› Country News – December 10-12

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DECEMBER 10, 2021

• 1927: Radio show The WSM Barn Dance was introduced as the Grand Ole Opry and became known as the Opry from that day on.

• 1966: TAMMY WYNETTE made her chart debut with Apartment #9.

• 2005: GARTH BROOKS and TRISHA YEARWOOD were married in Oklahoma at a private ceremony at their home.

• 2009: BRAD PAISLEY’s album American Saturday Night was named Time Magazine’s Best of the Year.

• 2016: MAREN MORRIS was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live, performing My Church and ’80s Mercedes.

• 2016: CARRIE UNDERWOOD went skydiving in Australia.

• 2018: An Oklahoma University foundation announced the establishment of the BLAKE SHELTON Cancer Research Program.

• 2019: DAN + Shay and Justin Bieber pick up a gold single for 10,000 Hours.

JOHNNY RODRIGUEZ of Sabinal, Texas, is 70. He was the first famous Latin American country music singer, infusing his music with Latin sounds, and even singing verses of songs in Spanish. In the 1970s and 1980s, Johnny was one of country music’s most successful male artists.

MEGHAN LINSEY is 36. Meghan and former boyfriend JOSHUA SCOTT JONES formed the band STEEL MAGNOLIA, which is no longer together.

GARTH BROOKS and TRISHA YEARWOOD celebrate their 16th wedding anniversary.

DECEMBER 11, 2021

• 1946: HANK WILLIAMS held his first recording session.

• 1996: CLINT BLACK received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

• 2003: TIM MCGRAW and ROSANNE CASH performed at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo, Norway.

• 2003: At the age of 65, KENNY ROGERS announced he and wife, Wanda, were expecting twins. The following July, twin sons Justin and Jordan were born.

• 2011: SUGARLAND performed Stuck Like Glue during the Nobel Peace Prize concert at the Spektrum Arena in Oslo, Norway, sharing the bill with David Gray and Jill Scott.

• 2012: TAYLOR SWIFT’s We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together spent its ninth consecutive week at the top of the country chart, marking a first for a female artist. The previous record had been held by CONNIE SMITH in 1964 with her song Once A Day, which spent eight straight weeks at the top.

• 2018: JAIDA DREYER won the finale of USA Network’s Real Country. Judges were SHANIA TWAIN, JAKE OWEN and TRAVIS TRITT.

• 2020: DOLLY PARTON announced she was developing a fragrance. Dolly – Scent From Above became available in July 2021.

BRENDA LEE (I’m Sorry, Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree) is 77.

DECEMBER 12, 2021

• 2003: DOLLY PARTON’s Imagination Library, in its seventh year, donated its one-millionth book, The Little Engine That Could, to the parents of a one-year-old in Danville, Alabama.

• 2007: SARA EVANS sat in as co-host of ABC’s morning talk show The View. Sara co-hosted again two days later.

• 2011: TAYLOR SWIFT was named Billboard magazine’s Artist of the Year for Country Music for overall album, singles and concert sales.

• 2011: ERIC CHURCH’s Springsteen was named one of Rolling Stone’s Top 50 Songs of the Year, months before it became a single.

• 2016: BRETT ELDREDGE stopped by the Nashville Rescue Mission to deliver winter coats for the homeless.

• 2020: CHARLEY PRIDE died of complications from COVID-19.

KATRINA ELAM is 38. She co-wrote RASCAL FLATTS’ Easy. Her highest-charting recording is 2004’s No End in Sight.

JAKE OWEN turned to social media Thursday for help finding the man who defaced his Good Company Entertainment headquarters the night before. He’s offering a $5,000 reward. Jake said someone vandalized their building in the Charlotte Pike/46th Street area of Nashville “for no reason other than he’s a punk. I have all the video footage and even a silly little drawing on our wall that came from his small, little, non-creative peanut-sized brain.”

… Jake posted a photo of the guy he suspects is guilty and said he would “personally pay” the reward for information about the incident and for help identifying the man.

LUKE BRYAN and his wife Caroline Bryan were unable to celebrate their wedding anniversary on Wednesday. Both acknowledged the date on social media. Caroline was in California guest-hosting E! News’ Daily Pop.

