Born on this day was American singer and songwriter Larry Henley. He was best known for co-writing (with Jeff Silbar) the 1989 hit record “Wind Beneath My Wings.” He co-wrote with Red Lane “‘Til I Get It Right” for Tammy Wynette, later covered by Barbra Streisand and Kenny Rogers. Other #1 country hits were his songs “Is It Still Over?” (Randy Travis), “Lizzie and the Rainman” (Tanya Tucker), and “He’s a Heartache (Looking for a Place to Happen)” (Janie Fricke). Other songs included “Shotgun rider” for Delbert McClinton; “You’re Welcome to Tonight” by Lynn Anderson and Gary Morris; and “The World Needs a Melody” by The Carter Family with Johnny Cash. He died in Nashville, Tennessee on 18 Dec 2014 age 77.
Opryland USA Theme Park and Opryland Hotel opened to the public well ahead of the Grand Ole Opry House, which debuted nearly two years later, on March 16, 1974. The opening night, was attended by US President Richard Nixon, who played a few songs on the piano.
Garth Brooks received a star in front of Capitol Records on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The singer also buried the master tapes to his The Hits underneath the star.
Chet Atkins died after a long battle with cancer. An influential guitarist & producer who helped create “The Nashville Sound,” he entered the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1973 and earned a Lifetime Achievement award from the Grammys. A stretch of Interstate 185 in southwest Georgia (between LaGrange and Columbus) is named “Chet Atkins Parkway.” Clint Black’s album Nothin’ but the Taillights includes the song “Ode to Chet”.
Brad Paisley released his seventh studio album American Saturday Night which peaked at #1 on the Country chart. The first single “Then,” taken from the album became his fourteenth #1 on the Hot Country Songs chart.