January 12 – This Day in Country Music

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1905
Born on this day, was Woodward Maurice Ritter, better known as Tex Ritter, the American country music singer and movie actor who was popular from the mid-1930s into the 1960s. He was the first artist signed with the newly-formed Capitol Records in 1944, where he scored a hit with “I’m Wastin’ My Tears on You”. Ritter died on January 2, 1974.

1926
Born on this day in Perryville, Texas, was Ray Price, singer, songwriter and guitarist. His wide-ranging baritone has often been praised as among the best male voices of country music. He was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1996. Price died on 16th Dec 2013 aged 87 at his ranch outside Mount Pleasant, Texas.

1939
Born on this day in Brewton, Alabama, was William Lee Golden, singer with The Oak Ridge Boys who scored the 1978 US Country #1 “I’ll Be True To You.”

1952
Born on this day in Danville, Virginia, was Ricky Van Shelton, country music artist who between 1986 and 2006, charted more than twenty singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, including ten #1: “Somebody Lied”, “Life Turned Her That Way”, ‘Don’t We All Have the Right”, “I’ll Leave This World Loving You”, “From a Jack to a King” (a cover of the Ned Miller hit), “Living Proof”, “I’ve Cried My Last Tear for You”, “Rockin’ Years” (a duet with Dolly Parton), “I Am a Simple Man”, and “Keep It Between the Lines”.

1969
Glen Campbell was at #1 on the US Country chart with Wichita Lineman his twelfth album. The Jimmy Webb penned title track reached #3 on the US pop chart. Webb’s inspiration for the lyrics came while driving through Washita County in rural southwestern Oklahoma. Heading westward on a straight road into the setting sun, Webb drove past a seemingly endless line of telephone poles, each looking exactly the same as the last. Then, in the distance, he noticed the silhouette of a solitary lineman atop a pole.

2001
O Brother, Where Art Thou? was released in movie theaters across the US. The movie was one of the first to extensively use digital color correction, to give the film a sepia-tinted look. The Soggy Bottom Boys, the musical group that the main characters form, serve as accompaniment for the film is a homage to the Foggy Mountain Boys, a bluegrass band led by Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs.