Movie music makes its mark, Elvis' first No. 1 returns to the top, plus tidbits on Keith Urban and Johnny Cash.
AND NEXT YEAR'S OSCAR GOES TO: The nominations for the 2005 Academy Awards haven't been announced yet, but there are already two candidates for best original song for the 2006 awards, to be presented in 2007.
These contenders are the top two debuts on The Billboard Hot 100 this week. Gavin DeGraw's "We Belong Together" (J), from "Tristan & Isolde," is the highest new entry at No. 38. It is also the highest new entry of 2006, though it's true that this is only the fourth chart week of the calendar year. "We Belong Together" is the highest debut since Madonna bowed at No. 20 with "Hung Up" the week of Nov. 5, 2005.
This is DeGraw's third chart entry. His biggest hit to date is his first single, "I Don't Want to Be," which peaked at No. 10 exactly one year and four weeks ago. The follow-up, "Chariot," peaked at No. 30 in July 2005.
This week's second-highest debut is "Upside Down" (Brushfire) by Jack Johnson. The song from the "Curious George" soundtrack opens at No. 69. This is also Johnson's third time on the Hot 100. He peaked at No. 73 in August 2002 with "Flake," and No. 66 in March 2005 with "Sitting, Waiting, Wishing."
BACK TO THE END OF LONELY STREET: "Grillz" (Derrty/Fo' Reel) by Nelly featuring Paul Wall, Ali and Gipp is in control of the Hot 100 for a second week. That begs the question, can you imagine "Grillz" returning to the top of the chart in 2056?
It's not a fair question, because there is probably only one artist who could return to top a chart 50 years later with the same song, and he's done it this week.
That one person is Elvis Presley. His "Heartbreak Hotel" was released 50 years ago this week. It was his debut single for RCA after recording for Sun, and by April it was sitting on top of Billboard's Best Sellers in Stores chart.
RCA has begun reissuing all of Elvis Presley's No. 1 singles, starting with "Heartbreak Hotel." That title rockets 42-1 on Billboard's Hot Singles Sales chart this week.
Before he made his debut on Billboard's pop singles charts, Presley charted on the country tallies. His Sun single "Baby Let's Play House" debuted the week of July 16, 1955, giving Presley a career chart span of 50 years, six months and two weeks.
URBAN DEVELOPMENT: In its third week on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart, Keith Urban's "Making Memories of Us" (Capitol) rockets 40-15. That's the third biggest move of the last 10 years.
If the Urban single had moved up just one more notch, it would have tied the 26-point rise of Kimberley Locke's "Up on the Housetop." That seasonal selection bounded 31-5 in December. Just counting non-holiday songs, Urban's leap is the biggest since Michael Bolton vaulted 40-13 with "A Love So Beautiful" in March 1996.
'16' AT 14: Johnny Cash spends his 14th posthumous week at No. 1 on Billboard's Top Country Catalog Albums chart with "16 Biggest Hits" (Legacy/Columbia). The collection of greatest hits was on top for 10 weeks in 2003 and is now in its fourth consecutive week at No. 1 in 2006, with sales fueled by the box office success of the biopic "Walk the Line."
Cash is in second place among deceased artists for total number of weeks at No. 1 on this catalog chart, but he would have to remain on top for just over four-and-a-half years to tie the artist in first place.
Just counting solo sets, here are the seven artists who have spent posthumous time at No. 1 on the country catalog chart and the number of weeks they were in the lead:
Patsy Cline (251 weeks)
Johnny Cash (14)
John Denver (5)
Conway Twitty (4)
Burl Ives (2)
Waylon Jennings (1)
Elvis Presley (1)