Billboard’s country album and songs charts come to a virtual standstill this week, a typical occurrence at the close of each year. There are no changes at the top — where the Eagles’ Long Road Out of Eden and Taylor Swift’s “Our Song” still reign — and are only sluggish stirrings within the Top 5.
New songs this week are Sugarland’s “Nuttin’ for Christmas” (No. 51), Toby Keith’s “Little Drummer Boy” (No. 58) and Sara Evans’ “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” (No. 59).
“Nuttin’ for Christmas,” by the way, entered the pop charts in 1955 via five different acts — Art Mooney and his Orchestra (whose version made it all the way to No. 6), Joe Ward, Ricky Zahnd & the Blue Jeaners, the Fontane Sisters and comedian Stan Freberg. This marks the first time it has charted country.
Debuting on this week’s albums list is Patsy Cline’s self-titled collection (No. 73). Three albums return — the multi-artist Forever Country (No. 69), Alan Jackson’s Like Red on Rose (No. 74) and Trisha Yearwood’s Greatest Hits (No. 75).
Kenny Chesney’s “Shiftwork” and Carrie Underwood’s “All American Girl” each take a high leap this time around, vaulting from No. 25 to No. 17 and from No. 28 to No. 22, respectively.
Rounding out the Top 5 songs, in descending order, are Sugarland’s “Stay,” Montgomery Gentry’s “What Do Ya Think About That,” Josh Turner’s “Firecracker” and Rascal Flatts’ “Winner at a Losing Game.”
Parading directly behind the Eagles in the Top 5 albums are Underwood’s Carnival Ride, the eponymous Taylor Swift, Garth Brooks’ The Ultimate Hits and Rascal Flatts’ Still Feels Good.
See you next year.