George Dewey Hay (1895-1968) The Carter Family Gene Autry (1907-98) Red Foley (1910-68) Ernest Tubb (1914-84) Eddy Arnold (1918-2008) Kitty Wells (1919-) Hank Williams Sr. (1923-53) Jim Reeves (1923-64)
Marty Robbins (1925-82) Porter Wagoner (1927-2007) Jimmy Dean (1928-2010), 'Big Bad John', 1960 Don Gibson (1928-2003) Melba Montgomery (1938-) and George Jones (1931-2013) Mel Tillis (1932-) Loretta Lynn (1932-) Patsy Cline (1932-63) Johnny Cash (1932-2003)


TLW's Country Musicscope™ (Country Music Historyscope)

By T.L. Winslow (TLW), the Historyscoper™

© Copyright by T.L. Winslow. All Rights Reserved.

Original Pub. Date: July 28, 2014. Last Update: Nov. 22, 2016.


Merle Haggard (1937-2016) Charley Pride (1938-) Dolly Parton (1946-) Willie Nelson (1933-) Kenny Rogers (1938-) Don Williams (1939-) The Judds Lynn Anderson (1947-) Hank Williams Jr. (1949-)
George Strait (1952-) Reba McEntire (1955-) Randy Travis (1959-) Toby Keith (1961-) Garth Brooks (1962-) Tim McGraw (1967-) and Faith Hill (1967-) Kenny Chesney (1968-) Carrie Underwood (1983-) Taylor Swift (1989-)

Alternate url for this page:
http://tinyurl.com/countrymusicscope


What Is A Historyscope?


The complete history of country music with 7.5K+ hyperlinks incl. 5K+ YouTube links.

Westerners are not only known as history ignoramuses, but double dumbass history ignoramuses when it comes to country music history. Since I'm the one-and-only Historyscoper (tm), let me quickly bring you up to speed before you dive into my Master Historyscope.

Note for newbies:

Don't let the sheer power of this historyscope scare you. Page through slowly to the end, lightly skimming, then pick an artist and play a video while reading the articles. Then repeat one by one until you get into it and start devoting regular study time, and you're on the way to becoming a country music historyscoper. Be sure and refresh your browser from time to time to get the latest update.

Country Music (originally called Hillbilly Music) originated in the SE U.S. in the 1920s, springing from Am. Folk Music, with the Blues Scale, originally mostly played on string instruments incl. fiddles, guitars, and banjos, with jugs and harmonicas thrown in. The Steel Guitar, which was developed in Hawaii in the early 20th cent. is big in country music, along with the Dobro, first marketed in 1928. A mainly white thang in the Appalachian Mts., country music mixed Appalachian Folk Music and Old-Time (Old-Timey) (Mountain) Music with Irish and Celtic Music, and grew to encompass Western Music, which originated in the late 19th cent. Genres incl. Americana, Honky Tonk (Honky-Tonk), Rockabilly, Western Swing, Neotraditional Country, Outlaw Country, Red Dirt, Country Rock, Soft Southern Rock, Southern Rock, Texas Country, Progressive Country, Alternative Country, Cowpunk (Country Punk), Gothabilly, Psychobilly, Southern Hip Hop (Southern Rap) (South Coast Hip Hop) (Dirty South), Roots Rock, Country Rap (Hick-Hop) (Rural Rap), and Country/Southern Soul. Singers flaunt their Appalachian English, Southern Accents, Texas Accents, or Western Accents, complete with the drawls, twangs, vowel changes, and slurring, y'all.

The Cook Family Singers

In 1885 the Cook Family Singers of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. incl. David J. Cook, his wife Martha, and three of their six children begin singing old time and gospel music, pioneering the sound later adopted by the Carter Family after Maybelle Carter hears them at the 1933 Chicago World's Fair and asks them to go on the road with them, after which Roy Acuff hears them and asks them to appear on the Grand Ole Opry; the 2nd generation incl. the children led by Lamaar Cook and two of his children; the final generation incl. June "Mama" Cook (-1997) and David L. "Little David" Cook; too bad, June's drunken hubby Donnell Cook (-2001) beats them, causing lifelong mental problems.

In 1908 N. Howard "Jack" Thorp pub. Songs of the Cowboys, the first book of Western music, incl. Little Joe, the Wrangler.

John Lomax (1867-1948)

In 1910 Goodman, Miss.-born John Avery Lomax (1867-1948) pub. Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads, giving Western music a nat. audience; in 1919 he follows it with Songs of the Cattle Trail and Cow Camp.

Georgia Old-time Fiddlers' Convention, 1914 Fiddlin' John Carson (1868-1949)

On Apr. 1, 1913 the first annual Georgia Old-Time Fiddlers' Convention (last in 1935) in Atlanta, Ga. is won by Fannin County, Ga.-born "Fiddlin'" John Carson (1868-1949), er, he comes in 4th, and J.B. Singley wins, but he wins in 1914, 1923, and 1927, causing Tenn. gov. Robert L. Taylor to give him the nickname Fiddlin' John. Cotton mill town Atlanta, Ga. becomes a major center of country music until the 1940s.

Cecil Sharp (1859-1924) Singing Mary Sands (1872-1949) Olive Dame Campbell (1882-1954)

In 1916 English-born British ballad authority Cecil James Sharp (1859-1924) arrives in Appalachia to record mountain (old-time) folk songs, identifying 1.6K versions of 500 songs from 281 singers, esp. Madison County, N.C.-born "Singing" Mary Bullman Sands (1872-1949), almost all derived from English-Scottish child ballads, going on to pub. English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians (1917) (2nd ed. 1932) with West Medford, Mass.-born folklorist Olive Arnold Dame Campbell (1882-1954), who already pub. Songs and Ballads of the Southern Mountains in 1915. Subject of the 2000 film Songcatcher.

First Generation of Country Music (1920s)

In the 1920s the First Generation of Country Music begins, followed by the 2nd Generation (1930-1940s), 3rd Generation (1950s-1960s), 4th Generation (1970s-1980s), 5th Generation (1990s), and 6th Generation (2000-present).

In the 1920s jazz-influenced Western Swing originates in small towns in Tex., Okla., and Calif., influenced by Dixieland jazz, featuring the steel guitar and an up-tempo dance beat.

Fiddlin' John Carson (1868-1949)

On Sept. 9, 1922 after touring for political campaigns, Fannin County, Ga.-born "Fiddlin'" John Carson (1868-1949) makes his radio debut on Atlanta radio station WSB, gaining nat. fame. In June 1923 he records his debut single (first country record?) The Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane on Okeh Records in New York City, followed by 150 more by 1931, performing with his daughter Rosa Lee Carson (AKA Moonshine Kate) and the Virginia Reelers.

