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December 23

Lefty Frizzell hit #1 on the Billboard country chart in 1950 with his debut single, If You’ve Got The Money I’ve Got The Time.

Left unattended in jail, Merle Haggard walked out the front door of the Bakersfield police station, a day after the attempted robbery of a restaurant in 1957.

Ernest Tubb invited Cal Smith to become the frontman in his band in 1962. Smith hit the road in San Jose the same day, and arrived in Nashville on Christmas.

The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson had a nervous breakdown during a plane trip to Houston in 1964. As a result, Glen Campbell was asked to play bass with the band on the road, a role he handles for the next six months.

Epic released Tammy Wynette’s album Stand By Your Man in 1968.

Merle Haggard recorded The Fightin’ Side Of Me in Los Angeles at the Capitol Recording Studios in 1969.

Willie Nelson’s home in Ridgetop, Tennessee, burned while he was in Nashville at a Christmas party in 1969. When Nelson saw the house in flames, he ran in to rescue his guitar, Trigger…and a bag of marijuana stashed inside the case.

Jerry Reed recorded When You’re Hot, You’re Hot and Another Puff in 1970. The latter appeared in the soundtrack to the 2006 film Thank You For Smoking.

Mayor Bennett Broussard, of Kaplan, LA, declared Sammy Kershaw the town’s “country music ambassador to the world” in 1992 while announcing the community will put up signs citing Kaplan as the “Home of Sammy Kershaw”

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Pop singer Harold Dorman was born in Drew, MS in 1926. He had a hit in 1960 with the self-penned Mountain Of Love, remade in 1964 by Johnny Rivers. It became a major hit in 1982 for Charley Pride, who also sang Dorman’s Mississippi Cotton Picking Delta Town.

Drummer Buddy Harman was born in Nashville in 1928. A member of the so-called “A-Team” of session musicians, his credits include The Everly Brothers’ Bye Bye Love, Loretta Lynn’s Coal Miner’s Daughter and Patsy Cline’s Crazy, among others.