October 25 – This Day in Country Music

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1912
Born on this day in Centerville, in Hickman County, Tennessee, was Minnie Pearl, country comedian who appeared at the Grand Ole Opry for more than 50 years (from 1940 to 1991) and on the television show Hee Haw from 1969 to 1991. Pearl died on 4 March 1996 aged 83.

1970
Born on this day in Kansas City, Missouri, was Chely Wright, Country music singer, songwriter. Her first Top 40 country hit came in 1997 with “Shut Up and Drive”. Two years later, her fourth album yielded her first #1 single, the title track, “Single White Female”.

1990
Alabama re-released their studio album Roll On first issued in 1984. All four singles released from this album reached #1 on the Hot Country Singles chart: “Roll On (Eighteen Wheeler)”, “When We Make Love”, “If You’re Gonna Play in Texas (You Gotta Have a Fiddle in the Band)” and “(There’s A) Fire in the Night”. This was the last Alabama album to feature the Confederate battle flag on the cover.

1992
Roger Miller the singer, songwriter, musician and actor, died. Best known for his honky tonk-influenced novelty songs including the chart-topping country/pop hits “King of the Road”, “Dang Me” and “England Swings”, from the mid-1960s. A lifelong cigarette smoker Miller died of lung and throat cancer at the age of 56.

1997
After falling over on stage when reaching for a guitar pick, Johnny Cash announced during a gig in Michigan that he was suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

1999
Lonestar released “Smile” as the third single from the album, Lonely Grill. The song reached the top of the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart.

2005
Charlie Daniels was honored as a BMI Icon at the 53rd annual BMI Country Awards. Active as a singer since the early 1950s, and best known for his #1 country hit “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”, he was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 2008 and the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in 2009.

2015
After announcing his farewell tour Kenny Rogers’ final concert in Nashville took place at the Bridgestone Arena where he was joined by an array of guest artists including: Little Big Town, Lionel Richie, Billy Currington, The Oak Ridge Boys, Travis Tritt, The Judds, Kris Kristofferson, Alison Krauss, Chris Stapleton, Lady Antebellum, Crystal Gayle and Reba McEntire.