TODAY IN COUNTRY MUSIC HISTORY
(Mon., Dec. 31)
Rex Allen, the "Arizona Cowboy," was born in 1924.
The late John Denver was born in 1943.
Rick Nelson, his fiancee and five band members were killed when their private plane crashed in northeastern Texas en route to a Dallas gig in 1985. Nelson was 45. It was widely speculated that freebasing cocaine started a fire aboard the DC-3, but survivors said it was a faulty cabin heater.
Daily Variety reported that Billy Ray Cyrus's debut album "Some Gave All" was the top-selling album of 1992. Whitney Houston's cover of the Dolly Parton tune "I Will Always Love You" was the lead single.
Kenny Rogers brought his girlfriend, Wanda Miller, onstage during his Las Vegas concert and proposed to her in 1996. She said yes.
(Tues., Jan. 1)
Esco Hankins born in Maynardville, Tenn., in 1919.
Hank Williams Sr. died of a heart attack en route to a show in Canton, Ohio, in 1953. He was 29.
Carl Perkins' "Blue Suede Shoes" was released in 1956.
Johnny Cash played the first of many free concerts behind bars when he entertained the inmates of San Quentin Prison in California in 1960.
Buck Owens was a featured celebrity in the Parade of Roses in 1967.
Moon Mullican died at age 57, also in 1967.
Townes Van Zandt died in 1997.
MUSIC AND MORE
CMT'S 'ON THE VERGE'
On New Year's Day, CMT will repeat all four episodes of its "On The Verge" documentary specials, which spotlight country music's next big stars. Each show takes a look at two up-and-coming artists through performance and interview footage. The first episode (beginning at 7 p.m. ET/PT) will feature Brad Paisley and Jessica Andrews; the next, Nickel Creek and keith urban; the third, Charlie Robinson and Jamie O'Neal; and the fourth, Cyndi Thornson and Gary Allen.
COUNTRY MUSIC NEWS is taking New Year's Day off. It will return Jan. 2, 2002.