Born on this day in Elkmont, Alabama, was Rabon Delmore from The Delmore Brothers, the country music pioneers and stars of the Grand Ole Opry in the 1930s. The Delmore Brothers, together with other brother duos such as the Louvin Brothers, the Blue Sky Boys, the Monroe Brothers (Birch, Charlie and Bill Monroe), the McGee Brothers, and The Stanley Brothers, had a profound impact on the history of country music and American popular music. Delmore died on Dec 4th 1952.
Born on this day in Cantwell, Missouri was Ferlin Husky, an early American country music singer. He had two dozen Top 20 hits in the Billboard country charts between 1953 and 1975 including his version of “Wings of a Dove”. He died on 17th March 2011.
Born on this day in Leslie County, Kentucky, was Roger Bowling, Nashville based songwriter. His best known songs included “Lucille” (co-written with Hal Bynum), and “Coward of the County” (co-written with Billy Ed Wheeler), both recorded by Kenny Rogers, and “Blanket on the Ground”, “What I’ve Got In Mind”, and “57 Chevrolet”, which were recorded by Billie Jo Spears. He died on December 26, 1982 in Georgia.
Tammy Wynette was at #1 on the US Country singles chart with “Stand By Your Man”. It proved to be the most successful record of Wynette’s career and is one of the most covered songs in the history of country music. The song was placed at #1 on CMT’s list of the Top 100 Country Music Songs.
Connie B. Gay renowned as a “founding father” and “major force” in country music died aged 75. He is credited for coining the country music genre, which had previously been called hillbilly music. Gay was the founding president of the Country Music Association (CMA) and co-founder of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
American session guitarist Grady Martin died aged 72. Member of the legendary Nashville A-Team, he played guitar on hits ranging from Roy Orbison’s “Oh, Pretty Woman”, Marty Robbins’ “El Paso” and Loretta Lynn’s “Coal Miner’s Daughter”. During a 50-year career, Martin backed such names as Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Woody Guthrie, Arlo Guthrie, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Joan Baez and J. J. Cale.
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts honored Dolly Parton for her lifetime contributions to the arts. Dolly is the most honored female country performer of all time. Achieving 25 RIAA certified gold, platinum and multi-platinum awards, she has had 25 songs reach #1 on the Billboard Country charts, a record for a female artist.