March 14 – This Day in Country Music

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1945
Born on this day, was Michael Martin Murphey, singer-songwriter and multiple Grammy nominee, Murphey has six gold albums, including Cowboy Songs, the first album of cowboy music to achieve gold status since Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs by Marty Robbins in 1959. Known for the hit singles “Wildfire”, “Carolina in the Pines”, “What’s Forever For”, “A Long Line of Love”, “What She Wants”, and “Don’t Count the Rainy Days”. Murphey is also the author of New Mexico’s state ballad, “The Land of Enchantment”.

1972
California governor Ronald Reagan granted Country singer Merle Haggard a full pardon for all his past crimes. Haggard was arrested for attempting to rob a Bakersfield tavern in 1957 and was sent to the San Quentin state prison for three years.

1981
The final showing of Live From The Grand Ole Opry on the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) was aired. The show actually went beyond the televised segment, but the show was ended with a clip of Marty Robbins singing “El Paso” (a song he used to close out his Opry segment at midnight) from the year before.

2013
American country musician Jack Greene died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 83 in Nashville, Tennessee. Nicknamed the “Jolly Greene Giant” due to his height and deep voice, Greene was a long time member of the Grand Ole Opry. A three-time Grammy Award nominee, Greene is best known for his 1966 hit, “There Goes My Everything”. The song dominated the Country music charts for nearly two months in 1967 and earned Greene “Male Vocalist of the Year”, “Single of the Year”, “Album of the Year” and “Song of the Year.” Greene had a total of #1 country hits.