TODAY IN COUNTRY MUSIC HISTORY
Guitarist Slim Bryant was born in Atlanta, Ga., in 1908.
Boyd Bennett was born in Muscle Shoals, Ala., in 1924.
Grand Ole Opry member Bobby Osborne of the Osborne Brothers was born in Hyden, Ky., in 1931.
Hugh "X" Lewis was born in Yeaddiss, Ky., in 1932.
Gary Morris was born in Ft. Worth, Texas, in 1948.
Ronnie Sessions was born in Henrietta, Okla., in 1948.
Webb Pierce recorded "That's Me Without You" and "I'll Go On Alone" for Decca in 1952.
Jim Reeves' RCA single of "He'll Have to Go" charted in 1959.
June Carter and Johnny Cash appeared in concert together for the first time in Dallas in 1961.
Opry member Stonewall Jackson's single of "B.J. the D.J." charted in 1963.
Cal Smith's single of "It's Time to Pay the Fiddler" charted in 1974.
Mickey Gilley's single of "City Lights" charted in 1974.
Bill Boyd died at age 67 in 1977.
Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton's single of "Islands in the Stream" was certified platinum in 1983.
Harold W. "Pappy" Daily, industry executive and mentor to George Jones, died at age 85 in 1987.
Seminole Wind by John Anderson was certified platinum in 1992.
Lorrie Morgan's Watch Me earned a platinum album in 1993.
All I Want by Tim McGraw went multi-platinum with sales of 2 million in 1995.
Garth Brooks was among the big winners at the 1998 Billboard Music Awards.
MORE COUNTRY MUSIC HISTORY FOR THIS WEEKEND:
Country Music Hall of Fame member Jack Stapp, WSM Radio executive and co-founder of Tree Publishing, was born in Nashville in 1912.
Floyd Tillman, a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, was born in Ryan, Okla., in 1914.
Folk singer Jean Ritchie was born in Viper, Ky., in 1922.
Moon Mullican recorded "Cherokee Boogie," "Another Night is Coming" and "Too Many Irons in the Fire" for Kin in 1950.
Rockabilly singer Dave Rich joined the Louisiana Hayride in 1956.
Marty Raybon of Shenandoah was born in Sanford, Fla., in 1959.
Flatt & Scruggs performed at New York's Carnegie Hall and recorded the concert for release on Columbia in 1962.
Marty Robbins died from a heart attack at age 57 in Nashville in 1982.
Clyde Wilson, better known as Western movie actor Slim Pickens, died in 1983.
Aaron Tippin topped the charts with "That's As Close As I'll Get To Loving You" in 1995.
Teenage country star Leann Rimes won four trophies at the 1997 Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas.
Billy Edd Wheeler was born in Whitesville, W.Va., in 1932.
Red Foley recorded "Old Shep" for Conqueror in 1935.
David Houston was born in Bossier City, La., in 1938.
Eddy Arnold's top-10 single "Prison Without Walls" charted in 1950.
Singer Sylvia Hutton (stage name Sylvia) was born in Kokomo, Ind., in 1956.
Merle Haggard recorded "Silver Wings" for Capitol in 1968.
Merle Haggard recorded the No.1 single "Hungry Eyes" for Capitol in 1969.
Fiddling great Tommy Jackson died at age 53 in Nashville in 1979.
Reba McEntire's "Greatest Hits" album was certified gold in 1987.
Rodney Crowell (husband of Johnny Cash's daughter, Roseanne) became the first artist to release an album with five country No. 1 singles in 1989.
"Can't Run From Yourself" by Tanya Tucker earned a platinum album in 1992.
COUNTRY MUSIC TRIVIA
Q: What Opry member was born in Birmingham, Ala., studied music at the University of North Carolina and toured and recorded with Gram Parsons?
A: Emmylou Harris, who visits the Opry during Opry at the Ryman on Dec. 28-29.
MUSIC AND MORE
Tim McGraw was the big country winner at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas Tuesday. Tim won five awards -- including Country Artist of the Year, Male Country Artist of the Year, Country Albums Artist of the Year, Country Singles Artist of the Year and Country Album of the Year for Greatest Hits.
Brooks & Dunn won the Country Single of the Year for "Ain't Nothing 'Bout You" off their "Steers & Stripes" CD. The song was also named 2001's Most Played Country Single of the Year.
Jamie O'Neal was named New Country Artist of the Year, while Lee Ann Womack took the Adult Contemporary Single of the Year for "I Hope You Dance."
BILLY RAY'S CHRISTMAS
Billy Ray Cyrus' "Doc" series on PAX TV will have a special Christmas episode that'll air Sunday, Dec. 16, at 8 p.m. ET. The show -- titled "Tis the Season" -- is part of PAX TV's annual "Countdown to Christmas," which features holiday themed movies and specials Dec. 8-24.
COUNTRY FIGHTS CANCER
Several country artists donated their time to "work" in three Nashville clubs as servers to help raise money for the TJ Martel Foundation. Artists tended bar and sang for tips with all the money raised going to the foundation. Among those who donated their time were Chely Wright, Andy Griggs, Chad Brock, Blackhawk, Troy Gentry (Montgomery Gentry), Keech Rainwater (Lonestar), Chalee Tennison, Brad Paisley, Deborah Allen, Gary Chapman and Titans football players. The Sunset Grill, The Trace and Easy's were the Nashville Clubs that participated.
The Nashville event was a prelude to the annual Country in the Rockies event in Colorado that helps raise money for cancer research. Country in the Rockies involves a full week of skiing, singing, snow-mobiling and raising money. This year's event is Jan. 29 -- Feb. 3. (For more information call Joyce Johnson at 615-401-2808 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.)
BLUEGRASS GODFATHER SHERRILL DIES
When you look at the many men and few women who have carried the torch of bluegrass music over the years, the name of fiddler Pappy Sherrill figures prominently.
Now, according to country.com, Sherill has died in a hospital in South Carolina. He was 86.
Sherrill spent most of his six-decade career with banjo virtuoso Dewitt "Snuffy" Jenkins. Often Sherrill and Jenkins were booked as an act called The Hired Hands.
Sherill first became known nationally when country bandleader and radio pioneer Bryan Parker died. Sherrill helped pick up the pieces of the band and took it to new popularity. His signature song -- one he wrote himself and performed thousands of times -- was "The Cherry Blossom Waltz."
During his lifetime, Sherrill was honored by his native South Carolina with a ton of humanitarian and music awards.
By the way, it was Sherrill who helped forge the resurgence in the popularity of bluegrass music as an adjunct to the popularity of folk music in the late 1950s and early '60s.
(Thanks to UPI Feature Reporter Dennis Daily)
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, Ricky Van Shelton
Dec. 15: Tracy Lawrence, Jeff Carson, John Prine, Charley Pride, Mandy Barnett, The Whites, Mike Snider
Dec. 21: Dale Watson, Bill Anderson, Jeannie Seely, Phil Vassar, Ricky Skaggs
Dec. 22: Dale Watson, Bill Anderson, Jeannie Seely, Phil Vassar, Ricky Skaggs
Dec. 28: Marty Stuart, Emmylou Harris, Riders in the Sky, Hal Ketchum, BR549, Ricky Skaggs
Dec. 29: Marty Stuart, Emmylou Harris, Loretta Lynn, Riders in the Sky, Hal Ketchum, BR549, Ricky Skaggs
Jan. 4-5: T. Bubba Bechtol, Andy Griggs, Blake Shelton
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