December 10th: On this day
The phrase 'Grand Ole Opry' was first uttered on-air. That night Barn Dance followed the NBC Red Network's Music Appreciation Hour, a program of classical music and selections from Grand Opera presented by classical conductor Walter Damrosch. That night, Damrosch remarked that “there is no place in the classics for realism,” In response, Opry presenter George Hay said: "Friends, the program which just came to a close was devoted to the classics. Doctor Damrosch told us that there is no place in the classics for realism. However, from here on out for the next three hours, we will present nothing but realism. It will be down to earth for the 'earthy'."
Billboard launched a "Country & Western Records Most Played by Folk Disk Jockeys" chart - the first chart ever to track a song's popularity by radio airplay. The first #1 song on the new chart was "Mule Train" by Tennessee Ernie Ford.
Born on this day in Sabinal, Texas, was Johnny Rodriguez who became the first famous Latin American country music singer, infusing his music with Latin sounds. He had the 1973 US #1 County hit “You Always Come Back to Hurting Me.”
Born on this day in Redding, California, was Kevin Sharp country music artist and author who made his debut on the country music scene in 1997 with a cover of R&B artist Tony Rich's single "Nobody Knows", a cover which topped the Billboard country charts for four weeks. Sharp died on 19th April 2014 after a long-running and high-profile battle with cancer.
Garth Brooks was at #1 on the US country album chart with his second studio album, No Fences. The album remains Brooks' best-seller to date with 17 million copies sold in the US alone.
Faron Young, American singer and songwriter from the early 1950s into the mid-1980s shot himself after apparently being depressed that the music industry had turned its back on him. He died in Nashville the following day. His hits included "If You Ain't Lovin' (You Ain't Livin')" and "Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young." His ashes were spread by his family over Old Hickory Lake outside Nashville at Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash's home while the Cashes were away.