This day in Country Music History

  • Today in 1950, Sam Phillips opened the Sun Recording Studio, originally known as the Memphis Recording Service, at 706 Union Avenue in Memphis. It became a site for sessions by Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis, among others.
  • Today in 1975, John Denver scored a gold single with “Back Home Again.”
  • Today in 1986, Willie Nelson and Alabama collected four nominations each at the American Music Awards. Lee Greenwood and Hank Williams Jr. were tapped three times each.
  • Today in 1991, Billy Ray Cyrus signed his first recording contract with Mercury Records in Ashland, Kentucky. In conjunction with the event, the mayors of Ashland and Flatwoods, Kentucky, each proclaim Billy Ray Cyrus Day.
  • Today in 1999, Lee Ann Womack and her record producer husband Frank Liddell welcomed daughter, Anna Lise Liddell, in Nashville.
  • Today in 2000, LeAnn Rimes’ self-titled album was certified platinum, becoming the first release to receive a sales award in the new millennium.
  • Today in 2001, Toby Keith performed the national anthem before the game and Lee Ann Womack sang “I Hope You Dance” during halftime at the Orange Bowl in Miami. The Oklahoma Sooners beat the Florida State Seminoles, 13-2.
  • Today in 2012, Dustin Lynch’s debut single, “Cowboys And Angels,” hit the airwaves.
  • Today in 2014, Eric Church’s single, “Give Me Back My Hometown,” was released.
  • Today in 2017, Willie Nelson posted a photo on Facebook of an ugly Christmas sweater he received from rapper Snoop Dogg, which was emblazoned with a unique yuletide message: “Smoke Weed Everyday.”
  • Today in 2018, LANco’s single, “Greatest Love Story,” went platinum.
  • Today in 2018, Mickey Gilley and his son are injured when their car rolls over three times after being hit by another driver who ran a stop sign on Highway 59 near Corrigan, Texas. Gilley fractures an ankle and his right shoulder and postponed a January 6th
  • Today in 2018, Nielsen Music announced Chris Stapleton had the best-selling country album of 2017 with “From A Room: Volume 1,” selling 658-thousand copies during the year. Sam Hunt’s “Body Like A Back Road” was the most-downloaded country single, at 1.8-million units, and the most-streamed, as well.


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