April 14 – This Day in Country Music

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1932
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.

1958
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.

1980
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.”

1980
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.

1998
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.”

2019
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.