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December 20

I’m Praying For The Day That Peace Will Come became the first Hank Williams title copyrighted by the U.S. government in 1943.

Ignoring a recording ban by Canada’s musicians’ union, Hank Snow recorded the first of 18 songs over four days at Montreal’s Victor Studio in 1944. They include one of his biggest Canadian hits, You Played Love On The Strings Of My Heart.

Johnny Cash recorded Orange Blossom Special in Nashville at the Columbia Recording Studios in 1964.

Every Which Way But Loose debuted in 1978, with Eddie Rabbitt, Mel Tillis and Charlie Rich contributing to the soundtrack. The Clint Eastwood picture includes a cameo appearance by Phil Everly as a nightclub singer.

Randy Travis joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1986. He was introduced by Ricky Skaggs and then performed Diggin’ Up Bones.

Operation Just Cause began in Panama in 1989. The U.S. took out dictator Manuel Noriega’s regime. Future country singer Craig Morgan participated as a member of the Army Airborne Division.

Ricky Van Shelton recorded I Am A Simple Man and Keep It Between The Lines on the same day in 1990.

We lost Hank Snow in 1999. The Canadian-born singer, best known for his recording I’m Moving On, was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1979. He died just two weeks short of his 50th anniversary with the Grand Ole Opry. Here he is with another Grand Ole Opry star, Marty Robbins.

Eddy Arnold received a National Medal of Arts from president Bill Clinton in a 2000 ceremony at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. Other recipients include poet Maya Angelou, pop singer Barbra Streisand and dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov.


Songwriter Charlie Williams was born in Texas in 1929. He wrote Bobby Bare’s hit 500 Miles Away From Home and eventually runs Willie Nelson’s music publishing company.