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COUNTRY DATEBOOK: JANUARY 21, 2021

• 1985: The WAYLON JENNINGS-WILLIE NELSON album Waylon & Willie was certified platinum.

• 1995: WYNONNA married businessman Arch Kelley III. The couple have two children, Grace and Elijah, but are no longer married.

• 2005: SHANIA TWAIN’s Greatest Hits album spent its tenth straight week at the top of the Country Albums chart.

• 2007: GEORGE STRAIT appeared on the cover of the Sunday newspaper supplement USA Weekend, recalling poorer days when he first started performing with bands: “One time we left a club with $7 apiece in our pockets. But we always got the beer free.”

• 2012: KELLIE PICKLER hosted a fashion benefit for the Nashville Humane Society at the Hutton Hotel. Also walking dogs down the runway: TY HERNDONS, JULIE ROBERTS, SARAH DARLING, JIMMY WAYNE and Allison DeMarcus.

• 2012: LEE BRICE’s bus went up in flames outside TOBY KEITH’s I Love This Bar & Grill in Mesa, Arizona. No one was hurt.

• 2017: BLAKE SHELTON brought out a surprise guest Gwen Stefani when he played Footloose during the encore at a show hosted by LUKE BRYAN in Riviera Maya, Mexico.

• 2019: CARRIE UNDERWOOD and husband Mike Fisher welcomed a son, Jacob Bryan Fisher.

Guitarist Jim Ibbotson of THE NITTY GRITTY DIRT BAND is 74.


COUNTRY MUSIC NEWS

GARTH BROOKS performed solo at Wednesday’s presidential inauguration. Garth performed an a cappella rendition of Amazing Grace after descending the steps to the podium clad in jeans, a black shirt and coat. He was also wearing a black cowboy hat and mask, which he removed before singing. Garth gave an emotional delivery of the song, and he ramped it up one notch more when he paused before the final verse, asking everyone who was watching both in person and at home to join him “as one, united.” • VIDEO

… Following his performance, Garth made sure to shake hands and hug President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris as well as all former presidents and first ladies in attendance.

… One observer tweeted that Garth was “a one man hugging machine.”

… The New York Post believes GARTH BROOKS may have had hair plugs. The tabloid says: “The 58-year-old aroused suspicions after removing his trademark cowboy hat mid-performance, revealing a much fuller and darker head of hair than he’d sported in recent years. The ever-merciless Twitterati was quick to question whether Brooks had received a hair transplant or dye job ahead of the big gig.”

THE CHICKS took part in a virtual music festival on Monday which raised funds to relocate two Confederate monuments from the Bastrop County Courthouse lawn in Texas. Bastrop resident Cheryl Lee organized the Move Forward Virtual Music Fest with singer-songwriter Grace Pettis. Beyond the Chicks, it featured local and national acts. The Martin Luther King Jr. Day fundraiser benefitted the Bastrop County Monument Relocation Committee. Before the virtual concert’s airdate, the committee had raised $28,000 of its needed $50,000 to relocate two monuments.

MORGAN WALLEN had a great year in 2020 from a career standpoint, but his life away from the spotlight was more difficult. In a new interview, Morgan reflects on the important lessons he’s learned from his mistakes.

… His very public trials in 2020 included a May arrest in Nashville following an incident at Kid Rock’s downtown bar (a judge declined to prosecute Morgan on charges of public intoxication and disorderly conduct in July). In October, Saturday Night Live producers scrapped Morgan’s planned debut appearance after viral videos of the singer partying maskless with fans in multiple different locations made the rounds on Twitter and TikTok.

… Morgan tells People magazine: “I guess that’s when I truly figured out that things are different now. That was the moment for me. I knew that I was becoming more and more popular, but I didn’t realize it was to that extent. I had to take a step back and really look at when I took that turn. That’s when I started realizing what the term ‘superstar’ meant. I mean, I get it. I understand that I offended some people, especially with everything going on in the world. I understand that … I should have been more aware.”

The Country To Country Festival, set for March 12-14, will be postponed for yet another year, according to an announcement on the festival’s social media pages. The three-day concert, which takes place in London, Glasgow and Dublin, was cancelled in 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak.


COUNTRY DATEBOOK: JANUARY 22, 2021

• 1969: GLEN CAMPBELL earned his first gold record for Wichita Lineman.

• 2003: SARA EVANS gave birth to her second daughter, Olivia Margaret.

• 2004: VINCE GILL announced he’d step aside as host of the Country Music Association Awards, after holding the position for twelve straight years.

• 2009: BROOKS & DUNN scored their 41st Top Ten hit with Cowgirls Don’t Cry.

• 2013: RANDY HOUSER scored his first number one with How Country Feels.

• 2016: CHRIS YOUNG was forced by a snow storm to postpone the night’s concert in Philadelphia. Opening act CASSADEE POPE ended up stranded for roughly 30 hours when the state shut down the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The same storm forced BRAD PAISLEY to postpone a concert in Corbin, Kentucky.

ALABAMA bassist Teddy Gentry is 69. He was born in Fort Payne, Alabama and is one of the founders of the group.