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Country Music History – June 8



1936: The Carter Family conducted its first Decca recording session in New York City. The date’s material includes a song destined to become a pop hit for Elvis Presley: “Are You Lonesome To-night?

1938: Songwriter Mack Vickery was born in Town Creek, AL. He wrote George Strait’s “The Fireman,” John Anderson’s “Let Somebody Else Drive,” Barbi Benton’s “Brass Buckles” and Johnny Paycheck’s “I’m The Only Hell (Mama Ever Raised).”

1938: The Carter Family recorded “You Are My Flower” at the WBT Studio in Charlotte, NC.

1939: The Coon Creek Girls became the first country act to perform at the White House, when Franklin D. Roosevelt hosted England’s King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

1951: Tony Rice was born in Danville, VA. A highly admired bluegrass guitarist, he joined J.D. Crowe & The New South in the 1970s, where his bandmates for a short time included Ricky Skaggs and dobro ace Jerry Douglas.

1951: Carl Smith recorded “(When You Feel Like You’re In Love) Don’t Just Stand There” in the afternoon at the Tulane Hotel’s Castle Studio in Nashville.

1953: Bonnie Tyler was born in Swansea, Wales. The scratchy-voiced singer is primarily a pop artist, though her million-selling “It’s A Heartache” became a country hit in 1978.

1953: Freddie Hart held the first recording session of his career, for Capitol Records.

1955: MGM chief Frank Walker sent a telegram to Sun Records’ Sam Phillips with an offer to buy Elvis Presley’s recording contract. It was the latest among a series of offers from Decca, Capitol, Mercury, Chess, Atlantic and Dot.

1962: Skeeter Davis recorded “The End Of The World” at RCA Studio B in Nashville.

1964: Alton Delmore, of The Delmore Brothers, died in Huntsville, AL. The Delmores’ blues-tinged country netted such classics as “Hillbilly Boogie” and “Blues Stay Away From Me” on their way to a 2001 induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

1966: Willie Nelson recorded “The Party’s Over,” providing Don Meredith something to sing on “Monday Night Football.”

1974: Dolly Parton’s original version of “I Will Always Love You” sat at #1 on the Billboard country singles chart.

1978: Singer/songwriter Sturgill Simpson was born in Jackson, KY. Compared favorably to Waylon Jennings, he gained a Top 10 country album in 2014 with “Metamodern Sounds In Country Music.”

1979: Jimmy James ended a Fan Fair performance he hoped would get him into “The Guinness Book Of World Records,” playing country music for more than 25 hours straight. His concert included 336 songs.

1981: Janie Fricke played for president Ronald Reagan, giving a 40-minute performance at Camp David in Thurmont, MD. The Mexican president, José López Portillo y Pacheco, was also in attendance.

1981: Two future Country Music Hall of Fame members held two days of recording. Willie Nelson and Webb Pierce joined together to cut the duet album “In The Jailhouse Now.” The project also features Leon Russell and The Band’s Richard Manuel.

1996: Kenny Chesney made his Grand Ole Opry debut, though he was misidentified by the announcer as “Larry Chesney.”

1996: George Strait’s “Blue Clear Sky” took over the #1 position on the Billboard chart.

2003: Tammy Wynette’s “Stand By Your Man” was ranked #1 when CMT debuted its “100 Greatest Songs Of Country Music.” Ex-husband George Jones chimed in at #2, with “He Stopped Loving Her Today.” Wynette made another appearance at #35, with “D-I-V-O-R-C-E.”

2005: Kenny Rogers, Trace Adkins and Montgomery Gentry taped a concert for “CMT 100 Greatest Duets.” Also featured: Lee Ann Womack, Clint Black, Lisa Hartman Black, Raul Malo, Marty Stuart, Travis Tritt, Joe Nichols, Blake Shelton and Crystal Gayle.

2017: Songwriter/producer Norro Wilson died in Nashville. He authored George Jones’ “The Grand Tour,” Charlie Rich’s “The Most Beautiful Girl” and Tammy Wynette’s “Another Lonely Song.” Wilson produced hits for Reba McEntire, Kenny Chesney, Joe Stampley and Charley Pride.