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Rascal Flatts, Dolly Parton Soar Onto Top Country Albums Chart

Rascal Flatts notches its eighth No. 1 set, while Parton scores her highest-ever debut. Plus, moves for Jake Owen and Brantley Gilbert and a classic TV theme returns

Rascal Flatts scores its seventh No. 1 debut and eighth overall leader on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart (and starts at No. 5 on the Billboard 200), as “Rewind” arrives with 61,000 sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Since the beginning of 2000, the year that the band first charted, only four acts, all soloists, have scored more No. 1s: Kenny Chesney (12), George Strait (11), Tim McGraw and Toby Keith (10 each). Alan Jackson, with eight, matches Rascal Flatts’ count.
The opening sales sum of “Rewind” is less than half of what the veteran trio’s last studio set “Changed” drew upon its debut (130,000) in April 2012 and the smallest opening-week sum for a new studio set since its self-titled debut bowed with 11,000 copies nearly 14 years ago (June 24, 2000). The band claimed its biggest weekly haul when “Me and My Gang” debuted at the summit with 722,000 in 2006.

On the singles front, the title track from “Rewind” reaches a new peak on Hot Country Songs (5-4) and has sold 532,000 downloads to date. The threesome last ranked higher on the sales/airplay/streaming-based chart with “Banjo,” which topped the May 12, 2012, tally.
HELLO, DOLLY: Dolly Parton logs her best-ever debut rank on Top Country Albums with “Blue Smoke,” which enters at No. 2 with 37,000 sold. The start surpasses Parton’s No. 4 debut with “Halos & Horns” on July 27, 2002. On the Billboard 200, “Smoke” gives the 1999 Country Music Hall of Fame inductee her highest-charting, and first top 10, solo album. It’s also her best sales week for a solo project since April 10, 1993, when “Slow Dancing With the Moon” moved 39,000 copies in its fifth chart week.
Approximately 55 percent of the new title’s first week are from non-traditional sellers like QVC. On April 27, Parton starred in an hour-long concert special for the shopping network, which sold a special edition of “Smoke” with a bonus disc of live songs.


Luke Bryan Locks Up Nos. 1 And 2 On Country Airplay Chart

JAKE JUMPS: With top Airplay Gainer honors, Jake Owen’s “Beachin’ ” reaches the Hot Country Songs top five (8-5). The song becomes Owen’s seventh top 10 on Country Airplay, hopping 12-10 in its 17th chart week, marking his fastest top 10 climb. Owen previously reached the region in as few as 20 weeks with “Alone With You” (Feb. 25, 2012) and “Anywhere With You” (June 1, 2013). Having first hit the Country Airplay top 10 with the No. 6-peaking “Startin’ With Me” in 2007, Owen boasts four No. 1s.
Owen’s new warm-weather anthem has sold 454,000 downloads and peaked at No. 4 on the May 10 Country Digital Songs chart.
‘SMALL TOWN’ NEWS: As Brantley Gilbert’s album “Just as I Am” made its retail bow on Monday (May 19), second single “Small Town Throwdown,” featuring Justin Moore and Thomas Rhett, roars onto Country Airplay at No. 28, marking Gilbert’s best start. Previously, he launched as high as No. 41 with “Bottoms Up” (Jan. 4); the lead single from the new set became Gilbert’s third Country Airplay No. 1 two weeks ago. The featured artists on “Town” both sport songs in the Country Airplay top 10: Rhett’s “Get Me Some of That” falls 1-4 and Moore’s “Lettin’ the Night Roll” rises 9-7.
“Throwdown” surges 47-28 on Hot Country Songs and opens at No. 9 (29,000 downloads sold) on Country Digital Songs.

‘HAZZARD’-OUS CONDITIONS: A classic TV theme returns, as Jake Worthington’s cover of “Good Ol’ Boys” debuts at No. 33 on Hot Country Songs with 23,000 downloads sold following his performance of it on NBC’s “The Voice” on May 12. The song hadn’t appeared on Hot Country Songs since Waylon Jennings sent his composition to No. 1 on the Nov. 1, 1980, chart.
The original version was billed as “Theme From the Dukes of Hazzard (Good Ol’ Boys),” in honor of the CBS series (1979-85) on which Jennings served as “the balladeer,” narrating each episode’s adventures.
(If the new version tops Hot Country Songs, perhaps we can refer to its rank not as No. 1, but, in an ode to the General Lee, No. 01.)
Additional reporting by Keith Caulfield and Gary Trust