Henry Whitter (1892-1941) G.B. Grayson (1887-1930)

In Dec. (Mar.?) 1923 Grayson County, Va.-born old-time country musician Henry Whitter (1892-1941) makes his first recordings for Okeh Records in New York City, incl. Wreck on the Southern Old 97, and Lonesome Road Blues, pioneering country music recording. On Aug. 2, 1927 he records Henry Whitter's Fox Chase for Victor Records at the Bristol Sessions, along with Rain Crow Bill, meeting Ashe County, N.C.-born Johnson County, Tenn.-raised blind fiddler Gilliam Banmon (G.B.) Grayson (1887-1930) at a fiddler's convention in 1927 in Mountain City, Tenn. and forming the duo Grayson & Whitter, going on to release future bluegrass standards Banks of the Ohio (1927), Nine Pound Hammer (1927) (RCA Victor), Train 45/ Handsome Molly (1927) (50K copies), Little Maggie With a Dram Glass in Her Hand (1927), Ommie Wise (Oct. 18, 1927) (""Greedy girl goes to Adams Spring with liar; lives just long enough to regret it." Based on the real-life drowning of pregnant Naomi Wise in N.C.), Rose Conley, Tom Dooley (Sept. 30, 1929) (RCA Victor), and Short Life of Trouble (1930). Too bad, on Aug. 16, 1930 Grayson is killed in an automobile accident in Damascus, Va.

National Barn Dance, 1924-59 National Barn Dance, 1924-59 National Barn Dance, 1924-59 \ Edgar L. Bill Gene Autry (1907-98) Red Foley (1910-68) The Overstake Sisters Eddie Dean (1907-99) Lulu Belle (1913-99) and Scotty (1908-81) Pat Buttram (1915-94) George Gobel (1919-91) The Williams Brothers The DeZurik Sisters The Hoosier Hot Shots Smiley Burnett (1911-67) Eddie Peabody (1902-70)

On Apr. 19, 1924 National Barn Dance debuts on WLS-AM in Chicago, Ill. (owned by Sears, Roebuck & Co., hence the initials WLS = World's Largest Store), founded by Edgar L. Bill, reaching an audience of 20M in the 1930s-1940s, featuring Orvon Grover "Gene" Autry (1907-98), Clyde Julian "Red" Foley (1910-68), Judy Martin (Eva Alaine Overstake) (1917-51) (2nd wife of Red Foley) (grandmother of Debby Boone), Jenny Lou Carson (Virginia Lucille Overstake) (1915-78) (first woman to compose a #1 country hit in 1945, known for her Annie Oakley act), and Evelyn Carson AKA the Three Little Maids (Overstake Sisters), Eddie Dean (Edgar Dean Glosup) (1907-99) and his brother Jimmie Dean (not to be confused with Jimmy Dean), Lulu Belle and Scotty ("the Sweethearts of Country Music") incl. Myrtle Eleanor Cooper (1913-99) and Scott Greene Wiseman (1908-81), Maxwell Emmett "Pat" Buttram (1915-94), George Leslie Gobel (1919-91), the Williams Brothers incl. Bob Williams, Don Williams, Dick Williams, and Andy Williams, the DeZurik Sisters Mary Jane DeZurik (1917-81) and Carolyn DeZurik (1918-2006), the Hoosier Hot Shots, Lester Alvin "Smiley" Burnett (1911-67), Edwin Ellsworth "Eddie" Peabody (1902-70) ("King of the Banjo"), and Joe Kelly; NBC-Radio picks it up in 1933-46, followed by ABC-Radio in 1946-52; live performances cease in 1957, and it is discontinued in 1959.

Samantha Bumgarner (1878-1960)

In Apr. 1924 Dillsboro, N.C.-born fiddler and 5-string banjo player "Aunt" Samantha Bumgarner (1878-1960) and guitarist Eva Davis become the first female musicians to release country music records, recording about a dozen with Columbia Records in New York City, inspiring Pete Seeger et al.

Vernon Dalhart (1883-1948) Carson Robison (1890-1957)

In May 1924 Jefferson, Tex.-born veteran classical recording artist (an opera singer who got his start in records in 1916 with an audition by Thomas Edison) Vernon Dalhart (Marion Try Slaughter) (1883-1948) releases Wreck of the Old 97 (Victor Talking Machine Co.), which becomes the first nat. country music hit, selling 7M copies; he is accompanied by Oswego, Kan.-born singer-songwriter Carson Jay "Charles" Robison (1890-1957). In 1925 they follow with another big hit The Prisoner's Song, with the huge sales causing Victor to send Ralph S. Peer to the Appalachian Mts. in summer 1927 to find new talent, becoming known as the Bristol Sessions (July 25-Aug. 5, 1927). In 1928 Robison splits with Dalhart, forming the Pioneers AKA Buckaroos, touring Britain in 1932, 1936, and 1938, releasing Turkey in the Straw in 1942, which becomes #1 in Britain for the year; in the early 1940s he performs on the Grand Ole Opry, releasing Life Gets Tee-Jus Don't It (MGM Records) (1948), and Rockin' and Rollin' with Grandma (1956).

Grand Ole Opry Grand Ole Opry Grand Ole Opry George Dewey Hay (1895-1968)

On Nov. 28, 1925 the Grand Ole Opry (WSM Barn Dance) is founded by former Nat. Barn Dance announcer "Solemn Ole Judge" George Dewey Hay (1895-1968) on radio station WSM in Nashville, Tenn.; in 1939 it debuts on NBC Radio; in 1943 it moves to Ryman Auditorium at 116-5th Ave. N (until 1974), helping turn Nashville into the country music capital of the U.S., with regulars incl. Roy Acuff, Patsy Cline, the Carter Family, Bill Monroe, Minnie Pearl, Marty Robbins, Ernest Tubb, Kitty Wells, and Hank Williams; Hay retires in 1956; in 1974 it moves to a larger venue in Opryland USA near Nashville.

The Skillet Lickers Gid Tanner (1885-1960) Riley Puckett (1894-1946) Clayton McMichen (1900-70) Fate Norris (1878-1944)

On Apr. 17, 1926 Ga.-based old-time country band The Skillet Lickers (the first country supergroup?), formed by Thomas Bridge (near Monroe), Ga.-born fiddler James Gideon "Gid" Tanner (1885-1960) (former chicken farmer), along with Dallas, Ga.-born blind guitarist George Riley Puckett (1894-1946), Allatoona, Ga.-born fiddler Clayton McMichen (1900-70), and Chattooga County, Ga.-born fiddler/banjo player Singleton Lafayette "Fate" Norris (1878-1944) (a 1-man band with a device allowing him to play six instruments at the same time), record their first 78rpm single Hand Me Down My Walking Cane in Atlanta, Ga., followed by Run, Nigger, Run (1926), Soldiers' Joy (1929), Dixie, Hog Killing Day, and Nigger in the Woodpile, disbanding in 1931 after releasing 82 singles, and reforming briefly in 1934 and signing with Bluebird Records, then releasing the hit single Down Yonder in 1934 via RCA Victor Records.

Otto Gray (1884-1967) and His Oklahoma Cowboys

In May 1926 after playing some of the first cowboy music on U.S. radio, Ripley, Okla.-based Otto Gray (1884-1967) and His Oklahoma Cowboys ("Daddy of the Cowboy Bands") (formed in 1921 from real cowboys), incl. Billy McGinty, David "Pistol Pete" Cutrell, Johnny Bennett, Ernest Bevins, and Benjamin Francis "Whitey" Ford "the Duke of Paducah" release their first single Cow Boy's Dream (OKeh Records), followed by Pistol Pete's Midnight Special (May 1926), Bury Me on the Lone Prairie (Jan. 1928) (Gennett Records), Born About 4,000 Years Ago (Feb. 1931) (Melotone Records), and Mammy's Little Coal Black Rose (Feb. 1931) (Melotone Records). On June 6, 1931 they appear on the cover of Billboard, becoming the first country-western band on their cover.

