Born on this day in Letcher County, Kentucky, was Gary Stewart, country musician and songwriter known for his distinctive vibrato voice and his southern rock influenced, outlaw country sound. During the mid-1970s Time magazine described him as the “king of honkytonk.” His biggest hit was the 1975 US #1 Country hit “She’s Actin’ Single (I’m Drinkin’ Doubles).” Stewart died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on December 16, 2003 a few weeks after his wife had died from pneumonia.
Born on this day in Lynchburg, Virginia, was Phil Vassar, country music singer, songwriter who has co-written singles for several country artists, including Tim McGraw (“For a Little While”, “My Next Thirty Years”), Jo Dee Messina (“Bye, Bye”, “I’m Alright”), Collin Raye (“Little Red Rodeo”), and Alan Jackson (“Right on the Money”). In 1999, he was named by American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers as Country Songwriter of the Year.
Dolly Parton released her twenty-first solo studio album Great Balls of Fire. The album’s first single, “You’re the Only One”, topped the U.S. country charts in mid 1979.
Kathy Mattea was at #1 on the Country chart with “Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses.” The song is about a truck driver called Charlie who is retiring after 30 years to spend the rest of his time with his wife.
Clint Black was at #1 on the US Country music album chart with his debut album, Killin’ Time which featured the hits “A Better Man”, “Nothing’s News”, “Walking Away”, “Nobody’s Home”, and the title track.