Rascal Flatts’ “Why Wait” Reigns as Country’s Top Song

Taylor Swift Still Has No. 1 Album, Tim McGraw Has Highest Debut

Rascal Flatts“Why Wait” slides into the winner’s circle on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart this week. Flatts’ Big Machine Records labelmate, Taylor Swift, continues to hold the top album spot with Speak Now.

Only two new songs check in this week — and both are from Lady Antebellum. The trio’s “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow” arrives at No. 56, while its “All I Want for Christmas Is You” troops in at No. 57.

Tim McGraw’s Number One Hits is this week’s lone new album. It debuts at No. 6, propelled there by sales of 40,409 copies, according to Nielsen-SoundScan.

There are two returning titles: Esteban’s Wear the Black: A Tribute to Johnny Cash is back at No. 48 and Ricky SkaggsMosaic at No. 72.

That’s pretty much it as far as new sounds are concerned.

The No. 2 through No. 5 songs, in that order, are Zac Brown Band’s “As She’s Walking Away,” featuring Alan Jackson, The Band Perry’s “If I Die Young” (last week’s No. 1), Reba’s “Turn On the Radio” and Jason Aldean’s “My Kinda Party.”

Coming in behind Speak Now in the Top 5 albums cluster are Keith Urban’s Get Closer, Rascal Flatts’ Nothing Like This, Aldean’s My Kinda Party and Sugarland’s The Incredible Machine.

The sentimentalists among us have been keeping our eyes on Brett Eldredge’s “Raymond,” a song that describes the touching relationship between a maintenance worker at a nursing home and an Alzheimer-afflicted patient there. This week it moves from No. 40 to No. 37.

Twenty-one years ago, Kathy Mattea was mining the same emotional territory as “Raymond” with “Where’ve You Been.” That song chronicled the 60-year love story of Claire and Edwin. Claire finally loses her memory and speech until “one day they wheeled [Edwin] in.” Then, for at least a moment, her love for him conquers her infirmities. Sure it’s a tear-jerker, but it’s a magnificent one.

“Where’ve You Been” went on to become a Top 10 single, inspire a classic music video and win Mattea two Grammys.
Let’s see how “Raymond” fares.

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