December 8 – This Day in Country Music

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1959
Born on this day was Marty Raybon, singer, songwriter from Shenandoah who had the 1990 US Country #1 hit single with “Next to You, Next to Me.” Before leaving Shenandoah in 1997, he and his brother Tim formed a duo known as the Raybon Brothers, which had crossover success that year with the hit single “Butterfly Kisses.”

1976
A Star Is Born was released in the US. The musical film told the story of a young woman, played by Barbra Streisand who enters show business, and meets and falls in love with an established male star, played by Kris Kristofferson, only to find her career ascending while his goes into decline. It won five Golden Globe Awards and the Academy Award for Best Original Song for “Evergreen.”

1982
Marty Robbins, the American singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist died of a heart attack. One of the most popular and successful country and Western singers of his era, Robbins released over 50 singles and 100 albums. In addition to his recordings, Robbins was an avid race car driver, competing in 35 career NASCAR races with six top 10 finishes, including the 1973 Firecracker 400. In 1967, Robbins played himself in the car racing film Hell on Wheels.

1989
Arista Records released Alan Jackson’s first hit, “Here In The Real World”, the title track from the Country singer songwriters debut album.

1991
Roy Acuff became the first country artist recognized in the Kennedy Center Honors, which was attended by president George Bush. Among the participants in the ceremony, which was also shot for a CBS-TV special: Chet Atkins, Emmylou Harris, Steve Wariner and Bill Monroe.