December 30 – This Day in Country Music

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1931
Born on this day in Dry Ridge, Kentucky, was Skeeter Davis one of the first women to achieve major stardom in the country music field as a solo vocalist, she was an acknowledged influence on Tammy Wynette and Dolly Parton. Davis died on Sept 19 2004.

1937
Born on this day in New York City, was John Hartford, country and bluegrass composer and musician known for his mastery of the fiddle and banjo, as well as for his witty lyrics. He also invented his own shuffle tap dance move, and clogged on an amplified piece of plywood while he played and sang. Hartford died on June 4 2001.

1944
Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys appeared at the Grand Ole Opry. According to the Opry, drums and horns were not considered to be part of country music. Wills’ band at the time consisted of two fiddlers, two bass fiddles, two electric guitars, an amplified electric steel guitar, and a trumpet, as well as drums, with which the drummer played in the Dixieland style.

1952
Hank Williams loaded up his ’52 Cadillac with his guitar, stage suits and other things he would need for this short tour that would take him up through West Virginia and Ohio. At around 11:30am Charles Carr, a 19 year old college freshman Hank had hired to drive him, left his mothers boarding house on N. McDonough St. in Montgomery, Alabama. Hank was wearing dark blue pants, a white button up shirt, a tie and a navy blue overcoat. It was unseasonably cold over the south that day as a snow storm covered the entire southeastern united states.

1956
Born on this day in Aledo, Illinois country music singer and songwriter Suzy Bogus. In the 1990s, six of her songs were Top 10 hits. She won Top New Female Vocalist from the Academy of Country Music and the Horizon Award from the Country Music Association.

1962
Singer Brenda Lee was hurt when she attempted to rescue her poodle, Cee Cee from her burning house in Nashville. Lee’s nine-room home, valued at $37,000 was destroyed along with $25,000 worth of clothing. Cee Cee later died of smoke inhalation.

1973
Charlie Rich was at #1 on the US country album chart with Behind Closed Doors. The album received three Country Music Association awards: Best Male Vocalist, Album of the Year, and Single of the Year, for the title song which gave the singer his first #1 hit.

1985
Alabama released “She and I” which went to #1 on the Country charts in April 1986. The track was the nineteenth in a string of 21 consecutive #1 singles in as many releases, a string that spanned from 1980 through 1987.

1991
Alan Jackson released “Dallas” his fourth consecutive #1 single on the US Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks charts. Jackson was inspired to write the song after having played at Billy Bob’s in Dallas, Texas. After playing the show, he commented that he “wished Dallas was in Tennessee” and based the song off that comment

2010
Trace Adkins sang the national anthem and Ashton Shepherd performed “God Bless America” at the Music City Bowl at Nashville’s LP Field.

2014
Nashville studio musician Henry Strzelecki died after being struck by a car in Nashville. He performed with Chet Atkins, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Eddy Arnold, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Ronnie Milsap, Merle Haggard, and many others.