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Country Music News

By DICK KELSEY, United Press International   |   Dec. 20, 2002 at 5:00 AM
TODAY IN COUNTRY MUSIC HISTORY

(Friday, Dec. 20)

Lefty Frizzell debuts on Grand Ole Opry, 1950.

Kitty Wells records "I Can't Stop Loving You," 1957.

Johnny Cash records "Orange Blossom Special," 1964.

Johnny Horton's "The Battle of New Orleans" certifies gold, 1966.

Randy Travis joins Grand Ole Opry, 1986.

Canadian singer Hank Snow dies in Nashville, 1999.

Eddy Arnold gets National Medal of the Arts from President Clinton in 2000.

(Saturday, Dec. 21)

Guitarist Albert Lee born in England, 1943.

Cowboy Copas records "I'm Waltzing with Tears in My Eyes," 1946.

Hank Williams recorded "Cold, Cold Heart," 1950.

Lee Roy Parnell born in Abilene, Texas, 1956.

Christy Forester of the Forester Sisters born in Lookout Mountain, Ga., 1962.

"The Electric Horseman" starring Willie Nelson and Robert Redford premieres, 1979.

(Sunday, Dec. 22)

Hawkshaw Hawkins born in Huntington, W.Va., 1921.

Red Steagall born in Gainesville, Texas, 1937.

Hank Williams records "Lovesick Blues," his first No. 1 single, 1948.

Jimmy Martin records "The Good Things Outweigh the Bad" and "Lost Highway," 1965.


MUSIC AND MORE


GEORGE STRAIT HAS 50TH NO. 1 SINGLE

George Strait is smiling over his current No. 1 single, "She'll Leave You With A Smile."

It took over the top of the Billboard and Radio and Records country singles charts, which Strait says is the 50th time he's had a chart-topping song and a record for No. 1 songs by the same artist.

"There is no way that I can find the words to properly express my gratitude to everyone for their help," Strait said on his Web site, georgestrait.com. "I am very humbled by it all."

Strait's song knocked previous No. 1 "Who's Your Daddy?" by Toby Keith into the second spot on both charts. Rascal Flatts' "These Days" is No. 3 and "Somethin'" by Mark Wills is fourth.


SHANIA, CHICKS, TIM TOP COUNTRY ALBUM CHART

Besides having a firm hold on the top spot on the all-genre chart, Shania Twain's "Up!" not surprisingly still is No. 1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart.

It's been atop both charts since it was released just over four weeks ago.

The Dixie Chicks' "Home" moved into the No. 2 position, nudging "Tim McGraw and the Dancehall Doctors" to third.

"Elvis: 30 #1 Hits" rose a notch to No. 4, sending "Cry" by Faith Hill to No. 5.

Alan Jackson has two albums in the Top Ten -- "Let It Be Christmas" is No. 7 and "Drive" is No. 10.


DEDICATION HIGHLIGHTS TRACY'S HOMECOMING

Tracy Byrd kicked off his annual homecoming weekend with the dedication of a special hospital unit in his hometown of Beaumont, Texas.

Byrd was at St. Elizabeth Hospital Thursday to present a check to the Tracy Byrd Hyperbaric Medicine and Wound Care Center, which is to open next month.

Events during the annual Tracy Byrd Homecoming Weekend raises funds for Children's Miracle Network earmarked for the facility.

© 2002 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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