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March 2

Cowboy Copas and Hawkshaw Hawkins made what proves to be their final appearance on the Grand Ole Opry at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium in 1963.

Marty Robbins recorded Gordon Lightfoot’s Ribbon Of Darkness during an evening session at Nashville’s Columbia Studio B in 1965.

Almost Persuaded netted three trophies during the ninth annual Grammy Awards in 1967. David Houston won Best Country & Western Recording and Best C&W Vocal Performance (Male) while songwriters Billy Sherrill and Glenn Sutton took Best Country & Western Song.

Behind Closed Doors won two trophies–Best Country Song, for writer Kenny O’Dell; and Best Country Vocal Performance (Male) for Charlie Rich–during the 16th annual Grammy awards in Los Angeles in 1974.

ABC-TV aired a John Denver special in 1977 called Thank God I’m A Country Boy, with Denver delivering the title song and Take Me Home, Country Roads. Also appearing: Johnny Cash, Glen Campbell, Mary Kay Place and Roger Miller

Warner/Curb released The Bellamy Brothers’ If I Said You Have A Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me in 1979.

Johnny Cash performed at a private function for an oil company at Houston’s Hyatt Regency Hotel in 1980. It was bass player Marshall Grant’s last concert as a regular member of the band, ending a 25-year relationship.

The Judds auditioned at RCA Records in 1983, singing Change Of Heart and The Sweetest Gift (A Mother’s Smile) for executives Joe Galante, Randy Goodman, Tony Brown and Norro Wilson.

Sony, Philips and PolyGram unveiled their CD systems in 1983. Originally intended for audiophiles, the CD became the primary format for music by the end of the decade.

Warner Bros. released the Trio album, by Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris in 1987.

Forever And Ever, Amen won Best Country Song for composers Don Schlitz and Paul Overstreet during the 30th annual Grammy Awards in New York. The album the song appeared on, Always & Forever, earned Best Country Vocal Performance (Male) for Randy Travis.

Joe Diffie recorded So Help Me Girl at Nashville’s Soundshop in 1994.

Martina McBride went to #1 for the first time in her career with Wild Angels in 1996.

Garth Brooks hailed Cal Smith’s Country Bumpkin as his favorite country song during a performance for the Country Radio Seminar at Nashville’s Convention Center in 2001.

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Joe Carter, the son of Carter Family founders A.P. and Sara Carter, died of pancreatic cancer at his home in VA in 2005. He is believed to have been the last living person present at the landmark Bristol sessions of August 1927.

Grand Ole Opry member Ernie Ashworth died at the Trousdale Medical Center in Hartsville, TN in 2009. Among a handful of hits, he registered a #1 single with Talk Back Trembling Lips.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Guitarist Larry Carlton was born in Torrance, CA in 1948. In addition to numerous solo albums, he did a ton of session work for the likes of Steely Dan, Barbra Streisand and Michael Jackson. He also backed Johnny Lee on the 1980 hit Lookin’ For Love.

Karen Carpenter was born in New Haven, CT in 1950. Though primarily a pop act, The Carpenters earned a country hit, 1978’s Sweet, Sweet Smile, written by Juice Newton. Alabama remade their single Touch Me When We’re Dancing as a country hit too.

Restless Heart’s Larry Stewart was born in Paducah, KY in 1959. He sang lead on the band’s singles in the 1980s before going solo in 1992. He scored one hit on his own with Alright Already, then returned to the band when it reformed in 1998.