This day in Country Music History

  • Today in 1956, Elvis Presley made his first appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” He sang four songs, including “Love Me Tender” and “Don’t Be Cruel,” shot only from the waist up (because of his naughty hip movements). Charles Laughton was hosting in place of Sullivan, who was recuperating from an auto accident.
  • Today in 1957, Jerry Lee Lewis took “Whole Lot Of Shakin’ Going On” to #1 on the Billboard country singles chart.
  • Today in 1968, Buck Owens performed for president Lyndon Johnson at the White House. His set list includes “Act Naturally,” “Together Again,” “Gentle On My Mind,” “Orange Blossom Special” and “I’ve Got A Tiger By The Tail.”
  • Today in 1989, the single, “If Tomorrow Never Comes,” by Garth Brooks made its country chart debut on its way to #1.
  • Today in 1989, the late Keith Whitley was at #1 on the Billboard country chart with “I Wonder Do You Think Of Me.” Keith had passed the previous May.
  • Today in 1991, Tracy Byrd married his wife, Michelle.
  • Today in 1996, Bill Monroe died at the Northcrest Medical Center in Springfield, Tennessee, five months after suffering a stroke. Acknowledged as the “Father of Bluegrass,” he joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1939 and entered the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1970.
  • Today in 2001, the second season of Billy Ray Cyrus’ PAX television series, “Doc.”
  • Today in 2002, Alan Jackson performed in Washington, D.C. as the nation’s capital began its remembrance of the September/2001 terrorist attacks. His performance at The Pentagon aired live on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” Later that evening, he performed as part of the “Concert for America” at the Kennedy Center. That show, which also featured Reba McEntire, was taped for broadcast two days later (on the anniversary of the terrorist attacks).
  • Today in 2004, Willie Nelson performs a concert in Plains, Georgia, for an upcoming TV special, “CMT Homecoming: Jimmy Carter In Plains.”
  • Today in 2007, Joe Nichols married Heather Singleton at Whitfield Chapel in Savannah, Georgia.
  • Today in 2011, Lady A’s “We Owned The Night” video debuted on CMT.
  • Today in 2013, Keith Urban and Miranda Lambert’s duet, “We Were Us,” was released.
  • Today in 2016, Glen Campbell tributes bookend the CBS special, “The ACM Honors.” Hosts Lady A opened with “Galveston.” The close had Blake Shelton singing “Southern Nights,” Dierks Bentley’s “Gentle On My Mind,” Keith Urban’s “Wichita Lineman,” Toby Keith’s “By The Time I Get To Phoenix” and all four on “Rhinestone Cowboy.”


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