December 22 – This Day in Country Music


Born on this day in Huntington, West Virginia, was Hawkshaw Hawkins, country music singer popular from the 1950s into the early 60s and known for his rich, smooth vocals and music drawn from blues, boogie and honky tonk. Hawkins died in the 1963 plane crash that also killed country stars Patsy Cline and Cowboy Copas.

Born on this day in Clay County, Kentucky, was singer, songwriter, and record producer Ray Pennington. He is known for writing the song “I’m a Ramblin’ Man”, which gave Waylon Jennings his second #1 Country hit. Pennington was also the founder of the independent Step One Records label. He died at home on October 7, 2020 after entering a garage that had caught fire.

Hank Williams went into E.T. Herzog Studio, Cincinatti Ohio and recorded various tracks including “There’ll Be No Teardrops Tonight”, “Lovesick Blues”, and “Lost On The River”.

Born on this day was Mark Bright American country music producer and songwriter. Bright has produced records and co-written songs for many artists including: Reba McEntire, Sara Evans, Scotty McCreery, Lonestar, Peter Cetera, Brad Paisley, Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban.

George Strait released “Ocean Front Property” which gave him his tenth US #1 Country hit. It was released as the first single and title track from his album of the same name.

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts honored Willie Nelson for his lifetime contributions to the arts. Nelson became the first primarily country performer so honored.

Dennis Linde, died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center aged 63. He was best known for writing the 1972 Elvis Presley hit, “Burning Love”. Linde also wrote numerous hit songs for mainly country music singers, beginning with hits for Roger Miller and Roy Drusky in 1970. In 2000, his song for Dixie Chicks, “Goodbye Earl”, stirred some controversy for its take on spousal abuse. Linde also wrote tunes that were recorded by Tanya Tucker, Gary Morris, Don Williams, The Judds, Alan Jackson, Mark Chesnutt and Garth Brooks.