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 Country Music
1921: American bluegrass-based country music entertainer Wilma Lee Cooper is born in Valley Head, West Virginia. Wilma Lee partnered with Stoney Cooper in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s for tremendous success, scoring seven hit records between 1956-1961, and four top ten hits on the Billboard charts, including “Big Midnight Special” and “There’s a Big Wheel.” Wilma Lee Cooper died Sept 13, 2011 at the age of 90.
1962: Country superstar Garth Brooks is born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Brooks would later become the biggest selling artist of the 90’s with over 60 million sales. According to the RIAA he is the second best-selling solo albums artist in the United States of all time behind Elvis Presley (overall is third to the Beatles and Elvis Presley) with 128 million units sold.
Also in 1962: Patsy Cline (pictured) makes her debut on Pet Milk Grand Ole Opry as she performs her 1961 Top 10 hit “Crazy” as well as her 1962 hit “She’s Got You”. Many people don’t know that “Crazy” was penned by singer/songwriter Willie Nelson, who would also go on to achieve major success in his own right.
1971: Dolly Parton rocks the country nation as “Joshua” rockets to #1 on the country chart. “Joshua” would be Parton’s first of many singles to reach #1 on the US country charts.
1989: Randy Travis sits at #1 on the US country album chart with his third album Old 8 x 10, which featured the three #1 country singles: “Honky Tonk Moon”, “Deeper Than the Holler”, “Is It Still Over” The album later earned Travis three American Music Awards for Favorite Country Male Artist, Favorite Country Album, and Favorite Country Single (“Deeper Than the Holler”).
1995: Shania Twain releases her second studio album “The Woman in Me”, which went onto become her biggest-selling recording at the time of its release, selling 4 million copies by the end of the year.
On this day in 1990, Heroes & Friends by Randy Travis was at #1 on the Country chart. Except for the title track, every song on this album is a duet with another artist. Dolly Parton, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Kris Kristofferson, and Tammy Wynette all featured on the album.
Josh Turner celebrated a career milestone over the weekend, taking the iconic stage at the Grand Ole Opry for the 150th time. Turner’s landmark Opry appearance was made even more special by the fact that two country legends were sitting side-stage for the occasion. In addition to The Oak Ridge Boys welcoming Josh to the stage, country icons Charley Pride and Randy Travis were also watching the special moment unfold from the wings.
On this day in 2008, Carrie Underwood was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry. Underwood was introduced by Garth Brooks and performed “Last Name,” “All-American Girl” and “Jesus, Take The Wheel”. Vince Gill provided backing vocals for “Jesus, Take The Wheel.”
Underwood was invited to the Opry by Randy Travis.
On this day in 1985, Randy Travis made his Grand Ole Opry debut. This debut was three months before his freshman album, Storms of Life, was released. Introduced by Little Jimmy Dickens, Travis sang the Hank Williams classic “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”. By the same time next year, Travis became an official Opry Member (joining December 20th, 1986).
The star power at the upcoming 50th Annual CMA Awards continues to grow with the addition of more legendary acts to the lineup. Joining the star-studded lineup are 2016 Country Music Hall of Fame inductees Charlie Daniels and Randy Travis; former Entertainer of the Year winners Ricky Skaggs and Roy Clark and former CMA Awards host Clint Black. The new wave of performers also includes Jason Aldean, Chris Stapleton, Thomas Rhett, Jennifer Nettles, Martina McBride and Dwight Yoakam, as well as multi-format performers Elle King and Pentatonix.
· These artists join previously announced performers Alabama, Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley, Brooks & Dunn, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line, Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Tim McGraw, Maren Morris, Kacey Musgraves, Brad Paisley, Charley Pride, Reba, George Strait, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, and Garth Brooks with Trisha Yearwood.
· The 50th Annual CMA Awards will air live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on November 2 at 8:00-PM ET on ABC.
On this day in 1994, Randy Travis grabbed the 15th Billboard top tune of his career with “Whisper My Name”. The song was the second single from his album This Is Me and was considered by many to be the standout track.
On this day in 1987, Randy Travis was awarded a Gold and Platinum Album for Always & Forever. The album was the second of Travis’ career, and spawned the singles “Too Gone Too Long”, “I Won’t Need You Anymore (Always and Forever)”, “Forever and Ever, Amen” and “I Told You So”, all of which reached Number One on the charts.