December 31st is Not a Date That Has Been Kind to Country Music
From plane crashes to deadly rides in Cadillacs, December 31st is a dangerous date for all of country music.
Roy Rogers married Dale Evans on this date in 1947, but only after being late because he was putting out a fire in another room caused by a cigarette butt. Talk about trial-by-fire.
Also on December 31st, this time in 1952, Hank Williams was on the way to a New Year's Eve show in West Virginia when his plane was forced to land in Kentucky due to nasty weather. He'd never make it to that show. After shooting up with morphine, Hank Williams died en route to the show in the back of his black Caddie.
Don't think the skies were any safer for travel on this tragic date, as Rick Nelson died in a Texas plane crash near Dekalb. The TV and music star was only 45-years-old.
Perhaps most tragic of all events in the world of country music to take place on this date was the birth of Mr. Sunshine-on-my-Shoulders John Denver. Some say he straddled the line between pop and country. I say he shattered the better senses of ears throughout all genres of music. No one should be proud to have been part of John Denver's career other than George Burns.