June 20 – This Day in Country Music

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1933
Born on this day in Greenville, Mississippi, was Ben Peters, country music songwriter who wrote many #1 songs. Charley Pride recorded 40 of his songs and 4 of them went to #1 on the American country charts. Peters was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1980. Peters was briefly a recording artist himself; his only charting hit was “San Francisco is a Lonely Town”, which hit #46 on the country charts in 1969. He died in Nashville, Tennessee, on May 25, 2005.

1945
Born on this day in Springhill, Nova Scotia, was Anne Murray, the Canadian singer whose albums have sold over 54 million copies. Murray became the first Canadian female solo singer to reach #1 on the US charts, and also the first to earn a Gold record for one of her signature songs, “Snowbird”. She is also the first woman and the first Canadian to win “Album of the Year” at the Country Music Association Awards for her 1984 album A Little Good News.

1949
Born on this day in Tuskegee, Alabama, was Lionel Richie, singer, songwriter and one time member of the Commodores. Kenny Rogers scored the 1980 crossover country hit with the Richie written and produced track “Lady”. Richie released his tenth studio album, Tuskegee in 2012 which features 13 of his hit songs performed as duets with country stars including Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles, Jason Aldean, Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton, Darius Rucker, Rascal Flatts, Kenny Chesney, Billy Currington, Little Big Town, Shania Twain, Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson and Jimmy Buffett. The album returned him to the top of the Billboard 200 chart, his first #1 album there for more than 25 years.

1991
Garth Brooks was at #1 on the US country chart with his third studio album, Ropin’ the Wind. The album replaced his previous album No Fences at the #1 postion, where it enjoyed a combined 18 weeks at the top of the charts.

2015
Chris Stapleton was at #1 on the US Country chart with his debut studio album Traveller which was later named Album of the Year at the 2015 Country Music Association Awards.