September 23 – This Day in Country Music


Born on this day in Albany, Georgia, was Ray Charles who helped racially integrate country and pop music during the 1960s. His 1962 album, Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music and its sequel Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, Vol. 2, helped to bring country into the mainstream of music. His version of the Don Gibson song, “I Can’t Stop Loving You” topped the Pop chart for five weeks. Charles died on June 10, 2004 due to acute liver disease at his home in Los Angeles, California.

Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys made their first recordings in Dallas, Texas, produced by Don Law and Art Satherley of the American Record Corporation. Wills’ later recording of “Ida Red” served as a model for Chuck Berry’s decades later version of the same song – “Maybellene”

Born on this day, was Pat Alger, songwriter, singer and guitarist who in 1991, was voted Songwriter of the Year by the Nashville Songwriter’s Association International. He wrote hits for Garth Brooks like “Unanswered Prayers”, “What She’s Doing Now”, “The Thunder Rolls” and “That Summer.” He also wrote hits for Hal Ketchum, “Small Town Saturday Night,” and for Trisha Yearwood, “Like We Never Had A Broken Heart.”

Hank Williams recorded “Kaw-Liga”, “Your Cheatin’ Heart”, and “Take These Chains from My Heart”, in what became the musicians last ever recording session.

Faith Hill released “Wild One” which gave the singer her first #1 hit on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart. Originally titled “She’s a Wild One”, the song was written by Pat Bunch, Jaime Kyle, and Will Rambeoux and was first recorded in 1992 by country band Zaca Creek.

Johnny Cash released A Concert: Behind Prison Walls his 54th overal album and a live album recorded in the Tenessee Prison 1976. The album features Cash with his backing band the Tennessee Three, but also features performances by Linda Ronstadt, Roy Clark, and Foster Brooks. The album was not released until this year.

Linda Ronstadt was inducted into the Arizona Music & Entertainment Hall of Fame, along with Stevie Nicks and Buck Owens.

Kenny Chesney released his sixteenth studio album The Big Revival which became his tenth Country #1 album. The album produced four singles: “American Kids”, “Til It’s Gone”, “Wild Child”, and “Save It for a Rainy Day”, all of which reached #1 on the US Country Airplay chart.