TODAY IN COUNTRY MUSIC HISTORY
(Thurs., Nov. 29)
Merle Travis was born in Rosewood, Ky., in 1917.
Jody Miller (Myrna Joy Brooks), who recorded "Queen of the House" in answer to "King of the Road," was born in Phoenix, Ariz., in 1941.
Gene Autry recorded "Gonna Build A Big Fence Around Texas" and the top-five chart single "Don't Fence Me In" in 1944.
Webb Pierce recorded the No.1 singles "Even Tho" and "Slowly" in 1953.
Johnny Horton won a Grammy for Best C & W Performance and Song of the Year for "Battle of New Orleans" in 1959.
Grand Ole Opry stars performed at New York's Carnegie Hall in a benefit for the Musician's Aid Society. Marty Robbins, Jim Reeves, Bill Monroe, Patsy Cline, Grandpa Jones and Faron Young were among those artists who performed in 1961.
Johnny Cash recorded "The One on the Right is on the Left" for Columbia in 1965.
The Amazing Rhythm Aces' sole top-10 single, "Amazing Grace (Used to be Her Favorite Song)," debuted on the chart in 1975.
Bill Anderson and Mary Lou Turner's No.1 single, "Sometimes," also made its chart premiere in 1975.
Randy Travis' No Holdin' Back was certified platinum in 1989.
Toby Keith's Boomtown went platinum in 1994.
It was reported in 1995 that someone stole the mailbox from outside the Palm Springs, Calif., house where Elvis Presley and Priscilla honeymooned.
Elvis Presley topped the 1999 list of the "12 Greatest Entertainers of the Century," compiled by E! Online Entertainment's editors. Frank Sinatra came in second, followed by Judy Garland, James Brown, the Rolling Stones, Barbra Streisand, Fred Astaire, Michael Jackson, the Marx Brothers, Shirley Temple, Monty Python's Flying Circus and Liberace.
COUNTRY MUSIC TRIVIA
Q: In 1965, what artist recorded The "In Crowd" and "Drift Away"?
A: Dobie Gray, who visits the Opry during Opry at the Ryman Dec. 7.
MUSIC AND MORE
PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARDS NOMINEES
Garth, Tim and George are up for favorite male musical performer, while Faith is nominated in the favorite female musical performer category. The Dixie Chicks are among the nominees for favorite musical group or band and Reba gets a nod for favorite female performer in a new television series.
The 28th Annual People's Choice Awards will be held at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, Calif., on Jan. 13 and air on CBS.
CHARLIE DANIELS' SURGERY
Charlie Daniels underwent surgery for prostate cancer last week (Nov. 20) at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.
The operation was performed by Dr. Joseph Smith, who said in a statement that: "Charlie has undergone successful surgery for prostate cancer and is well on the way to making a full recovery. The cancer was contained within the prostate and has been completely removed. We expect that his cancer is cured."
"I thank Almighty God for the healings," said Daniels, who will spend the holidays recovering at home with his family. He'll resume his touring schedule after the first of the year.
WILKINSONS HEAD TO JAPAN
BNA Records recording artist the Wilkinsons will be going to Kadena Air Force Base in Okinawa, Japan, for two shows this Friday and Saturday. They'll be performing for the personnel of all branches of the military stationed close by.
"The three of us are thrilled to be going to Japan to entertain U.S. troops stationed there. At a time when the world's tensions are heightened we need to recognize the important job our military is doing to keep all of us safe. Amanda, Tyler and I are pleased to travel there as a show of thanks and to do what we can to help some of our troops in distant lands feel a little less homesick at this time of year," said Steve Wilkinson.
The Wilkinsons are currently working on their debut release for BNA Records -- due out in early 2002.
CRYSTAL GAYLE'S CHRISTMAS PLANS
Singer Crystal Gayle has announced the 10-city itinerary for her upcoming Christmas tour. Her publicist says Gayle will hold her first concert at the Dunn Center For Performing Arts at North Carolina Weselyan College in Rocky Mount, N.C., on Dec 6. Other venues include Pembroke, N.C.; Newberry, S.C.; Macon, Ga.; Morristown, N.J.; Staten Island, N.Y.; Harrisburg, Pa.; and Hampton, Va. The tour will end on Dec. 20. After a short holiday break, Gayle will resume her regular concert series in mid-January.
(Thanks to UPI Feature Reporter Dennis Daily)
LEE ANN WOMACK'S HOLIDAY PLANS
Triple CMA Award winner Lee Ann Womack kicks off her first holiday tour Thursday in Sewell, N.J. Fans are being encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy to the concerts to donate to the Marine Corps' Toys for Tots Program. All gifts collected at the shows will be donated to needy children in that community.
Fans who make a toy donation will receive a limited-edition Lee Ann Womack CD that includes the original Womack holiday song "The Nativity."
Womack is touring with the 15-piece Duke Ellington Orchestra, led by Ellington's grandson, Mercer. The tour will be stopping in 16 cities in the Northeast and the Midwest.
(Web site: leeannwomack.com)
KENNY ROGERS' CHRISTMAS PLANS
Kenny Rogers began his "Christmas from the Heart" holiday tour Tuesday in Erie, Pa. The 22-city road trip features selected choir groups from each city and wraps up in Westbury, N.Y., on Dec. 21-22. This is the fifth year for the show and Rogers plans to return next year with a new show.
CLINT'S GREATEST HITS
Opry member Clint Black released his Greatest Hits 2 CD on Nov. 20. The CD is enhanced with backstage footage, computer wallpapers and screensaver.
GARTH TRIBUTE TO EARNHARDT
Opry member Garth Brooks will pay tribute to the late Dale Earnhardt at the NASCAR Winston Cup Series Awards Ceremony to be held this Friday at New York's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. Brooks will perform "The Dance" during the ceremony, which will honor the new champion of the racing season, Jeff Gordon. This is Gordon's fourth series points championship. Garth and NASCAR fans can watch the ceremony on TNT at 8 p.m. ET.
Coming Soon To The Opry Stage:
Nov. 30: Joe Diffie, Steve Wariner, Del McCoury Band, Diamond Rio, John Conlee, Jean Shepard, Ricky Skaggs
Dec. 1 (1:00 pm Matinee): Asleep at the Wheel, Carolyn Dawn Johnson
Dec. 1: Joe Diffie, Asleep at the Wheel, Del McCoury Band, John Conlee, Jean Shepard, Crystal Gayle, Ricky Skaggs, Carolyn Dawn Johnson
Dec. 7: Gillian Welch, Clint Black, Chalee Tennison, Nashville Bluegrass Band, Dobie Gray, Darryl Worley
Dec. 8 (1:00 pm Matinee): Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings, Chalee Tennison
Dec. 8: Travis Tritt, Diamond Rio, Gillian Welch, Clint Black, Chalee Tennison, Darryl Worley
Dec. 14: Jeff Carson, Charley Pride, Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time, Mandy Barnett
Dec. 15 (1:00 pm Matinee): Jeff Carson, Mandy Barnett
Dec. 15: Tracy Lawrence, Jeff Carson, John Prine, Charley Pride, Mandy Barnett
Dec. 21-22: Dale Watson
Dec. 28-29: Marty Stuart, Emmylou Harris
Jan. 4-5: T. Bubba Bechtol, Andy Griggs
Jan. 11-12: Mark Wills, Terri Clark
(For Opry tickets, log on to opry.com or call 615-889-3060 or TicketMaster at 615-255-9600. Artists and schedule subject to change.)
By Opryland USA in Nashville and UPI