March 25 – This Day in Country Music

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1938
Born on this day, Hoyt Axton, US singer, songwriter and actor who wrote songs for Elvis Presley, Three Dog Night, John Denver, Ringo Starr and Glen Campbell. Had his own hits with “When The Morning Comes” and “Flash Of Fire”. Acting roles included Bionic Woman and McCloud. Axton died of a heart attack on October 26th 1999, aged 61.

1948
Born on this day in McCamey, Texas, was Dan Seals, (the younger brother of Seals & Crofts member Jim Seals), who first gained fame as the “England Dan” half of the soft rock duo England Dan and John Ford Coley. After the duo disbanded, Seals began a solo career in country music and throughout the 1980s and into the early 1990s, released 16 studio albums and charted more than 20 singles on the country charts, eleven of which reached #1, including: “Meet Me in Montana” (with Marie Osmond), “Bop”, “You Still Move Me”, “I Will Be There”, “Three Time Loser”, and “Good Times”.

1950
Born on this day, was Ronald Dean “Ronnie” McDowell, country music artist who had the 1977 hit “The King Is Gone”, a tribute to Elvis Presley, who had died not long before the single’s release. McDowell has charted more than thirty Top 40 hits on the Billboard country music charts. Two of his singles, “Older Women” and “You’re Gonna Ruin My Bad Reputation” peaked at #1 on the country charts.

1963
Johnny Cash recorded the June Carter/Merle Kilgore song “Ring Of Fire.” The song was originally recorded by June’s sister Anita Carter, on her 1963 album Folk Songs Old and New as “(Love’s) Ring of Fire”. Cash claimed he had a dream where he heard the song accompanied by “Mexican trumpets”. It became the biggest hit of Johnny Cash’s career, staying at #1 on the charts for seven weeks.

1975
Linda Ronstadt released her version of the Everly Brothers 1960 hit “When Will I Be Loved” from her album Heart Like a Wheel, which peaked at #1 on the US Billboard Hot Country Singles chart.

1978
“Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson became the last song for 12 years to spend four weeks at #1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles chart. There wouldn’t be another four-week #1 until “Hard Rock Bottom of Your Heart” by Randy Travis in April 1990.

2006
Buck Owens Jr. American singer and guitarist died in his sleep of an apparent heart attack. He pioneered the Bakersfield sound, a reference to Bakersfield, California. He scored twenty #1 hits on the Billboard country music charts, his first being the 1963 hit “Act Naturally”.

2009
Dan Seals died aged 61. He first gained fame as the “England Dan” half of the soft rock duo England Dan and John Ford Coley. After the duo disbanded, Seals began a solo career in country music and throughout the 1980s and into the early 1990s, released 16 studio albums and charted more than 20 singles on the country charts, eleven of which reached #1, including: “Meet Me in Montana” (with Marie Osmond), “Bop”, “You Still Move Me”, “I Will Be There”, “Three Time Loser”, and “Good Times”.

2013
During a visit to the doctor, Charlie Daniels was diagnosed with a mild case of pneumonia and admitted to a Nashville hospital for a series of routine tests. The tests revealed that a pacemaker was needed to regulate his heart rate. Daniels had one fitted a few days later.

2014
Out Among the Stars the posthumously released studio album by Johnny Cash was released which later peaked at #1 on the Country album charts. The recordings come from lost 1980s sessions with famed countrypolitan producer Billy Sherrill which were shelved by Cash’s record company, Columbia Records, and discovered by Cash’s son John Carter Cash in 2012.

2015
“Sixteen Tons” by Tennessee Ernie Ford was one of 25 recordings to be preserved by the US Library of Congress. The song was written and first recorded by Merle Travis at the Radio Recorders Studio B in Hollywood, California on August 8, 1946.