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COUNTRY DATEBOOK: FEBRUARY 3, 2021

• 1959: Known as the day the music died, a plane crash killed J.P. Richardson (the Big Bopper), Richie Valence and Buddy Holly. The late WAYLON JENNINGS, who was a member of Buddy’s band, The Crickets, was supposed to be on that flight, but gave up his seat to Holly.

• 1971: LYNN ANDERSON earned a gold record for her song Rose Garden.

• 1999: TRACE ADKINS fractured and dislocated his ankle after stepping in a sinkhole while attempting to get his truck out of the mud on his Nashville area property. Trace had been doing renovations on the ground when the incident occurred.

• 2008: WILLIE NELSON and SARA EVANS sang Mammas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys from University Of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, before the Super Bowl. Tom Petty played.

• 2013: BRAD PAISLEY went to the movie theater alone to see The Hobbit.

• 2019: FAITH HILL was a judge, along with RuPaul and Drew Barrymore, when CBS premiered The World’s Best.

Songwriter/singer MATRACA BERG is 57. She wrote the songs XXX’s and OOO’s (An American Girl), Strawberry Wine, Wild Angels and KENNY CHESNEY’s You and Tequila.

Jessica Harp of THE WRECKERS is 39.


COUNTRY MUSIC NEWS

ERIC CHURCH would like the antivaxers to knock it off. Eric has always taken the realistic approach to the pandemic. When shows were being canceled last spring and rescheduling them for the summer, Eric was quick to say that fall of 2021 was the more likely target. And he’s probably going to be right. According to a new interview with the Los Angeles Times, the fourth quarter is still the target date for Eric — but it all hinges on the vaccine rollout.

… Eric tells the LA Times (CAUTION): “There’s so much antivax sh** that goes around, but I’m seeing less of that now. People just want out. Somebody asked me if I’d take the vaccine. I said I’d take it in the eyeball to go strap on a guitar.”

DOLLY PARTON has an unusual dilemma on her hands: she’s not sure whether she could accept the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Joe Biden due to the fact that she previously declined to receive the honor twice from Donald Trump. Dolly talked about her quandary in an interview with Today With Hoda and Jenna Tuesday morning. Co-host Jenna Bush Hager, whose father is former President George W. Bush, asked the 75-year-old entertainer if she would accept the award if Biden’s administration offered it. Dolly said, “Well, I actually have to be honest in all fairness. I got offered the freedom award from the Trump administration and I couldn’t accept it because my husband was ill. Then they asked me again about it and I wouldn’t travel because of the COVID, so now I feel like if I take it I’ll be doing politics.”

… Bush Hager’s question came in response to comments former President Barack Obama made in December during an appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. When Colbert asked him why he had never honored Dolly during a segment titled “Questions We’re Pretty Sure Barack Obama Has Never Been Asked Before,” Obama said he was “shocked” that she had not received the honor, admitting, “That was a screw-up. I assumed that she had already gotten one. And that was incorrect. I’m surprised. She deserves one.” He then jokingly vowed to take care of the situation, saying, “I’ll call Biden” in reference to Joe Biden, who had been elected president in November.

DOLLY PARTON donated $1 million to help fund research for what became Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, but the singer hasn’t yet gotten her shot. Dolly says she’s planning to wait a little longer so that others who need the shot can get their doses first.

DOLLY PARTON flipped the script on 9 to 5, writing a 5 to 9 revision for a Squarespace Super Bowl ad. Dolly’s new lyrics describe entrepreneurs chasing their passion projects outside of regular work hours. • VIDEO

FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE was almost called something else. Brian Kelley is from Florida, while Tyler Hubbard hails from Georgia. So it seems like a no-brainer to call the duo Florida Georgia Line. However, according to Brian, this almost wasn’t the case. One early idea for the band name was Orange Peach, a nod to Florida’s famed oranges and to Georgia’s peaches.

… Before they hit it big the guys knew they wanted to pay tribute to their home states, so they tried adding ‘Line’ to Florida Georgia and it just stuck.

… Life Rolls On — FGL’s fifth studio album — will be released on February 12.

LUKE BRYAN is following up his recent party-ready chart-topper One Margarita with the romantic new track Down To One. This week Luke debuted the romantic video for the song. The video focuses on an amorous young couple spending time together in a “two-tone, half-ton” truck on a moonlit summer evening. Those scenes are interspersed with footage of Luke performing the track before a backdrop of mountains and stars. • VIDEO


COUNTRY DATEBOOK: FEBRUARY 4, 2021

• 1994: JOHN BERRY entered the charts with Your Love Amazes Me.

• 2000: In Denver, THE JUDDS launched a full-fledged reunion tour, more than eight years after Naomi Judd retired from the road.

• 2003: The DIXIE CHICKS’ album Home was certified multi-platinum for sales of 5 million copies.

• 2010: PETA sent the ZAC BROWN BAND a basket of “delicious, protein-rich faux meats” in an effort to dissuade the band from the carnivorous habits espoused in its first hit, Chicken Fried.

• 2012: Work began to replace the 61-year-old wooden stage floor at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.

• 2016: The scientific journal ZooKeys indicated a new strain of tarantulas named after JOHNNY CASH, aphonopelma johnnycashi, had been discovered near Folsom Prison in California.

• 2018: CARRIE UNDERWOOD and Ludacris opened NBC’s coverage of the Super Bowl.

• 2019: JASON ALDEAN and wife Brittany welcome daughter Navy Rome.

CLINT BLACK is 59.