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March 23

Mar 23, 1868: Fiddlin’ John Carson is born in Fannin County, Georgia. When he performs on Atlanta’s WSB in 1922, he becomes one of the first country acts to appear on radio, and a year later, he becomes one of the first to be recorded

Mar 23, 1903: Songwriter Jay Johnson is born in Ellis, Kansas. He authors the holiday classic “Blue Christmas,” which becomes a seasonal hit for both Ernest Tubb and Elvis Presley

Mar 23, 1926: Maybelle Addington marries Ezra Carter. As a member of The Carter Family, she helps shape country harmony singing and ends up in the Country Music Hall of Fame

Mar 23, 1929: Steel guitarist Bob Foster is born in Greenville, South Carolina. He appears on hits by Webb Pierce, Carl Smith, Kitty Wells and Faron Young

Mar 23, 1945: Mandolin player David Grisman is born in Passaic, New Jersey. A highly respected acoustic musician, he backs Jerry Garcia on “Blue Yodel No. 9 (Standin’ On The Corner),” included on the 1997 album “The Songs Of Jimmie Rodgers: A Tribute”

Mar 23, 1955: Jim Reeves signs his first RCA Records contract

Mar 23, 1970: Merle Haggard records “Jesus, Take A Hold”

Mar 23, 1970: Decca releases Conway Twitty’s “Hello Darlin"”

Mar 23, 1973: Actor Ken Maynard dies in Woodland Hills, California. He made almost 90 films as the first of the singing cowboys to hit the silver screen. He paved the way for such figures as Roy Rogers, Tex Ritter and Gene Autry

Mar 23, 1974: Mandolin player Marty Stuart makes his “Hee Haw” debut as a member of Lester Flatt’s backing band. The episode also features Buddy Alan and Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, plus hosts Buck Owens and Roy Clark, who leads a gang performance of “Take An Old Cold ‘Tater (And Wait)”

Mar 23, 1980: Marty Stuart plays his first concert as a member of Johnny Cash’s band at the Des Moines Civic Center

Mar 23, 1981: John Denver records “Some Days Are Diamonds (Some Days Are Stone)” in Nashville

Mar 23, 1982: RCA releases the Charley Pride album “Charley Sings Everybody’s Choice”

Mar 23, 1985: Ray Charles and fellow chess player Willie Nelson appear at #1 on the Billboard country chart with “Seven Spanish Angels”

Mar 23, 1987: Crystal Gayle appears on NBC’s “Another World” in a plot that finds the singer being stalked by a serial killer. She and Gary Morris introduce the show’s new theme song with a performance at a mythical nightclub, Tops

Mar 23, 1990: Epic releases Doug Stone’s self-titled debut album


Mar 23, 1993: Reprise releases Dwight Yoakam’s album “This Time”

Mar 23, 1996: This has to make her feel better: Patty Loveless tops the Billboard country chart with “You Can Feel Bad”

Mar 23, 2002: Waylon Jennings is remembered in a public tribute at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. Among the participants: Hank Williams Jr., Kris Kristofferson, David Lee Murphy, Billy Ray Cyrus, Travis Tritt and Charley Pride, who sings “Good Hearted Woman”