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Country Music History – June 3



1949: Hank Williams makes his last appearance on “The Louisiana Hayride” at the Municipal Auditorium in Shreveport, leaving the radio show to join the Grand Ole Opry. Red Sovine takes his place.

1952: Marty Robbins records his first charted single, “I’ll Go On Alone,” plus “Pretty Words” during an afternoon session at Dallas’ Jim Beck Studio.

1965: Former rocker Conway Twitty recorded “Guess My Eyes Were Bigger Than My Heart” in an afternoon session at the Columbia Studios in Nashville. It becomes his first song to appear on the country chart.

1968: Jamie O’Neal is born in Sydney, Australia. Her 2000 debut album nets several hits, including “There Is No Arizona” and “When I Think About Angels,” helping her pick up the Academy of Country Music’s Top New Female award.

1971: Brenda Webb married her high-school sweetheart Vassalios “Bill” Gatzimos. She came to prominence with the stage name Crystal Gayle. Gatzimos became her manager.

1972: Donna Fargo’s “The Happiest Girl In The Whole U.S.A.” took the top spot on the Billboard country chart.

1980: Elektra released Eddie Rabbitt’s “Drivin’ My Life Away.”

1981: The Central Hockey League approved a Nashville franchise, owned by Conway Twitty and Barbara Mandrell. Affiliated with the Minnesota North Stars, the club was named the South Stars.

1982: MCA released George Strait’s “Strait From The Heart” album.

1983: Responding to voices in his head caused by schizophrenia, drummer Jim Gordon killed his mother in California. He was sentenced to 16 years to life. A member of Derek & The Dominos, he played on hits by Merle Haggard, Glen Campbell and Waylon Jennings.

1991: Willie Nelson began selling “Who’ll Buy My Memories? The IRS Tapes,” with TV ads directing viewers to a 1-800 number. Nelson owed the IRS $17 million.

1994: Wally Fowler, the founder of The Oak Ridge Boys, died while fishing on Dale Hollow Lake near Nashville.

1994: The Ryman Auditorium reopened to the public in downtown Nashville with a performance by “Prairie Home Companion” figure Garrison Keillor.

1995: Van Stoneman died in Murfreesboro, TN. The son of country pioneer Ernest “Pop” Stoneman, he joined with a number of his siblings to create The Stoneman Family, named Vocal Group of the Year by the Country Music Association in 1967.

1997: Curb released Tim McGraw’s “Everywhere” album.

2000: Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney were arrested in Buffalo for a backstage skirmish at Ralph Wilson Stadium on the George Strait tour. Chesney was accused of taking a ride on a policeman’s horse, and McGraw got in a fight with officers. 

2011: Singer/songwriter/musician Andrew Gold died at his home in Los Angeles. A pop artist, he played on numerous Linda Ronstadt hits and authored Wynonna’s country hit “I Saw The Light.”