February 29 – This Day in Country Music

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1952
Born on the day in Midland, Texas, was songwriter, record producer and recording artist Billy Joe Walker Jr. He composed singles for Eddie Rabbitt, including “I Wanna Dance with You”, “That’s Why I Fell in Love with You” and “B-B-B-Burnin’ Up with Love”. Walker died following a period of declining health on July 25, 2017.

1968
Johnny Cash and June Carter won a Grammy for Best C&W Performance for “Jackson” at the 10th annual Grammy awards. Written in 1963 by Billy Edd Wheeler and Jerry Leiber the song was also a pop hit single by Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood. The song is about a married couple who find (according to the lyrics) that the “fire” has gone out of their relationship. The song relates the desire of both partners to travel to Jackson where they each expect to be welcomed as someone far better suited to the city’s lively night life than the other is.

1975
Linda Ronstadt was at #1 on the Country music charts with her fifth solo album Heart Like a Wheel. Ronstadt won her first of a record 11 Grammy Awards in early 1976 for Best Country Vocal Performance Female for “I Can’t Help It (If I’m Still In Love With You)”, from the album.

1981
Dolly Parton was at #1 on the country chart with 9 to 5 and Odd Jobs, her 23rd solo studio release. A concept album about working, the album was centered around Parton’s hit “9 to 5”, which served as the theme song to the film of the same name.

1992
Travis Tritt joined the Grand Ole Opry, while Trisha Yearwood debuts on the show, singing her #1 hit “She’s In Love With The Boy”, from her self-titled debut album.

2000
Faith Hill reelased “The Way You Love Me” the second single off her 1999 album Breathe, which was also her second #1 country single and her 8th #1 country single overall. This song spent four weeks at #1 on the Billboard Country charts in May 2000 and peaked at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 on December 30.