Decca released Cal Smith’s The Lord Knows I’m Drinking in 1972. The song was written by Bill Anderson and is one of the most requested songs on The Possum.
Hank Williams Jr. had four hours of plastic and oral surgery at Nashville’s Baptist Hospital in 1975. Doctors worked to repair damages from a 500-foot fall in an August mountain accident.
Carl Gorodetzky created The Nashville String Machine in 1981. It was an ensemble of session players that lasted more than 25 years. The group provided strings for hits by George Strait, Lee Ann Womack, Martina McBride and Garth Brooks, among others.
Ricky Skaggs went to #1 in Billboard with Heartbroke in 1982. The hit was written by Guy Clark.
We lost comedian Junior Samples following a heart attack in 1983. Samples was best known for his “HeeHaw” role as a used-car salesman, in which he would announce a telephone number, BR5-49. A sixth grade dropout, Samples was a stock car racing driver and carpenter by trade who went on the radio at the age of 40 and told a story about catching the largest fish ever seen in his hometown. The story was a humorous tall tale, and the recording of this radio story became a best-selling novelty record.
Vandals broke into Bill Monroe’s house in 1985 and assaulted his Gibson mandolin, the instrument with which he established bluegrass music. Nothing is stolen.
Jimmy Dean and Charley Pride testified on behalf of fiddler Tommy Williams in a Virginia court in 1995. The “Hee Haw” musician’s $20-million lawsuit was against the Republican party over a disabling 1992 campaign accident. The two sides settled that same night for $725,000.
Garth Brooks hosted NBC-TV’s “Saturday Night Live,” in 1999 with musical guest Chris Gaines.
Leon Russell died in his sleep at his Nashville home in 2016. A member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, he played piano on hits by Glen Campbell, Eric Clapton and The Byrds. He also joined Willie Nelson on the 1979 country duet Heartbreak Hotel.
J.C. Crowley was born in Houston, TX in 1947. A member of the pop group Player, best known for its 1977 hit Baby Come Back, he built a short solo career in country music, gaining a minor hit in 1988 with Paint The Town And Hang The Moon Tonight.
Southern rock guitarist Toy Caldwell was born in Spartanburg, SC in 1947. As a member of The Marshall Tucker Band, he wrote Can’t You See, a country hit in 1976 for Waylon Jennings.
Jeannie Kendall was born in St. Louis, MO in 1954. With her father, Royce, she takes part in the duo The Kendalls, whose gospel-based harmonies and cheatin’ themes are exemplified by their million-selling signature song, 1977’s Heaven’s Just A Sin Away.