Born on this day in West Monroe, Louisiana, was Webb Pierce who became one of the most popular American honky tonk vocalists of the 1950s, charting more #1 hits than any other country artist during the decade. His best know hit “In The Jailhouse Now,” stayed on the charts for 37 weeks in 1955. Pierce died after a long battle with pancreatic cancer on February 24, 1991.
Born on this day in Dover, Florida, was Mel Tillis, country music singer who scored the 1972 US #1 ‘I Ain’t Never’. Tills is also known for his hits “Good Woman Blues”, and “Coca-Cola Cowboy”. Though he always spoke with a stammer, it never affected his singing voice. Tillis died on November 19 2017 age 82.
Born on this day in Alamosa, Colorado, was Michael Johnson, pop, country and folk singer-songwriter and guitarist best known for his 1978 hit song “Bluer Than Blue” and his two #1 country hits from 1986, “Give Me Wings” and “The Moon Is Still Over Her Shoulder”. He also co-wrote “Cain’s Blood”, the debut single of 1990s country group 4 Runner. He died on July 25, 2017 age 72.
American Country musician Hank Williams, Jr. suffered a near fatal fall off the side of Ajax Mountain in Montana. He slipped while mountain climbing and fell nearly 500 feet, landing on a boulder. He suffered multiple skull and facial fractures and later to hide the scars and the disfigurement from the accident, Williams grew a beard and began wearing sunglasses and a cowboy hat. The beard, hat, and sunglasses have since become his signature look, and he is rarely seen without them.
The movie Beer for My Horses was released. The comedy film starring and co-produced by Toby Keith was based on his song by the same name. The film which was co-written by Keith and Rodney Carrington also featured Willie Nelson.
Jack Clement died aged 82. The songwriter and record producer is best known for his work with Johnny Cash. Clement wrote a number of highly successful songs that have been recorded by Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Ray Charles, Carl Perkins, Bobby Bare, Elvis Presley, Jim Reeves, Jerry Lee Lewis, Charley Pride, Tom Jones, Dickey Lee and Hank Snow. He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1973. He also produced albums by Townes Van Zandt and Waylon Jennings.
President Barack Obama announced that Loretta Lynn would be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The press release read as follows: “Loretta Lynn is a country music legend. Raised in rural Kentucky, she emerged as one of the first successful female country music vocalists in the early 1960s, courageously breaking barriers in an industry long dominated by men. Ms. Lynn’s numerous accolades include the Kennedy Center Honors in 2003 and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010.”
American singer, guitarist, songwriter, television host, and actor Glen Campbell died in Nashville, Tennessee at the age of 81. He became a patient at an Alzheimer’s long-term care and treatment facility in 2014. Campbell released more than 70 studio albums and sold 45 million records worldwide. His hits include: ‘By the Time I Get to Phoenix’, ‘Wichita Lineman’, ‘Galveston’ and ‘Rhinestone Cowboy’. His guitar playing can be heard on ‘Strangers in the Night’ by Frank Sinatra, ‘You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin” by The Righteous Brothers and ‘I’m a Believer’ by The Monkees.