This day in Country Music History

  • Today in 1945, Elvis Presley made his first public appearance at the age of ten in a talent show at the Mississippi-Alabama Dairy Show. He sang “Old Shep” and won a second prize of $5.
  • Today in 1983, Ricky Skaggs’ “Highways & Heartaches” album was certified gold.
  • Today in 1983, the “San Antonio Rose” album by Willie Nelson & Ray Price was certified gold.
  • Today in 1989, the “Best Of Vince Gill” collection was released.
  • Today in 1989, the album, “This Woman,” by K.T. Oslin was certified platinum.
  • Today in 1992, Collin Raye’s “In This Life” rose to #1 on the Billboard country chart.
  • Today in 1993, Tim Rushlow and his wife, Mary Jane, were married.
  • Today in 1994, Rosanne Cash’s album, “King’s Record Shop,” was certified gold.
  • Today in 1995, Reba McEntire’s “Starting Over” album was released.
  • Today in 1995, Dwight Yoakam halts his rehearsal for the Country Music Association awards at the Grand Ole Opry House to watch the verdict in the O.J. Simpson trial handed down on TV. Simpson is found not guilty, and Yoakam goes back to work.
  • Today in 1998, Willie Nelson held Farm Aid ’98 at the New World Music Theatre in Tinley Park, Illinois, with Neil Young, Brian Wilson, Michael Peterson, Toby Keith, Vern Gosdin, David Allan Coe, K.T. Oslin, Steve Earle, John Mellencamp and Martina McBride.
  • Today in 1998, Tim McGraw resided at #1 on the Billboard country singles chart with “Where the Green Grass Grows.”
  • Today in 1998, Martina McBride and others joined Farm Aid founders Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Neil Young to perform at Farm Aid. The audience of 20,000 was entertained at the New World Music Theater in Tinley Park, Illinois.
  • Today in 2000, Kenny Rogers’ album, “There You Go Again,” and Travis Tritt’s album, “Down the Road I Go,” arrived in stores.
  • Today in 2001, Diamond Rio celebrated the gold certification of their album, “One More Day.”
  • Today in 2002, Faith Hill’s “Cry” video premiered on CMT.
  • Today in 2003, a new episode of “CMT Crossroads,” pairing Kenny Chesney and John Mellencamp, debuted. Hosted by Radney Foster, the show’s set list includes “Young,” “Small Town,” “Jack & Diane” and “Back Where I Come From.”
  • Today in 2011, Hank Williams Jr. compared President Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler on a FOX News broadcast. ESPN subsequently pulls Bocephus’ theme song from that night’s telecast of “Monday Night Football.”
  • Today in 2013, the Zac Brown Band’s single “Knee Deep,” featuring Jimmy Buffett, went gold, platinum and double-platinum, while “Colder Weather” was certified platinum.
  • Today in 2014, as Little Big Town performed “Pontoon” on the Grand Ole Opry, Reba McEntire joined the band on harmony…then invited them to become Opry members.
  • Today in 2015, Luke Bryan was at #1 on the “Billboard” country singles chart with “Strip It Down.”
  • Today in 2016, Jana Kramer and her dance partner, Gleb Savchenko, performed a foxtrot to The Beatles’ song, “Here Comes The Sun,” on ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars.” They earned 23 of a possible 30 points from the judges, including Julianne Hough.
  • Today in 2017, “I made it”: Luke Bryan responds on Instagram after he’s part of a clue on the game show “Jeopardy”: “For great American music, this state that gave us Luke Bryan and R.E.M.”
  • Today in 2017, Rosanne Cash wrote an op-ed in “The New York Times,” challenging country artists to speak out against the National Rifle Association following the Las Vegas massacre saying: “NRA funds domestic terrorism.”
  • Today in 2018, Thomas Rhett’s album, “It Goes Like This,” went gold and On the same day? His single, “Die A Happy Man,” was certified quadruple- and quintuple-platinum.
  • Today in 2019, Kane Brown and Marshmello closed the CW’s telecast of “iHeart Radio Music Festival” with “One Thing Right.” The lineup also features Hootie + The Blowfish, Miley Cyrus, The Zac Brown Band, The Backstreet Boys and Tim McGraw, who performed “Truck Yeah.”
  • Today in 2019, Gary Allan’s single, “It Ain’t The Whiskey,” went gold.
  • Today in 2020, Morgan Wallen attended the NCAA football game as the Alabama Crimson Tide smacked down the Texas A&M Aggies, 52-24 in Tuscaloosa. Afterward, he inspired a backlash – because as he mingled with a string of fans, videos surfaced of him kissing a string of girls without observing pandemic-related distancing.
  • Today in 2020, Keith Urban’s “The Speed Of Now Part 1” hit the top spot on the Billboard country albums chart.


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