This day in Country Music History

  • Today in 1971, Jerry Lee Lewis makes his Grand Ole Opry debut – and broke two promises: that he wouldn’t sing rock & roll, and wouldn’t swear. The set list included “Another Place, Another Time,” “Johnny B. Goode,” “Great Balls Of Fire” and “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On.”
  • Today in 1989, George Bush’s inauguration was all kinds of country. Performing for the occasion were: The Oak Ridge Boys, Crystal Gayle, Moe Bandy, Steve Wariner, Lee Greenwood, Randy Travis and Loretta Lynn.
  • Today in 1995, Wynonna’s self-titled solo debut album was certified quadruple platinum.
  • Today in 1995, Reba McEntire topped the country charts with “‘Til You Loved Me.
  • Today in 1997, Billy Ray Cyrus, Lonestar, Trisha Yearwood and Kim Richey were among the performers at Bill Clinton’s inaugural celebration, which includes 14 different receptions. Vice President Al Gore and wife Tipper danced to the “Tennessee Waltz.”
  • Today in 1998, Garth Brooks released the home video version of his concert in Central Park.
  • Today in 2001, Sara Evans soared to #1 in Billboard with “Born To Fly.”
  • Today in 2005, Keith Urban and John Fogerty taped an episode of “CMT Crossroads” together at Union Station in Los Angeles. In addition to Urban’s hits “You’ll Think Of Me,” “Somebody Like You” and “Days Go By,” they also worked up a version of “Blue Suede Shoes.”
  • Today in 2009, Faith Hill performed “If My Heart Had Wings” at the Washington Convention Center during ABC’s “The Neighborhood Ball: An Inauguration Celebration.” Also appearing: Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, Sting, Alicia Keys and Stevie Wonder.
  • Today in 2013, the Zac Brown Band performed “The Star-Spangled Banner” before the NFC Championship Game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. The San Francisco 49ers advance to the Super Bowl with a 28-24 win against the Falcons.
  • Today in 2015, Lady A and Pat Green performed during the inaugural ball for governor Greg Abbott in Austin, Texas.
  • Today in 2016, Justin Moore made a surprise appearance at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge in Nashville, buying a round of drinks for the bar and performing “You Look Like I Need A Drink.”
  • Today in 2017, “Take Your Time” songwriter Shane McAnally married Michael Baum in Nashville with mayor Megan Barry officiating.
  • Today in 2017, Big & Rich played an RIAA inaugural ball with Cowboy Troy at the 930 Club in Washington, D.C., with funds going to Musicians On Call.
  • Today in 2018, Dolly Parton received two MidSouth Emmy awards at the Music City Center in Nashville, including one for the Smoky Mountains Rising telethon.
  • Today in 2019, no joke – Kris Kristofferson welcomed Marilyn Manson on stage with Tanya Tucker, Shooter Jennings and actor Dennis Quaid to perform “Why Me” during Kristofferson’s concert at the Ace Hotel in Los Angeles. Kristofferson, Tucker and Quaid closed the show with “Please Don’t Tell Me How The Story Ends.”
  • Today in 2021, Tyler Hubbard and Tim McGraw sang “Undivided” as multiple TV networks air the inaugural special “Celebrating America.” Helping usher in Joe Biden’s administration are Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Katy Perry, Demi Lovato, Foo Fighters, Justin Timberlake and John Legend.
  • Today in 2021, Garth Brooks performed “Amazing Grace” following Joe Biden’s inaugural speech at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Lady Gaga delivered the national anthem, and Jennifer Lopez offers a mashup of “This Land Is Your Land” and “America, The Beautiful.”


Stay updated, sign up for our newsletter.