March 15 – This Day in Country Music


Born on this day in Maynardville, Tennessee was Carl Smith, better known as “Mister Country”. Smith was the husband of June Carter (later June Carter Cash) and the father of Carlene Carter. He was one of country’s most successful male artists during the 1950s, with 30 Top 10 Billboard hits, including 21 in a row. Smith died on January 16, 2010.

At this years Grammy Awards at Chicago, Los Angeles, Nashville and New York, Roger Miller won six Awards, five of them related to his hit “King of the Road”. The Best New Country & Western Artist went to The Statler Brothers.

Merle Haggard was at #1 on the Country chart with “The Fightin’ Side of Me.” It was released in December 1969 as the first single and title track from the album The Fightin’ Side of Me. The song became one of the most famous of his career.

Country music winners at the 14th Annual Grammy Awards included; Best Country Vocal Performance, Female Sammi Smith for “Help Me Make It Through the Night”, Best Country Vocal Performance, Male Jerry Reed for “When You’re Hot, You’re Hot”, Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group, Loretta Lynn & Conway Twitty for “After the Fire Is Gone”, Best Country Instrumental Performance Chet Atkins for “Snowbird” and Best Country Song, Kris Kristofferson (songwriter) for “Help Me Make It Through the Night” performed by Sammi Smith.

Alabama was at #1 on the Country album chart with Mountain Music, their award-winning third studio album. A crossover success, it ranked well as an album on both country and pop charts and launched singles that were successful in several markets. This was Alabama’s most successful non-compilation album.

Miranda Lambert released her debut studio album Kerosene which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart, as well as number 18 on the Billboard 200. The album spawned four Top 40 Country Chart singles; however, only the title track was a major hit, peaking at #15.

When appearing at the Grand Ole Opry Randy Travis surprised Carrie Underwood on the stage of the Opry with an invitation to become the next member.

Lady Antebellum were at #1 on the Country chart with Need You Now, their second studio album. The album won a Grammy Award for Best Country Album and was nominated for Album of the Year, the single “Need You Now” won four awards, including Song of the Year and Record of the Year.