Elvis Presley makes splash on country chart

Fri Dec 12, 2008 4:37am EST
 
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By Fred Bronson

LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - After not charting on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart for 10 years, Elvis Presley has logged his second new entry in two weeks.

"Blue Christmas," a duet with Martina McBride, debuted at No. 43 on Thursday, following last week's No. 60 bow of "I'll Be Home for Christmas" with Carrie Underwood.

"Blue Christmas" is Presley's 68th entry and marks the first time in his 53-year chart career that he's had songs debut in two consecutive weeks.

This is the second time that a Presley recording of "Blue Christmas" has appeared on Hot Country Songs. Although Elvis cut the song in 1957, it didn't chart country until January 1998, when it peaked at No. 55.

The original version of "Blue Christmas" by Ernest Tubb debuted on the survey in December 1949 and peaked at No. 2. Vince Gill took the tune to No. 74 in January 1999, and Clay Walker brought it to No. 51 in January 2001. That means the Presley/McBride duet is the highest-charting version of the composition since Tubb's original, 59 years ago.

Reuters/Billboard