October 17 – This Day in Country Music

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1941
Born on this day in Portsmouth, Ohio, was Earl Thomas Conley, country music singer-songwriter. In the 1980s and into the 1990s, Conley charted more than thirty singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, of which eighteen reached#1. Conley’s eighteen #1 country singles during the 1980s marked the most #1 hits by any artist in any genre during that decade. Conley’s music has been referred to as “thinking man’s country” because the narrator looks into the heart and soul of his characters in each song. He died on April 10th 2019.

1958
Born on this day in Newnan, Georgia, was Alan Jackson, country music singer, who has recorded over a dozen studio albums. More than 50 of his singles have appeared on Billboard’s list of the “Top 30 Country Songs”, for which of Jackson’s entries, 35 were #1 hits. He is the recipient of 2 Grammys, 16 CMA Awards, 17 ACM Awards and is also a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

1991
Tennessee Ernie Ford died exactly 36 years after his hit “Sixteen Tons” was released, and one day shy of the first anniversary of his induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

2000
American III: Solitary Man was released, the third album in the American series by Johnny Cash, (and his 85th overall album). The album was notable for being Cash’s highest charting (#11 Country) solo studio LP since his 1976, One Piece at a Time. Solitary Man featured versions of “I Won’t Back Down”, (Tom Petty), “One”, (U2), and “Solitary Man”, (Neil Diamond).

2003
A longtime golf enthusiast, singer Anne Murray made history at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, New York, by becoming the first woman to score a hole-in-one on the 108 – yard, par 3, 17th hole at the Kaluhyat Golf Club.

2019
Bob Kingsley, the longtime on-air personality and the host of syndicated radio show Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40, died at his home in Weatherford, Texas. He was 80 years old.