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February 19

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Three days after first meeting at the Schroeder Hotel in Milwaukee, songwriters Boudleaux and Felice Bryant married informally in 1945. The real marriage didn’t occur until later that year. The two went on to membership in the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Webb Pierce quit the Grand Ole Opry for the second time in two years in 1957. The Opry chides his “unwillingness to conform”; Pierce said he was tired of paying to play on the Opry, and of the Opry’s parent company using his likeness to sell insurance policies.

Dallas Frazier wrote the George Jones hit If My Heart Had Windows in 1967. The song was later remade by Patty Loveless.

Elvis Presley recorded Eddie Rabbitt’s Kentucky Rain at Memphis’ American Studios in 1969. Listen real carefully and you can hear Ronnie Milsap on backing vocals.

Johnny Cash heard songwriter Shel Silverstein’s A Boy Named Sue for the first time during a songwriters party in 1969. Graham Nash, Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson and Joni Mitchell were also at that party. Cash recorded the song five days later.

Dolly Parton announces she was ending her duet partnership with Porter Wagoner in 1974.

Charley Pride won Favorite Male Country Vocalist and Favorite Favorite Album, for A Sunshiny Day in 1974. The award was part of ABC’s first-ever American Music Awards, co-hosted by Roger Miller. Other winners: Lynn Anderson, Charlie Rich and The Carter Family.

Larry Gatlin’s Broken Lady won Best Country Song during the 19th annual Grammy Awards in 1977.

Willie Nelson’s movie Red Headed Stranger premiered in Austin in 1987. Among those attending: Morgan Fairchild, Floyd Tillman and football coach Darrell Royal.

Grandpa Jones died at McKendree Village in Nashville in 1998, seven weeks after he suffered a stroke. A longtime Grand Ole Opry star and key member of the Hee Haw cast, he was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1978.

Johnny Paycheck died in his sleep at Nashville’s Vanderbilt University Medical Center in 2003. The colorful singer, closely associated with the “outlaw” movement, scored honky-tonk hits from 1966-1986, while building a checkered personal reputation.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Songwriter/keyboard player Bobby Emmons was born in Corinth, MS in 1943. In addition to writing Luckenbach, Texas and So Much Like My Dad, he played on hits by Elvis Presley, Willie Nelson, Garth Brooks and Billy “Crash” Craddock.

Lorianne Crook was born in Wichita, KS in 1957. She co-hosts a series of TV and radio shows with Charlie Chase in syndication and on TNN, including Crook & Chase and Music City Tonight.