Blind Alfred Reed (1880-1956)

On July 28, 1927 Floyd, Va.-born blind street fiddler Blind Alfred Reed (1880-1956) records his first single for Victor Records at the Bristol Sessions, The Wreck of the Virginian, followed by I Mean to Live for Jesus (July 28), You Must Unload (July 28), Walking in the Way with Jesus (July 28), Explosion in the Fairmount Mines (Dec. 19), Fate of Chris Lively and Wife (Dec. 19), Why Do You Bob Your Hair, Girls? (Dec. 19) (the first protest song?), Always Lift Him Up and Never Knock Him Down (Dec. 19), Why Do You Bob Your Hair, Girls? No. 2 (Dec. 3, 1929), How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live (Dec. 4), Black and Blue Blues (Dec. 4), and Money Cravin' Blues (Dec. 4). He then stops recording and goes back to Mercer County, Va. Too bad, in 1937 an ordinance is passed banning blind street musicians, and he dies of starvation in 1956.

The Carter Family The Carter Sisters

On Aug. 1, 1927 Am. country-folk music group The Carter Family of SW Va., incl. Alvin Pleasant Delaney "A.P." Carter (1891-1960), his wife Sara Dougherty Carter (1898-1979), and his sister-in-law "Mother" Maybelle Carter (nee Addington) (1909-78) (mother of June Carter) begin their Bristol Sessions for RCA Victor in Bristol, Va., which on Nov. 4 releases their first 78 rpm record Wandering Boy / Poor Orphan Child; by 1931 they sell 300K records with hits incl. Wayworn Traveller, Wildwood Flower, Little Moses, Engine 143, Little Darling, Pal of Mine, and Gospel Ship; after A.P. and Sara divorce in 1936, they disband in 1943, and Maybelle continues performing with her daughters Helen Myrl Carter (1927-98), Valerie June Carter (1929-2003), and Ina Anita Carter (1933-99) as the Carter Sisters, reclaiming the Carter Family name in the 1960s; their music goes on to be adopted by folk singers incl. Joan Baez and Bob Dylan.

The Georgia Yellow Hammers

In 1927 the Gordon County, Ga.-based old-time country quartet The Georgia Yellow Hammers, incl. Charles Moody Jr. (guitar), Phil Reeve (guitar), Bud Landress (banjo), and Bill Chitwood (fiddle) release their first hit The Picture on the Wall / My Carolina Girl (RCA Victor), which becomes a bestseller; they follow with Going to Ride That Midnight Train (1927), Fourth of July at a Country Fair (1927), Tennessee Coon (1927), G Rad with Andrew Baxter (Aug. 9, 1927) (recorded in Charloote, N.C. with a black musician), and I'm Saved.

Jimmie Rodgers (1897-1933)

On Nov. 30, 1927 after being discovered in the Bristol Sessions, Meridian, Miss.- born "Singing Brakeman" Jimmie Rodgers (1897-1933) releases Blue Yodel No. 1 (T for Texas) (RCA Victor), which sells 500K copies, making him a star known as "the Blue Yodeler" and "the Father of Country Music", pioneering the honky tonk sound of Hank Williams, George Jones, and Lefty Frizzell. On July 11, 1930 he releases Blue Yodel No. 8 (Mule Skinner Blues), followed on July 16, 1930 by Blue Yodel No. 9, on Feb. 6, 1932 by Blue Yodel No. 10, on May 17, 1933 by Blue Yodel No. 12, and on May 18, 1933 by Jimmie Rodgers' Last Blue Yodel. Too bad, he dies on May 26, 1933 in New York City of TB contracted in 1924.

Haywire Mac McClintock (1882-1957)

In 1928 Knoxville, Tenn.-born singer-songwriter Harry Kirby "Haywire Mac" McClintock (1882-1957) releases The Big Rock Candy Mountains (#1 country), which gets covered many times under the name "Big Rock Candy Mountain", with cleaner lyrics.

Second Generation of Country Music (1930s-1940s)

Gene Autry (1907-98) Gene Autry (1907-98) Smiley Burnette (1911-67) Pat Buttram (1915-94)

In 1930 after singing in 1928 on KVOO-AM in Tulsa, Okla. as "Oklahoma's Yodeling Cowboy", and signing with Columbia Records in 1929, Tioga, Tex.-born "Singing Cowboy" Orvon Grover "Gene" Autry (1907-98) appears on National Barn Dance (until 1934), hiring Summum, Ill.-born Lester Alvin "Smiley" Burnette (1911-67) (who can play 100 musical instruments) in Dec. 1933 as his sidekick. In 1931 he releases The Death of Mother Jones. In 1932 he releases his first hit That Silver-Haired Daddy of Mine with Jimmy Long (5M copies). In 1934 Autry and Burnette make their film debut in Mascot Pictures Corp.'s In Old Santa Fe. In 1935 The Phantom Empire debuts for the first of 12 episodes, starring Gene Autry as himself, and Burnette as comic relief Oscar, after which Republic Pictures Corp. hires them to make 44 films until 1940, with Burnette playing Frog Millhouse; in 1948 Autry replaces Burnette with Addison, Ala.-born Maxwell Emmett "Pat" Buttram (1915-94), who work together in 40+ films and 100+ TV episodes before Buttram is injured in 1951, after which Autry and Burnette team together for six final films for Columbia Pictures in 1952-3. In 1935 Autry releases Tumbling Tumbleweeds (1935), Mexicali Rose (1935), If You Want to be a Cowboy (1937) (from the film Git Along Little Dogies), South of the Border (1939), and his signature song Back in the Saddle Again (1939). On Jan. 7, 1940-Aug. 1, 1943 and Sept. 23, 1945-May 16, 1956 he hosts the radio show Gene Autry's Melody Ranch on CBS Radio, sponsored by Doublemint chewing gum. In 1941 he releases Blueberry Hill, followed by You Are My Sunshine (1941), Be Honest With Me (1941) (from the film Ridin' on a Rainbow), Don't Bite the Hand That's Feeding You (1942) (from the film Bells of Capistrano), I'm Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes (1944) (#3 country), Don't Fence Me In (1944) (#4 country), At Mail Call Today (1944) (#1 country), Don't Hang Around Me Anymore (1945) (#4 country), I Want to Be Sure (1945) (#4 country), Don't Live a Lie (1945) (#4 country), Silver Spurs (On the Golden Stairs) (1945) (#4 country), I Wish I Had Never Met Sunshine (1946) (#3 country), Wave to Me, My Lady (1946) (#4 country), You Only Want Me When You're Lonely (1946) (#7 country), Have I Told You Lately that I Love You? (1946) (#3 country), Someday (You'll Want Me to Want You) (1946) (#4 country), You're Not My Darlin' Anymore (1947) (#3 country), Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane) (1948) (#4 country) (#8 in the U.S.), Buttons and Bows (1948) (#6 country) (#17 in the U.S.), Ghost Riders in the Sky (1948), Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (w/Johnny Marks) (1949) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.), Peter Cottontail (1950) (#3 country) (#5 in the U.S.), Frosty the Snow Man (w/the Cass County Boys) (1950) (#4 country) (#7 in the U.S.), and Old Soldiers Never Die (They Just Fade Away) (1951) (#9 country). He goes on to release 640 records incl. 300+ songs written by himself, selling 100M copies, incl. the first certified gold record.

