Taylor Swift ’s Red refuses to budge from the peak of Billboard’s country albums chart, an eminence it has enjoyed for 10 continuous weeks.
Credit the Twelve Days of Christmas for the wealth of holiday music still on the Billboard country charts the final week of 2012.
Every one of the week’s six new songs has a seasonal theme. From Blake Shelton we have “There’s a New Kid in Town” with Kelly Clarkson (No. 44), “The Christmas Song” (No. 52) and “The Very Best Time of the Year” with Trypta-Phunk (No. 54).
Christmas albums remaining on the chart are Lady Antebellum ’s On This Winter’s Night (No. 11), Shelton’s Cheers, It’s Christmas (No. 13), Christmas With Scotty McCreery (No. 14) and Willie Nelson ’s The Classic Christmas Album (No. 66).
Six albums return to the chart: the self-titled Thomas Rhett (No. 59), Rodney Atkins ’ Take a Back Road (No. 63), Jake Owen ’s Endless Summer EP (No. 67), Jerrod Niemann ’s Free the Music (No. 68), Lauren Alaina ’s Wildflower (No. 71) and the self-titled Edens Edge (No. 75).
Following “Goodbye in Her Eyes” in the Top 5 songs cluster are Moore’s “Til My Last Day,” Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise,” Kip Moore ’s “Beer Money” and Kip Moore ’s “How Country Feels,” in that order.
On Dec. 30, 1950 — 62 years ago — a new song entered Billboard’s country songs chart. It would eventually spend 12 weeks there, two of them at No. 1, and become a landmark in America’s musical history.
In a 1981 interview, Page told me that Jerry Wexler — then a reviewer for Billboard and later a major producer and partner in Atlantic Records — recommended she cut the song after he heard bandleader Erskine Hawkins’ version.
She took Wexler’s advice and recorded it as the “B” side of a song she thought would be a big Christmas hit, “Boogie Woogie Santa Claus.” The people thought otherwise and in so thinking gave Page a Christmas gift that lasted for life.
Patti Page died on New Year’s Day at the age of 85.