Elvis Presley made his only appearance on the Grand Ole Opry in 1954. He sang “Blue Moon Of Kentucky” at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. Opry manager Jim Denny allegedly tells him not to give up his truck drivin’ day job.
Bill Anderson married his second wife, Becky Stegall Davis in 1970. The event inspires Ben Peters to write “Kiss An Angel Good Mornin’.” Though the song is intended for Anderson, it becomes a hit for Charley Pride.
United Artists releases The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s album “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” in 1972. The project features Roy Acuff, Jimmy Martin, Maybelle Carter, Doc Watson, Earl Scruggs, Merle Travis, Vassar Clements, Junior Huskey, Norman Blake and Bashful Brother Oswald
In 1976, a bearded Glen Campbell headed to the Capitol Recording Studios in LA to record “Southern Nights.” The song, written by Allen Toussaint, reached #1 on three separate US charts. He shaved the beard by the time he performed the song on The Midnight Special…
We were introduced to Mark Chesnutt in 1990 as MCA releases his debut album, “Too Cold At Home”
Boudleaux and Felice Bryant become the first full time songwriters to join the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1991 during the 25th annual Country Music Association awards in Nashville. They wrote “Bye Bye Love,” “Wake Up Little Susie” and “Rocky Top.” Get to know the songwriting power couple here:
George Bush became the first president to attend the Country Music Association awards in 1991. He saw Garth Brooks win four trophies: Entertainer of the Year; Album (“No Fences”); Single (“Friends In Low Places”); and Music Video (“The Thunder Rolls”)
Songbird Crystal Gayle was honored with the 2,390th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on October 2, 2009. Guests included Tanya Tucker, Wink Martindale, and Crystal’s sister, recording Peggy Sue Wright. You can visit her star at 1515 Vine Street.
William Morrow publishes Kenny Rogers’ autobiography, “Luck Or Something Like It” in 2012. Get your copy here.
It’s been two years since we lost Tom Petty. He died from cardiac arrest at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles following an accidental overdose of painkillers for multiple ailments, including a broken hip. Although he was a rocker at heart, Mr. Petty loved country music too.
Fiddler Chubby Wise is born in Lake City, FL in 1915. A member of Bill Monroe’s band when he introduces bluegrass in 1945, Wise works with Flatt & Scruggs and Hank Williams and spends 16 years as a member of Hank Snow’s band
Producer and record executive Aubrey Mayhew is born in Washington, D.C. in 1927. He founds the Little Darlin’ label – which helped bring us Johnny Paycheck’s 1960s hits.
Don McLean was born in New Rochelle, NY in 1945. A pop and folk artist best known for his recording of “American Pie,” McLean earns a country hit in 1981 with his remake of Roy Orbison’s “Crying”
Chris LeDoux was born in Biloxi, MS in 1948. A rodeo champion, he develops a music career with a gift for showmanship. Garth Brooks openly refers to LeDoux as one of his main inspirations. The pair collaborated a lot before LeDoux was taken from us in 2005.
Songwriter Danny Mayo is born in Gadsden, AL in 1950. He writes Confederate Railroad’s “Jesus And Mama,” Pirates Of The Mississippi’s “Feed Jake,” Alabama’s “If I Had You” and Tracy Byrd’s “The Keeper Of The Stars”
Shelia Shipley Biddy is born in Scottsville, KY in 1952. In 1993, she becomes the first woman named to head a major country label when MCA re-activates Decca.
Singer/songwriter Gillian Welch is born in New York City in 1967. The earthy performer becomes an acclaimed member of the alternative country movement, appearing on the “Hope Floats” and “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” soundtracks