January 16 – This Day in Country Music


Born on this day in Robbinsville, North Carolina, was Ronnie Milsap, country music singer and pianist. He became country music’s first well-known blind singer, and one of the most successful and versatile country “crossover” singers of his time scoring the crossover hits, “It Was Almost Like a Song,” “Smoky Mountain Rain,” “(There’s) No Gettin’ Over Me,” “I Wouldn’t Have Missed It for the World,” “Any Day Now,” and “Stranger in My House.” He is credited with six Grammy Awards and 40 #1 country hits.

Charlie Rich was at #1 on the US Country chart with Behind Closed Doors. The album received three Country Music Association awards: Best Male Vocalist, Album of the Year, and Single of the Year, for the title song written by Kenny O’Dell. The album also went gold. Rich won the Grammy for Best Male Country Vocal Performance, and he took home four Academy of Country Music awards.

Johnny Cash made his first guest appearance in the series Dr Quinn Medicine Woman, an hour long Western family adventure series produced by CBS Entertainment Productions.

The Johnny Cash biopic Walk The Line won three Golden Globes for: Best Musical or Comedy plus awards for Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon. The “Brokeback Mountain” piece “A Love That Will Never Grow Old” won Best Original Song.

Carl Smith, better known as “Mister Country” died. Smith was the husband of June Carter (later June Carter Cash) and the father of Carlene Carter. He was one of country’s most successful male artists during the 1950s, with 30 Top 10 Billboard hits, including 21 in a row.

Rascal Flatts released “Banjo” as the first single from their eighth studio album, Changed. The song became the group’s twelfth #1 hit on the US Country charts.