2010 – Willie Nelson is arrested in Texas for possession of six ounces of marijuana. Claims he was only using it to cope with Brian Bandas’ impending departure from Love & Theft.
2008 – Hobos don’t wear glasses: Zac Brown undergoes Lasik eye surgery in Atlanta.
2006 – After getting married four times in four months, Kid Rock and Pamela Anderson both file for divorce in the span of an hour. Rock goes on to use the common experience of having been married to an international sex symbol to help him relate to everyday folk in his career as a country music singer.
2004 – A British survey ranks “The Dukes Of Hazzard” as one of the 10 worst TV shows exported from the United States. Distracted by the British accent, America misses the entire point of the article, thanks Britain very kindly, and resumes putting the finishing touches on a movie remake featuring Willie Nelson and Jessica Simpson.
2003 – Montgomery Gentry performs the national anthem as the Kentucky Wildcats host the Tennessee Volunteers in a game at Commonwealth Stadium. In a misunderstanding that should have served as a warning sign, Troy Gentry shows up with a sniper rifle, hoping to bag one of the wildcats locked inside the stadium.
2003 – Lost Highway releases the 5-CD Johnny Cash set Unearthed, advertised as containing Cash’s final recordings. Controversially, the set is released without the consent of John Rich.
2002 – People magazine names Kenny Chesney country music’s sexiest male, lowering the bar for country music, sexiness, and maleness in one deft move.
1998 – The video for Shania Twain’s “That Don’t Impress Me Much” debuts on CMT, prompting sudden uptick in number of heat strokes as country fans head for the desert in their leopard-print coats.
1995 – Martina McBride joins the Grand Ole Opry; shocks audience by biting head off of dove onstage.
1991 – Porter Wagoner serves as grand marshal of the Nashville Christmas Parade, with his flashy rhinestone suit doubling as that year’s tree-lighting ceremony.
1991 – The Judds appear on the cover of TV Guide promoting the first of their 34 farewell tours.
1985 – After appearing in that year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Janie Fricke becomes stranded atop the turkey float for nearly an hour as she waits for organizers to retrieve her. She spends the time working up new seasonal hits like “It Ain’t Easy Bein’ Poultry” and “Don’t Worry ‘Bout the Gravy.”
1984 – A strand of blinking Christmas lights woven festively through his miniature afro, Conway Twitty serves as grand marshal of the Nashville Christmas Parade.
1980 – Moved to tears by a chance encounter with a preternaturally furry-faced five-year-old Jamey Johnson, Oak Ridge Boy William Lee Golden decides to stop trimming his beard.
1975 – Mindy McCready born in Fort Myers, Florida, needing every last one of those ten thousand angels.
1970 – Loretta Lynn records Carrie Underwood’s “You’re Lookin’ At Country” in a session at Bradley’s Barn.
1970 – Elvis Presley starts Christmas shopping in Memphis, buying $20,000 worth of guns in three days. Thirty years later, Martina McBride – also wearing a white jumpsuit – embarks on a similar holiday shopping spree with proceeds from sunny singles “Happy Girl” and “I Love You.”
1964 – Willie Nelson makes his Grand Ole Opry debut.
1951 – The Maddox Brothers & Rose sign with Columbia Records. Rose lets out a delighted cackle.
1946 – At the Columbia Studios in Hollywood, Johnny Bond records “So Round, So Firm, So Fully Packed.” Dolly Parton is just 11 months old at the time.
1943 – Decca releases Ernest Tubb’s “
Hit Me Baby Try Me One More Time”
1927 – Ferlin Husky born in Flat River, Missouri. Emerges doing distinctive “Wings of a Dove” hand clap.
1925 – “The WSM Barn Dance” (later renamed the Grand Ole Opry) begins broadcasting in Nashville, with one-hour performances by Uncle Jimmy Thompson and Uncle Kracker.
1736 – The first documented fiddling contest in the U.S. takes place in Hanover County, Virginia. The winner gets a meet-and-greet with Taylor Swift and free milk service for a year.