October 23 – This Day in Country Music


Born on this day in Pikeville, Kentucky, was Dwight Yoakam. The country singer, actor and film director, who is most famous for his pioneering country music has sold over 25 million records with 5 Billboard # 1 Albums, 12 Gold Albums, and 9 Platinum Albums. Yoakam is the most frequent musical guest in the history of The Tonight Show and has also starred in many films, most notably in critically acclaimed performances as an ill-tempered, abusive, live-in boyfriend in Sling Blade.

Glen Campbell recorded his version of “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” at Capitol Studios, Hollywood, California. The song which was written by Jimmy Webb was originally recorded by Johnny Rivers in 1965. Campbell’s version reached #2 on the Hot Country charts and and won two awards at the 10th Annual Grammys.

Linda Ronstadt was at #1 on the Country music album chart with the Grammy Award winning Hasten Down the Wind. Her third straight million-selling album made Ronstadt the first female artist in history to accomplish this feat.

American country musician Maybelle Carter died aged 69. She is best known as a member of the historic Carter Family act in the 1920s and ’30s and also as a member of Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters. Maybelle Carter was inducted as part of The Carter Family in the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1970. In 1993, her image appeared on a US postage stamp honoring the Carter Family.

The American dramatic musical western film Pure Country was released. Directed by Christopher Cain, The film stars George Strait in his acting debut with Lesley Ann Warren, Isabel Glasser and Kyle Chandler. The soundtrack was a critical success and to date is Strait’s best selling album.

Carrie Underwood released her second studio album Carnival Ride. It was the singer’s first album to debut at #1 on the Billboard 200 and second to debut atop the Top Country Albums chart. The album was certified quadruple platinum, it has sold 3.4 million copies in the United States, and four million copies worldwide. The four singles “So Small”, “All-American Girl”, “Last Name”, “Just a Dream”, reached #1 on the Hot Country Songs chart, thus making Underwood the first solo female artist to pull four #1’s from one album since Shania Twain in 1995-1996.

Scotty McCreery was at #1 on the Country music album chart with Clear As Day, the debut studio album by the season ten American Idol winner.

Carrie Underwood released her fifth studio album Storyteller. By debuting at #2 on the Billboard 200 chart, it made Underwood the only country artist in history to have all of her first five studio albums debut at #1 or 2, and with a #1 debut on the Top Country Albums chart, it made her the only artist to score six consecutive #1 albums on the chart. The album produced the Country Airplay chart #1 singles “Heartbeat” and “Church Bells.”