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April 2

Apr 2, 1942: Pop artist Leon Russell is born in Lawton, Oklahoma. He joins Willie Nelson on a 1979 remake of “Heartbreak Hotel,” and records two country albums under the assumed name Hank Wilson, a hybrid of Hank Williams and Hank Thompson

Apr 2, 1947: Emmylou Harris is born in Birmingham, Alabama. After attaining commercial success, she edges into what becomes an alt.country career, gaining numerous Grammy awards and a 2008 induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame

Apr 2, 1938: Warner Mack is born in Nashville, Tennessee. A regular on “The Louisiana Hayride” and “The Ozark Jubilee,” he nabs more than 10 Top 10 hits in the 1950s and ’60s, including his signature song, “The Bridge Washed Out”

Apr 2, 1941: Songwriter Sonny Throckmorton is born in Carlsbad, New Mexico. He writes The Judds’ “Why Not Me,” Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Middle Age Crazy” and George Strait’s “The Cowboy Rides Away,” joining the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1987

Apr 2, 1956: Johnny Cash records “I Walk The Line” and “Get Rhythm” at the Sun Recording Studio in Memphis

Apr 2, 1960: Bless their little pea-pickin’ magazine: Tennessee Ernie Ford is featured on the cover of TV Guide

Apr 2, 1961: Buddy Jewell is born in Osceola, Arkansas. After singing on demos for a number of years in Music City, he wins the first “Nashville Star” TV competition in 2003, leading to a recording contract and a gold album

Apr 2, 1962: Billy Dean is born in Quincy, Florida. He tells people his birthday is April 2nd, so they won’t think of him as an April Fool. He nets a series of smooth hits in the 1990s, including “Somewhere In My Broken Heart,” “Billy The Kid” and “Only The Wind”

Apr 2, 1970: Conway Twitty records “Fifteen Years Ago” at Bradley’s Barn in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee

Apr 2, 1977: “Lucille” brings Kenny Rogers his first #1 country single in Billboard magazine

Apr 2, 1978: “Dallas” debuts on CBS, introducing the world to J.R. Ewing, and contributing to the development of 1980’s “Urban Cowboy” movement. “Dallas” cast member Charlene Tilton goes on to marry “Urban Cowboy” success story Johnny Lee

Apr 2, 1987: President Ronald Reagan presents Minnie Pearl with the American Cancer Society’s Courage Award at the White House in Washington, D.C.

Apr 2, 1990: Diamond Rio signs its first recording contract, with Arista Records

Apr 2, 1998: The Jordanaires enter the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, along with such other groups as The Imperials, J.D. Sumner & The Stamps, The Speer Family, The Chuck Wagon Gang and The Blackwood Brothers, during a Nashville ceremony