This day in Country Music History

  • Today in 1942, Glenn Walichs and songwriters Johnny Mercer and Buddy DeSylva formed Liberty Records in Hollywood. It was later renamed Capitol Records and known for hits by Keith Urban, Garth Brooks and Merle Haggard.
  • Today in 1980, Kenny Rogers portrayed Brady Hawkes for the first time when CBS aired a TV movie based around his signature hit, “The Gambler.”
  • Today in 1985, George Strait’s album “Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind” was certified Gold.
  • Today in 1988, Rodney Crowell’s “Diamonds & Dirt” album arrived in stores.
  • Today in 1989, Keith Whitley’s “I’m No Stranger To The Rain” reached #1 in Billboard. One month and one day later, he was dead of alcohol poisoning.
  • Today in 1991, Ricky Van Shelton’s “RVS 3” album was certified Platinum.
  • Today in 1992, Mary Chapin Carpenter’s album, “Shooting Straight in The Dark,” was certified gold.
  • Today in 1994, Lee Roy Parnell hit number one with the single “I’m Holding My Own.”
  • Today in 1996, Aaron Tippin’s “Tool Box” album was certified Gold.
  • Today in 1997, Alabama released “Dancin’ On the Boulevard,” Clay Walker released “Rumor Has It,” and Wynonna released her greatest hits album, “Collection.”
  • Today in 1999, it was revealed that Faith Hill would not only become a spokesmodel for Cover Girl cosmetics, she was also confirmed as a performer on the 1999 VH1 “Divas Live” concert.
  • Today in 2004, Tracy Lawrence’s album “Strong” debuted on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart at number two, behind Kenny Chesney’s “When the Sun Goes Down.” Kenny’s album was marking its eighth week at number one.
  • Today in 2004, Rhett Atkins, Chad Brock and Daryle Singletary sang “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” at the first San Diego Padres game in their Petco Park stadium. The Padres beat San Francisco, 4-3.
  • Today in 2006, Rascal Flatts began a four-week stay at #1 in Billboard with “What Hurts The Most.”
  • Today in 2008, Kenny Chesney previewed his “Poets & Pirates” show before a small group of invited guests in Nashville.
  • Today in 2008, Emerson Drive and Neal McCoy took part in opening day baseball games. Emerson Drive sang the national anthem for the Kansas City Royal’s home opener, and also performed “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the 7th inning stretch. Neal McCoy performed the anthem for the Texas Rangers first game of the season in Arlington, Texas.
  • Today in 2008, Clint Black displayed his skills as a stand-up comedian on the season premiere of CBS’ “Secret Talents of the Stars.” Meanwhile, Montgomery Gentry’s Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry served as coaches for actor George Takei, who played Mr. Sulu on the original “Star Trek,” as he competed on the show as a country singer.
  • Today in 2008, James Otto’s “Sunset Man” was released. The album was the last to be issued by the Muzik Mafia’s Raybaw Records. Big & Rich’s Big Kenny Alphin and John Rich were among those who ran the now-defunct label. Other new material hitting stores included Jeff Bates and Jypsi’s self-titled albums and Trisha Yearwood’s cookbook, “Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma Kitchen.”
  • Today in 2009, Charlie Daniels received the Joe M. Rodgers Spirit of America Award from officials at Middle Tennessee State University at a special luncheon at the school. MTSU presents the award to honor people whose work in government, education, or charitable efforts serves as an example of the American spirit in action.
  • Today in 2009, Kellie Pickler made a guest appearance on “American Idol,” and performed “Best Days Of Your Life.”
  • Today in 2010, Mark Chesnutt began a tour of U.S. bases in South Korea with a show at Camp Casey. His trek included a visit to the Demilitarized Zone, which is the area that separates North and South Korea. The singer traveled to Asia with the Tennessee National Guard.
  • Today in 2011, Zac Brown Band launched their inaugural Southern Ground Music and Food Festival. The three-day event took place at Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina.
  • Today in 2011, Lady Antebellum made their Australian concert debut, opening for Keith Urban in Adelaide.
  • Today in 2011, Carrie Underwood made her film-acting debut as a church counselor for a youth group in the Beth Hamilton biopic, “Soul Surfer.”
  • Today in 2013, CBS filmed “ACM Presents: Time McGraw’s Superstar Summer Night” at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena. Included in the lineup: His wife, Faith Hill, Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Lady Antebellum, The Band Perry, and Taylor Swift.
  • Today in 2016, Zac Brown was in the room, but not arrested when two others are booked for cocaine possession in a West Palm Beach, Florida, hotel. After it’s reported by TMZ, Brown issues a statement chalking it up to a case of poor judgment and hanging out with the wrong people.
  • Today in 2017, Cassadee Pope performed her first USO concert Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska.
  • Today in 2018, Collin Raye performed “Amazing Grace” as 900 butterflies were released at the Las Vegas Community Healing Garden to honor more than 50 people who were killed at the Route 91 festival the previous October.


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