This day in Country Music History

  • Today in 1958, twenty-year-old Merle Haggard was convicted of second-degree burglary, after a botched break-in attempt at a Bakersfield, California nightclub. He served two years and nine months in prison at San Quentin, and he really did “turn 21 in prison,” as he sang in his hit “Mama Tried.” He was paroled in 1960, and eventually pardoned by then-California governor, Ronald Reagan, in 1972.
  • Today in 1972, Kris Kristofferson got five nominations at the Grammys for three songs: “Help Me Make It Through The Night,” “For the Good Times,” and “Me and Bobby McGee.”
  • Today in 1981, at the American Music Awards, Kenny Rogers won four awards including Favorite Country Single for “Coward of the Country,” and Country Album for “The Gambler.” The Eagles, The Statler Brothers, and Barbara Mandrell also won awards.
  • Today in 1985, in his first Warner Brothers recording session, Randy Travis recorded “Prairie Rose,” and “On The Other Hand.”
  • Today in 1988, Kathy Mattea’s “Goin’ Gone” became a #1 country single.
  • Today in 1994, at the Super Bowl’s “Rockin’ Country” halftime show, Clint Black, Travis Tritt, and Tanya Tucker were featured. The Judds sang “Love Can Build a Bridge.” The Dallas Cowboys beat the Buffalo Bills 30-13.
  • Today in 2000, Faith Hill sang the national anthem at Super Bowl XXXIV, with Travis Tritt performing in the pre-game show. Faith was especially excited about her participation because the big game featured the St. Louis Rams facing off against the Tennessee Titans. Unfortunately, her performance wasn’t enough to send the Titans home with a ring – the Rams took the prize and defeated Titans 23-to-16.
  • Today in 2001, Faith Hill was among the top picks in the seventh annual Hanes Hosiery Sexy Legs Survey. The survey revealed that for most people, sexy legs are the one physical feature that turns up the heat! Singer/actress Jennifer Lopez may have taken the top prize – but when people were asked whose legs they’d most like theirs to resemble – guess who trounced the competition (including Jennifer)? Yup – none other than Mrs. McGraw!
  • Today in 2001, LeAnn Rimes’ album, “I Need You,” arrived in stores. Around the time of the release, LeAnn took the highly unusual step of publicly distancing herself from the project. In fact, she denounced the existence of the album, saying it was an unauthorized move by the record company. LeAnn and her record company later kissed and made up.
  • Today in 2001, “Stuff” magazine released its list of the “2001 Sexiest Women.” Making the list this time around were Shania Twain and LeAnn Rimes.
  • Today in 2002, the success of Alan Jackson’s “Drive” album was kicking into high gear internationally. Following the previous chart-topping success in the U.S., the project debuted on the Canadian album charts in the #1 spot! If that’s not enough, he also kept Canadian rockers Nickelback in the #2 slot. SoundScan Canada also noted that this wasn’t a close victory for Alan — his sales of 12,900 put him well ahead of the group whose album, “Silver Side Up,” sold 9,100 copies.
  • Today in 2002, Freddy Fender was released from a San Antonio, Texas hospital after having a kidney transplant the week before. Fender had been having problems related to diabetes and hepatitis C.
  • Today in 2003, the “Live” album by Alison Krauss + Union Station was certified gold.
  • Today in 2004, Keith Urban’s “You’ll Think of Me” video premiered on CMT.
  • Today in 2011, Dierks Bentley started recording at the Echo Mountain Studios in Asheville, North Carolina for several days, during which time he recorded “Am I The Only One.” The sessions were captured on video, and posted online with no sound.
  • Today in 2013, Blake Shelton’s “Red River Blue” album went platinum.


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