This day in Country Music History

  • Today in 1981, George Strait made his debut on the country chart with his first single, “Unwound.” Garth Brooks has said many times, “When I heard ‘Unwound,’ that was when I decided what I wanted to do with my life.”
  • Today in 1986, Johnny Paycheck was found guilty of shooting and wounding a man after an argument in an Ohio bar. He was sentenced to 9 1/2 years in prison, but was released in 1991.
  • Today in 1987, “To Know Him Is To Love Him” by the “Trio” of Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris hit #1 on the country charts.
  • Today in 1989, Reba McEntire’s first collection of “Greatest Hits” was certified platinum.
  • Today in 1994, the “Soon” album by Tanya Tucker was certified gold.
  • Today in 1994, Diamond Rio released the single, “Love A Little Stronger.”
  • Today in 1998, Faith Hill began a three-week run at #1 on the Billboard country chart with “This Kiss.”
  • Today in 2000, Trisha Yearwood told “The Tennessean” that the duet album that she and Garth Brooks had reportedly been planning for three years would not happen. She said quote, “I feel like the golden opportunity was then (referring to their 1998 tour), but that time has passed.” She went on to say that she and Garth are sometimes on completely different wavelengths. Maybe so, but at least they’re still happily married!
  • Today in 2000, Kathy Mattea released her album, “The Innocent Years.” BlackHawk also released their “Greatest Hits” album and Tracy Byrd’s “Wonders of Wildlife” project also hit stores.
  • Today in 2006, Kenny Chesney performed “There Goes My Life” and “Back Where I Come From” for president George W. Bush and Australian Prime Minister John Howard at the White House in Washington, D.C.
  • Today in 2009, David Nail made his Grand Ole Opry debut.
  • Today in 2013, Keith Urban performed “Little Bit Of Everything” during the season finale of FOX-TV’s “American Idol.” The Band Perry played “DONE.” Urban and contestant Kree Harrison also did “Where The Blacktop Ends” with Blink-182’s Travis Barker on drums and Randy Jackson on bass.
  • Today in 2015, Elvis Presley’s former tour bus sold for $263,000 during an auction of The King’s memorabilia by Julien’s at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York. Also among the more than 100 items were Presley’s Martin D-28 guitar, $76,800; his marriage certificate, $41,600; and his 1968 drivers license, $5,120.
  • Today in 2014, Jerrod Niemann performed during the 33rd annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., in advance of a speech by Vice President Joe Biden.
  • Today in 2017, Loretta Lynn’s team revealed she’d been moved from the hospital into a rehab facility as she recuperated from the stroke she’d had May 4th.
  • Today in 2017, Randy Rogers and his wife, Chelsea, welcomed daughter, Rainey Ryan Rogers.
  • Today in 2020, Russell Dickerson snapped up a platinum single from the RIAA for “Every Little Thing.”
  • Today in 2020, a day after Hannah Mulholland announced her departure, Runaway June revealed Natalie Stovall was joining the trio.
  • Today in 2021, the state of Tennessee recognized Eddy Arnold with the installation of a Music Pathways marker at Sue Shelton White Park in Henderson.
  • Today in 2021, Ryan Hurd made his Grand Ole Opry debut. His wife, Maren Morris, made a surprise appearance to duet on “Chasing After You,” while Hurd joined Lady A on “What If I Never Get Over You.”


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