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Country Music History – June 7



1934: Wynn Stewart was born in Morrisville, MO. A West Coast singer who helped define the Bakersfield Sound, he wrote Merle Haggard’s “Sing A Sad Song,” and garnered five hits of his own during the 1960s, including “It’s Such A Pretty World Today.”

1944: Guitarist Clarence White was born in Lewiston, ME. He joined The Byrds in 1968 and stayed with the pioneering country-rock band until he reformed the bluegrass Kentucky Colonels in 1973.

1956: Larry Boone was born in Cooper City, FL. He gained a hit with 1988’s “Don’t Give Candy To A Stranger,” and wrote Tracy Lawrence’s “Lessons Learned,” Lonestar’s “Everything’s Changed” and Kathy Mattea’s “Burnin’ Old Memories.”

1957: Not too shabby for an afternoon’s work: singer/songwriter Don Gibson wrote two country classics, “I Can’t Stop Loving You” and “Oh Lonesome Me,” at his home in an East Tennessee trailer park.

1965: Porter Wagoner recorded “Green, Green Grass Of Home.” On the same session, Norma Jean recorded “I Wouldn’t Buy A Used Car From Him.”

1966: Roy Orbison’s first wife, Claudette, was killed in a motorcycle crash near Nashville. As a result, he stopped writing songs for years. His shutdown was complicated by the fact that two of their three children died in a house fire two years after her death. He met his second wife, Barbara, while on tour in England; they married in 1969 and he began writing songs again. In addition to his surviving son, he and Barbara had two more boys.

1966: The Chuck Wagon Gang took part in the first gospel concert staged at Carnegie Hall in New York.

1969: ABC-TV aired the first episode of “The Johnny Cash Show,” with guest Bob Dylan joining the Man In Black on “Girl From The North Country.” Also appearing: Doug Kershaw and Joni Mitchell, who sang with Cash on “I Still Miss Someone.”

1972: Tommy Overstreet records “Heaven Is My Woman’s Love” at RCA Studio B in Nashville.

1973: Marie Osmond recorded “Paper Roses” at the Columbia Recording Studios in Nashville under the guidance of producer Sonny James.

1981: Barbara Mandrell recorded the album “Barbara Mandrell Live” at the Roy Acuff Theatre. The performance included a new song, “Wish You Were Here,” which would become a hit that fall.

1982: Graceland Mansion opened for public tours in Memphis.

1982: Conway Twitty opened Twitty City to the general public. The grounds of the fan attraction featured his office. The $5 cost of admission allowed fans into the park, but not his home.

1984: Grandpa Jones was three hours late to a concert appearance in Independence, IA. An associate had sent him to Independence, Arkansas, (which doesn’t exist), and Jones had to hop a plane to make the Iowa show. 

1991: Alan Jackson joined the Grand Ole Opry.

1993: Liberty released John Berry’s self-titled debut album.

1993: Groundbreaking began at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. Elvis Presley’s first producer, Sam Phillips, attended the ceremony along with Chuck Berry, Pete Townshend and Billy Joel.

1994: MCA released Vince Gill’s “When Love Finds You” album.

1996: Travis Tritt’s albums, “Country Club” and “T-R-O-U-B-L-E,” were certified double platinum, and “It’s All About to Change” was certified triple platinum.

2002: Kenny Rogers made his Grand Ole Opry debut, performing “The Gambler” and “Buy Me A Rose.” Not surprising, he performed for a packed house and received a standing ovation.

2014: George Strait delivered the final concert of his “Cowboy Rides Away” Tour at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. Guests on the show included Alan Jackson, Sheryl Crow, Jason Aldean, Lee Ann Womack, Eric Church, Ronnie Dunn, Vince Gill, Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert, Faith Hill and Martina McBride.