December 10 – This Day in Country Music

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1927
The phrase ‘Grand Ole Opry’ was first uttered on-air. That night Barn Dance followed the NBC Red Network’s Music Appreciation Hour, a program of classical music and selections from Grand Opera presented by classical conductor Walter Damrosch. That night, Damrosch remarked that “there is no place in the classics for realism,” In response, Opry presenter George Hay said: “Friends, the program which just came to a close was devoted to the classics. Doctor Damrosch told us that there is no place in the classics for realism. However, from here on out for the next three hours, we will present nothing but realism. It will be down to earth for the ‘earthy’.”

1951
Born on this day in Sabinal, Texas, was Johnny Rodriguez who became the first famous Latin American country music singer, infusing his music with Latin sounds. He had the 1973 US #1 Country hit “You Always Come Back to Hurting Me.”

1962
Waylon Jennings married his second wife Lynne Jones. The couple divorced in 1967. He later composed the song “This Time” about the trials and tribulations of his marriages and divorces.

1990
Garth Brooks was at #1 on the US country album chart with his second studio album, No Fences. The album remains Brooks’ best-seller to date with 17 million copies sold in the US alone.

1996
Faron Young, American singer and songwriter from the early 1950s into the mid-1980s shot himself after apparently being depressed that the music industry had turned its back on him. He died in Nashville the following day. His hits included “If You Ain’t Lovin’ (You Ain’t Livin’)” and “Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young.” His ashes were spread by his family over Old Hickory Lake outside Nashville at Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash’s home while the Cashes were away.