Country Music News

Nov. 23, 2001 at 4:45 AM
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(Fri., Nov. 23)

The first broadcast of the "Town Hall Party" country music TV show was in 1952.

"Great Balls of Fire" by Jerry Lee Lewis reached the top spot on both the country and pop charts in 1957.

Bluegrass singer Charlie Sizemore was born in Richmond, Ky., in 1960.

Following a performance in Oakland, Calif., Spade Cooley died of a heart attack at age 58 in 1969.

Moe Bandy's first top-10 single "It Was Always So Easy (To Find An Unhappy Woman)" charted in 1974.

Comedian and "Hee Haw" cast member Grady Nutt died in 1982.

Gary Morris reached No.1 with his single "I'll Never Stop Loving You" in 1985.

Roy Acuff died at age 89 in 1992.

George Strait's Easy Come, Easy Go went double-platinum in 1994.

Faith Hill had her first network television special, "Faith!", on CBS in 2000. It featured performances taped in Auburn, Mich., during her Soul 2 Soul tour.

Vince Gill and Dolly Parton hosted the "Grand Ole Opry, A Celebration" broadcast on CBS in 2000. The musical television special was in tribute to the Opry's 75 anniversary year.


(Sat., Nov. 24)

Fiddler "Grandpappy" George Wilkerson, of the Fruit Jar Drinkers, debuted on the Grand Ole Opry in 1925.

The Carter Family recorded "Lonesome Valley" and "Wabash Cannonball" for Victor Records in 1929.

Gene Autry recorded "The One Rose (That's Left in My Heart)" in 1937.

Johnny Carver was born in Jackson, Miss., in 1940.

Charlie Rich's "The Most Beautiful Girl" topped the country charts in 1973.

Wanted: The Outlaws became the first country album to be certified platinum in 1976.

Clara Webb Butcher -- mother of Loretta Lynn, Crystal Gayle, Jay Lee Webb and Peggy Sue -- died in 1981.

(Sun., Nov. 25)

Jimmie Rodgers recorded "Mississippi River Blues" and "Nobody Knows But Me" for Victor Records in 1929.

The Carter Family recorded "Jimmie Brown the Newsboy" for Victor Records, also in 1929.

The Carter Family recorded "Lonesome Pine Special" for Victor Records in 1930.

Merle Travis recorded "A Too Fast Past," the top 20 single, "Crazy Boogie" and "Get Along Blues" for Capitol in 1947.

Ralph Emery became the all-night DJ on WSM in 1957.

Amy Grant was born in Augusta, Ga., in 1960.

Edward Lawrence Stubbs, WSM AM 650 announcer and member of the Johnson Mountain Boys, was born in Bethesda, Md., in 1961.


Q: What Opry member married Hawkshaw Hawkins on Nov. 26, 1960?

A: Jean Shepard, who returns to the Opry during Opry at the Ryman on Nov. 30.



The Grand Ole Opry will celebrate the holiday season at the Ryman Auditorium as it continues its "Opry at the Ryman" run through February 2002. An additional Friday evening show and matinee on Saturday have been added to the weekend line-ups -- kicking off Thanksgiving weekend.

On Friday, Opry member Jimmy Dickens and special guest David Ball will participate in the Ryman's tree lighting ceremony at 5 p.m.

For the third year, the Opry will lend its support to Nashville's Hospital Hospitality House (HHH), a "home away from home" for relatives of seriously ill hospital patients and out patients receiving medical treatment by providing lodging, meals, transportation, laundry facilities and professional counseling. The Opry will conduct a goods drive Nov. 23-Dec. 29 for items needed by the facility. Opry members, special guests and Opry patrons are encouraged to contribute black pepper, pickles/relish, catsup, Equal/Sweet & Low, sugar, white rice, paper cups, furniture polish, laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent, air freshener, liquid soap, wax paper, hair conditioner, deodorant, hairspray, shaving cream and mouthwash. Drop off points will be the Ryman Auditorium, Wildhorse Saloon, Opry Museum and area Albertson's stores. Opry members will prepare and serve a potluck dinner for HHH guests on Dec. 13, also treating guests to some of their favorite holiday songs.

Artists confirmed to perform during the holiday season include Bill Anderson, Asleep At The Wheel, David Ball, Clint Black, Jeff Carson, Diamond Rio, Joe Diffie, Crystal Gayle, Jan Howard, Tracy Lawrence, Del McCoury Band, Charley Pride, John Prine, Riders in the Sky, Jeannie Seely, Mike Snider, Marty Stuart, Travis Tritt, Steve Wariner, Dale Watson, Gillian Welch, The Whites and many more.


Tim McGraw is nominated for the American Music Awards' Fan's Choice Award in the 29th American Music Awards, which will air Jan. 9 on ABC-TV. Joining McGraw in the category are Destiny's Child, Janet Jackson, Alicia Keys, Shaggy and U2. Fans can vote at or at


Opry member Travis Tritt is releasing an acoustic version of his hit "Great Day To Be Alive." The song has had a positive impact on fans and is on its way to becoming one of this year's top-three most-played songs. Fans can catch Travis at the Christmas Pageant of Peace in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 6.

Coming Soon To The Opry Stage

Nov. 23: David Ball, Jimmy Dickens, Confederate Railroad, Dale Ann Bradley & Coon Creek, T Graham Brown, Doyle Dykes, Bill Anderson, Jeannie Seely and others

Nov. 24 (1 p.m. matinee): David Ball, John Conlee, The Whites, Mike Snider, Ralph Stanley, Bill Anderson, Jimmy Dickens, T. Graham Brown

Nov. 24: Del McCoury Band, David Ball, Jimmy Dickens, Ralph Stanley, T Graham Brown, Ricky Skaggs, John Conlee, Doyle Dykes and many more.

Nov. 30: Joe Diffie, Steve Wariner, Del McCoury Band, Diamond Rio, John Conlee, Jean Shepard, Ricky Skaggs

Dec. 1 (1 p.m, matinee): Asleep at the Wheel, Carolyn Dawn Johnson

Dec. 1: Joe Diffie, Asleep at the Wheel, Del McCoury Band, John Conlee, Jean Shepard, Crystal Gayle, Ricky Skaggs, Carolyn Dawn Johnson

Dec. 7: Gillian Welch, Clint Black, Chalee Tennison, Nashville Bluegrass Band

Dec. 8 (1 p.m. matinee): Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings, Chalee Tennison

Dec. 8: Travis Tritt, Diamond Rio, Gillian Welch, Clint Black, Chalee Tennison

Dec. 14: Jeff Carson, Charley Pride

Dec. 15: Tracy Lawrence, Jeff Carson, John Prine, Charley Pride

Dec. 15 (1 p.m. matinee): Jeff Carson

Dec. 21-22: Dale Watson

Dec. 28-29: Marty Stuart, Emmylou Harris

Jan. 4-5: T. Bubba Bechtol

Jan. 11-12: Mark Wills

(For Opry tickets, log on to or call 615-889-3060 or TicketMaster at 615-255-9600. Artists and schedule subject to change.)

By Opryland USA in Nashville and UPI

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