March 15 in Country Music History
1927: Carl “Mister Country” Smith is born in Maynardville. Smith was the husband of June Carter (later June Carter Cash) and the father of Carlene Carter.
1970: Merle Haggard is #1 on the Country Chart with “The Fightin’ Side of Me.”
1982: Alabama are at #1 on the Country Album Chart with Mountain Music, their award-winning third studio album.
2008: Randy Travis surprises Carrie Underwood on stage of the Grand Ole Opry with an invitation to become the newest member.
2011: Lady Antebellum sit at #1 on the Country Chart with Need You Now, their second studio album.
On this day in 1966, Merle Haggard recorded “The Bottle Let Me Down” at Capitol Recording Studios right by Hollywood & Vine in Los Angeles, California.
The song was released in August later that year as the second single from the album Swinging Doors. It peaked at number three on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles chart.
On this day in 1980, Merle Haggard and Clint Eastwood’s “Bar Room Buddies” hit the charts. The song would end up going #1 on the Billboard US Hot Country Songs chart.
The single was featured on the soundtrack for the film Bronco Billy starring Eastwood.
On this day in 1982, Merle Haggard’s “Big City” rose to #1 on the Billboard Country Singles chart. The song was released as the second single and title track from his album of the same name.
“Big City” became Haggard’s 27th number-one single on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart.
During their appearance on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Wednesday night (3/29), Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley performed a rendition of Merle Haggard’s “Ramblin’ Fever,” backed by New Orleans musician Jon Batiste and his band, Stay Human. Before Luke and Dierks paid tribute to The Hag, the two sat down with host Stephen Colbert and discussed everything from their hosting duties at the upcoming ACM Awards to Luke’s dream collaboration being Elvis Presley. Their conversation can be seen here.
Some of country’s biggest stars will assemble in Nashville this spring for a special concert honoring the life and songs of the legendary Merle Haggard. Dubbed “Sing Me Back Home: The Music Of Merle Haggard,” the all-star concert will take place at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on April 6 in honor of what would have been Merle’s 80th birthday and the one-year anniversary of his passing. The night will include performances by artists such as Willie Nelson, Loretta Lynn, Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves, Dierks Bentley, Hank Williams Jr., John Mellencamp, Lynyrd Skynyrd and many more.
· Tickets go on sale this Friday (3/3) at 11 AM local time at ticketmaster.com, by phone at 800-745-3000, all Ticketmaster locations and the Bridgestone Arena box office.
· A portion of the proceeds will benefit the T.J. Martell Foundation.
· More details about the concert can be found here.
On this day in 1973, Merle Haggard’s “If We Make It Through December” began a four-week stay at #1. The song was released on Haggard’s holiday album Merle Haggard’s Christmas Present. The song has become one of the trademarks of Haggard’s career.
On this day in 1994, Merle Haggard was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame. Haggard was the only inductee that year.
The Academy of Country Music (ACM) has announced the inception of the ACM Merle Haggard Spirit Award. The award will be presented to an artist whose career reflects the integrity and steadfast spirit embodied by the late Merle Haggard. The inaugural ACM Merle Haggard Spirit Award will be handed out at the 10th Annual ACM Honors ceremony to a recipient still to be announced.
· Lady Antebellum will host the 10th ACM Honors, which takes place on August 30 at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. The ceremony will also make its television debut on September 9 at 9:00 PM ET on CBS.