Milton Brown (1903-36) Bob Wills (1905-75) Bob Wills (1905-75) Bob Dunn (1908-71) Cecil Brower (1914-65) Eldon Shamblin (1916-98) Johnny Gimble (1926-) Billy Jack Wills (1926-91)

In 1930 Stephenville, Tex.-born vocalist Milton Brown (1903-36) meets Kosse, Tex.-born fiddler James Robert "Bob" Wills (1905-75) and joins the Wills Fiddle Band, consisting of Wills and guitarist Herman Arnspiger, which in 1931 is renamed the Light Crust Doughboys, then the Fort Worth Doughboys; in 1933 Bob Wills forms the Musical Brownies, the world's first Western Swing band at the Crystal Springs Dance Hall in Fort Worth, Tex., going on to become "the Father of Western Swing" along with Bob Wills, calling it "hot jaz hillbilly", inspiring Euro string jazz musicians Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grapelli to form the Hotel Club de Paris quintet in 1935; in 1934 they add Beggs, Okla.-born electric steel guitar player (jazz trombonist) Robert Lee "Bob" Dunn (1908-71), who becomes the first to record an electrically-amplified instrument on Jan. 27, 1935, making thesteel guitar a must in country and Western music, releasing Taking Off.; in Jan. 1935 they sign with Decca Records; in 1936 they sign fiddler Cliff Bruner, who teams with Bellevue, Tex.-born classically-trained fiddler Cecil Lee Brower (1914-65) to create a double fiddle sound; too bad, just as he is poised to achieve nat. fame, Bruner dies on Apr. 18, 1936 in Fort Worth, Tex. of pneumonia caused by a narcoleptic car accident, leaving Bob Wills to gain all the fame. In 1934 Bob Wills forms the Texas Playboys in Waco, Tex., moving to Tulsa, Okla. and pioneering Western Swing music, becoming known as "the King of Western Swing", releasing hits incl. Spanish Two Step (1935), Steel Guitar Rag (1936), San Antonio Rose (1938) (2M copies), Ida Red (1938) (later becomes Chuck Berry's "Maybellene), Take Me Back to Tulsa (1941), New San Antonio Rose (1943) (#3), Smoke on the Water (1945) (#1), Stars and Stripes on Iwo Jima (1945) (#1), New Spanish Two Step (1946) (#1), White Cross on Okinawa (1946) (#1), Roly Poly (1946) (#3), Sugar Moon (1947) (#1), Bubbles in My Beer (1948) (#4), Texarkana Baby (1948) (#15), Deep Water, and Faded Love (1950) (#8). In Nov. 1937 Clinton, Okla.-born Estel Eldon "Sham" "Frog" Shamblin (1916-98) of The Alabama Boys joins the Texas Playboys, becoming their lead guitarist until he is drafted into the U.S. Army in 1942, then again in 1946-54, being presented with one of the first Fender Stratocaster electric guitars in Mar. 1954 by Leo Fender and using it in the Texas Playboys' last recording session with MGM Records, after which Eric Clapton offers him $10K for it in the early 1980s. In the late 1940s Tyler, Tex.-born 5-string fiddle player John Paul "Johnny" Gimble (1926-) joins the Texas Playboys. In 1950 Bob Wills' Memphis, Tex.-born younger brother Billy Jack Wills (1926-91) quits after six years to form Billy Jack Wills and His Western Swing Band, which releases Take Me Back to Tulsa, Tobacco Chewing Boogie, Milk Cow Blues, Cadillac to Town in My Model A, Rock-A-bye Baby Blues, and All She Wants to Do Is Rock; too bad, they fold in 1954 after Bob Wills disbands the Texas Playboys and takes it over and runs it into the ground.

The Carlisle Brothers

In 1930 Wakefield, Ky.-born William Toliver "Jumpin' Bill" Carlisle (1908-2003) and his older brother Cliff Carlisle (1903-83) (steel guitar pioneer) form the Carlisle Brothers, known for racy lyrics, releasing Desert Blues, followed by Sal Got a Meatskin (1933), Maggie Get the Hammer, She Won't Be My Baby No More, I Paid With a Broken Heart, and Jesus My All In 1938 they sign with Decca Records; Bill goes on to perform the character of Hot Shot Elmer on WNOX-AM (Knoxville, Tenn.), leaping so much on stage that he gains the nickname "Jumpin' Bill". In 1934 Bill releases his first hit single Rattlesnake Daddy (ARC Records), followed by Tramp on the Street (1948) (#14 country), Too Old to Cut the Mustard (1951), Tain't Nice (To Talk Like That) (1953) (#5 country), No Help Wanted (1953), Dirty Old Man, and What Kinda Deal Is This (1965) (#4 country).

Stuart Hamblen (1908-89) Ken Carson (1914-94) Shug Fisher (1907-84)

In 1931 Kellyville, Tex.-born singing cowboy Carl Stuart Hamblen (1908-89) debuts his Family Album radio show in Calif., which features performers incl. Ken Carson (Hubert Paul Flatt) (1914-94) (AKA Hubert "Shorty" Carson), who leaves in 1932 to join the Beverly Hill Billies, the first Southern Calif. Western band, who pretend to live in log cabins, and incl. comic stutterer George Clinton "Shug" Fisher Jr. (1907-84) (first bass fiddler in a country band); in 1934 Hamblen becomes the first artist signed by the U.S. subsidiary of Decca Records; too bad, his horse race gambling, drinking, and brawling lands him frequently in jail, until he is converted by Billy Graham at a crusade in Los Angeles in 1949, then refuses to do alcohol commercials, getting him fired, writing the song It's No Secret What the Lord Can Do after John Wayne offers him a drink and he gives him that answer, the The Cowboy Church of the Air (1949-52); in 1950 he almost wins an election for Dem. rep. from Calif.'s 20th district (41%); in 1952 he is the U.S. pres. candidate for the Prohibition Party; in 1954 he writes This Ole House, which becomes a #1 U.S. and U.K. hit for Rosemary Clooney, along with the chipmunky Open Up Your Heart (and Let the Sunshine In), which becomes a hit for the Cowboy Church Sunday School (#8 in the U.S.), and is covered by Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm on The Flintstones on Sept. 17, 1965; in 1956 he releases Hell Train; in 1963 Graham holds another crusade in Los Angeles (his first coast-to-coast TV broadcast), and calls Hamblen's conversion "the turning point" in his ministry, which caused the small crowds to swell.

In 1931 10KW XED-AM in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico across the Rio Grande River from McAllen, Tex. signs on, becoming the first Border Blaster, aiming its transmissions at the U.S., followed by on Aug. 18 by radio station XERF-AM (735KHz) (50KW-250KW), located in Ciudad Acuna, Mexico across the border from Del Rio, Tex.; by 1938 there are 11 border blasters in Mexico, plus one in Windsor, Ont., Canada; they are used by quack doctors et al. to get around U.S. laws, and also help popularize country music, with performers incl. Cowboy Sam Nichols, Doye O'Dell, and Walt and Cal Shrum; in 1962-4 Wolfman Jack broadcasts on XERF-AM, becoming famous before moving in 1965 to XERB-AM "the Mighty 1090" in Rosarito Beach, Tijuana, Mexico, which is featured in the 1973 film American Graffiti.

