March 21 – This Day in Country Music

FILE - This Sept. 29, 2010 photo shows Joe Don Rooney, left, Gary Levox, and Jay DeMarcus, right, of Rascal Flatts in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, file)

Glen Campbell was at #1 on the US Country chart with “Southern Nights”, a song written by Allen Toussaint and the first single released from Campbell’s 1977 album, Southern Nights. The lyrics were inspired by childhood memories of Allen Toussaint, who had of visiting relatives in the Louisiana backwoods which often entailed storytelling under star-filled nighttime skies.

“Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground” gave Willie Nelson his seventh #1 on the country chart. The song is commonly believed to have been written about a friend of Nelson’s who was a Hells Angel, who died in a motorcycle crash.

Winners at the 23rd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards hosted by Reba McEntire and Hank Williams Jr. included: Pioneer Award – Roger Miller, Top Female Vocalist of the Year – Reba McEntire, Top Male Vocalist of the Year – Randy Travis, Top Vocal Group – Highway 101, Top New Female Vocalist of the Year – K.T. Oslin, Top New Male Vocalist of the Year – Ricky Van Shelton and Song of the Year went to Randy Travis for “On The Other Hand.”

Billy Ray Cyrus was at #1 on the US Country album charts with his debut album Some Gave All. It produced four hit singles on the Billboard country charts, the first of these was Cyrus’s breakthrough song “Achy Breaky Heart.” The album is the longest time spent by a debut artist at #1 with 17 consecutive weeks on the chart.

Rascal Flatts released “Fast Cars and Freedom” which became their fourth #1 single on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs charts.

Dixie Chicks were at #1 on the US country chart with their seventh studio album Taking the Long Way. With over 2 million copies sold in the US, it won 5 Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year, Record of the Year and Song of the Year.

Due to COVID-19, The Grand Ole Opry announced it would continue hosting performances, but without a live audience attending in the Ryman auditorium.