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March 7

Mar 7, 1944

Singer/songwriter Townes Van Zandt is born in Fort Worth, Texas. A vivid songwriter and wild personality, he authors a pair of 1980s hits: Merle Haggard & Willie Nelson cover “Pancho And Lefty”; Emmylou Harris & Don Williams do “If I Needed You”

Mar 7, 1951

Webb Pierce conducts his first recording session for Decca Records, at the Castle Studio in Nashville. The session includes “Drifting Texas Sand,” which he re-records nine years later

Mar 7, 1963

Jack Anglin dies in an auto accident on the way to Patsy Cline’s memorial service in Nashville. A former member of The Anglin Brothers trio, he joined Johnnie Wright to create Johnnie & Jack, earning hits from 1951-1958

Mar 7, 1964

Jim & Jesse and Ernie Ashworth join the Grand Ole Opry

Mar 7, 1971

Gilley’s nightclub opens in Pasadena, Texas. Named for part-owner Mickey Gilley, the home of the mechanical bull provides the inspiration for the 1980 movie “Urban Cowboy,” which results in a short-term country trend

Mar 7, 1972

Buck Owens records “Made In Japan” at his own studio in Bakersfield

Mar 7, 1973

Eric Weissberg & Steve Mandell receive gold awards with both the “Dueling Banjos” album and its title track

Mar 7, 1978

Dolly Parton records “Heartbreaker” and “I Really Got The Feeling” at Sound Labs in Hollywood

Mar 7, 1978

The Oak Ridge Boys record “Come On In” at Woodland Sound in Nashville. The session also yields “Callin’ Baton Rouge,” destined to become a hit for Garth Brooks

Mar 7, 1979

Webb Pierce’s controversial guitar-shaped swimming pool on Music Row is sold at auction. Top bid: $150,000 from Pierce’s former business partner, William Donoho

Mar 7, 1983

“Living Proof: The Hank Williams Jr. Story” airs on NBC-TV with Richard Thomas in the lead role. A still-unknown Naomi Judd has a small part, as does Bocephus’ manager, Merle Kilgore

Mar 7, 1983

The Nashville Network debuts on cable TV. Vince Gill and Rosanne Cash perform on TNN’s very first show

Mar 7, 1986

Randy Travis makes his debut on the Grand Ole Opry. After an introduction from Little Jimmy Dickens, he performs “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”

Mar 7, 1988

Johnny Cash, Roy Acuff, Jessi Colter, Emmylou Harris and Waylon Jennings record Acuff’s “As Long As I Live” at Nashville’s JMI Recording Studio. Cash also enlists Rosanne Cash and The Everly Brothers on “Ballad Of A Teenage Queen”

Mar 7, 2001

The Recording Industry Association of America and the National Endowment for the Arts cite 365 Songs of the Century, including more than 50 country titles. Among them: Lee Ann Womack’s “I Hope You Dance,” featuring The Sons Of The Desert

Mar 7, 2005

Merle Haggard launches a tour with Bob Dylan in Seattle. Dylan, whose band includes former BR549 steel guitarist Don Herron, sings Haggard’s “Sing Me Back Home” during his set

Mar 7, 2013

Claude King dies of a heart attack in Shreveport, Louisiana. He earned a half-dozen country hits during the 1960s, topped by the #1 single “Wolverton Mountain”