Bluebird Records

In 1932 Bluebird Records is founded by RCA Victor to service the budget market, releasing dance music incl. George Hall and His Orchestra, Artie Shaw, Glenn Miller, Earl Hines, and Shep Fields and his Rippling Rhythm Orchestra, country artists incl. the Monroe Brothers, the Delmore Brothers, Bradley Kincaid, Jimmie Rodgers, and the Carter Family, jazz artists incl. Duke Ellington, Jelly Roll Morton, Bennie Moten, and McKinney's Cotton Pickers, and blues artists (until 1942) incl. Chicago artists Big Bill Broonzy, Tampa Red, Washboard Sam, Roosevelt Sykes, and Sonny Boy Williamson.

WWVA Jamboree, 1933-

On Jan. 7, 1933 WWVA Jamboree debuts in Wheeling, W. Va., becoming the 2nd oldest country music radio show in the U.S. after the Grand Ole Opry, going on to feature Bill Jones and the Rhythm Rogues, Cowboy Loye (Loye Donald Pack), Hugh Cross, Shug Fisher, Frankie More and the Log Cabin Gang, Grandpa Jones, Doc Williams and the Border Riders, Joe Barker and the Chuck Wagon Gang, Harry C. "Big Slim" McAuliffe and the Happy Ranch Gang, Lew Childre, Floyd Tillman, Hank and Slim Newman, Chuck and Don, Handsome Bob and Happy Johnny, Slim Cox and His Flyin' X Roundup, Tex Harrison and the Texas Buckaroos, Gertrude Miller, Mary "Sunflower Calvas, Mary Ann Vestes, Chickie Williams, Warren Caplinger, Hawkshaw Hawkins, Reed Dunn "the Singing Mountaineer", the Singing Sailors (Red Sovine and Johnnie Bailes), Millie Wayne, Charlie Monroe and His Kentucky Pardners, Honey and Sonny (Maxine and Nial Davis), Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper, Red Belcher and the Kentucky Ridge Runners, Lee and Juanita Moore, Don Kidwell, Jimmy Walker, the Sunshine Boys, Mack Jeffers and His Fiddlin' Farmers, Hank Snow the Yodeling Ranger, Ken Curtis, George Morgan, the Lilly Brothers, the Ritchie Brothers, Roy Scott, the Radio Rangerettes, Gay Schwing and His Gang from the Hills, Sidney "Hardrock" Gunter, Joe and Shirley Barker, Doc and Chickie Williams, the Bailey Brothers and Their Happy Valley Boys, Jim and Jesse McReynolds, Hylo Brown, the Osborne Brothers, Bob Gallion, David Houston, Esco Hankins, Mac Wiseman, Buck Owens, Ray Price, Charlie Pride, Tammy Wynette, Kenny Roberts, Freddy Carr, Jimmie Stephens, Darnell Miller, Junior Norman, Kenny Biggs, Elmer Crowe, Gus Thomas, Slim Lehart, Bud Cutright, Jimmy Martin and the Sunny Mountain Boys, Charlie Moore, Bill Napier, Red Smiley and His Bluegrass Cutups, Tater Tate and the Shenandoah Cutups, Frank Necessary and the Stone Mountain Boys, the Blue Ridge Quartet, the Walter Bailes Singers, Dick Curless, Dave Dudley, Patti Powell, and Jerry Brightman; in the 1960s it becomes Jamboree U.S.A.; in 1997 it becomes a news/talk program; in 2009 it becomes the Wheeling Jamboree.

The Ranch Boys Ken Carson (1914-94) Curley Bradley (1910-85)

In 1933 the Western singing trio The Ranch Boys is formed in Southern Calif. by Ken "Shorty" Carson (Hubert Paul Flatt) (1914-94), Joe "Curley" Bradley (George Courtney) (1910-85), and Jack Ross (AKA Pinto Pete), appearing on the radio show The Fitch Bandwagon on NBC-Radio in Chicago, Ill., and signing with Decca Records, releasing songs incl. Casey Jones, Buffalo Gals, and There's a Home in Wyoming; in 1936 after appearing in the 1934 Clark Gable film It Happened One Night, they are signed by the Tom Mix radio show, with Ross playing Mix (1 episode), Curley playing Pecos, and Carson playing bit parts; later Bradley becomes radio's last Tom Mix until 1950; on May 10, 1938 they begin a 4-mo. 3,975-mi. cross-country horseback ride from Calif. to New York City as a publicity stunt, presenting mayor (1934-45) Fiorello La Guardia with a plaque from Calif. gov. (1934-9) Frank Merriam; they disband in 1941.

Sons of the Pioneers Bob Nolan (1908-80) Roy Rogers (1911-98) and Dale Evans (1912-2001) Ken Curtis (1916-91)

In 1933 the Sons of the Pioneers is formed by ex-Del Monte fruit picker Roy Rogers (Leonard Franklin Slye) (1911-98), Bob Nolan (Robert Clarence Nobles) (1908-80), and Vernon Harold Timothy "Tim" Spencer (1908-74), later adding brothers Thomas Hubert "Hugh" Farr (1903-80) and Karl Farr (1909-61), Pat Brady (Robert Ellsworth Patrick Aloysious O'Brady) (1914-72), George Clinton "Shug" Fisher Jr. (1907-84) (1943-6, 1949-53, 1955-9), Ken Carson (Hubert Paul Flatt) (1914-94) (1943), Ken Curtis (Curtis Wain Gates) (1916-91) (son-in-law of dir. John Ford) (1949-53), Lloyd Wilson "Dobbs" "Mr. Pioneer" Perryman (1917-77), Pat Brady, Deuce Spriggens, Tommy Doss, Dale Warren, George Bamby, Rusty Richards, and Luther Nallie; on Aug. 8, 1934 (same day that Bing Crosby has his first session with them) they have their first session with Decca, recording Bob Nolan's Tumbling Tumbleweeds (originally "Tumbling Leaves"), going on to record 32 songs with Decca, Columbia, and RCA Victor, incl. Cool Water (by Bob Nolan) (1948) (#9 in the U.S.) (#2 in the U.K.). In 1946 Roy Rogers releases A Little White Cross on the Hill (#7 country), followed by My Chickashay Gal (1947) (#4 country), Blue Shadows on the Trail (w/the Sons of the Pioneers) (1948) (#6 country), (There'll Never Be Another) Pecos Bill (w/the Sons of the Pioneers) (1948) (#13 country), and Stampede (1950) (#8 country). In 1952 Roy Rogers and his Uvalde, Tex.-born 2nd wife (since 1947) Dale Evans (Lucille Wood Smith) (Frances Octavia Smith) (1912-2001 release Happy Trails (written by Dale Evans), which becomes the theme song for their NBC-TV show The Roy Rogers Show (Dec. 30, 1951-June 9, 1957) (100 episodes). In 1971 Roy Rogers releases the album A Man from Duck Run, which features Lovenworth (#12 country) (#33 in the U.S.), and Happy Anniversary (1971) (#47 country). He follows with Hoppy, Gene and Me (1974) (#15 country) (#12 in the U.S.), Ride Concrete Cowboy, Ride (w/the Sons of the Pioneers) (1980) (#80 country), and Hold On Partner (w/Clint Black) (1991) (#42 country) (#48 in the U.S.). Ken Curtis goes on to star as Festus Haggen in 239 episodes of the CBS-TV series "Gunsmoke".

