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December 16

The Battle of the Bulge began on this date in 1944 in Europe. Future country star Hawkshaw Hawkins earned four stars for his participation in the World War II offensive.

Billboard magazine ran a 1950 ad that touted Lefty Frizzell’s nickname as the result of an amateur boxing career. The claim is untrue, but became a part of the Frizzell legacy.

A sickly Hank Williams canceled a show in Victoria, TX in 1952. Friends believe he may have had a heart attack – or an overdose.

Hank Snow recorded I Don’t Hurt Anymore and Yellow Roses during an afternoon session in 1953 at New York’s RCA Studios.

Jim Reeves began a USO tour of Europe in 1954. He’d remain overseas until January 3rd.

Decca released the first Loretta Lynn album in 1963. It was called Loretta Lynn Sings.

In 1966, Merle Haggard recorded the hit version of a song he wrote – I Threw Away The Rose. It took him four tries to get it where he wanted it.

Reba McEntire graduated from Southeastern Oklahoma State in 1976. She earned a degree in elementary education.

A “train bound for nowhere” went to #1 as Kenny Rogers tops the Billboard country chart with The Gambler on this date in 1978.

Brad Paisley was asked to join the Grand Ole Opry in 2000. The invitation came from Bill Anderson and Little Jimmy Dickens and Jeannie Seely, dressed as Santa Claus and the Mrs. Paisley cried.

Gary Stewart was found dead at his home in Fort Pierce, FL in 2003. It was mere weeks after his wife died. The honkytonker died from a gunshot to the neck in an apparent suicide.

Dan Fogelberg died from prostate cancer in 2007. The pop singer/songwriter recorded a 1985 country album, High Country Snows, supporting it with a backing group that spawned The Desert Rose Band.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Jim Glaser was born in Spalding, NE in 1937. As a member of Tompall & The Glaser Brothers, he backed Marty Robbins on El Paso and earned several hits before chasing a solo career, which earned him a short series of successes in the mid-1980s. Although this hit wasn’t on the country charts, it’s still a great song that Glaser had a hand in writing…

Jeff Carson was born in Tulsa, OK in 1963. Compared vocally to Garth Brooks, he earned a hit in 1995 with Not On Your Love, and followed it with The Car, which claimed the Academy of Country Music’s Video of the Year award.