This day in Country Music History

  • Today in 1970, Jerry Lee Lewis and his second wife, Myra – who was also his cousin – were divorced. Their 1958 wedding, which took place when she was just 13 years old, caused such a scandal that it effectively ruined his career. In fact, the only thing illegal about the marriage was the fact that Jerry hadn’t divorced his first wife when he wed Myra.
  • Today in 1994, Patty Loveless’ CMA-winning album, “When Fallen Angels Fly,” went gold.
  • Today in 1996, Jeff Foxworthy’s “Crank It Up–The Music Album” went gold.
  • Today in 1996, Brooks & Dunn released the single, “A Man This Lonely.”
  • Today in 1998, Garth Brooks’ TV special “Garth Brooks: Double Live” aired on NBC. The show was actually performed live three times, for three different time zones.
  • Today in 1998, Reba McEntire was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.
  • Today in 1999, Faith Hill found out that her album, “Breathe,” debuted at #1 on the “Billboard” pop albums chart. The project sold 242,000 copies its first week out, good enough to knock the rock group Rage Against the Machine out of the top spot.
  • Today in 2002, Jamie O’Neal left the country for a USO Tour of the Balkans and the Mediterranean Sea. She was overseas through the end of the month.
  • Today in 2003, Reba McEntire’s album, “Room to Breathe,” is in stores. It’s her first studio album in 4 years.
  • Today in 2003, LeAnn Rimes’ “Greatest Hits (To Be Continued)” was released.
  • Today in 2003, a DVD of Shania Twain’s NBC concert special, “Shania: UP! Live in Chicago,” appears in stores.
  • Today in 2005, The Johnny Cash biopic “Walk The Line” opened in theaters, with Joaquin Phoenix in the starring role. Reese Witherspoon portrays June Carter, Shelby Lynne took the role of Cash’s mother, and Shooter Jennings played his own late father, Waylon Jennings.
  • Today in 2008, The Zac Brown Band’s album, “The Foundation,” was released.
  • Today in 2011, Taylor Swift met Bruce Springsteen when he attended her show at the RBC Center in Raleigh, North Carolina. Also in attendance: Scotty McCreery.
  • Today in 2012, Luke Bryan, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood and Lady Antebellum each won during ABC’s American Music Awards at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.
  • Today in 2015, Jimmy Buffett’s “Margaritaville” was announced as a new addition to the GRAMMY Hall of Fame. The class also featured James Carr’s “The Dark End Of The Street,” plus music by the Andrews Sisters, Lead Belly and The Sir Douglas Quintet.
  • Today in 2016, funeral services were held for Leon Russell at the Victory Baptist Church in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. Steve Ripley, formerly of The Tractors, was a pallbearer. Honorary pallbearers included Elton John, Sam Bush, John Cowan, Mike Lawler, T. Graham Brown, Jim Halsey and Willie Nelson.
  • Today in 2016, Dan + Shay’s Dan Smyers announced on social media that he’d gotten engaged to his girlfriend, Abby Law, in Hawaii. They got married in May 2017.
  • Today in 2016, George Strait’s album ,”Strait Out Of The Box: Part 2,” was released.
  • Today in 2019, with Taylor Swift in the midst of a public argument with Big Machine over her rights to perform some of her older songs on the American Music Awards, a pair of fans paid $1,000 to have two digital billboards in Nashville calling for the label to “let Taylor perform her own songs.”
  • Today in 2019, Billy Ray Cyrus visited the White House in Washington, D.C., with the family of Channing Smith, a Tennessee teen who committed suicide, to discuss cyber bullying with first lady Melania Trump.
  • Today in 2020, Brad Paisley sang “This Is Country Music” during the 14th annual Stand Up For Heroes event, raising millions online for a military charity. Also aboard were Bruce Springsteen, Sheryl Crow, Ray Romano, Jon Stewart and Mickey Guyton, who covers “To Make You Feel My Love.”


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