Bill Boyd (1910-77)

In 1935 Fanin County, Tex.-born William Lemuel "Bill" Boyd (1910-77) and The Cowboy Ramblers incl. his brother Jim Boyd (1914-) release their first hit Under the Double Eagle, which becomes a Westerrn swing std. In 1941 they release their 2nd hit If You'll Come Back (#4 in the U.S.); they go on to release 225+ recordings in 1934-51, incl. Pussy, Pussy, Pussy, I'll Never Let You Cry Over Me, and Wah Hoo.

Patsy Montana (1908-96) The Prairie Ramblers Salty Holmes (1910-70) Jean Chapel (1925-95) Salty Holmes (1910-70) and Mattie O'Neil (Jean Chapel) (1925-95)

In 1935 Beaudry, Ark.-born Patsy Montana (Ruby Rose Blevins) (1908-96) releases I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart (based on the Stuart Hamblen song "Texas Plains"), which becomes the first million-selling hit for a female country singer; her WLS-AM Chicago-based backing band The Prairie Ramblers incl. Glasgow, Ky.-born "Maestro of the Harmonica" Floyd "Salty" Holmes (1910-70) (known for his talking harp style, and ability to play two at the same time through his mouth and nose), Charles Chick Hurt (mandolin), "Happy" Jack Taylor (bass, banjo), Tex Atchison (fiddle), Bob Miller (piano), Kenneth Houchens (vocals, guitar), Augie Kline (accordion), George Barnes (electric guitar), and Alan Crocket; Salty's Neon, Ky.-born wife (1947-56) Jean Chapel (Opal Jean Amburgey) (1925-95) (sister of Don Chapel, 2nd husband (1967-8) of Tammy Wynette) teams with him as Mattie and Salty under the alias Mattie O'Neil, then in 1956 is briefly promoted by Sun Records as "the Female Elvis", after which she becomes a songwriter, composing 400+ songs incl. "Lonely Again", "Lay Some Happiness on Me", and "To Get to You". The Prairie Ramblers go on to record songs incl. Just Because (1935), Old Mississippi Moon (1941), and Put On an Old Pair of Shoes (?), and appear in Hollywood Westerns with Gene Autry and Rex Allen; they also record dirty songs under the alias The Sweet Violet Boys, incl. There's a Man That Comes to Our House Every Single Day (Poppa Comes Home and the Man Goes Away) (1937), and I Love My Fruit (1939) (Okeh Records), the first gay hillbilly song; in 1941 Montana leaves to go solo; they disband in 1947.

Roy Acuff (1903-92)

In 1936 Maynardville, Tenn.-born fiddler-singer Roy Claxton Acuff (1903-92) and the Smoky Mountain Boys release Great Speckled Bird and Wabash Cannon Ball, followed by Worried Mind (1941), The Prodigal Son (1944) (#4 country) (#13 in the U.S.), I'll Forgive You But I Can't Forget (1944) (#3 country) (#21 in the U.S.), (Our Own) Jole Blon (1947) (#4 country), The Waltz of the Wind (1948) (#8 country), Tennessee Waltz (by Redd Stewart and Pee Wee King) (1948) (#12 country), Once More (1958) (#8 country), and Freight Train Blues (1965) (#45 country), evolving country music out of its hoedown format and becoming its first big star, "the King of Country Music".

The Blue Sky Boys

In 1936 East Hickory, N.C.-born "Hillbilly Kings" The Blue Sky Boys, incl. Bill Bolick (1917-2008) (guitar) and Earl Bolick (1919-98) (mandolin) release their first hit record Sunny Side of Life / Where the Soul Never Dies (RCA Records), followed by 100 more by 1941, when they go into the military until 1946, then release more hits until RCA tries to get them to go honky tonk and play an electric guitar, resigning in 1949, and retiring in 1951 until 1963, when they record the albums Together Again (1963) (secular) and Precious Moments (1964) (Gospel) for Starday Records, then retire again in 1969, and come back again in 1975, releasing The Blue Sky Boys (1976) for Rounder Records.

Cliff Bruner (1915-2000)

In 1936 after the death of Milton Brown, Texas City, Tex.-born Western Swing fiddler-bandleader Clifton Lafayette "Cliff" Bruner (1915-2000) forms the Texas Wanderers, incl. Dickie McBride (guitar, vocals), Moon Mullican (piano, vocals), Bob Dunn (steel guitar), Leo Raley (mandolin), J.R. Chatwell (fiddle), going on to release the country hits It Makes No Difference Now (1938) (#1 country), I Hate to Lose You (1938), Truck Drivers' Blues (1939) (first trucker song), Draft Board Blues, Kangaroo Blues, That's What I Like About the South, Kelly Swing, I'll Keep On Loving You, Ouch, Out of Business, Snow Flakes, Singin' the Low Down Blues Down Low, Sugar, Sorry, When You're Smiling, and Lucille from Old Mobile (1947). Bruner's band disbands in the 1950s, but he continues to play, receiving recognition during the 1970s revival of Western Swing, and his trio is featured in the 1984 Sally Field film Places in the Heart.

Moon Mullican (1909-67)

In 1936 after learning to play the blues from a black sharecropper and developing a style of his own that mixes country, blues, Western Swing, and rock and roll, Polk County, Tex.-born "King of the Hillbilly Piano Players" Aubrey Wilson "Moon" Mullican (1909-67) releases his first country hit Swing Baby Swing (#5 country), followed by I'll Keep On Loving You (1938), Pipeliner's Blues (1940), Seven Come Eleven (1946), New Pretty Blonde (Jole Blon) (w/the Showboys) (1947) (#2 country) (King Records), Jole Blon's Sister (1947) (#4 country), Sweeter Than the Flowers (1948) (#3 country), I Left My Heart in Texas (by Jenny Lou Carson) (1948), Moon's Tune (1949), I Done It (?), I'll Sail My Ship Alone (1950) (#1 country) (#17 in the U.S.), Mona Lisa (1950) (#4 country), Goodnight Irene (1950) (#5 country), Cherokee Boogie (Eh-Oh-Aleena) (1951) (#7 country), Rock and Roll Mr. Bullfrog (?), and Ragged But Right (1961) (#15 country).

