May 15 – This Day in Country Music

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1918
Born on this day near Henderson, Tennessee, was Richard Edward Arnold, who became known as Eddy Arnold. So-called ‘Nashville sound’ innovator of the late 1950s, Arnold scored 147 songs on the Billboard country music charts, second only to George Jones and has sold more than 85 million records. He co-wrote with Cindy Walker the country and pop standard “You Don’t Know Me” which became a hit for Ray Charles in 1962. He died in a nursing home in Nashville, on May 8, 2008, exactly one week before his 90th birthday.

1942
Born on this day in Crossett, Arkansas, was K.T. Oslin, country music singer and songwriter who is known for a series of top-ten country hits during the late 1980s and early 1990s, four of which topped the chart including her 1990 hit “Come Next Monday.” She died on December 21, 2020, a week after being diagnosed with COVID-19. She was 78 years old.

1966
Jim Reeves was at #1 on the country charts with “Distant Drums.” The track provided the US singer with his only UK #1 hit – albeit posthumously – in 1966, some two years after his death in a plane crash on 31 July 1964. The song remained in the UK charts for 45 weeks.

1995
Alan Jackson released “I Don’t Even Know Your Name” which became his eleventh #1 single on the US Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks charts. The track was the fifth single from his studio album, Who I Am.

2003
Country singer June Carter Cash, the second wife of Johnny Cash, died in Nashville, Tennessee, of complications following heart valve replacement surgery, aged 73. As a member of the Carter Family, she had hits with Johnny Cash, including Grammy Award winning song, “Jackson”, “Ring Of Fire”, (which she co-wrote about their courtship), and “If I Were A Carpenter.”