August 4 – This Day in Country Music

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1927
Jimmie Rodgers recorded for the first time in Bristol, Tennessee, singing “Sleep, Baby, Sleep” and “The Soldier’s Sweetheart” during an afternoon session with producer Ralph Peer at a furniture store at 408 State Street. Among the first country music superstars and pioneers, Rodgers was also known as The Singing Brakeman, The Blue Yodeler, as well as The Father of Country Music.

1947
Hank Williams recorded “On the Banks of the Old Ponchartrain” during sessions at Castle Studio, Nashville. According to biographer Colin Escott, Ramona Vincent, a crippled woman, wrote the words of the song as a poem and sent it to Williams, who put a melody to it. The track became the singer’s second single on MGM Records, released in September 1947.

1957
Johnny Cash completed recoding sessions for his debut album, Johnny Cash with His Hot and Blue Guitar. The album contained four of his hit singles: “I Walk the Line,” “Cry! Cry! Cry!,” “So Doggone Lonesome,” and “Folsom Prison Blues.” This was the first LP ever issued on Sam Phillips’ Sun Records label.

1969
Johnny Cash was at #1 on the US Country chart with At San Quentin a recording of a live concert given to the inmates of San Quentin State Prison. The album was nominated for a number of Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year and won Best Male Country Vocal Performance for “A Boy Named Sue.”

1984
The Judds made their first appearance at #1 on the Billboard country chart with “Mama He’s Crazy”, The Judds’ second country hit and the first of fourteen #1 country hits.

1986
Randy Travis released “Diggin’ Up Bones” as the third single from his album Storms of Life which became his second US #1 hit on the Country chart.

1992
Country music duo Brooks & Dunn were at #1 on the US Country charts with, “Boot Scootin’ Boogie”. Before its release, the band Asleep at the Wheel recorded it on their 1990 album Keepin’ Me Up Nights. Brooks & Dunn’s version was included on the album Brand New Man.

2015
Influential country producer Billy Sherrill, who worked with artists like George Jones, Charlie Rich, and Tammy Wynette and is known for pioneering the “countrypolitan” sound, died after a short illness at the age of 78. Sherrill also co-wrote many hit songs, including “Stand by Your Man” (written with Tammy Wynette).