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Country Music History – May 18


MAY 18

1942: Rodney Dillard WAs born in East St. Louis, IL. He plays guitar for The Dillards, a bluegrass group that influenced The Eagles and gained prominence in its role as The Darlings on “The Andy Griffith Show.”

1948: Joe Bonsall was born in Philadelphia. In 1973, the ex-gang member became a tenor singer in the gospel quartet The Oak Ridge Boys, who soon shifted into country music. You can hear him sing lead on hits like “Elvira,” “Bobbie Sue” and “Love Song.” The Oaks joined the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2015.

1950: Songwriter Tom Shapiro was born in Kansas City, MO. Among more than 50 hits, he authored Brooks & Dunn’s “Ain’t Nothing ‘Bout You,” Neal McCoy’s “Wink,” Keith Urban’s “You Look Good In My Shirt” and George Strait’s “Living And Living Well.”

1952: George Strait was born in Poteet, TX. The authentic cowboy became a voice for traditional country beginning in 1981, accruing more than 25 gold albums and membership in the Country Music Hall of Fame.

1974: Ray Stevens’ novelty hit “The Streak” went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.

1986: Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson and Waylon Jennings appeared in a CBS-TV remake of the western movie “Stagecoach,” along with June Carter, John Schneider, John Carter Cash, Jessi Colter, David Allan Coe and Billy Swan.

1999: Reba McEntire’s book, “Comfort From A Country Quilt,” was #8 on the “New York Times” non-fiction hardcover bestseller list.

2003: A wheelchair-bound Johnny Cash sat in the front row at the funeral for June Carter at the First Baptist Church in Hendersonville, TN. Emmylou Harris, Larry Gatlin, The Oak Ridge Boys and Sheryl Crow all performed at the memorial.

2019: Travis Tritt’s bus was sideswiped on Highway 22 near Myrtle Beach as it dodged a crash. A jeep going the wrong way hit a pickup head-on, killing two people. Tritt was unharmed.