June 13 – This Day in Country Music

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1973
Dolly Parton recorded “I Will Always Love You” which was released as the second single from Parton’s thirteenth solo studio album, Jolene. Parton wrote the song for her one-time partner and mentor Porter Wagoner, from whom she was professionally splitting at the time. Singer Whitney Houston recorded a hugely successful version of the song for the 1992 film The Bodyguard.

1987
Randy Travis’ “Forever and Ever, Amen” spent three weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart. It is the first multi-week chart-topping song since “Lost in the Fifties Tonight (In the Still of the Night)” by Ronnie Milsap spent two weeks atop the chart in September 1985.

2010
Jimmy Dean the American country music singer, television host, and businessman died at the age of 81. Dean who had the 1961 country crossover hit “Big Bad John”, became a national television personality in the late 50’s with his television series, The Jimmy Dean Show and was also famous as the creator of the Jimmy Dean sausage brand.

2018
Legendary Elvis Presley drummer D.J. Fontana died peacefully at his home on age 87. Before joining guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black in Presley’s backing band the Blue Moon Boys, Dominic Joseph Fontana worked as the house drummer for his hometown of Shreveport’s Louisiana Hayride working with the likes of Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Waylon Jennings, Steve Young, Melba Montgomery, Norma Jean, Vassar Clements, Carl Butler and other country artists.