The WSM Barn Dance began broadcasting in Nashville in 1925, with a one-hour performance by Uncle Jimmy Thompson. It’s later renamed the Grand Ole Opry.
Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys recorded San Antonio Rose in Dallas in 1938.
Willie Nelson made his Grand Ole Opry debut in 1964.
That same day in ‘64 Connie Smith had a big first of her own…her debut single, Once A Day, made it to the #1 position on the Billboard country singles chart. The chart position helped her break a record too! That day Connie Smith became the very first woman in country music to earn a #1 hit with a debut single.
Charlie Rich recorded Behind Closed Doors in Nashville in 1972.
Kris Kristofferson hosted The Unbroken Circle: A Tribute To Mother Maybelle Carter on CBS in 1979. Guests included Johnny Cash, June Carter, Ray Charles, Lynn Anderson, Larry Gatlin, Emmylou Harris, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Linda Ronstadt.
CBS-TV aired Kenny Rogers And The American Cowboy in 1979, a special that also featured Charlie Daniels and Mac Davis. We sadly lost all three men in 2020.
Alabama had their first TV special on CBS in 1986 with My Home’s In Alabama. Guests included The Judds, Willie Nelson and The Charlie Daniels Band.
RCA released The Judds’ Love Can Build A Bridge in 1990, billed as the first 3-D video.
Marty Stuart joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1992. He was the first new member added following the death of Roy Acuff.
Berry Gordy Jr. was born in Detroit, MI in 1929. He wrote Lonely Teardrops, which became a country hit for Narvel Felts. Gordy also founded Motown, whose classics Someday We’ll Be Together, You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me and Tracks Of My Tears also gained country covers.
Songwriter A.L. “Doodle” Owens was born in Waco, TX in 1930. He penned Charley Pride’s All I Have To Offer You (Is Me), George Jones’ Wine Colored Roses and Doug Stone’s Fourteen Minutes Old. Owens entered the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1999.
Kristine Oliver was born in Manhattan Beach, CA in 1955. Along with older sister Janis Gill, Oliver forms Sweethearts Of The Rodeo, securing a string of rockabilly-tinged hits in the 1980s.