January 18 – This Day in Country Music


Born on this day in Spring City, Tennessee, was Hargus Melvin “Pig” Robbins, American session keyboard and piano player. Having played on records for artists such as George Jones, Alan Jackson, Merle Haggard, Loretta Lynn, David Allan Coe, George Hamilton IV and Conway Twitty, Robbins became a prominent session instrumentalist in Nashville. He was also blind, having lost his sight when he was four years old, due to an accident involving his father’s knife. Robbins died on January 30, 2022, at the age of 84.

Born on this day in Marianna, Florida, was Bobby Goldsboro who had a string of Pop and Country hits during the 1960s and 1970s, including his signature #1 classic “Honey,” which sold over one million copies in the United States. In 1995, he created the fifty-two episode children’s television series The Swamp Critters of Lost Lagoon. Goldsboro voiced all the characters, wrote all the scripts, and played all the musical instruments.

Born on this day was Mark Collie, American singer, songwriter, musician, actor, producer and tireless advocate and fundraiser for Type 1 diabetes study. Sixteen of his singles have charted on Hot Country Songs, including the top ten hits “Even the Man in the Moon Is Cryin'” and “Born to Love You”. Collie has also written songs for Aaron Tippin, Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw, and JT Hodges.

Red Sovine was at #1 on the US Country charts with “Giddyup Go”, which is the tale of an emotional father-son reunion at a highway truck stop. American country comedienne Minnie Pearl recorded an answer version titled “Giddyup Go Answer.” A departure from her usual comic recordings, Pearl told the story from the perspective of the manager of the truck stop where the father-son reunion takes place.

Willie Nelson was at #1 on the country music album chart with the double set, Willie and Family Live. Recorded live at Harrah’s in Lake Tahoe, Nevada in April 1978 at the height of Willie madness, the recordings featured Emmylou Harris and Johnny Paycheck as guests on some of the songs.

Reggie Young died age 82. He was the lead guitarist in the American Sound Studios Band (aka The Memphis Boys), and was a leading session musician. He played on various recordings with artists such as Elvis Presley, (“In the Ghetto”), Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Merle Haggard, and George Strait.