August 5 – This Day in Country Music

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1934
Born on this day, was Vern Gosdin, nicknamed “The Voice” by his peers. He had 19 top-ten solo hits on the Country music charts from the late 1970s through the early 1990s, including three #1’s: “I Can Tell By the Way You Dance (You’re Gonna Love Me Tonight)”, “Set ‘Em Up Joe” and “I’m Still Crazy”. Gosdin died on 28th April 2009.

1940
Born on this day in Lakeland, Florida, was Bobby Braddock, country music songwriter and record producer. A member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, Braddock has contributed numerous hit songs during more than 40 years in the industry, including 13 #1 hit singles, one of which is “D-I-V-O-R-C-E” which he co-wrote with Curly Putman.

1943
Born on this day in Orange County, California, was Sammi Smith, country music singer and songwriter best known for her 1971 country/pop crossover hit, “Help Me Make It Through the Night”, which was written by Kris Kristofferson. She became one of the few women in the outlaw country movement during the 1970s. She died on February 12, 2005.

1953
Born on this day in Whitewright, Texas was fiddle and mandolin player, session musician, and composer Larry Franklin. He has worked with Lee Ann Womack, Martina McBride, Alan Jackson, Vince Gill, Ray Price, Mel Tillis, and Miranda Lambert among others. While a member of Asleep at the Wheel, Franklin won three Grammy awards.

1957
The self-titled debut album by Patsy Cline was released, which would be one of three studio albums Cline would record during her lifetime. The album produced two singles, “Walkin’ After Midnight,” and “I Don’t Wanta.”

1961
Born on this day in Seattle, Washington, was Mark O’Connor, bluegrass, jazz and country violinist, fiddler, composer and music teacher. He was named Musician of the Year by the Country Music Association six years in a row (from 1991 to 1996).

1968
American country guitarist Luther Perkins died at the age of 40 as a result of severe burns and smoke inhalation. Perkins fell asleep at home in his den with a cigarette in his hand. He was dragged from the fire unconscious with severe second and third degree burns. Perkins never regained consciousness. He worked with Johnny Cash and The Carter Family and featured on the live album Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison.

1968
Born on this day in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, was Terri Clark, Canadian country music singer, songwriter, who has scored over twenty singles, including six #1’s. “If I Were You”, “Poor Poor Pitiful Me”, “Emotional Girl” and “In My Next Life” which all topped the country charts in Canada.

1976
Kenny Rogers recorded “Lucille” in an afternoon session at Nashville’s American Studio. It became Rogers’ first major hit as a solo artist after leaving the successful country/rock group The First Edition the previous year.

1983
Alabama released “Lady Down on Love” which went to #1 on the Country charts. The track was the eleventh in a string of 21 consecutive #1 singles in as many releases, a string that spanned from 1980 through 1987.

2016
American songwriter and musician Richard Fagan died aged 69. He had six top ten singles and 18 charted singles on the Billboard Country charts. His songs have been recorded by Neil Diamond, George Strait, John Michael Montgomery, Clay Walker, Ricochet, Hank Williams, Jr., George Jones, Shania Twain, Patty Loveless, Collin Raye, Shenandoah, The Crickets, and many others. He wrote two of John Michael Montgomery’s singles: “Be My Baby Tonight” and “Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident)”.