The heart-size hole George Jones' death left in the body of country music is already manifesting itself on the Billboard albums chart. This week, two of his CD compilations make their debut while a third returns to the Top 75 sales list.
Blake Shelton's Based on a True Story is once more the week's bestselling album, and Thompson Square's "If I Didn't Have You" claims the title of most-played song on country radio.
The X Factor's Tate Stevens has the week's highest-debuting album -- Tate Stevens. It enters the chart at No. 4 on an initial Nielsen SoundScan-confirmed sales total of 16,830 copies.
The other new albums are the Statler Brothers' Best From the Farewell Concert (No. 45), Country: George Jones (No. 57), Icon: Glen Campbell (No. 61) and Jones' Heartaches and Hangovers (No. 68).
Returning albums include Jones' The Great Lost Hits (back at No. 51), Don Williams' And So It Goes (No. 62), Country: Willie Nelson (No. 63) and Country: Waylon Jennings (No. 65).
There are four new songs to note: Thomas Rhett's "It Goes Like This" (No. 43), Lee Brice's "Parking Lot Party" (No. 53), Eric Paslay's "Friday Night" (No. 57) and Joe Nichols' "Sunny and 75" (No. 60).
With Shelton and Stevens in the mix, No. 2, No. 3 and No. 5 albums, in that order, are The Band Perry's Pioneer, Florida Georgia Line's Here's to the Good Times and Brad Paisley's Wheelhouse.
Rounding out the Top 5 most-played songs, in descending order, are Florida Georgia Line's "Get Your Shine On," Miranda Lambert's "Mama's Broken Heart," Lady Antebellum's "Downtown" (last week's No. 1) and Kenny Chesney's "Pirate Flag."
While we're on the subjects of charts and George Jones, it bears pointing out that he charted 167 singles over a 50-year run, an achievement that surpassed those of everyone else in country music, including the enduring Eddy Arnold.
No song was too morbid or too quirky for Jones to take a shot at. And with a voice like that, he always hit a nerve or a funny bone.