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April 6

Apr 6, 1883: Vernon Dalhart is born in Jefferson, Texas. After working in a variety of styles, his 1924 recording of “The Wreck Of The Old ’97” and “The Prisoner’s Song” becomes country music’s first million-seller

Apr 6, 1928: Victor releases Jimmie Rodgers’ classic “In The Jail House Now” backed with “Ben Dewberry’s Final Run”

Apr 6, 1937: Merle Haggard is born in Bakersfield, California. After imprisonment in San Quentin, he becomes a legendary singer/songwriter with his blue-collar observations and rich vocal style sending him into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1994

Apr 6, 1946: Believing he can make more money on the road than at the Grand Ole Opry, Roy Acuff makes what is supposed to be his final Opry appearance. He returns to the cast one year later

Apr 6, 1957: Ferlin Husky reaches the top of the Billboard country chart with “Gone”

Apr 6, 1960: Guitarist Warren Haynes is born in Asheville, North Carolina. A member of The Allman Brothers Band and a founder of Gov’t Mule, he co-writes the Garth Brooks hit “Two Of A Kind, Working On A Full House”

Apr 6, 1967: Nineteen artists band together to record a tribute to Chet Atkins, titled “Chet’s Tune,” including Eddy Arnold, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Porter Wagoner, Norma Jean, Hank Snow, Hank Locklin, Dottie West and Skeeter Davis

Apr 6, 1972: George Jones & Tammy Wynette record “The Ceremony”

Apr 6, 1979: Claiming the worst is behind him, embattled George Jones performs at Nashville’s Exit/In just two months after filing for bankruptcy. The concert becomes a celebrated moment in Jones’ lore

Apr 6, 1987: Gene Autry receives an unprecedented fifth star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame

Apr 6, 1987: MCA releases George Strait’s “All My Ex’s Live In Texas”

Apr 6, 1987: Randy Travis claims four trophies–Top Male Vocalist; Album of the Year, for “Storms Of Life”; and Single Record and Song, for “On The Other Hand”–in the 22nd Academy Of Country Music awards, aired by NBC from Knott’s Berry Farm in California

Apr 6, 1991: Garth Brooks hits #1 on the Billboard country chart with “Two Of A Kind, Workin’ On A Full House”

Apr 6, 1992: The American public begins voting on whether an image of the younger Elvis or the older Elvis should appear on the forthcoming Elvis Presley stamp

Apr 6, 1992: Mercury releases Billy Ray Cyrus’ “Achy Breaky Heart”

Apr 6, 1998: Tammy Wynette dies at home in Nashville from a blood clot in her lung. Noted for the classics “Stand By Your Man” and “D-I-V-O-R-C-E,” the First Lady of Country Music is inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame five months later

Apr 6, 2007: Ralph Stanley is honored at a $100-a-plate fundraiser at the Meadowview Convention Center in Kingsport, Tennessee, by Alison Krauss, Porter Wagoner and Dan Tyminski, among others. The event closes with a mass performance of “I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow”

Apr 6, 2009: George Strait is hailed as the Academy of Country Music’s Artist of the Decade during a taping for a CBS-TV special at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Strait closes the night with the rest of the cast backing him on “Troubadour”

Apr 6, 2013: George Jones performs at the Knoxville Coliseum in Tennessee in what turns out to be the last concert of his life. It marks his final public performance of “He Stopped Loving Her Today”

Apr 6, 2016: Merle Haggard dies after a battle with pneumonia in California. A smooth singer, adept guitarist, insightful songwriter and Country Music Hall of Fame member, his legacy includes “Okie From Muskogee,” “Workin’ Man Blues,” “Big City” and “Today I Started Loving You Again”

Apr 6, 2017: The late Merle Haggard is honored with an all-star concert at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, featuring Willie Nelson, Dierks Bentley, Miranda Lambert, Kenny Chesney, Loretta Lynn and Jamey Johnson