This day in Country Music History

  • Today in 1980, as a result of a television report on ABC-TV’s “20/20,” the official case surrounding the 1977 death of Elvis Presley was reopened.
  • Today in 1986, Eddie Rabbitt and Juice Newton’s single, “Both To Each Other (Friends & Lovers),” went to #1 in “Radio & Records.”
  • Today in 1990, Alan Jackson’s “Here In The Real World” album was certified gold.
  • Today in 1991, the album, ‘If There Was A Way,” by Dwight Yoakam was certified gold.
  • Today in 1991, George Strait’s “Greatest Hits” album certified double platinum.
  • Today in 1994, on his birthday, George Jones underwent triple bypass surgery at Nashville’s Baptist Hospital.
  • Today in 1995, George Jones and Tammy Wynette’s “Greatest Hits” album was certified gold.
  • Today in 1995, the “Greatest Hits – From The Beginning” album by Travis Tritt was released
  • Today in 1995, George Jones’ “Greatest Hits” album was certified gold.
  • Today in 1995, the “Strait Out Of The Box” album by George Strait was released.
  • Today in 1998, a concert by Shania Twain was televised live on DirecTV, in what the direct broadcast satellite service claimed is the first such TV event for the country star.
  • Today in 1998, Vince Gill made his 100th appearance on the Grand Ole Opry.
  • Today in 1999, a sold-out crowd of 23,000 people listened to Willie Nelson, Deana Carter, Sawyer Brown, Trisha Yearwood, John Mellencamp and other performers at Farm Aid ’99. The all-day event, the latest in a series of fund-raisers for farmers that started in 1985, came at a time when many East Coast growers were facing a severe drought. Since it began, Farm Aid has given $14.5 million to more than 100 farm organizations, churches and service groups in 44 states.
  • Today in 2002, the rumors were official – the Dixie Chicks’ album, “Home,” was certified platinum. Now, official Soundscan figures have confirmed it. In its second week of release, the project sold 367,000 copies (following record setting first-week sales of 779,828). It was enough to keep them on top of the Billboard 200 charts and the “Billboard” Top Country Albums chart for another week.
  • Today in 2002, George Strait launched his “Road Less Traveled” tour in Detroit Jo Dee Messina as his opening act. It was George’s first arena tour in five years. He been headlining his George Strait Country Music Festival at stadiums from 1999 to 2001.
  • Today in 2003, the famed “The Man in Black” Johnny Cash, who became a towering figure in American music with such hits as “Folsom Prison Blues,” “I Walk the Line” and “A Boy Named Sue,” died at the age of 71. In a statement issued by Baptist Hospital in Nashville, Cash’s longtime manager and friend, Lou Robin, said, “Johnny died due to complications from diabetes, which resulted in respiratory failure.” He noted that Cash died at the hospital at 1 am ET and added, “I hope that friends and fans of Johnny will pray for the Cash family to find comfort during this very difficult time.” The stunning news came as Cash had been released from the hospital the previous Wednesday after a two-week stay for treatment of an unspecified stomach ailment. Some reports circulated that he had been suffering from pancreatitis. The illness caused him to miss the MTV Music awards, where he had been nominated in seven categories and won the trophy for Best Cinematography. In his later years, Cash had battled a disease of the nervous system, autonomic neuropathy, and pneumonia. His beloved wife, June, had passed four months earlier.
  • Today in 2003, the “Man In Black” – aka Johnny Cash – passed away. He joined his beloved wife, June Carter Cash, who had died the previous May. Among his accolades, Cash was a member of both the Country Music and Rock & Roll Halls of Fame.
  • Today in 2007, Brad Paisley scored a gold album for “5th
  • Today in 2008, Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” video debuted on CMT.
  • Today in 2014, Garth Brooks took batting practice with the Chicago White Sox at US Cellular Field. The night’s baseball game is rained out.
  • Today in 2014, The Band Perry’s single, “Postcard From Paris,” went gold.
  • Today in 2016, Jana Kramer took the stage as a contestant for “Dancing With The Stars.” Julianne Hough returns as a judge. Other competitors include Vanilla Ice, Maureen McCormick, Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte and former Texas governor Rick Perry, who danced a cha cha to “God Blessed Texas.”
  • Today in 2017, Kane Brown, who was formerly homeless, participated in a congressional briefing on the rental housing crisis in Washington, DC.
  • Today in 2017, George Strait headlined a Hurricane Harvey benefit concert at the Majestic Theatre in San Antonio – he was joined on the bill by Miranda Lambert, Chris Stapleton, Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen. It became part of the multi-network special, “Hand In Hand: A Benefit For Hurricane Relief.” Blake Shelton and Usher performed “Stand By Me” were from the Grand Ole Opry …as were Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker, Demi Lovato and CeCe Winans, who offered up, “A Little Help From My Friends.”


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