TODAY IN COUNTRY MUSIC HISTORY
Eddy Arnold's first recording session, one of Nashville's earliest, was held in 1944.
Gene Autry recorded the No.1 single, "At Mail Call Today," also in 1944.
Chris Hillman, founding member of the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers, was born in Los Angeles in 1944.
Merle Travis recorded "Louisiana Boogie" for Capitol in 1952.
Rabon Delmore died at age 36 in 1952.
Brian Prout of Diamond Rio was born in Troy, N.Y., in 1955.
Johnnie & Jack recorded their top-10 single, "Stop the World (and Let Me Off)," for RCA in 1957.
Bob Wills suffered a stroke after a two-day recording session in Dallas in 1973.
Jimmy Heap, guitarist and band leader, died at age 55 in 1977.
Ray Smith, rockabilly singer, died in 1979.
Lila McCann was born in 1981.
Roy Orbison played his final gig, in Cleveland in 1988. He died two days later.
Connie B. Gay, creator of "Town & Country Time," died in 1989.
And in 1991, The Judds gave what they said would be their final concert as a duo, in Murfreesboro, Tenn., in 1991. Mom Naomi was retiring due to ill health. However, she has since "unretired." The show was the most successful musical pay-per-view event in history.
Reba McEntire's For My Broken Heart was certified platinum, also in 1991.
Reba McEntire injured her knee in a skiing accident in Utah in 1996. The injury forced the singer to cancel the next night's concert in Tucson, Ariz.
COUNTRY MUSIC TRIVIA
Q: What Opry member released the CD Ten Feet Tall & Bulletproof in 1994, which went platinum and spawned the No.1 single "Foolish Pride" that also went to No.20 on the pop charts?
A: Travis Tritt, who returns to the Opry during Opry at the Ryman Saturday.
MUSIC AND MORE
'MOST WANTED LIVE' TO MOVE
CMT's "Most Wanted Live" is moving to a new location in January. The daily show is currently filmed at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in downtown Nashville. However, on Jan. 5, the show will move to the Gibson Bluegrass Showcase at Opry Mills Mall on Briley Parkway near the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.
The show will also be changing times, running from Tuesday -- Saturday (at 7 p.m. ET). The Saturday show will lead into the airing of the Grand Ole Opry.
'CALL ME CLAUS'
The first production of Garth Brooks' Red Strokes Productions film company, "Call Me Claus," aired Sunday on TNT. Whoopi Goldberg, who stars in the film, Brooks and Lisa Sanderson from Red Strokes co-produced the project.
Goldberg plays Luci Cullins, a bitter producer of a home shopping network show who doesn't believe in Christmas. When the current Santa is ready to retire, he seeks out Lucy to replace him but has to convince her to believe in Santa and Christmas again.
The show repeats on TNT on Dec. 8, 14, 15, 16 and 17. Brooks sings three songs heard in the show -- including the opening song "Zat You Santa," and the title song, "Call Me Claus."
Gene Johnson, Marty Roe and Dana Williams of Diamond Rio will participate in Eddie and Martha Adcock's Second Annual Benefit for the Homeless this Sunday at the Station Inn in Nashville. The three, named The Diamond Trio, will perform acoustic bluegrass and debut a side project the three have been working on recently. Other artists scheduled to appear are Larry Stephenson Band, Tim Graves & Cherokee, LeRoy Troy and Sally Jones & the Sidewinders with Chris Jones.
Coming Soon To The Opry Stage:
Dec. 7: Gillian Welch, Clint Black, Chalee Tennison, Nashville Bluegrass Band, Dobie Gray, Darryl Worley, Mel McDaniel, Jim Ed Brown
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, Mel McDaniel, Jim Ed Brown
Dec. 14: Jeff Carson, Charley Pride, Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time, Mandy Barnett, The Whites, Mike Snider
Dec. 15 (1:00 pm Matinee): Jeff Carson, Mandy Barnett
Dec. 15: Tracy Lawrence, Jeff Carson, John Prine, Charley Pride, Mandy Barnett, The Whites, Mike Snider
Dec. 21: Dale Watson, Daryle Singletary, Bill Anderson, Jeannie Seely, Phil Vassar
Dec. 22: Dale Watson, Daryle Singletary, Bill Anderson, Jeannie Seely, Phil Vassar
Dec. 28: Marty Stuart, Emmylou Harris, Riders in the Sky, Hal Ketchum
Dec. 29: Marty Stuart, Emmylou Harris, Loretta Lynn, Riders in the Sky, Hal Ketchum
Jan. 4-5: T. Bubba Bechtol, Andy Griggs
Jan. 11-12: Mark Wills, Terri Clark
Jan. 18-19: Phil Vassar
(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