Fred Bronson reports on chart activity relating to Daniel O'Donnell, Tim McGraw and Simon & Garfunkel.

DANIEL COMES HOME: Before March 2003, Irish singer Daniel O'Donnell had never set foot on Billboard's Top World Albums chart, though his name was familiar to any reader who perused the magazine's Hits of the World charts. A frequent visitor to the Irish and U.K. singles and albums charts, O'Donnell suddenly found success in the United States thanks to television appearances, particularly on PBS.

On Nov. 27, PBS stations broadcast a live concert by O'Donnell, which gave him a considerable chart boost this week. He occupies nine of the 15 slots on the Top World Albums tally, and for the first time has the No. 1 album on this chart, as his "Welcome to My World: 20 Classics From the Jim Reeves Song Book" (DPTV Media) advances 3-1.

It's within the realm of possibility that O'Donnell could lock up the entire chart, as he has eight more albums poised to enter. Another TV broadcast could do the trick.

'BACK' TO FRONT: A 2-1 move on Billboard's Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart puts Tim McGraw's "Back When" (Curb) at the head of the class. It's his 21st song to top the country chart.

This brings McGraw's number of weeks in pole position during 2004 to 10, tying him with Kenny Chesney for most weeks at No. 1 during this calendar year.

Chesney had a chance to keep first place all to himself, but his latest hit, "The Woman With You" (BNA) dips 3-4 after peaking at No. 2.

If McGraw can remain No. 1 for a second week with "Back When," he'll be in first place by himself with 11 weeks on top in 2004.

PAUL AND ART: Two years ago, Simon and Garfunkel returned to The Billboard 200 for the first time in 20 years, as their uncovered "Live From New York City, 1967" made a belated debut.

A more modern concert recording puts the duo back on the chart with their second chart album of the 21st century. "Old Friends: Live on Stage" (Warner Bros.), capturing their recent reunion tour, is a new entry at No. 174.

That extends the pair's chart span to 38 years and 11 months, harking back to the Jan. 22, 1966 debut of 'Wednesday Morning, 3 AM."