September 29 – This Day in Country Music


Born on this day, was Orvon Grover Autry, better known as Gene Autry, who gained fame as The Singing Cowboy on radio, in movies (he appeared in almost 100 films) and television for more than three decades beginning in the 1930s, his signature song is “Back in the Saddle Again”. Autry was the owner of the Los Angeles/California Angels Major League Baseball team from 1961 to 1997. He died three days after his 91st birthday at his home in Studio City, California on October 2, 1998.

Born on this day, was Jerry Lee Lewis, rock and roll and country music singer-songwriter and pianist, known by the nickname “The Killer”. Lewis is the last surviving pioneers of ’50s rock ‘n’ roll music and the last surviving member of Sun Records’ Million Dollar Quartet and the Class of ’55 album, which altogether included Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison and Elvis Presley.

Capitol Records released “Okie from Muskogee” by Merle Haggard. The song which became one of the most famous of his career was written by Haggard after being released from San Quentin Prison. He said that he became disheartened watching Vietnam War protests and incorporated that emotion and viewpoint into song.

Dolly Parton released her fourth studio album, My Blue Ridge Mountain Boy, which gave the singer her first top 10 hit of the album chart, (peaking at #6). The man in the corner of the album cover is her reclusive longtime husband, Carl Dean.

Alan Jackson released “Country Boy” the third single from his album Good Time which went to #1 on the US Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks charts. The song became Jackson’s twenty-fifth US Country #1 hit, matching George Strait’s record for the most #1 hits by a country artist since January 1990.

Miranda Lambert released her third studio album Revolution. It debuted at #1 on the US Billboard Top Country Albums chart, her third consecutive #1 album. It also won Album of the Year award at the Academy of Country Music Awards and at the Country Music Association Awards in 2010.

Carrie Underwood went to #1 on the Country chart with her sixth studio album Cry Pretty featuring the singles “Cry Pretty”, “Love Wins”, “Southbound”, and “Drinking Alone”.

American country music singer, songwriter, and actor Mac Davis died age 78. During his early career he wrote for Elvis Presley, providing him with the hits “Memories”, “In the Ghetto”, “Don’t Cry Daddy”, and “A Little Less Conversation”. A subsequent solo career in the 1970s produced hits such as “Baby, Don’t Get Hooked on Me”. Davis also starred in his own variety show, a Broadway musical, and various films and TV shows.