December 12 – This Day in Country Music

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1955
Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley all appeared at the National Guard Armory, Armory, Mississippi.

1966
Merle Haggard released the single “The Fugitive” (later titled “I’m a Lonesome Fugitive” on the album), which became Haggard’s first #1 hit on the country chart. Although not written by Haggard, the song became one of the most closely associated with the early part of his career, as it drew upon his then still-relatively recent prison term for burglary.

1988
Waylon Jennings underwent triple bypass surgery at Nashville’s Baptist Hospital. The singer later said he had quit smoking five or six packs a day after being a smoker for 40 years.

1996
Clint Black received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

1998
Faith Hill was at #1 on the Billboard Country charts with “Let Me Let Go”. The third single from Faith Hill’s album Faith, features background vocals by country artist Vince Gill.

2000
Husband and wife, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill closed their Soul2Soul 2000 Tour at the D Waterhouse Centre, Orlando. The tour grossed nearly $50 million and was witnessed by close to 950,000 people.

2020
American singer, guitarist, and professional baseball player Charley Pride died age 86. In the early to mid-1970s, he was the best-selling performer for RCA Records since Elvis Presley. During the peak years of his recording career (1966–1987), he had 52 top-10 hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, 30 of which made it to number one. He won the Entertainer of the Year award at the Country Music Association Awards in 1971.