Born on this day in Chicago, Illinois, was Wesley Rose, music industry executive and record producer. Rose was a important part of the development of the country music industry. He was a driving force behind the creation of the Country Music Association.
After making an appearance on Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts TV show performing “Walkin’ After Midnight” (and winning the contest), Decca Records rush-released the song as a single. It became Cline’s first major hit single, reaching #1 on the Billboard country music chart and #12 on its pop chart.
Willie Nelson recorded “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” which went on to become his first #1 hit as a singer. Written by songwriter Fred Rose the song was originally performed by Roy Acuff and later by Hank Williams.
Kenny Rogers was at #1 on the US Country music chart with his sixth studio album, The Gambler which has now sold over 35 million copies world wide.
Merle Haggard reached #1 on the Billboard country chart with the Lefty Frizzell song “That’s The Way Love Goes”. At the Grammy Awards of 1985, “That’s the Way Love Goes” won the Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance.
The Dixie Chicks won three awards at the 49th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles: Record of the Year and Song of the Year (both for “Not Ready to Make Nice,” the latter shared with songwriter Dan Wilson) and Album of the Year (Taking the Long Way). Carrie Underwood took the Best New Artist Award and Best Female Country Vocal Performance for “Jesus, Take the Wheel”; the song also earned a Best Country Song award for songwriters Brett James, Hillary Lindsey and Gordie Sampson. Also, country music pioneer Bob Wills – the longtime leader of the Texas Playboys – was a posthumous recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award. Wills was recognized 32 years after his death.
American songwriter Kim Williams who wrote hits for Randy Travis, Joe Diffie, Reba McEntire, Garth Brooks and many others died. Williams was named ASCAP’s Country Songwriter of the Year in 1994, won the Country Music Association’s Song of the Year award (for “Three Wooden Crosses”) in 2003, and was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2012.