Chart-based stories on Barry Manilow, Whitney Houston, Paul McCartney, and Jewel.

BARRY'S BACK: The first Barry Manilow album of the 21st century arrives at No. 90 on The Billboard 200. "Here at the Mayflower" (Concord) is the first Manilow album to chart since "Manilow Sings Sinatra" peaked at No. 122 in December 1998.

Manilow's label debut for Concord just misses being his highest-debuting album in 10 years. In 1994 he opened at No. 89 with "Singin' With the Big Bands," and in 1996 he debuted in that same position with "Summer of '78."

Manilow has now charted in four different decades. His album chart span expands to 27 years and one week, dating back to the debut of "Barry Manilow II" the week of Nov. 23, 1974. What happened to "Barry Manilow I"? It debuted nine months later, having gone underappreciated when first issued in 1972.

THROUGH THE DAWN'S EARLY LIGHT: Whitney Houston's "The Star Spangled Banner" (Arista) falls 1-2 on Billboard's Hot Singles Sales chart, replaced at the top by Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA" (Curb). On The Billboard Hot 100, Houston's single slips 80-85 in its cumulative 20th chart week. That total includes the single's original run in 1991.

While titles that fall below No. 50 and have been on the chart for 20 weeks or more are usually removed to recurrent status, exceptions are made for songs that return to the chart after an absence of six months or more. The counter was reset for Houston when her version of the national anthem returned to the chart in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States.

'FREEDOM' RINGS: Paul McCartney has his highest-charting title on Billboard's Hot 100 Singles Sales chart, as "Freedom" (MPL/Capitol) enters at No. 14. In 1997, "The World Tonight" peaked at No. 52, and two weeks ago "From a Lover to a Friend" stopped at No. 56.

'WAY' IN: Jewel has the fourth chart entry of her career on The Billboard 200 as "This Way" (Atlantic) enters at No. 9. It's her second highest-debuting set, after "Spirit," which opened and peaked at No. 3 three years ago this week.

Jewel's first album, "Pieces of You," debuted at No. 176 and ultimately peaked at No. 4 in 1997. In 1999, "Joy: A Holiday Collection" entered at No. 46 and peaked at No. 32.

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