February 25 – This Day in Country Music

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1932
Born on this day in Shreveport, Louisiana, was Faron Young, singer and songwriter from the early 1950s into the mid-1980s. The honky tonk singer scored hits including “Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young” and “If You Ain’t Lovin’ (You Ain’t Livin’)”. Depressed that the music industry had turned its back on him, Young shot himself on December 9, 1996 and died in Nashville the following day.

1981
Country music winners at the 23rd Annual Grammy Awards held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City included; Best Country Vocal Performance, Male – George Jones for “He Stopped Loving Her Today”, Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Groupwent to Emmylou Harris & Roy Orbison for “That Lovin’ You Feelin’ Again”and Willie Nelson won (songwriter) for “On the Road Again.”

1982
Alabama released their sixth studio album Mountain Music which became their most successful album and becoming their second US Country #1. It won 1982’s Grammy Award for “Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. Early LP pressings were mastered at a slower speed. Reissues made after have corrected this error.

1992
Johnny Cash was awarded the Grammy Legend Award, “for ongoing contributions and influence in the recording field.” The award was presented by the National Trustees at the 34th annual awards.

1998
Johnny Cash’s album, Unchained, won a Grammy Award for Best Country Album. The album had been a critical success but was largely ignored by mainstream country radio, a fact Cash and producer Rick Rubin picked up on when they purchase a full-page advertisement in Billboard magazine. The ad, which appeared in March, featured a young Cash displaying his middle finger and sarcastically “thanking” radio for supporting the album!