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Cash sets posthumous new record on album chart

LOS ANGELES (Billboard) – More than 46 years after making his first appearance on the Billboard album chart, Johnny Cash has rewritten chart history by coming up with the highest-debuting title of his career.

“The Legend of Johnny Cash,” the 41st charting album by the Man in Black, entered The Billboard 200 at No. 11 in the week ended October 30, as promotional efforts gather momentum ahead of the November 18 release of the Cash movie “Walk the Line.”

That makes this new set the third highest-charting album of Cash’s career. The only two LPs to chart higher were “Johnny Cash at San Quentin” (No. 1 for four weeks in 1969) and “Hello, I’m Johnny Cash” (No. 6 in 1970). Pushed down to fourth place is “Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison” (No. 13 in 1968).

On the Top Country Albums list, “The Legend of Johnny Cash” bowed at No. 3 and is the 75th Cash album to chart. It is the highest-ranking album by the late country veteran since “American IV: The Man Comes Around” peaked at No. 2 the week of September 27, 2003, shortly after his death. Of Cash’s 75 chart entries on the tally, nine have achieved pole position, six have reached the runner-up spot and four have gone to No. 3.

Since Cash appeared on the very first country album chart, published in January 1964, he once again holds the record for the longest chart span, which now stretches to almost 42 years. Cash has to share that record with George Jones, who also appeared on that very first country album chart. Jones slipped to No. 34 last week with “Hits I Missed… And One I Didn’t.”