In one of the more impressive feats of the year, Taylor Swift's "Our Song" leapfrogs from No. 6 to No. 1 this week on Billboard's song chart, bypassing upward-crawling Josh Turner and George Strait. Making that achievement all the sweeter is the fact that the luminous 18-year-old also wrote the song -- and all by herself.
At the same time, the Eagles continue to occupy the top perch on the album chart with Long Road Out of Eden. That collection has sold just a shade under 2 million copies during the six weeks since its release, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and it has been No. 1 for four of those weeks.
Despite Swift's prominence last week in announcing and receiving Grammy nominations, it's impossible to tie her current chart standings to that one event alone. Others who were also nominated got no measurable boosts. But all the Grammy gab surely must have helped some.
Our fears that the charts would congeal this close to Christmas were unwarranted. There are three new albums and five new songs to spotlight.
This week's highest-charting new CD is Trace Adkins' American Man: Greatest Hits, Volume 2, which debuts at No. 8. Sweeping in at No. 54 is the various artists package, Mix Style: Country Christmas, while Johnny Cash's aptly titled Forever Johnny Cash emerges at No. 73.
The ubiquitous Swift has the highest-ranking new song, "Santa Baby," which sleds in at No. 50. Her version is not quite as purringly sexy as Eartha Kitt's original hit from 1953, but it still gets the point across.
Toby Keith boasts a couple of freshman entries: "Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow" (No. 55) and "Winter Wonderland" (No. 57). Adkins strides in with "You're Gonna Miss This" (No. 56), and Song Trust completes the roll call of newcomers with "Bring Him Home Santa" (No. 58).
Returning to the album chart are Vince Gill's These Days (No. 70) and the multi-artist anthology Forever Country (No. 75).
Following the Eagles on the Top 5 albums list, in descending order, are Carrie Underwood's Carnival Ride, Garth Brooks' The Ultimate Hits, Swift's self-titled set and Rascal Flatts' Still Feels Good.
The remaining Top 5 songs are Turner's "Firecracker," Kenny Chesney's "Don't Blink," Strait's "How 'Bout Them Cowgirls" and Montgomery Gentry's "What Do Ya Think About That."
Brooks' "More Than a Moment" slides from No. 2 to No. 7, and Underwood's "So Small," which was No. 1 last week, drops to No. 10. Tim McGraw's "Suspicions" bounds from No. 37 to No. 27.
This is precious info, folks, so use it wisely.