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July 1

Jul 1, 1894
John Lair is born in Livingston, Kentucky. He establishes “The Renfro Valley Barn Dance,” which airs on radio stations for some 20 years, beginning on WLW in Cincinnati in 1937 and later moving to Louisville’s WHAS


Jul 1, 1939
Curly Fox marries Texas Ruby in Marion, Arkansas. Members of the Grand Ole Opry in 1938, they rejoin in 1962
Jul 1, 1942
Capitol Records releases its first six singles
Jul 1, 1955
Ernest Tubb introduces Patsy Cline in her Grand Ole Opry debut, as she performs “A Church, A Courtroom And Then Goodbye”
Jul 1, 1955
Keith Whitley is born in Sandy Hook, Kentucky. Married to Lorrie Morgan in 1986, his rich vocals dot some of the most expressive singles of the late-1980s, although his career is shortened when he dies from alcohol poisoning in 1989

Jul 1, 1956
Elvis Presley appears on the second airing of NBC’s “The Steve Allen Show,” wearing a tuxedo and singing “Hound Dog” to a basset hound
Jul 1, 1957
Johnny Cash records “Home Of The Blues” and “Give My Love To Rose” at Memphis’ Sun Recording Studio
Jul 1, 1961
Michelle Wright is born in Chatham, Ontario. She nets a Top 10 single in 1992 with “Take It Like A Man”
Jul 1, 1968
Marty Robbins records “Camelia” and “I Walk Alone”
Jul 1, 1968
Capitol releases Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried”
Jul 1, 1969
Record producer Sam Phillips sells Sun Records to Shelby Singleton. The deal includes the transfer of the early recordings of Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis, among others
Jul 1, 1969
Elektra releases The Doors’ rock album “The Soft Parade.” The album includes work by mandolin player Jesse McReynolds, of bluegrass music’s Jim & Jesse
Jul 1, 1972
Alabama, with the name Wildcountry, gives its first public performance at the Canyon Land theme park in Alabama
Jul 1, 1972
Hank Williams Jr. hits #1 on the Billboard chart with “Eleven Roses”
Jul 1, 1975
Beauregard, the lazy bloodhound on “Hee Haw,” dies from a kidney infection
Jul 1, 1979
Kenny Rogers tapes an appearance on “The Muppet Show” in London

Jul 1, 1980
Warner Bros. releases John Anderson’s self-titled debut album
Jul 1, 1981
The estate of Lester Flatt sues Coors for using the late performer’s likeness to sell beer. The suit is settled out of court three years later
Jul 1, 1983
Gaylord Broadcasting announces it’s signed a letter of intent to purchase all Opryland properties, for a reported $250 million. Included in the deal is the Nashville Network
Jul 1, 1989
Kathy Mattea’s “Come From The Heart” reaches #1 on the Billboard country chart
Jul 1, 1990
Hank Williams Jr. marries his fourth wife–Mary Jane Thomas, a former model for Hawaiian Tropic suntan lotion–in Missoula, Montana. They honeymoon in Tanzania, where they discover their camp is infested with cobras
Jul 1, 1995
“Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident)” puts John Michael Montgomery at the top spot on the Billboard country chart