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May 4

May 4, 1902
Al Dexter is born in Troup, Texas. Mixing honky-tonk country and western swing in his recordings, his million-selling “Pistol Packin’ Mama” becomes a country classic as he becomes one of country’s biggest stars of the 1940s
May 4, 1922
Recording engineer Glenn Snoddy is born in Shelbyville, Tennessee. Employed at the Castle and Bradley studios, he runs the tape machine for numerous classics, including Johnny Cash’s “Ring Of Fire”
May 4, 1928
Bass player Marshall Grant is born. He spends more than 20 years playing in Johnny Cash’s band and eventually becomes manager of The Statler Brothers. Among Grant’s credits: “Daddy Sang Bass,” “I Walk The Line” and “Folsom Prison Blues”
May 4, 1948
Songwriter/record executive Tim DuBois is born in Grove, Oklahoma. The head of Arista’s country division from 1989-2000, he writes Alabama’s “Love In The First Degree,” Vince Gill’s “When I Call Your Name” and Jerry Reed’s “She Got The Goldmine (I Got The Shaft)”
May 4, 1949
Stella Parton is born in Sevierville, Tennessee. She records one Top 10 hit in 1975, “I Want To Hold You In My Dreams Tonight,” though she remains in the shadow of her older sister, Dolly Parton
May 4, 1959
Randy Traywick is born at Memorial Hospital in Monroe, North Carolina. As Randy Travis, his rich baritone is a signature sound in the New Traditionalist movement of the late-1980s. Among his hits: “On The Other Hand” and “Forever And Ever, Amen”


May 4, 1959
At the first Grammy awards presentation, The Kingston Trio’s “Tom Dooley” wins Best Country & Western Performance. The folk record, which never made the country chart, beats two Everly Brothers singles, plus Don Gibson and Jimmie Rodgers
May 4, 1963
The Wilburn Brothers debut their syndicated TV show in 19 markets, providing early exposure to Loretta Lynn. Other regular cast members include Harold Morrison, Don Helms and Tommy Jackson

May 4, 1969
Johnny Cash and Hank Williams Jr. gross $93,000, drawing 23,000 ticket-buyers for two shows at Detroit’s Cobo Arena. It is recognized as the highest gross in history for a country show in one day at the time
May 4, 1970
Dolly Parton records the Jimmie Rodgers classic “Mule Skinner Blues” at Nashville’s RCA Studio B
May 4, 1971
Willie Nelson records “Me And Paul” and “Help Me Make It Through The Night” for the first time at Nashville’s RCA Studio B. Both songs will become hits for him in future years when he re-records them
May 4, 1974
Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton make what is billed as their last duet appearance on the Grand Ole Opry
May 4, 1975
In the Winston 500 at Talladega’s Alabama International Speedway, Marty Robbins crashes into Ramo Scott’s car, creating a ball of fire. Robbins loses consciousness; after returning to strength, he announces his retirement from racing
May 4, 1977
The Oak Ridge Boys record “I’ll Be True To You” during an afternoon session at Woodland Sound in Nashville
May 4, 1978
Barbara Mandrell remakes the Luther Ingram soul hit “(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don’t Want To Be Right” at Woodland Sound in Nashville. Mandrell also cuts “Don’t Bother To Knock,” destined to be a hit for Jim Ed Brown & Helen Cornelius

May 4, 1991
Travis Tritt makes his Grand Ole Opry debut
May 4, 1991
Dolly Parton and Ricky Van Shelton are paired at the #1 position on the Billboard country chart with “Rockin’ Years”
May 4, 1991
The band formerly known as The Tennessee River Boys performs its first official show with its new name, Diamond Rio, in Columbus, Ohio
May 4, 1992
Trisha Yearwood records “Wrong Side Of Memphis” at Nashville’s Sound Emporium

May 4, 1993
Garth Brooks’ “No Fences” becomes the first country album certified for shipments of 10 million units
May 4, 1994
Tanya Tucker plays on “Wheel Of Fortune” with Little Richard and sax player David Sanborn. Her winnings are earmarked for multiple sclerosis