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Country Music History – June 4

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JUNE 4

1937: Baldemar Huerta was born in San Benito, TX. Renamed Freddy Fender, he gained two million-selling hits, “Wasted Days And Wasted Nights” and his Spanglish “Before The Next Teardrop Falls.” He eventually gained a star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

1942: To avoid confusion with Liberty Music Shops in New York, Liberty Records changed its name to Capitol. It became the first label to send out “promo” copies to disc jockeys, later promoting such stars as Buck Owens, Keith Urban and Garth Brooks.

1958: Ray Price and Charlie Walker found “Pick Me Up On Your Way Down” in a stack of demo tapes, the night before a scheduled Walker session. Ernest Tubb helped them change the gender on the song, originally penned for Kitty Wells.

1971: New York’s Madison Square Garden drew 11,000 fans in its first all-Nashville package show, featuring Sonny James, Dolly Parton, Conway Twitty, Porter Wagoner, Del Reeves, Jim Ed Brown, Faron Young and Loretta Lynn.

1979: Kenny Rogers nabbed three trophies in The Music City News awards, including Single Record of the Year, for “The Gambler.”

1982: Alabama sponsored the first June Jam in Fort Payne, AL. More than 30,000 attended the charity concert near the high school. The hometown band shared the stage with Janie Fricke, The Oak Ridge Boys, Louise Mandrell and R.C. Bannon.

1996: LeAnn Rimes’ debut single, “Blue,” appeared in record stores, selling 100,000 copies its first day. Coincidentally, the song was released on the birthday of all-night disc jockey Bill Mack of Dallas’ WBAP – who wrote and released the song in 1958. 

1996: Kenny Chesney put out his “Me & You” album, Lorrie Morgan released her “Greater Need” project and Neal McCoy’s self-titled album hit the record stores.

1998: Brooks & Dunn and Reba McEntire performed a special concert simulcast via satellite on TV screens in over 1200 Wal-Mart electronics departments nationwide. The concert was part of a benefit for Children’s Miracle Network, and over 2,300 Wal-Mart stores nationwide donated a dollar from the sale of every Brooks & Dunn and Reba album to the cause.

1999: Tim McGraw and more than 400 fans were forced to evacuate his charity concert at the 7th House in Pontiac, Michigan, after a woman used pepper spray against a man that she claimed groped her. During the show, Tim fell to his knees mid-song, choking. Frightened audience members fled from the hall, coughing and holding shirts over their faces. On a happier note, his album, “A Place In The Sun,” had been certified gold and platinum simultaneously that same day.

2001: John Hartford died of lymphoma at Centennial Medical Center in Nashville. The bluegrass- and folk-influenced singer, banjo player and fiddler was best known for writing the Glen Campbell classic “Gentle On My Mind.”

2013: It Books published “Outlaw: Waylon, Willie, Kris, And The Renegades Of Nashville,” a book written by Michael Streissguth.

2017: Six years after controversy knocked his song off of “Monday Night Football,” Hank Williams Jr. shot a new version of “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight” in Nashville for the 2017 NFL season on ESPN.