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Country Music History – June 15



1911: Piano player Marvin Hughes was born in Nashville. His credits include: Faron Young’s “Country Girl,” Elvis Presley’s “I Want You, I Need You, I Love You,” Hank Snow’s “I’ve Been Everywhere” and Jim Reeves’ “He’ll Have To Go,” on which he plays vibes.

1917: Songwriter Leon Payne was born in Alba, TX. He penned Hank Williams’ “Lost Highway,” Jim Reeves’ “Blue Side Of Lonesome” and his own recording of “I Love You Because,” becoming a founding member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

1925: Fiddler Tommy Vaden was born in Nashville. A longtime member of Hank Snow’s Rainbow Ranch Boys, he played on “I’m Moving On” and “The Golden Rocket,” plus hits by Faron Young, Jim Reeves and Webb Pierce.

1937: Waylon Jennings was born in Littlefield, TX. A protege of Buddy Holly, he became a leader in the Outlaw movement of the 1970s alongside his occasional duet partner, Willie Nelson. Jennings joined the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001.

1950: Lefty Frizzell signed a recording contract with Columbia Records. He earned a 1.5-cent royalty per record.

1952: Hank Williams wrote “Your Cheatin’ Heart.”

1954: Terri Gibbs was born in Miami, FL. On the heels of her pop/country hit “Somebody’s Knockin’,” she won the Country Music Association’s first Horizon award, designed to honor new and developing artists, in 1981.

1956: Songwriter/producer/recording engineer Jack Clement began working for Sam Phillips at the Sun Recording Studio in Memphis. In the job, he took part in sessions with Johnny Cash, Charlie Rich and Jerry Lee Lewis.

1958: Patsy Cline wrote to fan club president Treva Miller that her finances are sinking: “I’ve got $1050.00 that’s got to be paid before the end of the month or I’ll lose everything.”

1963: Buck Owens collected his first #1 single in Billboard with “Act Naturally.”

1968: Charley Pride recorded a live album, “Charley Pride In Person,” at Panther Hall in Fort Worth. It yields a hit with “Kaw-Liga.”

1969: “Hee Haw” made its prime-time debut on CBS-TV, replacing the controversial “Smothers Brothers” show. The cast includes: Buck Owens, Roy Clark, Minnie Pearl and Grandpa Jones, among others. The first guests: Charley Pride and Loretta Lynn.

1977: Dolly Parton recorded “Here You Come Again” at Sound Labs in Hollywood.

1985: Ricky Skaggs reached #1 in Billboard with “Country Boy,” the only chart-topping single to feature the Looney Tunes theme in an instrumental break.

1987: Keith Whitley and Lorrie Morgan had a baby boy, Jesse, during Fan Fair.

1991: Minnie Pearl performed in Joliet, IL, in what turned out to be her final show. She suffered a stroke two days later.

1991: Joe Diffie picked up a #1 country single in Billboard magazine with “If The Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets).”

1992: Raul Malo, lead singer of The Mavericks, overdubbed vocal harmonies on two future Trisha Yearwood singles, “You Say You Will” and “Wrong Side Of Memphis,” at the Sound Emporium in Nashville.

1993: Collin Raye recorded “That’s My Story” at The Money Pit in Nashville.

1993: Warner Bros. released comic Jeff Foxworthy’s album “You Might Be A Redneck If…

2001: “Down From The Mountain” opened in Nashville and New York. The documentary of a Ryman Auditorium concert from 2000 featured artists from the “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” soundtrack, including Emmylou Harris, John Hartford and Ralph Stanley.