Fred Bronson reports on the latest chart feats of Uncle Kracker and Dobie Gray, Santana, Burt Bacharach and Hal David, Lorrie Morgan, Hank Williams, Jr., Meat Loaf and more.

THE BIG 'DRIFT': Uncle Kracker and Dobie Gray continue to fend off all challengers, retaining pole position on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart for the 19th week with their remake of Gray's 1973 hit "Drift Away."

That puts the new version of "Drift Away" (Lava) into a three-way tie for second place among songs with the longest runs at No. 1 on the AC chart. Celine Dion's "Because You Loved Me" and Phil Collins' "You'll Be in My Heart" also had 19-week reigns.

"Drift Away" is far enough ahead of the No. 2 song, matchbox twenty's "Unwell" (Atlantic), that it is likely to extend its run to 21 weeks, which would equal the all-time run at No. 1 set by Dion's "A New Day Has Come."

'WHY'? BECAUSE WE LOVE HIM: Santana has its third No. 1 hit on the Adult Top 40 chart in four years. "Why Don't You & I" (Arista) by Santana featuring Alex Band or Chad Kroeger replaces Train's "Calling All Angels" at the summit.

If history is any indication, "Why Don't You & I" could be on top for some time. In 1999, "Smooth" by Santana featuring Rob Thomas was No. 1 for 25 weeks. In 2002, "The Game of Love" by Santana featuring Michelle Branch ruled for 13 weeks.

The only Santana singles not to lead this list were "Maria Maria" (No. 12 in 2000) and "Love of My Life" (No. 39 in 2000).

BACHARACH TO THE FUTURE: Songwriters Burt Bacharach and Hal David are back in the top-20 of the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time in eight years. Ashanti's "Rain on Me" (Murder Inc/Def Jam) samples Isaac Hayes' recording of "The Look of Love," originally a hit for Dusty Springfield. "Rain on Me" moves 20-16 this week.

Bacharach and David were last in the top-20 in 1995, when the Notorious B.I.G.'s No. 6 hit "Warning" sampled Hayes' version of "Walk on By," originally a hit for Dionne Warwick.

TO BE 'FRANK': Lorrie Morgan returns to Hot Country Singles & Tracks after an absence of two years. She last charted in 2001 with "He Drinks Tequila," a duet with Sammy Kershaw. This week, she debuts at No. 60 with "Do You Still Want To Buy Me That Drink (Frank)" (Quarterback).

Born Loretta Lynn Morgan in Nashville, Morgan was 19 when she made her chart debut in March 1979 with "Two People in Love." Her biggest hit to date is "What Part of No," which spent three weeks at No. 1 in 1993.

HANK DONE IT THIS WAY: Elsewhere on Hot Country Singles & Tracks, Hank Williams, Jr. has his biggest solo hit in 12 years, as "I'm One of You" (Asylum-Curb) moves 42-39. It's Williams' best solo ranking since "If It Will It Will" peaked at No. 26 in 1991. Williams Jr. and George Jones were guest artists on Chad Brock's "A Country Boy Can Survive (Y2K Version)," a No. 30 hit in January 2000.

Williams has a chart span of 39 years and eight months, dating back to the debut of "Long Gone Lonesome Blues" in February 1964. That single peaked at No. 5.

Williams Jr.'s father, the legendary Hank Williams, made his debut on this chart in August 1947 with "Move It on Over." Williams Jr.'s son, Hank Williams III, made his chart debut in November 2000 with "I Don't Know."

'BABY' A HIT ONE MORE TIME: Of the 936 songs to be No. 1 on Billboard's pop singles chart in the rock era, only 10 have started with the word "Baby." The latest is the current occupant of pole position, "Baby Boy" (Columbia) by Beyonce featuring Sean Paul. The first nine:

"Baby Love," The Supremes (1964)
"Baby Don't Get Hooked on Me," Mac Davis (1972)
"Baby Come Back," Player (1978)
"Baby, Come to Me," Patti Austin and James Ingram (1983)
"Baby, I Love Your Way/Freebird Medley (Free Baby)," Will To Power (1988)
"Baby Don't Forget My Number," Milli Vanilli (1989)
"Baby Baby," Amy Grant (1991)
"Baby Got Back," Sir Mix-a-Lot (1992)
"....Baby One More Time," Britney Spears (1999)

ONE MORE PORTION: Meat Loaf makes his first appearance on The Billboard 200 in this century, as "Couldn't Have Said It Better" enters at No. 85. It's Meat Loaf's debut on the Sanctuary label, and his highest-ranking set since "Welcome to the Neighborhood" reached No. 17 in 1995. He was last on the tally in 1999 with "VH1 Storytellers," which stopped at No. 129.

"Couldn't Have Said It Better" is only the seventh Meat Loaf album to chart in a career that spans 26 years. The Dallas-born singer made his debut on The Billboard 200 in October 1977 with "Bat Out of Hell," which peaked at No. 14 and coincidentally went 14 times platinum.

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