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Country Music History – May 22

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MAY 22

1892: Ralph Sylvester Peer was born in Kansas City, MO. A 1984 inductee in the Country Music Hall of Fame, he discovers, produces and manages a number of country’s first major stars, particularly Jimmie Rodgers and The Carter Family. Ralph Peer is heavily credited for the Big Bang of Country Music in Bristol, TN in 1927.

1937: Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys performed on the Grand Ole Opry for the first time.

1958: Jerry Lee Lewis arrived in London, where he admitted he married his teenage cousin, Myra. He was booed offstage and forced to cancel 34 of his 37 scheduled concerts.

1961: Bass player Dana Williams was born in Dayton, OH. He joined Diamond Rio, a band that won the Country Music Association’s Vocal Group award three times. Members of the Grand Ole Opry, the band thrives on tight instrumentation and strong harmonies. 

1986: George Jones and Merle Haggard posted $50,000 bond money to get Johnny Paycheck out of jail in Hillsboro, Ohio, where he was being held for the December shooting of Larry Wise in a barroom argument.

1993: Kenny played a Civil War photographer on the weekly series “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.” 

2001: Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney took the stand in their Orchard Park, NY trial over a June horse incident. McGraw contradicts police testimony, saying the police assaulted him. McGraw testified that he was hit twice with a nightstick.

2011: Reba McEntire, Jean Shepard and songwriter Bobby Braddock were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.