January 23 – This Day in Country Music


Born on this day in Moorhead, Mississippi, was Johnny Russell country singer, songwriter, and comedian best known for his song “Act Naturally”, which was made famous by Buck Owens, who recorded it in 1963, and The Beatles in 1965. His songs have been recorded by Burl Ives, Jim Reeves, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, and Linda Ronstadt. He died on July 3 2001.

The theme song for The Beverly Hillbillies TV show “The Ballad of Jed Clampett” by Jerry Scoggins, who was accompanied by bluegrass musicians Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs was at #1 on the US Country charts. During the original run of The Beverly Hillbillies, special lyrics were written and inserted into the closing theme, advertising regular sponsors such as Kellogg’s cereals and Winston cigarettes.

C.W. McCall was at #1 on the Country chart with the novelty song, “Convoy”. The song itself was largely responsible for starting a nationwide citizens’ band radio craze. The song “Black Bear Road” in turn popularized the now-infamous road itself, along with its “You don’t HAVE to be crazy to drive this road – but it helps” sign.

Alabama released “Old Flame” which became the group’s third #1 single on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart. The track was the third in a string of 21 consecutive #1 singles in as many releases, a string that spanned from 1980 through 1987.

Taylor Swift was at #1 on the country chart with Fearless. The album won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year and Best Country Album. Swift’s Album of the Year win made her the youngest person ever at the age of 20 to receive that award.

Jason Aldean was at #1 on the Country album chart with his sixth studio album Old Boots, New Dirt, his second album to reach #1. Four singles were released from the album; “Burnin’ It Down”, (reached the top of the US Hot Country Songs chart), “Just Gettin’ Started”, “Tonight Looks Good on You” and “Gonna Know We Were Here”.