› Country News – December 8

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• 1956: 11-year-old BRENDA LEE released her debut single, I’m Gonna Lasso Santa Claus.

• 1982: At the age of 57 MARTY ROBBINS died of a heart attack in Nashville. He scored hits on the country charts from 1956-1982 and earned 18 gold singles.

• 1997: LEANN RIMES took home four Billboard Music Awards including Top Artist and Top Country Artist of the year.

• 2003: ALABAMA became the first act from the entertainment industry to receive the United Nations International Achievement Award, which salutes those who have made significant contributions to the well-being of individuals and communities. Previous honorees included Desmond Tutu and the founder of Habitat For Humanity.

• 2003: BROOKS & DUNN received their own poker chip from the Las Vegas gaming commission at the beginning of their three night stand at the Las Vegas Hilton.

• 2005: GARTH BROOKS’ boxed set, The Limited Series, available only through Walmart and Sam’s Club stores, was certified platinum.

• 2013: Shameless songwriter Billy Joel was celebrated during the Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C., for an audience that included president Barack Obama. GARTH BROOKS sang a medley of Billy Joel material alongside performances by Don Henley, Tony Bennett and Rufus Wainwright.

• 2015: MIRANDA LAMBERT addressed her divorce from BLAKE SHELTON in the latest issue of Cosmopolitan magazine.

• 2019: DOLLY PARTON appeared on screen with Danica McKellar and Niall Matter as the Hallmark Channel debuted Christmas At Dollywood.

• 2020: DARIUS RUCKER became an investor in the Nashville Stars, a group of athletes and businessmen attempting to bring major baseball to Music City.


SAM HUNT is 37.

CHRIS YOUNG and KANE BROWN have topped the Billboard year-end Country Airplay Songs chart with their multi-week No. 1, Famous Friends. The tune was not only the most-played song at country radio, the track has also earned a top forty spot on the (#39) Billboard Radio Songs all genre year-end chart.

JIMMIE ALLEN’s busy schedule that he had in 2021 is going to continue in 2022 as he has announced his Down Home Tour. This will be Jimmie’s first headlining tour and he’ll kick things off in West Hollywood on February 3.

MIDLAND’s Mark Wystrach is a dad again. Mark and and his wife, Ty Haney, welcomed their second child on Sunday. In an Instagram post, Mark shared a photo and wrote: “I present to you, our lil hombre… ‘Champie’.”

FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE has achieved roughly 5 million albums and 50 million singles sold and 18 No. 1 singles in 11 years. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum will honor the music and career of the duo via the exhibition of various effects from their career in Florida Georgia Line: Mix It Up Strong, January 21, 2022 through January 1, 2023.

DUSTIN LYNCH and MACKENZIE PORTER’s Thinking ‘Bout You is the number-one song in country music this week on the Billboard country airplay chart.

BRETT ELDREDGE just bought a place in Nashville, the first home he’s ever owned. His Christmas decorations include a 12 foot fake tree and Brett likes traditional red and green because he says it makes him feel warm and fuzzy.

MAREN MORRIS and RYAN HURD are trying to figure out what to get their 19-month-old son Hayes for Christmas. The one thing they have ruled out is a fiddle because it’s too heavy.

THOMAS RHETT says it’s a dream of his to write a classic Christmas song “that gets played until my kids are older,” though he admits it would be a tough wish to fulfill since there are “a lot of classics out there that are incredible.”

CONWAY TWITTY fans will be happy to hear that ten of his albums have finally been released for both streaming and download for the very first time. Though some specific songs from the albums have been available for streaming or download via other releases, the albums themselves have not. The ten albums are:

  • The High Priest of Country Music (1975)
  • Now and Then (1976)
  • Play, Guitar Play (1977)
  • I’ve Already Loved You in My Mind (1977)
  • Georgia Keeps Pulling on My Ring (1978)
  • Conway (1978)
  • Cross Winds (1979)
  • Heart & Soul (1980)
  • Mr. T (1981)
  • Borderline (1987)