Jimmy Wakely (1914-82)

In 1937 Howard County, Ark.-born James Clarence "Jimmy" Wakely (1914-82) forms The Bell Boys for Bell Clothing, incl. Johnny Bond, Dick Reinhart, Scotty Harrell, and Jack Cheney, broadcasting over WKY-AM Oklahoma City, Okla., changing their name to The Jimmy Wakely Trio; in 1939 he moves to Calif. to star in Saga of Death Valley with Roy Rogers, performing on "Gene Autry's Melody Ranch" radio show in 1940-2; in 1942 he appears with Autry in Heart of the Rio Grande, appearing in 28 Westerns for Monogram Pictures in 1944-9, becoming known as the low budget Autry. In 1943 after signing with Decca Records in 1942, he releases There's a Star-Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere (#14 in the U.S.), followed by I'm Sending You Red Roses (1944) (#2 country), Signed Sealed and Delivered (1948) (#9 country), One Has My Name (The Other Has My Heart) (1948) (#1 country) (#10 in the U.S.), I Love You So Much It Hurts (1948) (#1 country) (#21 in the U.S.), Till the End of the World (1949) (#9 country), I Wish I Had a Nickel (1949) (#4 country), Slipping Around (w/Margaret Whiting) (1949) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.), I'll Never Slip Around Again (w/Margaret Whiting) (1949) (#2 country) (#8 in the U.S.), Peter Cottontail (1950) (#7 country) (#26 in the U.S.), Mona Lisa (1950) (#10 country), Broken Down Merry-Go-Round (w/Margaret Whiting) (1950) (#2 country) (#12 in the U.S.), Let's Go to Church (Next Sunday Morning) (w/Margaret Whiting) (1950) (#2 country) (#13 in the U.S.), My Heart Cries for You (w/Les Baxter) (1951) (#7 country) (#12 in the U.S.), When You and I Were Young Maggie Blues (w/Margaret Whiting) (1951) (#7 country) (#20 in the U.S.), Pale Moon (An Indian Love Song) (1952), and The Call of the Canyon (1956). In 1952-8 he hosts The Jimmy Wakely Show.

Red Skelton (1913-97) Red Foley (1910-68)

On Jan. 7, 1939 NBC-Radio's Avalon Time debuts, hosted by Richard Bernard "Red" Skelton (1913-97) and Blue Lick, Ky.-born Clyde Julian "Red" Foley (1910-68), who becomes the first country music artist to host a network radio program. In 1944 he releases the hit single Smoke on the Water (#1 country) (#7 in the U.S.), followed in 1945 by Shame on You (#1 country) (#13 in the U.S.) with Lawrence Welk. In Apr. 1946 he becomes the emcee of R.J. Reynolds-sponsored Prince Albert Show on NBC-Radio, a segment of the Grand Ole Opry, establishing it as the top U.S. country music radio show. In 1947 he begins releasing hits with the Cumberland Valley Boys, incl. New Jolie Blonde (New Pretty Blonde) (1947) (#1) (by Moon Mullican), Tennessee Saturday Night (by Billy Hughes) (1948) (#1) ("They all go native on a Saturday night"), Just a Closer Walk with Thee (1950) (#1), Steal Away (1950) (#1), Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy (1950) (#1 country and U.S.), which becomes his trademark song, and Midnight (1952) (#1).

In June 1939 the White House Concert of Am. Music, arranged by Charles Seeger and Adrian Dornbush is attended by George VI and Queen Elizabeth of England (first visit by a reigning British monarch and his consort to U.S. soil), featuring Kate Smith, Marian Anderson, Lawrence Tibbett, Samantha Bumgarner, Josh White, Lily May Ledford and the Coon Creek Girls, and Alan Lomax.

Johnny Barfield (1909-74)

In 1939 Tifton, Ga.-born John Alexander "Johnny" Barfield (1909-74), former member of the Skillet Lickers releases Boogie Woogie, based on Pinetop Smith's 1928 song, becoming the first country boogie; too bad, although it's a hit, he fails to equal it, and fades out of sight.

The York Brothers

In 1939 the Louisa, Ky.-born Detroit, Mich.-based country music duo The York Brothers, incl. George York and Leslie York release their first hit single Hamtramck Mama (Universal Records). In 1941 after signing with Decca Records, they release Speak to Me Little Darling, followed by Blue Ridge Mountain Blues (1947), Motor City Boogie (1950), Gravy Train (1950), Sixty Minute Man (1951), Detroit Hula Girl (1953), and Everybody's Tryin' to Be My Baby (1957).

Happy Goodman Family

In the 1940s the Happy Goodman Family of Southern gospel singers is founded by Howard "Happy" Goodman and his family incl. his wife Vestal, Sam, Rusty, and Bobby, gaining fame by 1950, releasing their first album I'm Too Near Home in 1963, which features I'm Too Near Home, after which they are selected to sing on "The Gospel Singing Jubilee" in 1964 along with the Florida Boys, the Dixie Echoes, and the Couriers Quartet, leaving in 1974 to star in their own TV series "The Happy Goodman Family Hour", becoming known for their "grab a note and hang on" endings.

Burl Ives (1909-95) Burl Ives (1909-95)

In May 1940 Jasper County, Ill.-born itinerant banjo-playing folk singer (former Boy Scout) Burl Icle Ivanhoe Ives (1909-95) makes his NBC-Radio debut as The Wayfaring Stranger, which is preempted by the news of the fall of France to the Nazis. In Sept. 1940 he begins performing on CBS-Radio, popularizing folk songs incl. Wayfaring Stranger, Foggy Dew (which got him jailed in Mona, Utah for obscenity in the 1930s), and Big Rock Candy Mountain, singing with the Almanac Singers incl. Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, and Will Geer. In Aug. 1941 Okeh Records releases Burl Ives: The Wayfaring Stranger, containing 12 folk songs; in 1944 Asch releases an updated version. In 1942 he is drafted into the U.S. Army, rising to cpl. before being discharged for medical reasons in Sept. 1943. In 1948 he releases his first hit single Blue Tail Fly (#24 in the U.S.) with the Andrews Sisters and Vic Schoen's Orchestra (Abraham Lincoln's favorite). He follows with Lavender Blue (Dilly Dilly) (w/Capt. Stubby and the Buccaneers) (1949) (from the 1949 film So Dear to My Heart) (#13 country) (#16 in the U.S.), Riders in the Sky (A Cowboy Legend) (1949) (#21 in the U.S.), On Top of Old Smoky (w/Percy Faith and His Orchestra) (1951) (#10 in the U.S.), The Wild Side of Life (w/Grady Martin and the Slewfoot Five) (1952) (#6 country) (#30 in the U.S.). In 1952 he cooperates with the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) to end his blacklisting. In the 1960s he gets more into country, starting with A Little Bitty Tear (w/the Anita Kerr Singers and Owen Brady's Orchestra) (1961) (#2 country) (#9 in the U.S.), Funny Way of Laughin' (by Hank Cochran) (w/Owen Bradley's Orchestra) (1962) (#9 country) (#10 in the U.S.), Call Me Mr. In-Between (w/Owen Bradley's Orchestra) (1962) (#3 country) (#19 in the U.S.), Mary Ann Regrets (w/Owen Bradley's Orchestra) (1962) (#12 country) (#39 in the U.S.), Evil Off My Mind (1966) (#47 country), and Lonesome 7-7203 (by Justin Tubb) (1967) (#72 country).

