March 22 – This Day in Country Music

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1968
Tammy Wynette recored her version of the Bobby Braddock and Curly Putman song “D-I-V-O-R-C-E” which went on to top the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart in June of this year. “D-I-V-O-R-C-E” is a woman’s perspective on the impending collapse of her marriage. The lyrics begin with an old parenting trick of spelling out words mothers and fathers hope their young children will not understand.

1971
Winners at the 6th Academy of Country Music Awards held at The Palladium in Hollywood hosted by Dick Clark included: Top Male Vocalist of the Year – Merle Haggard, Top Female Vocalist of the Year – Lynn Anderson, Song of the Year – Ray Price “For the Good Times”, and Top Television Personality of the Year went to Johnny Cash.

1976
Wanted! The Outlaws featuring Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Jessi Colter, and Tompall Glaser, was at #1 on the US Country music album chart. Wanted! The Outlaws earned its place in music history by becoming the first country album to sell a million copies.

1977
Luxury Liner gave Emmylou Harris her second successive #1 country album on the Billboard Music Charts. The highest charting singles were the #6 Chuck Berry cover “(You Never Can Tell) C’est la Vie” and the #8 “Making Believe” (originally a hit for Kitty Wells). The title track was written by Gram Parsons.

1978
“Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson was at #1 on the US Country chart. It beacame the last song for 12 years to spend four weeks at the top of the chart.

1994
Tim McGraw released his second album Not a Moment Too Soon which became his first US Country #1 album. It stayed at the top of the charts for 26 consecutive weeks and was Billboard’s best selling album of 1994 and The Academy of Country Music named it Album of the Year in 1994.

2003
Dixie Chicks were at #1 on the country charts with Home, their sixth studio album. The group was promoting this album when lead singer Natalie Maines made controversial comments about US President George W. Bush. The album’s third single, “Travelin’ Soldier”, was #1 on the Billboard Country Chart the week that Maines’ comments hit the press. The following week, many stations started a still-standing boycott of the Chicks’ music.