TODAY IN COUNTRY MUSIC HISTORY
Music industry executive and Country Music Hall of Famer Stephen H. Sholes was born in 1911.
Red Allen was born in 1930.
Jay Lee Webb was born in 1937.
Moe Bandy was born in 1944.
Roy Acuff debuted on the chart with "The Prodigal Son" in 1944.
Eddy Arnold's Top 5 single "There's Not A Thing (I Wouldn't Do For You)" first appeared on the charts in 1949.
The Judds' "Rockin' With The Rhythm" album was certified gold in 1986.
MUSIC AND MORE
COUNTRY STEPS IN FOR FIRST STEPS
Wynonna and Naomi Judd and Naomi's husband, gospel singer Larry Strickland, stole the show Sunday at the Country Steps In for First Steps concert at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium, country.com reports. But no one seemed to mind.
The concert -- spearheaded by Joe Diffie -- was the 10th in an annual series of fundraisers to benefit First Steps, Inc., an organization that assists in the education and development of children with special needs. Others appearing included Trace Adkins (filling in for ailing Mark Chestnutt and Tracy Lawrence), Ricky Skaggs, comedian Cledus T. Judd, the Mullins and animal handler Julie Hanna.
"I feel like I'm the Ed Sullivan of country music," Diffie beamed as he watched the singing give way to a parade of exotic animals and then an auction.
The audience screamed out praise and requests as soon as Wynonna walked on stage. After performing three songs, she invited "my pop" -- Larry Strickland, the gospel singer who married her mother in 1989 -- to join her. They in turn were then joined by mother Naomi.
When Naomi asked the audience what it wanted to hear, hundreds shouted for "Grandpa (Tell Me 'Bout the Good Old Days)." "That's not the one we practiced, but we'll do it," she said. And they did.
Bill Whyte and Beville Darden invited a soldier from Fort Campbell, Ky., to the stage, where he gave tribute to the "wives and sweethearts" who stay behind to support the "men" now at war. (He made no mention of the women at war.) At the end of his remarks, he invited his girlfriend to the stage, then dropped to his knee and proposed marriage. She accepted -- and the crowd roared its approval.
COUNTRY IN THE ROCKIES
More than $1 million was raised for cancer research at the recent Country in the Rockies event, according to a news release.
Nearly 300 people took part in the silent and live auctions, celebrity bartender and concert events, and parties at Club Med in Crested Butte, Colo. Jo Dee Messina and Willie Nelson each performed, while Gary Morris hosted a songwriters' night.
Proceeds benefited the Frances Williams Preston Laboratories at the Vanderbilt Infram Cancer Center, a division of the T.J. Martell Foundation.
ALAN JACKSON DOES THE GRAMMYS
Alan Jackson is not up for a Grammy this year and in fact has never won a Grammy. Nonetheless, he'll appear on this year's show to sing "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)," according to country.com. Jackson debuted his song Nov. 7 on the CMA awards show.
Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, Ralph Stanley, Gillian Welch and Dan Tyminski and Pat Enright (as the Soggy Bottom Boys) will take part in a tribute to the "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" soundtrack. The Dixie Chicks, four-time Grammy winners, will appear as presenters.
The 44th Annual Grammy Awards will be held Feb. 27 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles in ceremonies airing live on CBS-TV.