Born on this day, was Michael Martin Murphey, singer-songwriter and multiple Grammy nominee, Murphey has six gold albums, including Cowboy Songs, the first album of cowboy music to achieve gold status since Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs by Marty Robbins in 1959. Known for the hit singles “Wildfire”, “Carolina in the Pines”, “What’s Forever For”, “A Long Line of Love”, “What She Wants”, and “Don’t Count the Rainy Days”. Murphey is also the author of New Mexico’s state ballad, “The Land of Enchantment”.
Born on this day was Zella Lehr, American singer and entertainer. She had a hit with her cover of Dolly Parton’s “Two Doors Down” (which charted for Lehr in late 1977, before Parton herself had released the song as a single) and in 1980 was nominated by the Academy of Country Music and Cashbox Magazine for the ‘Most Promising Female Vocalist’ award.
Born on this day in Knoxville, Tennessee, was Kristian Bush, folk rock and country musician. From 1990 to 2001, Kristian was a member of the folk rock duo Billy Pilgrim along with Andrew Hyra. After leaving Billy Pilgrim, Bush joined Kristen Hall in the group Sugarland. The group Sugarland were the next act scheduled to appear onstage at the Indiana State Fair stage collapse of August 13, 2011.
California governor Ronald Reagan granted Country singer Merle Haggard a full pardon for all his past crimes. Haggard was arrested for attempting to rob a Bakersfield tavern in 1957 and was sent to the San Quentin state prison for three years.
The final showing of Live From The Grand Ole Opry on the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) was aired. The show actually went beyond the televised segment, but the show was ended with a clip of Marty Robbins singing “El Paso” (a song he used to close out his Opry segment at midnight) from the year before.
The fifth Farm Aid benefit concert took place at the Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas. Held to raise money for family farmers in the US, the concerts were organized by Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Neil Young. Artists who appeared included: Arlo Guthrie, Kentucky Headhunters, Texas Tornadoes, Bandaloo Doctors, Bonnie Raitt, Little Village, Tracy Chapman, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Paul Simon, Neil Young, Mary Chapin Carpenter, The Highwaymen, Lorrie Morgan, Ricky Van Shelton, and Willie Nelson.
Dixie Chick Natalie Maines issued an apology after she made a comment about United States President George W. Bush regarding the current situation in Iraq: “As a concerned American citizen, I apologize to President Bush because my remark was disrespectful. I feel that whoever holds that office should be treated with the utmost respect. We are currently in Europe and witnessing a huge anti-American sentiment as a result of the perceived rush to war. While war may remain a viable option, as a mother, I just want to see every possible alternative exhausted before children and American soldiers’ lives are lost. I love my country. I am a proud American.”
American country musician Jack Greene died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 83 in Nashville, Tennessee. Nicknamed the “Jolly Greene Giant” due to his height and deep voice, Greene was a long time member of the Grand Ole Opry. A three-time Grammy Award nominee, Greene is best known for his 1966 hit, “There Goes My Everything”. The song dominated the Country music charts for nearly two months in 1967 and earned Greene “Male Vocalist of the Year”, “Single of the Year”, “Album of the Year” and “Song of the Year.” Greene had a total of #1 country hits.
Eric Church was granted a temporary restraining order that allowed for the seizure of counterfeit merchandise on sale outside his shows. These included any bootleg T-shirts and other Church-related memorabilia. The specifics of the restraining order targeted fake merch sold within a five-mile radius of the tour’s venues within a 24-hour period of the performance.