Born on this day in Spray, now part of Eden, Rockingham County, was Charlie Poole, old time banjo player and country musician and the leader of the North Carolina Ramblers, an American old-time string band that recorded many popular songs between 1925 to 1930. Poole’s life ended on May 21 1931 after a 13-week drinking bender. He had been invited to Hollywood to play background music for a film. According to some reports, he was disheartened by the slump in record sales due to the Depression.
Winners at the 6th Academy of Country Music Awards held at The Palladium in Hollywood hosted by Dick Clark included: Top Male Vocalist of the Year – Merle Haggard, Top Female Vocalist of the Year – Lynn Anderson, Top Vocal Group – Kimberleys, Song of the Year – Ray Price “For the Good Times”, and Top Television Personality of the Year went to Johnny Cash.
Wanted! The Outlaws featuring Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Jessi Colter, and Tompall Glaser, was at #1 on the US Country music album chart. Wanted! The Outlaws earned its place in music history by becoming the first country album to sell a million copies.
Luxury Liner gave Emmylou Harris her second successive #1 country album on the Billboard Music Charts. The highest charting singles were the #6 Chuck Berry cover “(You Never Can Tell) C’est la Vie” and the #8 “Making Believe” (originally a hit for Kitty Wells). The title track was written by Gram Parsons.
“Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson was at #1 on the US Country chart. It beacame the last song for 12 years to spend four weeks at the top of the chart.
The Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville’s Music Row opened The Johnny Cash Exhibit. Cash opened the exhibition with one of the ‘biggest parties ever’ – the star-studded guest list included Emmylou Harris, Lynn Anderson, Chet Atkins, Waylon Jennings, Jessi Colter, Sam Phillips and Bill Monroe.
Dixie Chicks were at #1 on the country charts with Home, their sixth studio album. The group was promoting this album when lead singer Natalie Maines made controversial comments about US President George W. Bush. The album’s third single, “Travelin’ Soldier”, was #1 on the Billboard Country Chart the week that Maines’ comments hit the press. The following week, many stations started a still-standing boycott of the Chicks’ music.