December 30th, 1944

Bob Wills & The Texas Playboys appear on the Grand Ole Opry, causing a stir when Monte Mountjoy's drum set is moved onto the stage at the last minute. Drums were previously not allowed. Their first number is "New San Antonio Rose."

When Wills appeared on the Opry, he was already a huge star in Texas, so he didn't feel he needed the Opry's approval. In response, he wasn't really patient with their rules. Bob went onstage with his cigar in his mouth and was immediately told not to smoke on stage. Wills then walked off stage and as far as I know, that was his one and only appearance on the Opry.

But, because of this one appearance, drums soon would become a staple in county music.


Several country drummers used the instrument to break into the business before becoming stars, including Roger Miller, who drummed with Faron Young, and Jack Greene, who worked with Ernest Tubb. Even Roy Acuff used a snare drum with brushes on the Opry after the drum was allowed to be seen. In 1973, when the Opry moved to Opryland, full drum sets were permitted on the stage at last.

  • photo by Getty/Justin Sullivan)
    photo by Getty/Justin Sullivan)


    Trace Adkins sings the national anthem and Ashton Shepherd performs "God Bless America" at the Music City Bowl at Nashville's LP Field.

    The North Carolina Tar Heels beat the Tennessee Volunteers, 30-27, in double overtime

  • photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images Entertainment
    photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images Entertainment


    Neal McCoy joins Wayne Newton and comedian Drew Carey to entertain American troops at the Kandahar Airport in Afghanistan, part of the USO's Deliver America Tour

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    Brenda Lee suffers a minor eye injury and has her hair singed when she tries unsuccessfully to rescue her poodle, CeeCee, from a house fire in Nashville.

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