August 23 – This Day in Country Music

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1952
Kitty Wells became the first female solo artist to score a #1 hit on the Billboard country charts with “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels.” The song, an answer to Hank Thompson’s “The Wild Side of Life,” spent two weeks atop the chart and forever changed how women were seen, both in song and professionally.

1969
Johnny Cash was at #1 on the Billboard country singles chart with “A Boy Named Sue”. The song tells the tale of a young man’s quest for revenge on a father who abandoned him at 3 years of age and whose only contribution to his entire life was naming him Sue, commonly a feminine name, which results in the young man suffering from ridicule and harassment by everyone he meets in his travels. Also on this day Chet Atkins appeared as the special guest on this week’s Johnny Cash ABC television music variety show.

1992
“Boot Scootin’ Boogie” by Brooks & Dunn was at #1 on the Country chart. Its success is cited as having started a renewed interest in line dancing throughout the United States. Before its release, Asleep at the Wheel recorded it on their 1990 album Keepin’ Me Up Nights.

2013
In an interview with AARP, Linda Ronstadt revealed that she had Parkinson’s Disease and could no longer sing. During her career Ronstadt had released over 30 studio albums and 15 compilation or greatest hits albums and charted 38 Billboard Hot 100 singles, with 21 reaching the top 40 earning 11 Grammy Awards.