1/12/21 Day in the Country

Born on this day, was Woodward Maurice Ritter, better known as Tex Ritter, the American country music singer and movie actor who was popular from the mid-1930s into the 1960s. He was the first artist signed with the newly-formed Capitol Records in 1944, where he scored a hit with “I’m Wastin’ My Tears on You”. Ritter died on January 2, 1974.

Born on this day in Perryville, Texas, was Ray Price, singer, songwriter and guitarist. His wide-ranging baritone has often been praised as among the best male voices of country music. He was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1996. Price died on 16th Dec 2013 aged 87 at his ranch outside Mount Pleasant, Texas.

Born on this day in Brewton, Alabama, was William Lee Golden, singer with The Oak Ridge Boys who scored the 1978 US Country #1 “I’ll Be True To You.”

Born on this day in Danville, Virginia, was Ricky Van Shelton, country music artist who between 1986 and 2006, charted more than twenty singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, including ten #1: “Somebody Lied”, “Life Turned Her That Way”, ‘Don’t We All Have the Right”, “I’ll Leave This World Loving You”, “From a Jack to a King” (a cover of the Ned Miller hit), “Living Proof”, “I’ve Cried My Last Tear for You”, “Rockin’ Years” (a duet with Dolly Parton), “I Am a Simple Man”, and “Keep It Between the Lines”.

Glen Campbell was at #1 on the US Country chart with Wichita Lineman his twelfth album. The Jimmy Webb penned title track reached #3 on the US pop chart. Webb’s inspiration for the lyrics came while driving through Washita County in rural southwestern Oklahoma. Heading westward on a straight road into the setting sun, Webb drove past a seemingly endless line of telephone poles, each looking exactly the same as the last. Then, in the distance, he noticed the silhouette of a solitary lineman atop a pole.

O Brother, Where Art Thou? was released in movie theaters across the US. The movie was one of the first to extensively use digital color correction, to give the film a sepia-tinted look. The Soggy Bottom Boys, the musical group that the main characters form, serve as accompaniment for the film is a homage to the Foggy Mountain Boys, a bluegrass band led by Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs.

American country blues, gospel, and folk singer and guitarist Precious Bryant died in Columbus, Georgia, of complications from diabetes and congestive heart failure. She released two solo albums. Her 2002 debut, Fool Me Good, was nominated for two Blues Music Awards, in the categories Acoustic Blues Album of the Year and Best New Artist Debut.

American country music singer A. J. Masters died aged 64 of prostate cancer. Masters played guitar for Charlie Rich and wrote the songs “Change My Mind”, which was recorded by both The Oak Ridge Boys and John Berry, “Someday” by Steve Azar, “Last Request” by Frazier River, “Love Ain’t Like That” by Faith Hill, and “Half a Heart Tattoo” by Jennifer Hanson.