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February 22

Elvis Presley opened for Little Jimmy Dickens at City Auditorium in Waycross, GA in 1956. In the front row: future Byrd Gram Parsons, who went backstage to collect The King’s autograph.

Patsy Cline lip-synched She’s Got You in her 1962 American Bandstand debut.

Ray Price recorded the Willie Nelson-written Night Life in a 1963 midnight session at Nashville’s Columbia Recording Studios.

Johnny Cash proposed to tour partner June Carter in 1968. They were performing in London, Ontario. Spoiler Alert: She said yes.

Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs made their final public appearance on the Grand Ole Opry before a nasty split in 1969.

Columbia released Willie Nelson’s Me & Paul album in 1985.

Hank Williams Jr. played Billy Bob’s Texas in Fort Worth in 1986. His show set a record for the honky tonk when the night generated sales of 16,000 bottles of beer.

K.T. Oslin’s Hold Me took a pair of honors in 1989–Best Country Song and Best Country Vocal Performance, Female–during the 31st annual Grammy awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

More than 20 acts recorded Amazing Grace for the movie Maverick at Amy Grant’s home studio in 1994 with James Garner and Mel Gibson. Among them: Eddie Rabbitt, Billy Dean, Radney Foster, John Michael Montgomery, Faith Hill and Ricky Van Shelton.

Columbia released Rick Trevino’s self-titled debut album in 1994.

Arista released Brad Paisley’s debut single, Who Needs Pictures in 1999.

Willie Nelson received a Grammy award for lifetime achievement in a special ceremony in 2000 along with Harry Belafonte, John Lee Hooker, Woody Guthrie and record producer Mitch Miller. Trustees awards also went to producer Phil Spector and record exec Clive Davis.

Country Music Hall of Fame member Sonny James died at Alive Hospice in Nashville in 2016. Following his 1957 #1 single Young Love, he became one of country’s most prolific hitmakers of the next 20 years, nabbing 16 #1s in a row from 1967-1971.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Del Wood was born in Nashville in 1920. The pianist’s ragtime remake of Down Yonder leads to a 1953 induction into the Grand Ole Opry, where she remained until her death in 1989.

Songwriter Dave Hanner was born in Kittanning, PA in 1949. A member of The Corbin/Hanner Band, he scored his largest successes as a songwriter on Don Williams’ Lord I Hope This Day Is Good and The Oak Ridge Boys’ Beautiful You.