April 6 – This Day in Country Music

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1937
Born on this day in Oildale, California, was country music songwriter, singer, and guitarist Merle Haggard. Along with Buck Owens, Haggard and his band The Strangers helped create the Bakersfield sound, which is characterized by the unique twang of Fender Telecaster guitar and the unique mix with the traditional country steel guitar sound. Haggard who was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in 1994 has scored 38 US #1 Country hits. Haggard died on the morning of April 6, 2016, his 79th birthday, of complications from pneumonia at his home in Palo Cedro, California.

1974
Charlie Rich was at #1 on the country charts with “A Very Special Love Song”. Written by Billy Sherrill and Norro Wilson, who had also written Rich’s 1973 hit, “The Most Beautiful Girl”. The song was included on Rich’s 1974 album, Very Special Love Songs.

1987
Winners at the 22nd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards hosted by Patrick Duffy and The Judds included: Top Female Vocalist of the Year – Reba McEntire, Top Male Vocalist of the Year – Randy Travis, Top Vocal Group – Forester Sisters, Top New Male Vocalist of the Year – Dwight Yoakam, Top Vocal Duet of the Year – The Judds and Country Music Video of the Year went to Reba McEntire for “Whoever’s In New England.”

1998
American country singer Tammy Wynette died aged 55. She scored 12 hit singles including “Stand By Your Man”, is one of the biggest selling hit singles by a woman in the history of the country music genre. Wynette has sold over 30 million records world-wide, was married five times and once filed for bankruptcy. Known as the ‘first lady of country music’, Wynette had the 1991 hit “Justified and Ancient” with The KLF which became a #1 hit in eighteen countries.

2013
George Jones played his final ever concert at the Knoxville City Coliseum in Knoxville. Jones was scheduled to perform his final concert at the Bridgestone Arena on November 22, 2013. However, on April 18, 2013, Jones was admitted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center for a slight fever and irregular blood pressure. His concerts in Alabama and Salem were postponed as a result. While there, Jones died in the early morning hours of April 26, 2013, aged 81.

2016
American singer, songwriter, guitarist, and fiddler, Merle Haggard died of complications from pneumonia at his home in Palo Cedro, California. Along with Buck Owens, Haggard and his band the Strangers helped create the Bakersfield sound, which is characterized by the twang of Fender Telecaster and the unique mix with the traditional country steel guitar sound. Haggard scored over 10 US Country No.1 albums during his career.