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October 26

Roy Acuff held his first recording session with his band, The Crazy Tennesseans in 1936. They cut The Great Speckled Bird at the Furniture Mart Building in Chicago.

The American League voted to place a baseball team in Los Angeles in 1960. Within weeks, the franchise is awarded to country music legend/western actor Gene Autry, who calls it the Angels.

Jessi Colter married Waylon Jennings in Mesa, AZ in 1969.

Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard play for 30,000 people at a rare stadium date at Anaheim Stadium in California with Emmylou Harris and Johnny Paycheck in 1980. Haggard’s set is recorded for the album Rainbow Stew/Live At Anaheim Stadium.

Alabama recorded The Closer You Get in 1982. As we told you a couple of days ago on his birthday (10/24), the song was written by Mark Gray and J.P. Pennington of Exile in 1980. Exile recorded the song first, but it didn’t gain any traction. Don King and Rita Coolidge both recorded the song in 1981…then Alabama got a hold of it. Their version was much different than the earlier versions (hear for yourself below). Alabama took it to #1 (their 10th) and it had so much radio airplay that it even made it into the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 charts.

Rodney Crowell records I Couldn’t Leave You If I Tried in 1987. It would be released the following May and would become the 2nd in a string of #1 hits for Crowell. 

….and everybody cried as Travis Tritt goes to #1 in Billboard with Anymore in 1991. The song was co-written by Travis with Jill Colucci. It was his 2nd #1 hit in the U.S. and his fourth in Canada. Anymore was the first video in a trilogy that ripped our hearts out.

Collin Raye makes his acting debut in 1992 on TV’s Street Justice, portraying an undercover cop with dreams of a Nashville career. He sings In This Life on the show.

Rick Trevino was in the studio for a productive day in 1993. He recorded She Can’t Say I Didn’t Cry and Doctor Time.

MCA released Trisha Yearwood’s The Song Remembers When album in 1993. It was her third album and featured background vocals from Rodney Crowell and Willie Nelson and includes a cover version of a song by one of Trisha’s heroes, Linda Ronstadt. The title track became a major hit, peaking at #2 on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles chart and also became her first single to chart within the Billboard Hot 100. 

On that same day in 1993, Dwight Yoakam watched his This Time album go platinum. Pete Anderson, a seasoned producer and guitarist, helped Yoakam branch out on this album. He said, I wanted to get to a point where we made Dwight Yoakam music. First off, we made country music. We were bound by the constraints of making a good country record…But whatever Johnny Cash was, Johnny Cash made Johnny Cash music. Was it country, was it folk, was it Americana? Was it Rockabilly? It was Johnny Cash music. And Kenny Rogers, for better or worse, made Kenny Rogers music. I wanted Dwight to be in that stratosphere. Three of its tracks barely missed the top spot on the Billboard Hot Country Singles charts, each peaking at #2: Ain’t That Lonely Yet, A Thousand Miles from Nowhere and Fast as You.

Arista released Alan Jackson’s Under The Influence album in 1999.  It featured forty three minutes of great country music covers.

That same day in ‘99, Blue Eye releases the Dolly Parton album The Grass Is Blue

Harmonica player Don Brooks died from leukemia in 2000. Noted for his work with Billy Joel, Diana Ross and The Bee Gees, he was a member of Waylon Jennings’ band during the 1970s, appearing on You Ask Me To and This Time

Ronnie Milsap, Mac Wiseman and songwriter Hank Cochran were inducted in the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2014.

In 2016 Ricky Skaggs and Jerry Reed are inducted in the Musicians Hall of Fame in Nashville along with Garth Brooks; his producer, Allen Reynolds; and his “G-Men” studio band: Milton Sledge, Chris Leuzinger, Bobby Wood, Mark Casstevens, Rob Hajacos, Bruce Bouton and the late Mike Chapman.