Country Music News

Dec. 12, 2001 at 4:45 AM
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(Wed., Dec.12)

Henry Whitter recorded "The Wreck of the Southern Old 97" in 1923.

The Girls of the Golden West recorded "Faded Love Letters of Mine" for Bluebird in 1935.

La Costa (Tucker) was born in Seminole, Texas in 1951.

John Anderson was born in Apopka, Fla., in 1955.

Jerry Lee Lewis secretly married Myra Brown, his cousin's daughter, in 1957. The fact that she was only 13 was bad enough. But the marriage took place five months BEFORE he was divorced from his second wife. When the news became public, the scandal nearly ended Lewis's career.

Dolly Parton's first No.1 single, "Joshua," debuted on the charts in 1970.

Opry member Mike Snider wed Sabrina ("Sweetie") Goodwin in 1982.

Cajun musician Clifton Chenier died in 1987.

Amie Comeaux died in 1997.


Q: What Opry group once performed with Emmylou Harris, with two of the members providing backup vocals on Harris' 1978 Blue Kentucky Girl album?

A: The Whites, who return to the Opry stage during Opry at the Ryman Dec. 14-15.



For decades, major brewers have sponsored racing and other sports events and helped foot the bill for numerous musical tours. Earlier, it was reported that a distillery in Kentucky was coming out with a new bourbon to honor a Willie Nelson song and would play an active part in the singer's 2002 tour.

Now comes word that country star Mark Wills has gotten a liquid endorsement, but his is from a root beer company. The folks at upscale IBC Root Beer -- a division of the Dr. Pepper/7-Up franchises -- say they will help the award-winning singer stage his next tour. IBC will also provide merchandise tie-ins with local promotions and sweepstakes, CD giveaways, concert tickets and backstage passes.

Wills' Web site says he will kick off his 2002 touring with a concert in Raleigh, N.C., on Jan. 18, then move on to other Southern cities.


In this day and age of crossovers galore, actor and producer Billy Bob Thornton is about to become a video star in another genre: Travis Tritt's next video.

The news provider reports Thornton is the central character in a video for "Modern Day Bonnie & Clyde," filmed in the stark nowhere of California's Mojave Desert. This will mark the first time that Thornton has ever appeared in a major project that he has not spearheaded.

In the video, the actor portrays a convict on the lam after holding up a convenience store with the help of his girlfriend. The video is expected to be released in the next week or so.

(The above two items thanks to UPI Feature Reporter Dennis Daily)


Joe Diffie's 10th Annual Country Steps In for First Steps concert will be held Feb. 10 at the historic Ryman Auditorium in downtown Nashville. Wynonna Judd will do her part by appearing at the concert. "She will add a sense of style to the event," said Diffie. Ricky Skaggs and Tracy Lawrence are also confirmed to appear.


Freddy Fender will undergo kidney transplant surgery next month -- receiving a kidney from his daughter, Marla Huerta Garcia. The operation will be performed at the University of Texas in San Antonio.

Fender's new album, titled La Musica de Baldemar Huerta, will be released Feb. 12, 2002.

Coming Soon To The Opry Stage:

Dec. 14: Jeff Carson, Charley Pride, Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time, Mandy Barnett, The Whites, Mike Snider

Dec. 15 (1:00 pm Matinee): Jeff Carson, Mandy Barnett, Ricky Van Shelton

Dec. 15: Tracy Lawrence, Jeff Carson, John Prine, Charley Pride, Mandy Barnett, The Whites, Mike Snider

Dec. 21: Dale Watson, Bill Anderson, Jeannie Seely, Phil Vassar, Ricky Skaggs, Clark Family Experience

Dec. 22: Dale Watson, Bill Anderson, Jeannie Seely, Phil Vassar, Ricky Skaggs, Clark Family Experience, Linda Davis

Dec. 28: Marty Stuart, Emmylou Harris, Riders in the Sky, Hal Ketchum, BR549, Ricky Skaggs

Dec. 29: Marty Stuart, Emmylou Harris, Loretta Lynn, Riders in the Sky, Hal Ketchum, BR549, Ricky Skaggs

Jan. 4-5: T. Bubba Bechtol, Andy Griggs, Blake Shelton

Jan. 11-12: Mark Wills, Terri Clark

Jan. 18-19: Phil Vassar, T Bubba Bechtol

Jan. 26: Del McCoury Band

(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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