Alabama returns to the top spot on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart, as Brad Paisley's "Old Alabama," on which the group is featured, ascends 2-1.
Alabama last ruled Hot Country Songs with "Reckless" the week of Nov. 27, 1993. The group's 17-year, six-month and one-week gap between toppers is the chart's second-longest after Elvis Presley, who waited 19 years, two months and two weeks between "Jailhouse Rock" (1957) and "Moody Blue" (1977). Alabama passes Buck Owens, who reigned with "Made in Japan" in 1972 and "Streets of Bakersfield," with Dwight Yoakam, in 1988 (16 years and three months later).
(Alabama claims the mark for longest break between No. 1s since Hot Country Songs merged into one chart the week of Oct. 20, 1958. Presley's "Rock" topped "C&W Best Sellers in Stores," one of three country song surveys that Billboard published at the time).
"Old Alabama" marks Alabama's 33rd Hot Country Songs No. 1. (The song's bridge borrows the chorus of Alabama's sixth No. 1, "Mountain Music," which topped the May 1, 1982, chart). Only four artists have logged more leaders: George Strait (44), Conway Twitty (40), Merle Haggard (38) and Ronnie Milsap (35).
Now with 17 No. 1 Hot Country Songs No. 1s, Paisley ties Kenny Chesney for most leaders on the ranking dating to Dec. 11, 1999, when Paisley spent his first week at the summit with "He Didn't Have to Be."
Paisley concurrently debuts on Hot Country Songs at No. 36 with "Remind Me," with Carrie Underwood. The duet appears on Paisley's eighth studio album, "This Is Country Music," released yesterday (May 23). The title cut first single peaked at No. 2 in March.
Paisley's new set includes additional collaborations with Don Henley ("Love Her Like She's Leavin',"), Blake Shelton ("Don't Drink the Water") and even acting legend Clint Eastwood (who whistles throughout "Eastwood").
(Should the lattermost track, an instrumental, eventually top Hot Country Songs, Paisley would have a hand in topping Presley's record for longest stretch between No. 1s; Eastwood has made one visit to the list's apex with "Bar Room Buddies," with Merle Haggard, which reigned the week of July 26, 1980).
All charts will be refreshed Thursday (May 26) on Billboard.biz.