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May 1

May 1, 1873
William Morris is born in Schwartzenau, Germany. He founds the William Morris Agency, one of the world’s most successful booking firms, which will represent such country acts as Brooks & Dunn, Taylor Swift and Brad Paisley
May 1, 1929
Sonny James is born in Hackleburg, Alabama. Nicknamed the Southern Gentleman, he registers 16 straight #1 singles from 1967-1972, including “Running Bear” and “Heaven Says Hello.” He joins the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2006


May 1, 1945
Songwriter and keyboard player Carson Whitsett is born in Jackson, Mississippi. Noted for his work with the R&B label Malaco, he writes the Lorrie Morgan hit “Dear Me” and John Anderson’s “Mississippi Moon”
May 1, 1954
Comedian Andy Griffith makes his Grand Ole Opry debut
May 1, 1965
Merle Kilgore opens for Hank Williams Jr. for the first time. It begins a tradition that lasts for more than 20 years
May 1, 1967
Elvis Presley marries Priscilla Beaulieu at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas
May 1, 1967
Tim McGraw is born in Delhi, Louisiana. Married to Faith Hill in 1996, his ear for outstanding songs gains him multi-platinum albums and more than 20 years of hits, including “Please Remember Me,” “Back When” and “Live Like You Were Dying”

May 1, 1968
Stock in Minnie Pearl’s Chicken Systems is traded publicly for the first time
May 1, 1969
Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan tape the first installment of “The Johnny Cash Show” at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. In the audience: future singer/songwriter John Hiatt

May 1, 1969
Nashville’s Columbia Recording Studios restrict sessions to acts on the Columbia and Epic labels. The company thus has more time for Tammy Wynette, David Houston and Johnny Cash dates, though Sonny James books Capitol sessions in February
May 1, 1969
Capitol releases Merle Haggard’s Jimmie Rodgers tribute album, “Same Train, A Different Time”
May 1, 1970
Johnny Cash makes his acting debut in “The Trail Of Tears,” a PBS show co-starring Jack Palance that documents the plight of Georgia Cherokees, banished from their home by the American government. Cash is part Cherokee
May 1, 1976
Mickey Gilley’s “Don’t The Girls All Get Prettier At Closing Time” bellies up to #1 on the Billboard country chart
May 1, 1982
Ricky Skaggs is one of several country artists who appear in Knoxville at the World’s Fair, where president Ronald Reagan gives an opening-day speech. Porter Wagoner sings “Y’all Come” and Bill Monroe performs “Blue Moon Of Kentucky”

May 1, 1982
“Mountain Music” peaks at #1 for Alabama on the Billboard country singles chart
May 1, 1991
Cable stations TNN and CMT ban Garth Brooks’ video for “The Thunder Rolls,” citing its graphic violence
May 1, 1993
Charley Pride joins the Grand Ole Opry
May 1, 1993
“Alibis” brings Tracy Lawrence to the top spot on the Billboard country chart