If it ain't one blonde it's another. Following in the wake of such flaxen divas as Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift and Julianne Hough, golden-tressed Jewel rockets to No. 1 this week on Billboard's country albums chart with her first Nashville-oriented CD, Perfectly Clear.
Simultaneously, Underwood rolls in to the top of the songs chart with "Last Name" a mere 13 weeks after it made its bow. Guess hat acts can't reign forever.
It bears noting that Jewel seized the summit with first-week sales of only 47,662 albums, an indication of just how tepid the CD market has become.
Other albums making their first showing are The Very Best of Neal McCoy (at No. 51), Dailey & Vincent by the bluegrass duo of that name (No. 57) and former Lonestar lead singer Richie McDonald's I Turn to You (No. 73). Shooter Jennings' The Wolf resurrects at No. 69.
There are three new entries on the songs list: Randy Houser's "Anything Goes" (No. 56), One Flew South's "My Kind of Beautiful" (No. 57) and Lady Antebellum's "Lookin' for a Good Time" (No. 60). Kid Rock's "All Summer Long" pops back on at No. 58.
Lining up behind Jewel in the Top 5 albums ranking are Taylor Swift, Toby Keith's 35 Biggest Hits, Underwood's Carnival Ride and Julianne Hough, in that order. Reba McEntire's Reba Duets makes a sprightly leap from No. 23, where it's rested for the past two weeks, to No. 12. (Now in its 38th week on the charts, Reba Duets earlier went all the way to No. 1.)
After Underwood, the Top 5 songs sequence is, in descending order, Brad Paisley's "I'm Still a Guy," Rascal Flatts' "Every Day," Kenny Chesney's "Better as a Memory" and Blake Shelton's cover of Michael Bublé's "Home."
We'll check next week to see if the CMA Music Festival and its attendant hoopla flexed any sales muscle.