July 15 – This Day in Country Music


Born on this day in Tucson, Arizona, was Linda Ronstadt, singer,who has won eleven Grammy Awards and two Academy of Country Music awards. Ronstadt has collaborated with many Country artists including both Gram Parsons and Dolly Parton. Her first Country #1 was in 1975 with her version of the Everly Brothers hit, “When Will I Be Loved.”

Slim Whitman’s “Rose Marie” became an international smash hit, debuting on the UK charts and quickly rising to #1. The song’s 11-week run in pole position stood as one of the longest runs for many years on the UK charts.

Born on this day was American country music artist Elbert West. Initially a session songwriter in Nashville, West saw his first chart success in the 1990s as a co-writer on singles for country singer Tracy Lawrence, including the #1’s “Sticks and Stones” and “Can’t Break It to My Heart”. West co-wrote album tracks for other artists, including tracks for Tim McGraw and John Michael Montgomery. West died on May 18, 2015.

Johnny Cash made his first public appearance since the funeral for his wife, June Carter. It also turned out to be his last ever public performance. Along with son John Carter Cash, he performed “Folsom Prison Blues”, “Ring Of Fire”, “Understand Your Man” in Hiltons, Virginia.

American country music singer and songwriter, Hank Cochran died aged 74. Starting during the 1960s, Cochran was a prolific songwriter in the genre, including major hits by Patsy Cline, (“I Fall to Pieces.”), Ray Price, Eddy Arnold, Merle Haggard, George Strait and others. Cochran was also a recording artist between 1962 and 1980, scoring seven times on the Billboard country music charts, with his greatest solo success being “Sally Was a Good Old Girl”.

It was reported that Randy Travis was awake and alert after undergoing brain surgery, that his heart was pumping without the assistance of machines, and that he was on the road to recovery. (Travis was admitted to a Dallas area hospital for viral cardiomyopathy after a viral upper respiratory infection on July 7th of this year). He was released from Baylor Heart Hospital in Plano, Texas on July 31, 2013 and entered a physical therapy facility.