This day in Country Music History

  • Today in 1976, Jerry Lee Lewis was arrested. He was celebrating his birthday by popping off a few rounds on his .357 Magnum. Two of those rounds hit bass player Butch Owens square in the chest. Amazingly, Owens survived and “The Killer” was later charged with setting-off a firearm within city limits.
  • Today in 1980, Ronnie Milsap released his “Greatest Hits” collection.
  • Today in 1984, Keith Whitley made his debut on the country charts with “Turn Me On To Love.”
  • Today in 1987, the Judds’ “Christmas Time With The Judds” project and the “Just Us” album by Alabama arrived in stores.
  • Today in 1993, Mark Chesnutt won the CMA Horizon Award.
  • Today in 1993, Vince Gill had a lot to celebrate. Not only was his album, “I Still Believe In You,” certified double platinum, but he also took home 5 trophies (including Entertainer of the Year) at the CMA Awards.
  • Today in 1993, Willie Nelson was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
  • Today in 1995, Tracy Lawrence topped the singles charts with “If the World Had a Front Porch.”
  • Today in 1998, Martina McBride released her first holiday album, “White Christmas,” and Lorrie Morgan released “Secret Love,” her album of pop standards.
  • Today in 1999, Garth Brooks’ NBC-TV special, “In The Life of Chris Gaines,” premiered.
  • Today in 2000, Faith Hill’s album, “Faith,” was certified for multi-platinum sales of five million.
  • Today in 2000, Keith Urban made his Grand Ole Opry debut.
  • Today in 2004, Randy Travis received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
  • Today in 2005, Kenny Chesney’s “Who You’d Be Today” video and Toby Keith’s “Big Blue Note” debuted on CMT.
  • Today in 2009, Miranda Lambert’s album, “Revolution,” arrived in stores.
  • Today in 2011, John Rich and his wife, Joan, welcomed their son, Colt Daniel Rich.
  • Today in 2014, Eric Paslay’s “She Don’t Love You” hit the airwaves.
  • Today in 2015, Dierks Bentley celebrated 10 years as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Among the songs in his extended set were “What Was I Thinkin’,” “Settle For A Slowdown,” “Free And Easy (Down The Road I Go)” and “Home.”
  • Today in 2015, Reba McEntire and Little Big Town members Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman made a surprise appearance at a Nashville club, singing “Jolene” with The Shadowboxers at the Basement East.
  • Today in 2017, it was a big day for Kenny Chesney. His singles “Save It For A Rainy Day” and the Grace Potter collaboration, “Wild Child,” went gold He also earns a platinum single for the P!nk duet, “Setting The World On Fire”
  • Today in 2017, Shania Twain’s “Now” album was released.
  • Today in 2017, Miranda Lambert’s single “Vice” is certified gold and platinum by the RIAA. On the same day, “Think Of You,” the Chris Young duet with Cassadee Pope, was certified platinum and Brad Paisley snags a single, “Perfect Storm,” also went gold.
  • Today in 2018, Willie Nelson headlined a fundraising concert for Texas Democratic congressional candidate Beto O’Rourke, playing for 50,000 people at Auditorium Shores in Austin. Also on the bill were Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real and Joe Ely.
  • Today in 2018, Carrie Underwood’s “Cry Pretty” hit #1 on the Billboard country albums chart.
  • Today in 2019, Kimberly Williams-Paisley’s third Dance Party To End Alz raises $350,000 for charity at Nashville’s Wildhorse Saloon. Performances for the ’80s-themed event include Jamie O’Neal’s “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” Hunter Hayes’ “Footloose,” Shenandoah’s “Two Dozen Roses” and Brad Paisley’s “Dixieland Delight.”
  • Today in 2020, Mac Davis diedin Nashville several days after undergoing heart bypass surgery. A recording artist, actor and TV host, he earned country hits with “It’s Hard To Be Humble” and “Texas In My Rear View Mirror” and penned hits for Elvis Presley, Bobby Goldsboro and Kenny Rogers & The First Edition.
  • Today in 2020, Luke Combs was named the Nashville Songwriters Association International’s Artist/Songwriter of the Year for the second straight year.


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