November 2 – This Day in Country Music


Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton were at #1 on the US Country charts with, “Islands In The Stream”. Written by the Bee Gees it was the first single from Rogers’ album Eyes That See in the Dark and the second pop #1 for both Rogers and Parton (Rogers having been there with 1980’s “Lady” and Parton with 1981’s “9 to 5”).

The Johnny Cash Flower Pickin’ Festival was held in Starkville, Mississippi. Starkville, where Cash was arrested over 40 years earlier and held overnight at the city jail on May 11, 1965, inspired Cash to write the song “Starkville City Jail”. The festival, where he was offered a symbolic posthumous pardon, honored Cash’s life and music, and was expected to become an annual event.

Betsy Smittle died aged 60. Smittle was Garth Brooks’ half-sister and a longtime member of his band and released a solo album of her own, titled Rough Around the Edges.

American country singer Tommy Overstreet died aged 78. He had five top five hit singles in the Billboard country charts and 11 top 10 singles. His highest charting hit was 1972’s “Ann (Don’t Go Runnin’),” which went to #2.