April 14 – This Day in Country Music


Born on this day in Butcher Hollow, Kentucky, was Loretta Lynn, country singer, who became the first woman to be named Country Music Artist Entertainer Of The Year. Since her first #1 “Fist City”, in 1967 she has scored another 15 chart toppers. Her best-selling 1976 autobiography was made into an Academy Award winning film, Coal Miner’s Daughter, starring Sissy Spacek and Tommy Lee Jones in 1980.

Don Gibson’s “Oh Lonesome Me” was at #1 on the Billboard country chart. The track, which was produced by Chet Atkins, topped the country chart for eight non-consecutive weeks in addition to reaching #7 on the Billboard Hot 100. Both Johnny Cash and Neil Young have recorded versions of the song.

George Jones released “She Thinks I Still Care” which became his third Country #1 hit. Jones first heard the song when Jack Clement played it for him at Gulf Coast Studio in Beaumont. Many artists have recorded the song including Merle Haggard on his 1969 LP A Portrait of Merle Haggard and Glen Campbell on his 1972 album Glen Travis Campbell.

George Jones released “He Stopped Loving Her Today”, the lead single from his album I Am What I Am. The song, which was written by Bobby Braddock and Curly Putman has been named in several surveys as the greatest country song of all time. Jones didn’t want to record the song, and when he cut it, he said, “Nobody will buy that morbid S.O.B.”

Dolly Parton released her twenty-second solo studio album Dolly, Dolly, Dolly. The album was her least traditional country-sounding album to that point, with a number of songs bordering on disco. Though the album’s two singles, “Starting Over Again” (written by Donna Summer and Bruce Sudano) and “Old Flames Can’t Hold a Candle to You” topped the U.S. country charts.

Alabama won Entertainer of the Year for a record fifth straight time during the 21st annual Academy of Country Music awards, broadcast by NBC from Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, California. Other winners included: Top Female Vocalist of the Year – Reba McEntire, Top Male Vocalist of the Year – George Strait and Single Record of the Year went to Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and Waylon Jennings for “Highwayman.”

Unchained Melody: The Early Years a compilation album by LeAnn Rimes was at #1 on the Country charts. Released by Curb Records due to high sales of her debut album Blue, the album consists of tracks recorded previously to Blue and contains cover versions of “I Want to Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart” by Patsy Montana, “Blue Moon of Kentucky” by Bill Monroe, “I Will Always Love You” by Dolly Parton, and “Yesterday” by The Beatles.

Dixie Chicks released “There’s Your Trouble” as the second single from the band’s album Wide Open Spaces. The song became the band’s first #1 single on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart. In 1999, the Dixie Chicks were awarded a Grammy Award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for their performance of “There’s Your Trouble.”

Dolly Parton was awarded the Living Legend Medal by the US Library of Congress for her contributions to the cultural heritage of the United States.

Hal Ketchum’s wife announced via his Facebook page that he will be retiring due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease. Ketchum died at his home in Fischer, Texas on November 23, 2020 at the age of 67.