This day in Country Music History

  • Today in 1956, “Billboard’s” annual DJ’s Poll found that Elvis Presley was the most-played country artist and male artist overall.
  • Today in 1969, Gene Autry’s “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” recording is certified gold.
  • Today in 1973, David “Stringbean” Akeman (a regular on the “Porter Wagoner Show” and “HeeHaw”) and his wife, Estelle, were murdered by burglars in their home.
  • Today in 1984, “Dukes of Hazzard” actor-turned-singer John Schneider had his first #1 country single with “I’ve Been Around Enough to Know.”
  • Today in 1994, Tracy Lawrence earned a gold record for “I See It Now.”
  • Today in 1999, George Strait’s “Blue Clear Sky” album was certified triple-platinum. The same day, the “Pure Country” film soundtrack was certified multi-platinum for sales of 6-million.
  • Today in 1999, Vince Gill’s album, “The Key,” was certified platinum.
  • Today in 1999, Reba McEntire’s album, “What If It’s You” was certified double platinum.
  • Today in 2000, Billy Yates made his Grand Ole Opry debut.
  • Today in 2000, Travis Tritt’s single, “Best of Intentions,” was #1 on “Radio & Records’” Country Top 50 chart.
  • Today in 2001, Toby Keith appeared on CBS’s “Touched by an Angel” series.
  • Today in 2001, after a three-year romance, Chalee Tennison married her guitar player, Mark Gillespie, in a private ceremony in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. About 50 of the couple’s closest friends and family members attended the intimate event, which took place in a wedding chapel nestled in the Great Smokey Mountains.
  • Today in 2003, an incredible list of stars converged on Nashville to honor the late Johnny Cash. The public event, which was hosted by actor Tim Robbins and taped by CMT for broadcast, celebrated the life and musical legacy of the Man In Black. The list of performers included his daughter Rosanne; Brooks & Dunn, Jack Clement, Rodney Crowell, Steve Earle, Larry Gatlin, George Jones, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Kid Rock, Marty Stuart, Travis Tritt, Hank Williams Jr., Dwight Yoakam, Sheryl Crow and others.
  • Today in 2004, “Redneck Woman” became Gretchen Wilson’s first gold single.
  • Today in 2005, Rascal Flatts video for “Skin (Sarabeth)” debuted on CMT.
  • Today in 2010, Miranda Lambert won three trophies at the 44th annual CMA awards.
  • Today in 2013, Rodney Atkins married Rose Falcon in Florida.
  • Today in 2014, Sam Hunt’s single, “Take Your Time,” hit the airwaves.
  • Today in 2019, Kellie Pickler starred alongside Patrick Duffy as the Hallmark Channel premieres a Christmas movie, “The Mistletoe Secret.” Recurring themes in the two-hour production include deception, community and pie.
  • Today in 2019, Little Big Town performed “Why Me” at Cash Fest, a Johnny Cash celebration at Nashville’s Memorial Auditorium that raised money for MusiCares. Also appearing are Elle King, Morgan Wallen, Devin Dawson, Cam, Grace Potter and Midland, who cover “(Ghost) Riders In The Sky.”
  • Today in 2019, Blake Shelton is named Country Artist of 2019 in the E! People’s Choice Awards at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California. Taylor Swift’s “Lover” took Album of 2019, and P!nk was named the People’s Champion for her activism.
  • Today in 2020, Justin Moore, Craig Morgan and Kellie Pickler perform during Salute To Our Heroes, a virtual benefit for the Robert Irvine Foundation on the eve of Veteran’s Day.
  • Today in 2021, Chris Stapleton won four trophies during the 55th annual CMA Awards, televised on ABC from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. He takes Male Vocalist of the Year, earned Album for “Starting Over” and claimed Single and Song for the title track.


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