Rodney Crowell, With Emmylou Harris, Sets Career Best on Top Country Albums

Opening with Hot Shot Debut honors at No. 4, Rodney Crowell teams up with his old boss Emmylou Harris on "Old Yellow Moon," lifting Crowell to a career-high perch on Top Country Albums and extending a streak of top 10 starts by Harris.

Blending Crowell originals with venerated classics like Roger Miller's "Invitation to the Blues" and Allen Reynolds' "Dreaming My Dreams," the album is the first collaborative set for the artists since Crowell played in Harris' famed Hot Band in the '70s. With 16,000 sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan, "Moon" marks Crowell's second top 10, besting his No. 8 peak with "Diamonds & Dirt," which yielded five Hot Country Songs No. 1s, in 1989. He'd most recently charted with "Sex & Gasoline, which peaked at No. 38 five years ago.

Harris' current streak of five consecutive top 10 studio album debuts began when "Red Dirt Girl" arrived at No. 5 in 2000, followed by "Stumble Into Grace" (No. 6, 2003), "All I Intended to Be" (No. 4, 2008) and "Hard Bargain" (No. 3, 2011).

Elsewhere on Top Country Albums, the reunited Mavericks sell 14,000 and debut at No. 8 with "In Time," the band's fourth top 10 and first since "Trampoline" in 1998.

With 3.5 million sold to date, Top Country Albums is ruled for a 16th week by Taylor Swift's "Red" (24,000, down 13%).

SINGLES BAR: Over on Hot Country Songs, three titles freshen the top 10, led by a 13-7 jump for Miranda Lambert's "Mama's Broken Heart." Lee Brice's "I Drive Your Truck" motors 11-8 and duo Florida Georgia Line draws Streaming Gainer applause for a 60% spike in streaming, according to Nielsen BDS, for "Get Your Shine On," which surges 15-10.

Darius Rucker's cover of Old Crow Medicine Show's "Wagon Wheel" earns Digital Gainer stripes for the biggest overall digital spike on Hot Country Songs (up 44%) and jumps 24-16. The track also reclaims its previous peak on Country Digital Songs, rising 14-7 with 43,000 sold. Rucker's version continues to spark interest in the band's original recording, which bullets at No. 29 in its ninth week on Country Digital Songs (15,000, up 12%). Available in various configurations since its 2004 release, the original has sold 1.2 million downloads.

Hot Country Songs is led for a second week by Blake Shelton's "Sure Be Cool If You Did," which adds Airplay Gainer stars for the biggest airplay increase (up 20%). Meanwhile, Shelton's song rises 7-5 in its ninth week on the Country Airplay chart. With 74,000 sold (up 5%), "Cool" leads Country Digital Songs for a fourth cumulative week.

KACEY'S TOP 10: Singer/songwriter Kacey Musgraves becomes the first new female artist this year to reach the Country Airplay top 10 with a first charted solo song, as "Merry Go 'Round" spins 11-10 in its 27th week.

Musgraves' track is the first such hit since Jana Kramer's "Why Ya Wanna" entered the top 10 the week of Aug. 18, 2012; it peaked at No. 3 eight weeks later. Kramer's song remains the highest charted debut title by a rookie female artist since Gretchen Wilson spent four weeks at No. 1 with "Redneck Woman" in 2004. Musgraves so far matches Sunny Sweeney's maiden top 10 "From a Table Away," which peaked at No. 10 three years ago this week.

Prior to releasing "Merry," Musgraves was credited as a featured artist on the Josh Abbott Band's "Oh, Tonight," which logged 22 chart weeks and a No. 44 peak two years ago. Musgraves, who co-wrote Lambert's "Mama's Broken Heart," self-released three albums before becoming a fifth-season (2007) contestant on the now-shuttered "Nashville Star" TV singing competition.

"Merry," an typical country hit in its content, as it shines a pessimistic light on country living ("Just like dust we settle in this town," she sings defeatedly), is the lead single from her major-label debut "Same Trailer, Different Park," due March 19. The track has sold 483,000 downloads and peaked at No. 12 on Country Digital Songs in January.

'DOWNTOWN' UP: With the fewest chart weeks of any title in the upper tier, Lady Antebellum claims its 10th top 10 on Country Airplay with "Downtown," which leaps 12-9 in its sixth week. The trio notched its previous top 10 exactly a year ago this week, when "Dancing Away With My Heart" advanced 12-10 on its way to a No. 2 peak. The threesome has topped the chart six times, most recently with "We Owned the Night," which spent two weeks at the summit in December 2011. The newly-minted top 10 introduces "Golden," Lady A's fourth studio album, due May 7.

TWO FOR 'ONE': High atop Country Airplay, Tim McGraw leads for a second week with "One of Those Nights," which becomes the 18th of his 25 career No. 1s to hold on top for more than one week. When it comes to multi-week dominance, McGraw's stats are impressive. He first topped the chart in 1994 with "Don't Take the Girl," which logged two weeks at No. 1. He didn't spend fewer than two weeks in charge with any subsequent No. 1 until "Grown Men Don't Cry," his 13th leader, spent a single frame on top in 2001. His longest run at the apex was with "Live Like You were Dying," which reigned for seven weeks in 2004. He's twice spent six weeks atop the chart, with four other No. 1s holding for five weeks apiece.

On the heels of McGraw's current leader, the Louisiana native bullets at No. 32 with new single "Highway Don't Care," with Taylor Swift.


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