Saturday, 23 June 2012

On This Week In Country Music June 25 – July 1

On This Week In Country Music June 25 – July 1

25 June - On This Day in Country Music

1986 - Jenifer Strait, the 13-year-old daughter of George Strait, dies in an auto accident when the car, driven by a teenage friend, rolls over during a left turn in San Marcos, Texas. The family set up a foundation, The Jenifer Lynn Strait Foundation, which donates money to children's charities in the San Antonio, Texas area

1987 - Reba McEntire files for divorce from Charlie Battles, four days after their 11th anniversary

1997 - On Chet Atkins Day in Nashville, more than 70 artists and musicians pay tribute to the guitarist at a Ryman Auditorium concert. Among his admirers: Steve Wariner, Ray Stevens, Ronnie McDowell, Mark Knopfler, Marty Stuart, Bobby Bare and Hank Williams III 

2006 - Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman are married at Cardinal Cerretti Memorial Chapel in Sydney, Australia.
He sings "Making Memories Of Us" at the service, witnessed by songwriter Monty Powell, producer Dann Huff and Capitol Records chief Mike Dungan. 
Sky News >>  YouTube

25 Michael Francis (Asleep at the Wheel)  

26 June - On This Day in Country Music

1977 - Elvis Presley performs what proves to be his final concert at Indianapolis' Market Square Arena. He becomes ill and is hospitalized overnight. His last song: "Can't Help Falling In Love"

1982 - Marie Osmond marries her first husband, Stephen Craig, a former basketball star for Brigham Young University 

1992 - Columbia releases Mary Chapin Carpenter's "Come On, Come On", her fourth album which peaked at #6 on the Billboard Country Albums chart. Seven of its tracks became Billboard Hot Country Singles hits. Most notably  "I Feel Lucky" at #4, "Passionate Kisses" at #4, "The Hard Way" at #11, "He Thinks He'll Keep Her" at #2, and "I Take My Chances" also at #2.

Gretchen Wilson
Promo Pic

Gretchen Wilson (1973), born in Granite City Pocahontas, Illinois  to a sixteen-year-old mother. Her father left before she was two years old, and she and her mother lived in trailer parks and relative poverty.. Her 2004 unapologetic debut single, "Redneck Woman," becomes a breakout hit, leading to instant country stardom and the Country Music Association's Horizon Award.
Overall, Wilson has charted 13 singles on the Billboard country charts, of which five have reached Top Ten: the Number One "Redneck Woman", as well as "Here for the Party" (#3, 2004), "When I Think About Cheatin'" (#4, 2004), "Homewrecker" (#2, 2005), and "All Jacked Up" (#8, 2005). The album Here for the Party was certified 5× Multi-Platinum by the RIAA for sales of five million copies, while All Jacked Up was certified platinum.

Ralph Ezell (1953) born in Union, Mississippi. Bass player. As a member of Shenandoah, he plays a role in such hits as "The Church On Cumberland Road," "Janie Baker's Love Slave" and "Two Dozen Roses"

27 June - On This Day in Country Music

1993 - Lyle Lovett and actress Julia Roberts were married at the St. James Lutheran Church in Marion, Indiana, after a whirlwind three-week romance that began during filming of the movie "The Player."
The couple divorced less than two years later, in March 1995. The breakup was said to be caused by career demands. The two remained friends, and Roberts even sang a Townes Van Zandt song previously recorded by Lovett in the 1998 movie STEPMOM ( “If I Needed You” >> YouTube) .
They postpone a honeymoon while she films "The Pelican Brief ".

1994 - "Common Thread: Songs Of The Eagles" goes triple-platinum. It features Travis Tritt, Little Texas, Clint Black, John Anderson, Alan Jackson, Suzy Bogguss, Vince Gill, Billy Dean, Tanya Tucker, Diamond Rio, Trisha Yearwood, Brooks & Dunn and Lorrie Morgan 

2001 - Tracy Lawrence and his wife, Becca, have a daughter, Skylar JoAnn Lawrence, in Nashville

Little Roy Wiggins (1926), Musician. Born Ivan Leroy Wiggins in Nashville, Tennessee, he liked Hawaiian and country music and quickly became proficient on the lap steel guitar. Dubbed "Little Roy", he started playing with Paul Howard and his Arkansas Cotton Pickers on the famed Grand Ole Opry radio show at age 14. In the 1940s, he performed with Pee Wee King, George Morgan, and on Eddie Arnold's hit records such as "I'll Hold You in My Heart", "Anytime" and Bouquet of Roses". With Eddie Arnold for 25 years, on his own he recorded two solo albums, "Mister Steel Guitar" (1962) and "18 All Time Hits" (1966). During the 1970s, he worked as a session player, toured as a solo act and with Ernest Ashworth and the Willis Brothers. He died of heart disease on August 3, 1999

Loretta LynnLorrie” Morgan (1959), born in Nashville, Tennessee, a day before father George Morgan's 35th birthday, in Nashville. Morgan made her first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry at age 13, performing Fred Spielman and Janice Torre's "Paper Roses." After her father died in 1975, she took over his band at age 16 and began leading the group through various club gigs. Within a few years she disbanded the group, and in 1977 she joined the Little Roy Wiggins band.
Lorrie Morgan

She follows her father into the Grand Ole Opry in 1984, preceding a run of 1990s hits, including "Something In Red," "Five Minutes" and "What Part Of No" . Lorrie Morgan charted her first single in 1978, although she did not break into the top of the U.S. country charts until her 1989 single, "Trainwreck of Emotion."
Since then, she has charted more than 25 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks charts. She has also recorded more than 15 studio albums.

