Born on this day in Okfuskee County, Oklahoma, was singer-songwriter Woody Guthrie. His best-known song is “This Land Is Your Land.” Many of his recorded songs are archived in the Library of Congress and many Country artists have acknowledged Guthrie as a major influence.
Born on this day in Sparta, North Carolina, was Del Reeves, singer, best known for his “girl-watching” novelty songs of the 1960s including “Girl on the Billboard” and “The Belles of the Southern Bell”. He is also known for his 1968 trucker’s anthem, “Looking At The World Through A Windshield”. Reeves died on January 1st 2007.
Born on this day in Cleveland, Ohio, was Rory Bourke, songwriter. His songwriting career took off in the early 1970s and he soon racked up tracks recorded by Charlie Rich, Elvis Presley, Billy Crash Craddock, Lynn Anderson, Olivia Newton-John, and many others. His most successful song was “The Most Beautiful Girl”, co-written with Billy Sherrill and Norro Wilson, Rourke’s other hit songs include “A Little Good News,” (Anne Murray), “You Look So Good in Love” (George Strait), “I Know a Heartache When I See One” (Jennifer Warnes), and “Come Next Monday” (K.T. Oslin).
Elvis Presley started a two week run at #1 on the Country charts with “I Want You, I Need You, I Love You”. In this year Elvis also scored 3 more #1’s with “I Forgot To Remember To Forget”, “Heartbreak Hotel”, and “Don’t Be Cruel”, giving Elvis 26 weeks at the top of the charts in 1956.
Billboard increased the number of positions for its Hot Country Singles chart to 100 (up from 75), which it would keep until January 1990. The expansion came at a time when the number of #1 songs in a given year continued to increase; for the first time in history, there are at least 35 #1 songs in one year.