Chart Beat

Fred discusses Porter Wagoner, American Idols, Paul McCartney and more!

LONGEST POSSIBLE SPAN: He appeared on the very first country album chart, dated Jan. 11, 1964. And this week he returns to that same chart, after an absence of 24 years. Porter Wagoner, who will turn 80 in August, is back.

The Missouri-born singer, who has a career of performing live and on the radio that dates back to the 1940s, debuts at No. 72 with "Wagonmaster" (Anti-/Epitaph). It is the first Wagoner album to chart since "Viva Porter Wagoner" peaked at No. 48 in 1983. This new album gives the country veteran a chart span of 43 years, five months and two weeks, the longest span possible since it dates back to the very first tally. Wagoner is one of two artists from that inaugural chart who are on the list this week; the late Johnny Cash soars 62-33 with "JC: Johnny Cash" (Sun/Madacy Special Products) and dips 45-46 with "The Legend of Johnny Cash" (Legacy/Columbia/American/Island).

Porter made his debut on Billboard's country singles chart much earlier than his album debut. His first chart entry was "Company's Comin'," which bowed the week of Oct. 30, 1954, and ultimately peaked at No. 7. Considering Wagoner's overall chart career, his chart span is now extended to 52 years, seven months and three weeks.

'FULL' MEASURE: There's another gentleman making chart news who first appeared on a Billboard album survey in 1964. The date was Feb. 1, 1964 and the album was "Meet the Beatles." The latest Paul McCartney release, "Memory Almost Full" (MPL/Hear), opens at No. 3 on The Billboard 200. That gives McCartney an album chart span of 43 years, four months and three weeks.

Just counting McCartney's solo work, he has an album chart span of 37 years, one month and two weeks, counting back to the debut of "McCartney" the week of May 9, 1970.

"Memory Almost Full" is the highest-ranking album by Paul since "Wingspan: Hits and History" peaked at No. 2 the week of May 26, 2001. 'Memory" is the highest-charting album of new material by Paul since "Flaming Pie" debuted and peaked at No. 2 just over 10 years ago, the week of June 14, 1997.

"Memory Almost Full" is the 33rd McCartney album to chart, away from his work with the Beatles. Of those 33 charted works, 13 have reached the top three.

While "Memory Almost Full" couldn't top new releases by T-Pain and Rihanna on The Billboard 200, McCartney's album does bow at No. 1 on Top Internet Albums.

THE 'GOOD,' THE 'BAD,' NO UGLY: Like Paul McCartney, Rihanna was denied the top spot on The Billboard 200 by T-Pain, but the Barbadian-born singer still managed to earn her highest-ranked album to date.

Rihanna first appeared on The Billboard 200 the week of Sept. 17, 2005, when "Music of the Sun" debuted and peaked at No. 10. Her second CD, "A Girl Like Me," debuted and peaked at No. 5 the week of May 13, 2006.
Her third set, "Good Girl Gone Bad" (SRP/Def Jam), fueled by the No. 1 single "Umbrella," enters at No. 2.

Since her album sounds like it is hit-laden with singles, "Good Girl Gone Bad" could still become Rihanna's first No. 1 album.

ANOTHER 'CHANGE': The last time John Mayer's "Waiting on the World to Change" (Aware/Columbia) climbed to No. 1 on the Adult Contemporary chart, the song tied Natasha Bedingfield's "Unwritten" for returning to the penthouse more times than any other title in the history of the AC list.

With "Change" taking charge one more time, the song has now had six separate runs at No. 1, more than any other song in AC history. "Change" is in its 13th week of leadership.

AND THE HITS JUST KEEP ON COMING: You can't take your eyes off the tote board for a moment, or the figures will change. The "American Idol" franchise racks up its 126th No. 1, thanks to a fifth season finalist.

Last week, "Idol" earned its 125th No. 1 when Daughtry's "Home" rose to the top of the Adult Top 40 chart. It's the second No. 1 for the band on this tally; "It's Not Over" led the list for nine weeks earlier this year.

Chris Daughtry finished fourth in season five. The ninth-place finalist that year was a woman from Antioch, Tenn. named Mandisa. Her single "Only the World" (Sparrow) flies 2-1 on Hot Singles Sales. "Only the World" moves 13-11 on the Christian Songs chart and 15-12 on the Christian Adult Contemporary list.