April 18 – This Day in Country Music

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1939
Born on this day in Wellington, Texas, was Glen Hardin, piano player and arranger. He was a member of the house band at the Palamino Club in North Hollywood, called “Country Music’s most important West Coast club” by the Los Angeles Times. It featured such performers as Buck Owens, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Linda Ronstadt, Hoyt Axton and Willie Nelson. He became a member of the Shindogs with a young Glen Campbell and James Burton.

1939
Born on this day in Datto, Arkansas, was Bill Rice, country music singer and songwriter. Rice has written songs for artists such as Johnny Paycheck, Reba McEntire, Charley Pride and Jerry Lee Lewis. Rice has had more awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers than any other songwriter.

1964
Johnny Cash was at #1 on the US Country singles charts with “Understand Your Man.” The song which enjoyed a 6 week run at the top of the charts borrowed parts of the melody from Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right.”

1966
Eddy Arnold was at #1 on the Country singles chart with “I Want to Go with You” which was written by country music singer-songwriter Hank Cochran.

1970
Johnny Cash was at #1 on the Country album chart with Hello, I’m Johnny Cash, his 33rd album release. The album featured “If I Were a Carpenter”, the famous duet with his wife, June Carter Cash, which earned the couple a Grammy Award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal in 1971.

1975
Olivia Newton-John was at #1 on the US Country album chart with Have You Never Been Mellow. The title track was also a US #1 single. Newton-John received a Grammy nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for her work on the song “Have You Never Been Mellow.”

2009
Taylor Swift released “You Belong with Me” as the third single from her second studio album, Fearless which became a #1 on the US Hot Country Songs charts. The song became Swift’s highest-charting single on the Billboard Hot 100 at the time and has become Swift’s third best-selling single. It managed to gain the largest crossover radio audience since Faith Hill’s “Breathe” did in 2000.

2020
Sam Hunt went to #1 on the Country chart with his second studio album and first chart topper Southside.