This day in Country Music History

  • Today in 1977, not long after being made an honorary police chief in Nashville, Waylon Jennings was arrested on cocaine charges.
  • Today in 1977, Waylon Jennings was arrested during a recording session, along with his secretary, Lori Evans, on charges of conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine. The event inspired his song “Don’t You Think This Outlaw Bit’s Done Got Out Of Hand.”
  • Today in 1983, Jerry Lee Lewis’ fifth wife, Shawn Stevens, was found dead of a methadone overdose nearly two months after their marriage. He married Kerrie Lyn McCarver the following year and despite their ups and downs – like canceling their divorce hearing once she announced she was pregnant – the couple remained together until 2005. He has since married his seventh wife – Judith Brown.
  • Today in 1985, Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton’s “Real Love” graced the top of the country charts.
  • Today in 1993, Ricky Van Shelton’s “A Bridge I Didn’t Burn” album was released.
  • Today in 1998, country comedian Jerry Clower died.
  • Today in 1998, a Shania Twain concert in Syracuse, New York was halted when lightning hit the ground 40-yards behind the stage. Fortunately, the concert was almost over at the time of the strike.
  • Today in 1999, the single, “Lost In You,” by Garth Brooks was released.
  • Today in 2000, Joe Diffie was the recipient of the American Spirit Award for philanthropic involvement. Other celebrities who have received this award include: Neil Armstrong, Phyllis Diller, Richard Nixon, The Statler Brothers, Barbara Walters and John Wayne. In addition to the award, Joe received a $3000 check payable to the charity of his choice.
  • Today in 2000, less than three weeks after its release, Jo Dee Messina’s album, “Burn,” was certified gold.
  • Today in 2001, June Carter Cash underwent surgery to have a pacemaker installed.
  • Today in 2004, Tim McGraw’s album, “Live Like You Were Dying,” hit store shelves as the title track was released as a digital single.
  • Today in 2012, Kacey Musgraves’ “Merry Go ‘Round” hit the airwaves.
  • Today in 2014, Love And Theft’s Stephen Barker Liles married Jenna Kennedy at Ruby Nashville.
  • Today in 2015, Natalie Maines was a surprise guest during Taylor Swift’s concert at the Staples Center in Los Angeles for a duet on “Goodbye Earl.” Others taking the stage include Ellen DeGeneres and Alanis Morissette, who joins Swift on “You Oughta Know.”
  • Today in 2016, Little Big Town raised a glass as their single, “Girl Crush,” was certified triple-platinum.
  • Today in 2016, “People” reported Jana Kramer had split with husband Michael Caussin, who had enrolled in a rehab program.
  • Today in 2018, Miranda Lambert told “The Tennessean” that she was “happily single,” subtly announcing that her relationship with The Turnpike Troubadours’ lead singer, Evan Felker, had ended.
  • Today in 2019, Kane Brown participated in a Habitat For Humanity home build in Nashville.
  • Today in 2019, Coors Light introduced a new football-themed commercial that featured Roger Miller’s recording of “Get Up In The Morning.”
  • Today in 2021, Sam Hunt and Old Dominion headlined as the Academy of Country Music held its charity event, Party for a Cause, in Nashville for the first time at the Ascend Amphitheater. Also appearing were Trisha Yearwood, Lee Brice, Brett Eldredge, Mickey Guyton and Tenille Townes.


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