It was an agonizing 41-week climb, but "Find Out Who Your Friends Are" has now given Tracy Lawrence his first No. 1 single in 11 years. Equally cheering is the fact that the singer reached the top of Billboard's country singles chart via his own label, Rocky Comfort Records. Lawrence last viewed the world from this vantage point in 1996 with "Time Marches On."
Debuting at the top of the album chart is Big & Rich's Between Raising Hell and Amazing Grace, propelled to that position, says Nielsen SoundScan, by first-week sales of nearly 103,000 copies.
Other albums charting for the first time this week are Cowboy Troy's Black in the Saddle (galloping in a No. 28), Steve Ivey's Best of Bluegrass Gospel (No. 61), Blue Collar Comedy Tour: Truckload Sale (No. 70), Porter Wagoner's Wagonmaster (No. 72) and the various artists anthology, Anchored in Love: A Tribute to June Carter Cash (No. 75).
Bill Engvall's 15 Degrees Off Cool returns to the chart at No. 68, and JC: Johnny Cash makes a giant rebound from No. 62 to No. 33.
The new entries on the country singles chart are Toby Keith's "Love Me If You Can" (No. 42), Sara Evans' "As If" (No. 56) and Big & Rich's country version of AC/DC's "You Shook Me All Night Long" (No. 59). Mark Wills' "Days of Thunder" re-enters at No. 58.
In its fourth week on the charts, Reba McEntire's duet with Kelly Clarkson, "Because of You," eases from No. 25 to No. 22. Dierks Bentley's "Free and Easy (Down the Road I Go)" ambles from No. 47 to No. 40 and Brooks & Dunn's "Proud of the House We Built" vaults from No. 48 to No. 32 in just its second week of play. Alas, Tim McGraw's "If You're Reading This" drops from No. 21 to No. 29 after four weeks, but an official version of the song has now been distributed for airplay. Since McGraw debuted it on the ACM Awards in May, radio stations have been playing a version recorded directly from the awards show telecast.
The remaining Top 5 singles are Emerson Drive's "Moments" (No. 2), Brad Paisley's "Ticks" (No. 3), Montgomery Gentry's "Lucky Man" (No. 4) and Alan Jackson's "A Woman's Love" (No. 5).
Rounding out the highest-charting albums are Jason Aldean's Relentless (No. 2), Carrie Underwood's Some Hearts (No. 3), Taylor Swift (No. 4) and McGraw's Let It Go (No. 5). In this, her 82nd week on the charts, Underwood sold close to 40,000 copies, by Nielsen SoundScan's accounting, bringing her total sales to a gratifying 5,619,270 units. She must be pretty close to recouping the recording costs.