KEITH URBAN’s actress-wife Nicole Kidman will be seen on the big screen starting today in a film about Lucille Ball and husband Ricky Ricardo. Being the Ricardos isn’t a big-screen remake of the I Love Lucy show. Nicole says the film is “about Lucy and Desi and their relationship and their marriage. It’s very deep, actually.”

… The film is on big screens today (Friday) and will be available to stream on Amazon Prime Video starting December 21.

RODNEY CROWELL has once again enlisted a number of his all-star friends for Songs From Quarantine Vol. 2, a digital compilation of rarities available for only two weeks exclusively on Bandcamp.

… The unique collection features fan-favorite songs in their raw form, performed by the artists who wrote and/or recorded them. Proceeds from the star-studded, limited edition 14-song download will again benefit the work of non-profit Music Health Alliance (MHA) and its continued work to provide free healthcare advocacy and support to the music community nationwide, including critical mental health and COVID-19 resources in addition to access to healthcare, medicines, diagnostic tests and more.

… Artists on Songs from Quarantine Vol. 2 include WILLIE NELSON, VINCE GILL, SHELBY LYNNE, ALLISON MOORER, Ringo Starr and Sheryl Crow.

ERIC CHURCH will take his Gather Again Tour to the nation’s capital this weekend and while he’s there, he’ll make a stop at the White House. Eric is taking part in a PBS special titled In Performance at the White House: Spirit of the Season, where he’ll help the country celebrate Christmas in musical style.

… The hour-long program will premiere Tuesday, December 21 and will show stars perform in historic White House rooms.

… According to an press announcement, the In Performance at the White House series has been around since 1978 when the Carter administration kicked it off, and since then the nation’s most-famous home has hosted everyone from Justin Timberlake and B.B. King to Willie Nelson, Alison Krauss and more.

ERIC CHURCH once shared a funny story about his 2006 Top 20 song Two Pink Lines. The song is a totally true story and actually happened to Eric when he was a teenager. Eric shared: “I have this song about pregnancy. It’s a personal song for me, because two pink lines happened to me when I was unmarried and a teenager.”

… Eric says he was bracing himself for the worst when he first played the for his mom, Rita. After he played it for her, she told Eric: “I love that song. Why are you singing about two pink lions?” Eric figured he dodged a hard conversation and told her, “Mom, I happen to love lions; I’m a big cat fan.” • VIDEO

BRETT ELDREDGE has made no secret of his struggle with mental health issues. Recently, while having a tough day, Brett posted a short video reciting a poem he penned as he walked down a tree-lined path to benefit those who — like him — have days where their mental health is less than optimal. Brett shared: “I wrote this poem when I was having a tough day mentally. We all have those days, I’ve certainly had my share. I used to fight it, still do at times, ya get frustrated, ya feel guilt or shame for feeling anxious or down. This life stuff can be really hard, but those tough days make the good days really count. Sometimes its best to just let go and feel it all. I’m grateful for this ride, every part of it. Hang in there.”

Country Thunder has music festivals scheduled in six states and Saskatchewan, Canada for the 2022 festival season. It was just announced that Bristol, Tennessee, is one of those locations. Headliners for Country Thunder Bristol are MORGAN WALLEN and JASON ALDEAN.

Nashville’s Belmont University will be naming a ballroom at its new performing arts center after BRAD PAISLEY and wife Kimberly Paisley. It’ll be used for performances and also be a rehearsal space.


  1. Dustin Lynch featuring MacKenzie Porter – Thinking ‘Bout You
  2. Kenny Chesney – Knowing You
  3. Jason Aldean and Carrie Underwood – If I Didn’t Love You
  4. Luke Combs – Cold as You
  5. Zac Brown Band – Same Boat
  6. Michael Ray – Whiskey and Rain
  7. Jordan Davis featuring Luke Bryan – Buy Dirt
  8. Chris Stapleton – You Should Probably Leave
  9. Jon Pardi – Tequila Little Time
  10. Jimmie Allen and Brad Paisley – Freedom Was a Highway