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August 17

Aug 17, 1896
Gold is discovered in Alaska, setting off the Klondike gold rush. It provides a backdrop for Lefty Frizzell’s deceitful 1964 hit “Saginaw, Michigan” and Johnny Horton’s crossover single “North To Alaska”
Aug 17, 1927
E.W. “Bud” Wendell is born in Akron, Ohio. He becomes the manager of the Grand Ole Opry, and eventually the head of Gaylord Entertainment, entering the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1998
Aug 17, 1951
Ralph Stanley is seriously injured in an auto accident near Raleigh, North Carolina. During his recovery, Bill Monroe drops plans to bring The Stanley Brothers on as members of his backing band
Aug 17, 1955
Singer/songwriter Kevin Welch is born in Los Angeles. He pens such hits as Gary Morris’ “Velvet Chains,” Moe Bandy’s “Till I’m Too Old To Die Young,” Don Williams’ “Desperately” and Ricky Skaggs’ “Let It Be You”

Aug 17, 1958
Charlie Rich has his first recording session for Sun Records in Memphis
Aug 17, 1972
Charley Pride records “She’s Too Good To Be True”
Aug 17, 1976
Barbara Mandrell records “Married But Not To Each Other” in Nashville
Aug 17, 1977
Steve Wariner has his first recording session, cutting “I’m Already Taken” at RCA Studio B. The studio is filled with reporters, but they are uninterested in Steve. Elvis Presley had died the day prior, and they want to interview producer Chet Atkins

Aug 17, 1978
Warner Bros. releases Rodney Crowell’s debut album, “Ain’t Living Long Like This.” Four songs he wrote for the album become hits for others: “Leaving Louisiana In The Broad Daylight,” “Voila, An American Dream,” the title track and “Song For The Life”
Aug 17, 1979
MCA releases the Barbara Mandrell album “Just For The Record”
Aug 17, 1982
The PolyGram pressing plant in Hanover, West Germany, creates the first CD
Aug 17, 1985
“Highwayman” appears at the top of the Billboard chart, teaming Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson

Aug 17, 1986
Ricky Skaggs’ son, Andrew, is shot in the neck by a truck driver, Edward Duehring, after the boy’s mother, Brenda, passed Duehring’s tractor-trailer on Interstate 81 near Troutville, Virginia. Duehring felt she cut back into his lane too soon
Aug 17, 1991
George Strait’s “You Know Me Better Than That” begins a three-week stay at #1 on the Billboard country chart
Aug 17, 1993
The U.S. postal service unveils a Patsy Cline stamp in Boston
Aug 17, 1994
Lynn Anderson has a guest role on the syndicated sci-fi show “Babylon 5”
Aug 17, 1994
Epic releases Ken Mellons’ self-titled debut album