At various points in her life, Morgan has been married to three different country singers: Keith Whitley, Jon Randall and Sammy Kershaw. On September 15, 2010, Morgan married her sixth husband, Randy White in a beach side ceremony.


Paul Kennerley (1948), born in Hoylake, Merseyside, North West England. Songwriter. In 1976 he was living in London and working in advertising when he first heard country music, the song "Let's All Help the Cowboys Sing the Blues" by Waylon Jennings. "It really excited me," Kennerley recalls in his artist biography for Universal Music Group. "I immediately hunted down every Waylon record I could find." He quit his job in advertising and gave himself three months to develop his talents as a songwriter. His hits include "Born To Run," by Emmylou Harris; "Hillbilly Rock," by Marty Stuart; "Walking Shoes," by Tanya Tucker; and "Have Mercy" and “Young Love,” by The Judds

28 June - On This Day in Country Music

1980 - The Oak Ridge Boys top the Billboard country chart with "Trying To Love Two Women". Released by MCA it was written by Sonny Throckmorton.  It was The Oak Ridge Boys' third number one hit on the Billboard country chart. The single stayed at number one for one week and spent a total of twelve weeks on the chart

1986 - Willie Nelson journeys to #1 in Billboard with "Living In The Promiseland"  Released by Columbia in Feb 1986 it was written by David Lynn Jones.  It was Nelson's twelfth number one single on the country chart as a solo artist, spending one week at number one and twenty weeks on the chart.

Ava Barber (1954), born Knoxville Tn, country singer (Lawrence Welk Show) . She is best remembered for having performed on The Lawrence Welk Show throughout much of the 1970s and early 1980s. She is also known as a recording artist, her best-known hit being the song, "Bucket to the South", which peaked at #13 on the Hot Country Songs list in 1978

Kellie Pickler singing
Live 2009

Kellie Pickler (1986), born in Albemarle, North Carolina. After gaining national exposure on fifth season of the FOX-TV show "American Idol," eventually finishing in sixth, she finds immediate success in country with a gold debut album and a hit on her first single, "Red High Heels". In 2006, she signed to 19 Recordings and BNA Records as a recording artist, releasing her debut album, Small Town Girl, later that year. To date, it has sold over 800,000 copies.
The album, which was certified gold by the RIAA, produced three singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts: "Red High Heels" at number fifteen, "I Wonder" at number fourteen, and "Things That Never Cross a Man's Mind" at number sixteen. 

After two and a half years of dating, Pickler became engaged to songwriter Kyle Jacobs on June 15, 2010, the day of her late grandmother's birthday, after he proposed on a beach at sunset. Pickler and Jacobs eloped on January 1, 2011 in a "small, intimate ceremony on a private island in the Caribbean".

George Morgan (1925) ,  born Waverly, Tennessee. Morgan was a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1948, and is best remembered for the Columbia Records song "Candy Kisses", which was a No. 1 hit on the Billboard country music chart for three weeks in 1949. He died in 1975, aged 51, of a heart attack after undergoing open heart surgery and was interred in the Spring Hill Cemetery in Madison, Tennessee. His daughter, Lorrie Morgan, released two songs as duets with her late father dubbed in: "I'm Completely Satisfied" (1979) and "From This Moment On" (2006).

Lloyd Maines (Maines Bros Band) (1951), born and raised in Lubbock, Texas and is now based in Bulverde, Texas. Arguably best known as a pedal steel player, Maines is a multi-instrumentalist who has also performed and/or recorded playing dobro, electric and acoustic guitar, mandolin, lap steel guitar, banjo and bell tree. He toured and recorded as a member of the Joe Ely Band and has also played with Guy Clark, Butch Hancock, Terry Allen, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Golden Bear, and other Texas musicians. Maines was a member of The Maines Brothers Band in the late 1970s and early 1980s and has contributed to alt-country releases, including Uncle Tupelo's Anodyne and Wilco's debut, A.M.

29 June - On This Day in Country Music

1968 - Tammy Wynette is wedded to the #1 position on the Billboard country chart with "D-I-V-O-R-C-E". Recorded on March 22, 1968  it was penned by Bobby Braddock and Curly Putman. In 1975, a Tammy Wynette  GREATEST HITS album was released in the UK. Two of the songs from this album ascended the British pop chart that year, with "Stand by Your Man" reaching the top of the chart in April and "D-I-V-O-R-C-E" climbing to a peak position of #12 in July.

1974 - Mickey Gilley goes to #1 on the Billboard country chart for the first time with "Room Full Of Roses". It was written by Tim Spencer, it was first recorded in 1949 by country music singer George Morgan. The Gilley version was his first major hit and broke open his career.

