Country Music News

By DICK KELSEY, United Press International   |   Nov. 29, 2002 at 5:00 AM

(Friday, Nov. 29)

Merle Travis born in Rosewood, Ky., 1917.

Webb Pierce records No. 1 singles "Slowly" and "Even Tho," 1953.

Johnny Horton's "The Battle of New Orleans" wins two Grammys, 1959.

Johnny Cash records "The One on the Right is on the Left," 1965.

Randy Travis' "No Holdin' Back" album is certified platinum, 1989.

(Saturday, Nov. 30)

Songwriter-producer George Richey born in Freeman, Ark., 1935.

Frank Ifield born in Coventry, England, 1937.

Mindy McCready born in Fort Myers, Fla., 1975

Dottie West debuts on the charts with "Let Me Off at the Corner," 1963.

David Allan Coe debuts on the charts with "(If I Could Climb) the Walls of the Bottle," 1974.

T.G. Sheppard debuts on the charts with "Devil in the Bottle," 1974.

(Sunday, Dec. 1)

Kim Richey born in Zanesville, Ohio, 1956.

Buck Owens records "Cryin' Time" and "I've Got a Tiger by the Tail," 1964.

Merle Haggard records his first Top 5 single, "Swinging Doors," 1965.

Guitar great Grady Martin receives the first Master Award from the Nashville Music Association, 1983.



Shania Twain's "UP!" has started at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums, where her previous album sat for almost a year.

Twain's 1997 smash "Come On Over" spent 50 weeks in the No. 1 position, Billboard says, and has sold 14.4 million copies -- more than any other album since SoundScan began tracking sales in 1991. "UP!" also debuted at No. 1 on the multi-genre Billboard 200.

Faith Hill's "Cry" held onto No. 2, while "Home" by the Dixie Chick fell from the top to No. 3. Toby Keith's "Unleashed" is fourth and "Elvis: 30 #1 Hits" is No. 5.

Alan Jackson's "Let It Be Christmas" rose from No. 9 to No. 6 and "Melt" by Rascal Flatts fell from fourth to No. 7.


"These Days" by Rascal Flatts remains in the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot Country Singles and Tracks chart, while Toby Keith's "Who's Your Daddy?" jumped from fifth to No. 2.

"She'll Leave You With A Smile" by George Strait rose from fourth to No. 3, while Keith Urban's longtime No. 1 "Somebody Like You" fell from No. 2 to No. 4 and "Landslide" by the Dixie Chicks slipped from third to fifth.

Tim McGraw's "Red Ragtop," from his new album "Tim McGraw and the Dancehall Doctors," rose from No. 7 to No. 6.


Alan Jackson's Christmas special airing this weekend provides a rare look at his personal life and family, as well as Jackson performing his own "Let It Be Christmas" and other holiday classics.

The one-hour "Alan Jackson: Let It Be Christmas" premieres on CMT Friday at 8 p.m. EST with encore shows on Saturday at 12 a.m. and 6 p.m. and Sunday at 12 p.m.

The special features an exclusive interview with Jackson and his wife, Denise, and parts of his Grand Ole Opry performance of holiday music that includes appearances by his wife and three daughters.

Jackson's "Let It Be Christmas" album released three weeks ago is No. 6 on Billboard's country album chart and No. 33 on the Billboard 200.

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