TODAY IN COUNTRY MUSIC HISTORY
Former Opry performer James Summey, known to his many fans as "Cousin Jody," was born near Sevierville, Tenn., in 1914.
Dolly Good of the Girls of the Golden West was born in Mount Carmel, Ill., in 1915.
Yodeling Slim Clark was born in Springfield, Mass., in 1917.
Steel guitarist Tom Bruley was born in Powell, Mo., in 1935.
The original Carter Family recorded their last sides for Victor, also in 1935.
Brenda Lee was born Brenda Mae Tarpley in Lithonia, Ga., in 1944.
Producer/label head Tony Brown was born in Greensboro, N.C., in 1946.
Hank Williams' first recording session on Sterling Records took place also in 1946.
Fiddlin' John Carson died at the age of 81 in Atlanta, Ga., in 1949.
Flatt & Scruggs recorded "So Happy I'll Be," "My Little Girl in Tennessee," "I'll Never Shed Another Tear," "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" and "No Mother or Dad" for Mercury, also in 1949.
Hank Thompson recorded "The Wild Side of Life" in 1951.
The plane on which Tex Ritter was aboard was hijacked to Cuba in 1968.
Fiddler Ron Stewart was born in 1968.
Rex Allen Jr.'s first top-10 single, "Two Less Lonely People," debuted on the charts in 1976.
The Statler Brothers were given the American Spirit Award in 1990. It's the highest award presented to civilians by the Air Force recruiting service.
Clint Black topped the charts with "Burn One Down" in 1992.
Lee Ann Womack performed at the Nobel Peace Price concert in Oslo, Norway, in 2000.
COUNTRY MUSIC TRIVIA
Q: What artist whose current hit is "Real Life" is also the national spokesperson for NASO -- the National Association of Slain Officers?
A: Jeff Carson, who visits the Opry Dec. 14-15 and also appears at the Ryman Holiday Matinee at 1 p.m.
MUSIC AND MORE
HONORS FOR GARTH BROOKS
Producers of the American Music Awards announced Monday that Garth Brooks will receive the special Award of Merit at the AMA ceremonies in Los Angeles on Jan. 9. The award is presented to musicians to recognize "outstanding contributions to the musical entertainment of the American public."
Brooks is the top-selling solo artist in the history of the music business, with 21 No. 1 singles. He joins a list of Award of Merit winners that includes The Beach Boys, Irving Berlin, Chuck Berry, Johnny Cash, Bing Crosby, Gloria Estefan, Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Goodman, Berry Gordy Jr., Billy Joel, Merle Haggard, Michael Jackson, Loretta Lynn, Paul McCartney, Willie Nelson, Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder and Tammy Wynette.
(Thanks to UPI Hollywood Reporter Pat Nason)
MONTGOMERY GENTRY GOES PLATINUM
Montgomery Gentry's debut album "Tattoos & Scars" has gone platinum, selling more than 1 million copies.
"We try to make the music that's as honest about the way we -- and the people we know -- live as we can," said Troy Gentry. "I think there are a lot of people out there who work hard for a living, don't have much to show for the effort and wanna hit it just as hard on the weekend rather than worry. If we can connect with a million of those people, then we've done something pretty great."
"And now we're gonna kick out the lights," added Eddie Montgomery, with a laugh. "If we ever needed a reason to have a party, well, this here's a good one! You can bet ole T-Roy and me are gonna get a little crazy with our friends, but why not? This is a big deal for us."
The duo's follow-up CD, "Carryin' On," is approaching gold and has already yielded the No.2 single "She Couldn't Change Me."
CHESNEY'S NEW ALBUM
Kenny Chesney's first album of new recordings in more than three years will be released April 23. The CD will be called No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problem and includes a song co-written by Opry member Bill Anderson titled "I'd've Done a Lot of Things Different." Chesney fans can see him live on New Year's Eve in Nashville at the Gaylord Entertainment Center.
PAISLEY ON TOUR
Opry member Brad Paisley will be busy in the coming months on tour to promote his sophomore album, Part II. Brad kicked off the 22-date road trip in Dallas at Billy Bob's. The tour will wrap up in Parkersburg, W.Va., in August 2002.
Other dates include Las Vegas, shows in California, Texas, Missouri, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, New Mexico, Virginia, New York, Illinois, Missouri, Indiana and Wisconsin. For a complete listing of dates, log on to bradpaisley.com.
DAVID BALL'S CORVETTE
David Ball will join NASCAR legend Darrell Waltrip at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky., Tuesday (from 2-5 p.m). The two will be signing a special 2002 Olympic Torch Z06 Corvette, the signature car for the Winter Olympics 2001 in Salt Lake City. Ball is scheduled to perform and will most likely sing his hit about a Corvette that belonged to a serviceman, "Riding With Private Malone." The Olympic Corvette will travel to other states collecting signatures before arriving in Salt Lake City for the Olympics.
WILLIE'S SONG GETS BOTTLED
For years Willie Nelson has opened his concerts with a rousing rendition of "Whiskey River." Now a Kentucky distiller says it's coming out with a bottled version of the song, Old Whiskey River bourbon.
The company, Heaven Hill Distilleries of Bardstown, says it will also have a major hand in funding future Nelson tours. A big merchandising blitz is planned to kick off the brand. Marketing, according to the news provider country.com, includes bandannas, T-shirts, hats and Nelson-style braids.
Several months ago, in a pre-kick off event, Nelson accepted the first bottle off the labeling line. He also met with farmers in the area who grow the grains used in the bourbon.
By the way, Nelson's next touring event is Jan. 22, when he will begin a three-night gig at New York's Irving Plaza venue. His latest album, "The Great Divide," is due out in February.
(Thanks to UPI Feature Reporter Dennis Daily)
Coming Soon To The Opry Stage:
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, Clark Family Experience
Dec. 22: Dale Watson, Bill Anderson, Jeannie Seely, Phil Vassar, Ricky Skaggs, Clark Family Experience, Linda Davis
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, T Bubba Bechtol
Jan. 26: Del McCoury Band
(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