March 5 – This Day in Country Music

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1963
Patsy Cline, Cowboy Copus and Hawkshaw Hawkins were all killed when the plane they were travelling in flew into severe weather and crashed in a forest near Camden, Tennessee, 90 miles from the destination. The Country artists had left for Nashville in a Piper Comanche piloted by Copas’ son-in-law (and Cline’s manager), Randy Hughes. The three had perfromed at a benefit concert at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas for the family of disc jockey Cactus Jack Call, who had died the previous December in an automobile accident.

1980
The film Coal Miner’s Daughter debuted in Nashville, and soon became the #1 box office hit in the United States. The film starred Sissy Spacek as Loretta Lynn and Tommy Lee Jones as her husband Mooney Lynn. The film received seven Academy Award nominations, winning a Best Actress Oscar for Spacek.

1986
Steve Earle released his debut album Guitar Town. It topped the Billboard country album charts, and the title song reached #7 on the country singles charts. Earle was also nominated for two 1987 Grammy Awards, Best Male Country Vocalist and Best Country Song, for the title track. It was one of the first country music albums to be recorded digitally.

2009
Taylor Swift made her primetime television TV acting debut, in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation as Haley Jones. Unfortunately, the singer was stabbed in the heart with a pair of scissors. Over 20 million viewers watched the episode.

2012
Lionel Richie released Tuskegee which featured 13 of his hit songs performed as duets with country stars including Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles, Jason Aldean, Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton, Darius Rucker, Rascal Flatts, Kenny Chesney, Billy Currington, Little Big Town, Shania Twain, Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson and Jimmy Buffett. The album became his first #1 album for more than 25 years.

2021
Lonestar lead singer Richie McDonald announced that he would be leaving the band to pursue a career with The Frontmen of Country, a trio also consisting of Tim Rushlow and Larry Stewart, the former lead singers of Little Texas and Restless Heart, respectively.