Rascal Flatts have one more reason for celebrating this Christmas week as the group's "Here" climbs into the No. 1 niche on Billboard's country songs chart. Topping the album chart, as it has without fail for six weeks, is Taylor Swift's newest collection, Fearless.
And as usual for this penultimate reporting period of the year, Christmas titles dominate. Faith Hill's Joy to the World and Elvis Presley's Christmas Duets hold the No. 2 and No. 3 places, respectively, among the CD rankings.
Two seasonal songs chart for the first time: Darius Rucker's "Winter Wonderland" at No. 49 and Whitney Duncan's "All I Want for Christmas Is You" at No. 60. Hill's "Joy to the World" reappears at No. 52.
The week's only other new song is Tim McGraw's "Nothin' to Die For," bowing at No. 57.
Albums staging comebacks are Reba McEntire's 50 Greatest Hits (returning at No. 69), the Eli Young band's Jet Black & Jealous (No. 70), Kenny Chesney's Super Hits (No. 74) and Old Crow Medicine Show's Tennessee Pusher (No. 75).
Filling out the Top 5 songs, in descending order, are Montgomery Gentry's "Roll With Me," Sugarland's "Already Gone," the Zac Brown Band's "Chicken Fried" and Brad Paisley and Keith Urban's "Start a Band."
Taylor Swift's self-titled debut CD and Rascal Flatts' Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 are the No. 4 and No. 5 country albums.
In a few days, Nielsen SoundScan will announce the total country album sales for 2008. Cross your fingers. It's not looking good.