace. That force increased this week when Aldean topped Billboard’s country singles for the first time in his career.

Aldean’s latest release, “Why,” follows up his debut single, “Hicktown,” that hit the Top 10 last fall. Considering the existing success of Aldean and labelmate Craig Morgan and the industry buzz being generated by newcomer Megan Mullins, this is shaping up to be a good year as Broken Bow competes head-to-head with country music’s major labels.

But the major labels still have full control when it comes to the Top 10 on Billboard’s country albums chart as Rascal Flatts spend a sixth week at No. 1 with their double-platinum Me and My Gang. Elsewhere on the albums list, Tim McGraw’s Greatest Hits Vol. 2 moves up one notch to No. 2 while a Mother’s Day rush at retail pushes Alan Jackson’s gospel album, Precious Memories, to No. 3 from No. 6. Toby Keith’s White Trash With Money and Carrie Underwood’s Some Hearts spend a second week in fourth and fifth place, respectively. After debuting last week at No. 2, Phil Vassar’s Greatest Hits Volume 1 slips to No. 6. Keith Urban’s Be Here rises to No. 7, The Legend of Johnny Cash descends slightly to No. 8 and Josh Turner’s Your Man remains at No. 9. Rascal Flatts’ previous album, Feels Like Today, closes out the Top 10 for a second consecutive week.

Diamond Rio are enjoying the highest-debuting country album of the week. Their Greatest Hits II enters the chart at No. 12. The Yonder Mountain String Band’s self-titled album shows up at No. 57 on the country chart but debuts at the top of Billboard’s bluegrass chart to knock Alison Krauss & Union Station’s Lonely Runs Both Ways to No. 2. Yet another Elvis Presley compilation, HitStory arrives at No. 60. And as another indication of the commercial power of Mother’s Day, debuting at No. 68 is the Hit Crew’s DJ’s Choice: NOW That’s What Mom Calls Country Music.

With Aldean topping the country singles list, Dierks Bentley’s “Settle for a Slowdown” and LeAnn Rimes’ “Something’s Gotta Give” each move up one rung to land in second and third place, respectively. Jack Ingram scored his first No. 1 last week with “Wherever You Are,” but the track dips to No. 4 on the latest chart. Tim McGraw’s “When the Stars Go Blue” climbs three levels to No. 5 while wife Faith Hill’s “The Lucky One” rises one notch to No. 6. Phil Vassar’s “Last Day of My Life” moves up two positions to No. 7, Kenny Chesney’s “Summertime” shoots from No. 11 to No. 8 and Rascal Flatts’ “What Hurts the Most” falls three spaces to No. 9. After six months on the country chart, “Who Says You Can’t Go Home,” Bon Jovi’s duet with Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles, drops to No. 10.

Pat Green logs the highest-debuting single of the week with “Feels Just Like It Should,” his first release for BNA Records. Darryl Worley’s first single for 903 Music, “Nothin’ but a Love Thang,” enters the chart at No. 59.

Calvin Gilbert has served as CMT.com’s managing editor since 2002. His background includes stints at the Nashville Banner, Radio & Records and Westwood One.