February 22 – This Day in Country Music


Johnny Cash proposed to tour partner June Carter during a concert in London, Ontario. She said yes. The couple married on March 1, 1968, in Franklin, Kentucky and had one child together, John Carter Cash, born March 3, 1970. Cash and Carter continued to work together and tour for 35 years until Carter’s death in 2003. Cash died four months later.

Sammi Smith was at #1 on the US Country chart with her country – pop crossover hit, “Help Me Make It Through the Night”. Smith’s version won a Grammy Award for Best Country Music Female performance. Written by Kris Kristofferson and released on his 1970 album Kristofferson, he later stated that he got the inspiration for the song from an magazine interview with Frank Sinatra. When asked what he believed in, Frank replied, “Booze, broads, or a bible…whatever helps me make it through the night.”

“Good Hearted Woman” by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson was at #1 on the country chart. In 1969, Jennings and Nelson were staying in a motel in Fort Worth, Texas. Jennings was inspired to write the song after reading an advertisement that promoted Ike and Tina Turner. Jennings joined Nelson during a poker game and told him about the idea and the singers completed the song while Nelson’s wife, Connie Koepke, wrote it down.

Warner Bros. released Travis Tritt’s debut album, Country Club. The track “Help Me Hold On” went on to give the singer a #1 hit on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart.

Tim McGraw took the stage at this years Oscars and sang Glen Campbell’s nominated song, “I’m Not Gonna Miss You.” McGraw was handpicked by the Campbell family to fill in for the ailing legend. A first-time Oscar nominee, Campbell was unable to travel to Los Angeles for the show due to his deteriorating health.

American country music singer and songwriter Sonny James, best known for his 1957 hit, ‘Young Love’ died in Nashville, Tennessee, at the age of 87. Dubbed the Southern Gentleman, James had 72 country and pop chart hits from 1953 to 1983, including 23 No.1 Country hits.