It’s Still Christmas on the Country Charts

Christmas is still in the air — chartwise. This first week of 2019, Gene Autry’s Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Other Christmas Classics moves up from No. 2 to No. 1 on Billboard’s top country albums rankings.

And while Dan + Shay’s “Speechless” holds the airplay summit for the third week in a row, Dylan Scott has the highest-debuting single with “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.” Alas, it enters at No. 60 and — given the speeding calendar — is unlikely to gain much traction.

There’s only one new album to report. Upchurch’s River Rat scuttles in at No. 21. There are, however, seven returnees — Tim McGraw’s 35 Biggest Hits (back at No. 34), Dierks Bentley’s The Mountain (No. 35) and The Legend of Johnny Cash (No. 41).

Also, Jimmie Allen’s Mercury Lane (No. 43), Alabama’s The American Farewell Tour (No. 48), Florida Georgia Line’s Here’s to the Good Times (No. 49) and Luke Bryan’s Crash My Party (No. 50). Bryan’s version of “Oh Holy Night” pops back in at No. 58.

The No. 2 through No. 5 albums, in that order, are Luke CombsThis One’s for You (last week’s No. 1), Burl Ives’ Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Elvis Presley’s It’s Christmas Time and Dan + Shay.

Rounding out the Top 5 songs array are Thomas Rhett’s “Sixteen,” Jimmie Allen’s “Best Shot,” Combs’ “She Got the Best of Me” and Dustin Lynch’s “Good Girl.”

Grammy winners will be announced Feb. 10.

Edward Morris is a veteran of country music journalism. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a frequent contributor to