1987 - Columbia releases Rosanne Cash's "King's Record Shop," named for a music store on
West Jefferson Street
in Louisville, owned by Gene King, brother of Country Music Hall Of Famer Pee Wee King 

1998 - The Country Music Association announces it will add four new Country Music Hall of Fame members in September: Tammy Wynette, Elvis Presley, George Morgan and former Grand Ole Opry executive E.W. "Bud" Wendell

30 June - On This Day in Country Music
1922 - The first country record is made in New York, by Eck Robertson and Henry Gilliland. The two collaborate on "Arkansas Traveller"

1993 - Kenny Chesney signs his first recording contract, with Capricorn Records 

1995 - Garth Brooks receives a star in front of Capitol Records on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He buries the masters to "The Hits" underneath the star 

Dwayne O'Brien (1963), born in Ada, Oklahoma. Guitarist. He joins the harmony-rich Little Texas, performing on the pop-influenced singles "What Might Have Been," "You And Forever And Me" and "God Blessed TexasDeath

2001 - Chet Atkins dies at home after a long bout with cancer. An influential guitarist and producer who helped create "The Nashville Sound," he entered the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1973 and earned a Lifetime Achievement award from the Grammys.
Mark Knopfler & Chet Atkins - Instrumental Medley  >>  YouTube

1 July - On This Day in Country Music

1972 - Hank Williams Jr. hits #1 on the Billboard chart with "Eleven Roses" . Recorded December 9, 1971
It was released MGM Records in March 1972.  It was written by Lamar Morris and Darrell McCall and it spent two weeks atop the chart and 14 weeks on the Hot Country Singles chart's top 40.

1989 - Kathy Mattea's "Come From The Heart" reaches #1 on the Billboard country chart. It was written by Richard Leigh and Susanna Clark and published in 1987. It was released from Kathy’s album WILLOW IN THE WIND, though the song was first recorded and released on the 1987 Don Williams album Traces and recorded by Guy Clark on his album OLD FRIENDS.

1990 - Hank Williams Jr. marries his fourth wife-Mary Jane Thomas, a former model for Hawaiian Tropic suntan lotion--in Montana. They honeymoon in Tanzania, where they discover their camp is infested with cobras 

1995 - "Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident)" puts John Michael Montgomery at the top spot on the Billboard country chart.
Written by Richard Fagan and Robb Royer it was released in May 1995 as the second single from John Michael’s 1995 Self-Titled album. It was named the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks number-one single of the year for 1995.

John Aston  (1942), born Oldbury, near Birmingham, Warwickshire, England. Aston gained his first musical inspiration from his parents who both sang old-time music hall hits and popular songs of the day. He obtained his first guitar in 1957, at the height of the skiffle craze and subsequently played in a skiffle group, but maintains that, when it was his turn to sing, he always sang a country song. In 1966, primarily because of the greater opportunity to become involved in country music in the area than he found in Birmingham, he relocated to Doncaster, Yorkshire.
Aston played with several different groups for experience until March 1971, when he decided to embark on a solo career. He made his first recordings in 1973, 'The Old Lamplighter' and the self-penned 'I Haven't Changed A Bit'. A television appearance singing the former song attracted attention and led to work around the UK country club circuit. He has toured the UK with visiting American artists including Red Sovine (1975) and Mac Wiseman (1976). He received the Radio & Record Mirror award for Top Solo Performer In Great Britain, which was presented to him by Jim Reeves' widow, Mary Reeves Davis. One of his best-known songs is the popular ballad 'Room Of Shadows'.

Michelle Wright (1961) born in Chatham, Ontario. She nets one Top 10 single, 1992's "Take It Like A Man" . Wright grew up in the small Canadian town of Merlin, Ontario where she took after her parents, who were both local performers. In 2011, Wright was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame. Brian Ferriman of Savannah Records has been her manager for over 25 years.
Michelle Wright

Wright's primary success has been in her native Canada, where she has charted more than twenty-five singles, including six Number One hits: "Take It Like a Man", "One Time Around", "Guitar Talk", "One Good Man", "Nobody's Girl" and "Crank My Tractor". She also had chart success in the United States in the 1990s, landing in the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts with "Take It Like a Man" at #10, "He Would Be Sixteen" at #31 and "New Kind of Love" at #32.

Keith Whitley (1955), born in Sandy Hook, Kentucky. Married to Lorrie Morgan in 1986, his rich vocals dot some of the most expressive singles of the late-1980s, although his career is shortened when he dies from alcohol poisoning in 1989. Jackie Keith Whitley was known professionally as Keith Whitley His brief career in mainstream country music lasted from 1984 until his death on May 9, 1989 aged 34. He continues to influence an entire generation of singers and songwriters. He charted 19 singles on the Billboard country charts, including five consecutive Number Ones: "Don't Close Your Eyes", "When You Say Nothing at All", "I'm No Stranger to the Rain", "I Wonder Do You Think of Me" and "It Ain't Nothin'" (the last two posthumously).

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