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March 21

Mar 21, 1882: Bascom Lunsford is born in Mars Hill, North Carolina. A folk music collector and promoter, he also co-writes the country classic “Mountain Dew”

Mar 21, 1922: Vaudeville singer Elsie Clark becomes the first artist to record “Lovesick Blues.” The song eventually becomes a watershed in the career of Hank Williams

Mar 21, 1942: Carol Lee Cooper is born, the only daughter of singers Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper. She leads the Grand Ole Opry’s background vocal group, The Carol Lee Singers

Mar 21, 1955: Johnny Cash has an unscheduled audition with producer Sam Phillips at Sun Records in Memphis. Phillips passes on the bulk of Cash’s material, but after hearing “Hey, Porter,” has the youngster come back the next day to record

Mar 21, 1963: Songwriter Arthur Q. Smith dies. His legacy includes Ernest Tubb’s “Missing In Action” and the future Ricky Skaggs hit “I Wouldn’t Change You If I Could”

Mar 21, 1973: Tanya Tucker begins two days of recording at Nashville’s Columbia Recording Studio, netting “Blood Red And Goin’ Down”

Mar 21, 1975: Ray Stevens files suit against neighbor Webb Pierce to prohibit Pierce from building a parking ramp for tour buses in his driveway. Says Pierce: “That’s the price you have to pay for living across from a star”

Mar 21, 1978: Con Hunley records his first two hits, “Week-End Friend” and “You’ve Still Got A Place In My Heart,” at Nashville’s Columbia Studio B

Mar 21, 1979: Porter Wagoner files a $3-million lawsuit against former duet partner Dolly Parton, charging she breached a 1970 management contract

Mar 21, 1981: “Angel Flying Too Close To The Ground” lifts Willie Nelson to #1 on the Billboard country chart

Mar 21, 1983: Merle Haggard sets a new world’s record for the largest round of whiskey by buying 5,095 shots at Billy Bob’s Texas in Fort Worth. Intended to promote his “C.C. Waterback” duet with George Jones, it costs $12,737.50

Mar 21, 1984: Earl Thomas Conley records “Love Don’t Care (Whose Heart It Breaks)”

Mar 21, 1985: Epic releases Merle Haggard’s “Kern River” album

Mar 21, 1987: Restless Heart’s “I’ll Still Be Loving You” rises to #1 on the Billboard country chart

Mar 21, 1988: Randy Travis wins three times at the 23rd annual Academy Of Country Music awards, aired on NBC from Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, California. He earns Top Male Vocalist, and “Forever And Ever, Amen” takes Single Record and Song of the Year

Mar 21, 1998: Clint Black stops at #1 on the Billboard country chart with “Nothin’ But The Taillights,” co-written with Steve Wariner