November 18 – This Day in Country Music


Kris Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge appeared on the comedy-variety television series The Muppet Show. No guest star ever appeared twice on The Muppet Show, although John Denver appeared both on the show and in two specials (John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas Together and John Denver & the Muppets: Rocky Mountain Holiday).

The country-variety TV series, Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters was aired for the first time. Barbara Mandrell hosted this music-variety series with her younger sisters, Louise and Irelene. Also helping out was Truck Shackley & the Texas Critters, a group of Krofft puppets that included five musicians and a dog. Each week, a well-established country star made appearances.

Shania Twain released her fourth studio album Up! The album debuted at #1 on both the Top Country Albums chart and the Billboard 200, after selling 874,000 copies in its first full week of release, it then stayed in the Top 100 of the Billboard chart for more than 60 weeks.

The Johnny Cash biopic, Walk the Line, opened nationwide in the US. The movie stared Joaquin Phoenix as “The Man in Black” and Reese Witherspoon as his girlfriend (and wife-to-be) June Carter. The movie was widely praised by critics and became a major box office hit.

Shania Twain was invested as an Officer in the Order of Canada.

American session pedal steel guitar player John Hughey died age 73. He had worked with various country music acts, most notably Vince Gill, Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson and Conway Twitty. A member of the Pedal Steel Guitar Hall of Fame, Hughey was known for a distinctive playing style called “crying steel”, which focused primarily on the higher range of the guitar.

Miranda Lambert released her sixth studio album The Weight of These Wings which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart. The album also won Album of the Year at the 2017 ACM Awards, Lambert’s fifth consecutive album to win the award, a record for any artist.