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September 17

RCA Records introduces the 33-1/3 rpm long-playing record in 1931.

In 1972, Faron Young spanks a six-year-old girl on stage in Clarksburg, West Virginia, for sticking her tongue out at him before he sang “This Little Girl Of Mine.” Her parents claim Young bruised her; he is fined $24 plus $11 for court costs.

Reba McEntire makes her first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry in 1977. She sang the Patsy Cline classic “Sweet Dreams” and Roger Miller’s “Invitation To The Blues,” 30 years to the day after her father won his first rodeo honor. She almost didn’t make it in the door that night after a guard at the Opry gate missed her name on the night’s list of performers. Her parents and older sister, Alice, drove 1,400 miles round trip from their Oklahoma home to see what turned out to be Reba’s three-minute performance that night. Her act was cut from two songs to just one — “Invitation to the Blues” — because of a surprise appearance from Dolly Parton. Here she is on her 40th Anniversary as an Opry Member.

Johnny Cash testified on copyright issues in the Internet age to a Senate subcommittee in Washington, D.C. on Sep 17, 1997, noting that “Ring Of Fire” could be downloaded for free from a website in Eastern Europe. That is, he said, “downright theft.”

King Street and 8th Street in Bristol, Tennessee, and Bristol, Virginia, are renamed Carter Family Way in 2005.

That same day in 2005, the Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton single “Islands In The Stream” tops the list with the debut of “CMT 100 Greatest Duets”

We lost George Hamilton IV in 2014. He passed away at Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital in Nashville, days after suffering a heart attack. Added to the Grand Ole Opry cast in 1961, his folk-tinged brand of country included the #1 single “Abilene.” He was among the first U.S. country stars to consistently court an overseas audience.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

It should be a national holiday. Hank Williams is born in Mount Olive, AL in 1923. He becomes country music’s most influential singer/songwriter, while establishing a tragic legacy of alcoholism and death at age 29. He joins the Country Music Hall of Fame in its first induction in 1961

Bill Black is born in Memphis in 1926. He goes on to become Elvis Presley’s first bass player, participating in such hits as “Hound Dog,” “Heartbreak Hotel,” “All Shook Up” and “Don’t Be Cruel”

In 1952 Steve Sanders is born in Richland, GA. He replaces William Lee Golden in The Oak Ridge Boys in 1987 taking the soulful lead on such singles as “Gonna Take A Lot Of River” and “Beyond Those Years.” After some personal issues he left the group prior to Golden’s return in 1995.

Carl and Valda Perkins have their first child, Carl Stanley Perkins in 1953. Little Carl would later play in his dad’s band. Stan also joins his father and brother, Greg, to co-write Dolly Parton’s “Silver And Gold”