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February 28

Roger Miller, Buck Owens, Merle Haggard and Bonnie Owens were all double-winners at the inaugural Academy of Country & Western Music awards, held at the Palladium in Hollywood in 1966. Miller was named Man of the Year and Top Songwriter

Waylon Jennings, Jessi Colter and Johnny Rodriguez performed on PBS’ Soundstage in 1976.

Conway Twitty recorded I May Never Get To Heaven and Happy Birthday Darlin’ overnight at Nashville’s Woodland Sound in 1979.

Columbia released Willie Nelson’s Always On My Mind album in 1982.

Anne Murray’s A Little Good News won Best Country Vocal Performance (Female) during the 26th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles in 1984.

George Strait recorded The Chair at Nashville’s Sound Stage Studios in 1985.

Travis Tritt got his first acting role in 1993 in the TV movie Rio Diablo, alongside Naomi Judd and Kenny Rogers.

Vince Gill’s Go Rest High On That Mountain won two trophies–Best Country Song and Best Male Country Vocal Performance–during the 38th annual Grammy awards at Los Angeles’ Shrine Auditorium in 1996.

The Kentucky Music Hall of Fame inducted 12 members in its first ceremony in 2002, including Loretta Lynn, The Everly Brothers, Bill Monroe, The Osborne Brothers, John Lair, Red Foley, Bradley Kincaid, Merle Travis, Jean Ritchie, Grandpa Jones and Tom T. Hall.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Jim Denny was born in Buffalo Valley, TN in 1911. House manager for the Grand Ole Opry, an influential music publisher and booking agent, he joined the Country Music Hall of Fame posthumously in 1966.

Audrey Sheppard was born in Pike County, AL in 1923. She married Hank Williams, becoming a driving force in his career. Their volatile relationship provided the grist for much of his music. She also gave birth to Hank Williams Jr.

Steel player Don Helms was born in New Brockton, AL in 1927. He became a member of The Original Drifting Cowboys during Hank Williams’ days on The Louisiana Hayride. Helms rejoined the Cowboys in 1949, and remained until the group was disbanded in 1951.

Singer/songwriter Joe South was born in Atlanta, GA in 1940. A pop hitmaker responsible for Walk A Mile In My Shoes and Games People Play, he also wrote Lynn Anderson’s Rose Garden, Fool Me and How Can I Unlove You.