Garth Brooks, Carrie Underwood Top Charts

George Strait Soars High With Another Treasury of Hits

Oklahoma sends two of its most melodious offspring to command the Billboard country charts this week. Yukon’s Garth Brooks moves into the No. 1 album spot with The Ultimate Hits while Checotah’s Carrie Underwood boasts the top song, “So Small.”

Brooks’ debuted last week at No. 2, just behind the Eagles’ Long Road Out of Eden. It took “So Small” 16 weeks to reach the summit.

New to the albums chart this week are George Strait’s 22 More Hits (which pops in at No. 4) and Trisha Yearwood’s Heaven, Heartache and the Power of Love (No. 10). There are also two new songs: Big & Rich’s “Loud” (No. 56) and Terri Clark’s “In My Next Life” (No. 60).

The ponderously titled The Very Best of Reba McEntire: 20th Century Masters, The Millennium Collection makes a comeback visit at No. 66, followed directly by the returning multi-artist holiday package, Today’s Country Christmas. On the songs listing, Kenny Chesney and Strait’s duet, “Shiftwork,” bounces back into the fray at No. 59.

Trailing Brooks within the Top 5 are the Eagles’ album (No. 2), Underwood’s Carnival Ride (No. 3) and Taylor Swift’s self-titled CD (No. 5).

The other reigning songs, in descending order after “So Small,” are Chesney’s “Don’t Blink,” Brooks’ “More Than a Memory,” Dierks Bentley’s “Free and Easy (Down the Road I Go)” and Strait’s “How ’Bout Them Cowgirls.” Josh Turner’s “Firecracker” slips from its former high point of No. 5 to No. 7.

And — in case you’re keeping track — there is now a total of nine Christmas albums on the chart. Happy shopping.

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