Charts Roll Into 2010 With Taylor Swift and Reba McEntire at the Helm

Willie Nelson and Norah Jones Share Highest Debuting Song

Sorry to say there are no fireworks on Billboard’s final country charts of 2009. Taylor Swift’s Fearless and Reba McEntire’s “Consider Me Gone” still top the albums and songs listings, there are no new albums to report and the titles within the Top 5 albums and songs are the same as those of last week (although there is some minor shifting among the singles).

But three new songs have popped up, led by Willie Nelson and Norah Jones’ “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” at No. 55 and trailed by Rascal Flatts’s “Unstoppable” (No. 56) and Sugarland’s “Gold and Green” (No. 60).

Albums returning to the chart include Hank Williams Jr.’s 127 Rose Avenue (No. 69), Ron White’s Behavioral Problems (No. 71), Rodney AtkinsIt’s America (No. 72) and Brad Paisley’s Playlist: The Very Best of Brad Paisley (No. 74).

Paisley’s Play, a former No. 1 album that’s now been on the charts for 48 weeks, is showing renewed vigor, leaping this week from No. 75 to No. 62.

The year end’s Top 5 country songs, in descending order, are Reba’s “Consider Me Gone,” Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now,” Dierks Bentley’s “I Wanna Make You Close Your Eyes” (moving up from No. 4), Tim McGraw’s “Southern Voice” (moving up from No. 5) and Luke Bryan’s “Do I” (dropping from No. 3).

The No. 1 through No. 5 albums are Swift’s Fearless, Carrie Underwood’s Play On, Lady Antebellum’s self-titled debut collection, McGraw’s Southern Voice and the Zac Brown Band’s The Foundation.

Those who were not ready for this decade to end, please form a line at the left, right under the “Exit” sign.

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