Kenny Chesney and Hannah Montana Still Top the Country Charts

Three Generations of the Williams Family Debut New Albums

The names are the same at the top of Billboard’s country albums and songs charts this week, where Kenny Chesney’s “Out Last Night” and the soundtrack CD to Hannah Montana: The Movie continue to hold sway.

Album sales and song downloads increased substantially for several artists this past week, probably due to the double promotional whammy of the four-day CMA Music Festival (which concluded June 14) and the 2009 CMT Music Awards (telecast live June 16).

The total number of country albums sold during the week just tabulated (June 14-21), according to Nielsen SoundScan, was 487,342 copies. There were 403,269 units purchased the week before (June 7-14).

Several songs performed on the CMT Music Awards experienced digital sales boosts in the week following the broadcast. The biggest week-to-week increases went to Trace Adkins“You’re Gonna Miss This” (83 percent), Lady Antebellum’s “Lookin’ for a Good Time” (65 percent), Darius Rucker’s “Alright” (59 percent), Toby Keith’s “God Love Her” (44 percent) and Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me” (32 percent).

This may be the first time ever that three generations from the same family have charted new albums during the same week. That distinction, as might be expected, belongs to the legendary Williams clan. Hank Williams Jr. boasts the highest charting debut with 127 Rose Avenue, which sweeps in at No. 7.

Next in line is his daughter, Holly Williams, whose Here With Me arrives at No. 38. Finally, there’s her unsinkable granddaddy, Hank Williams Sr., whose illogically titled The Unreleased Recordings: Gospel Keepsakes ambles in at No. 72.

How about a triple round of cheers?

The week’s other new albums are Rodney Carrington’s El Nino Loco (No. 19) and Rhonda Vincent’s Destination Life (No. 52).

Re-entering the chart are Elvis Presley’s Collector’s Edition: Elvis Inspirational Memories (No. 66) and the Lost TrailersHoller Back (No. 73).

There are four new songs: Sugarland’s “Joey” (No. 50), Holly Williams’ “Mama” (No. 55), Matt Stillwell’s “Sweet Sun Angel” (No. 58) and John Rich’s “The Good Lord and the Man” (No. 59).

Following Hannah Montana on the Top 5 albums list are Swift’s Fearless, the Zac Brown Band’s The Foundation, Chesney’s Greatest Hits II and Rascal FlattsUnstoppable, in that order.

Songs No. 2 through No. 5 are the Zac Brown Band’s “Whatever It Is,” Dierks Bentley’s “Sideways,” Brad Paisley’s “Then” and Keith Urban’s “Kiss a Girl.”

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