Bill Monroe (1911-96) Clyde Moody (1915-89) Jimmy Martin (1927-2005) Chubby Wise (1915-96) Stringbean Akeman (1916-73) Lester Flatt (1914-79) and Earl Scruggs (1924-2012)

In 1940 after winning a spot on the Grand Ole Opry in 1939, Rosine, Ky.-born William Smith "Bill" Monroe (1911-96) and his Blue Grass Boys incl. Cherokee, N.C.-born "the Genial Gentleman of Country Music" Clyde Moody (1915-89) release their first single Mule Skinner Blues (RCA Victor), launching the Bluegrass music genre. In 1942 they add bluegrass fiddler Robert Russell "Chubby" Wise (1915-96), and Annville, Ky.-born banjo player David "Stringbean" Akeman (1916-73), who in Dec. 1945 is replaced by N.C.-born 3-finger picking banjo virtuoso Earl Scruggs (1924-2012), joining guitarist Lester Raymond Flatt (1914-79), fiddler Chubby Wise, and bassist Howard Watts AKA Cedric Rainwater, with Monroe playing his trademark 1923 Gibson F5 Lloyd Loar mandolin, recording 28 tracks for Columbia Records in 1946-7 incl. Blue Moon of Kentucky (1946) (the B-side of Elvis Presley's first record), and Molly and Tenbrooks (1948). In 1947 after going solo in 1945, Clyde Moody releases his million-selling hit Shenandoah Waltz (based on a fiddle tune by Chubby Wise), followed by Cherokee Waltz, and I Waltz Alone, gaining the name "the Hillbilly Waltz King". In 1949 Bill Monroe hires Sneedville, Tenn.-born bluegrass musician James H. "Jimmy" Martin (1927-2005), whose high tenor mixes with Monroe's tenor to make the "high lonesome" sound, becoming known as "the King of Bluegrass Music". In 1958 they release Knee Deep in Bluegrass (Decca). In 1949 Flatt and Scruggs leave to form the Foggy Mountain Boys, after which new players join incl. Jimmy Martin (rhythm guitar), Don Reno (banjo), Rudy Lyle (banjo), Merle "Red" Taylor (violin), Charlie Cline (violin), Bobby Hicks (violin), and Vassar Clements (violin). In 1949 they release Foggy Mountain Breakdown (#9 country) (later used in the film "Bonnie and Clyde"). In 1958 they release their first album Foggy Mountain Jamboree, which features Flint Hill Special, Foggy Mountain Special, and Earl's Breakdown. In 1961 they release album #5 Foggy Mountain Banjo, which features Cripple Creek. In 1955 Martin leaves to form The Sunny Mountain Boys, incl. "Big" Paul Williams (Paul Humphrey) and a series of banjo players incl. Sam "Porky" Huchins, J.D. Crowe, Vernon McIntyre Jr., and Bill Emerson, known for their "good 'n country" style and the G-run, releasing Sophronie (1958) (?), Stepping Stones (?) (?), Rock Hearts (1958) (#14 country), Hit Parade of Love (1960), Night (1959) (#26 country), Widow Maker (1964) (#19 country) (trucker song), Tennessee (1968) (#27 country), and Free Born Man (1969). In 1967 Monroe founds the annual Bill Monroe Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival in S Ind. In 1962 the Foggy Mountain Boys score a big hit with The Ballad of Jed Clampett (#1 country, #42 in the U.S.), the theme song of "The Beverly Hillbillies".

Ernest Tubb (1914-84) Billy Byrd (1920-) Justin Tubb (1935-98)

In 1940 Crisp, Tex.-born 6'0" Jimmie Rodgers fan ("the Texas Troubadour") Ernest Dale Tubb (1914-84) releases his first country hit Blue Eyed Elaine, followed in 1941 by Walking the Floor Over You (#23 in the U.S.), first hit to feature an electric guitar solo, popularizing the Honky Tonk Style of country music, getting him an invite to join the Grand Ole Opry in Feb. 1943, putting together his band the Texas Troubadors and remaining a regular for four decades, becoming the first to use an electric guitar on the show, played by Tommy "Butterball" Page and William Lewis "Billy" Byrd (1920-2001). He follows with Try Me One More Time (1944) (#2 country) (#18 in the U.S.), Soldier's Last Letter (1944) (#16 in the U.S.), Yesterday's Tears (1944) (#4 country) (#29 in the U.S.), It's Been So Long Darling (1945) (#1 country), and Rainbow at Midnight (1946) (#1 country). In Sept. 1947 Tubbs headlines the first Grand Ole Opry show presented in Carnegie Hall in New York City. He follows with Have You Ever Been Lonely? (Have You Ever Been Blue) (1948) (#2 country), Till the End of the World (1949) (#4 country), Slippin' Around (1949) (#1 country) (#17 in the U.S.), Blue Christmas (#1 country) (#21 in the U.S.), Letters Have No Arms (1950) (#2 country), I Love You Because (1950) (#2 country), Missing in Action (1952) (#3 country), Thanks a Lot (1963) (#3 country), Waltz Across Texas (1965) (#34 country), Sweet Thang (w/Loretta Lynn) (1967) (#45 country), and Leave Them Boys Alone (w/Hank Williams Jr. and Waylon Jennings) (1983) (#6 country). He goes on to release 37 studio albums and 92 singles incl. 6 #1s. In 1954 his San Antonio, Tex.-born son Justin Wayne Tubb (1935-98) releases his first country hit Looking Back to See (w/Goldie Hill) (1954) (#4 country), followed by Sure Fire Kisses (w/Goldie Hill) (1955) (#11 country), I Gotta Go Get My Baby (1955) (#8 country), Take a Letter, Miss Gray (1963) (#6 country), Hurry, Mr. Peters (w/Lorene Mann) (1965) (#23 country), We've Gone Too Far, Again (w/Lorene Mann) (1966) (#44 country), and But Wait There's More (1967) (#63 country).

Denver Darling (1909-81)

On Nov. 11, 1941 after working for WSBT-AM in South Bend, Ind. in the 1930s, Cumberland County, Ill.-born Denver Darling (1909-81) and his Texas Cowhands, incl. Eddie Smith (accordion), Slim Duncan (fiddle/clarinet), and George Vaughn Horton (steel guitar) release their debut single I'm Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes (Decca Records), followed by Cowards Over Pearl Harbor (Dec. 22, 1941), We're Gonna Have to Slap the Dirty Little Jap (And Uncle Sam's the Guy Who Can Do It) (Dec. 18, 1942), and Cherokee Maiden (1942), Pistol Packin' Mama (1943), Deep Delta Blues (w/Wild Bill Davison) (1945), I Need Someone to Tell My Troubles By (w/Rosie Allen and Ned Radland) (1945) Cool Water (by Bob Nolan) (1946), My Little Buckaroo (1946), I'm Gonna Sue Sioux City Sue (1946), Old Shep (1947), When Your Hair Has Turned to Silver (1947), Tuck Me to Sleep (In My Old Tucky Home) (1948), Little Strands of Silver (Shining Through the Gold) (1948), I Just Fell Out of Love with You (1948), (I'm Sending) Roses to Tell You I'm Sorry (1948), and No Thanks (1949).

Rosalie Allen (1924-2003)

In 1941 Old Forge, Penn.-born "Yodeling Queen" Rosalie Allen (Julie Marlene Bedra) (1924-2003) joins Darling's Swing Billies radio show in New York City, bringing country-western to the big city, hosting the half-hour radio program Prairie Stars on WOV-AM in 1944-56; in 1946 she releases her first hit I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart (by Patsy Montana), followed by Hitler Lives (1945), Beyond the Sunset (w/Elton Britt) (1950) (#7 country), The Yodel Blues (w/Elton Britt), Fooling Around (w/Elton Britt), and Quicksilver (w/Elton Britt). In 1999 she becomes the first woman inducted into the Country Music Disc Jockey Hall of Fame.

Elton Britt (1913-72)

In 1942 Marshall, Ark.-born Elton Britt (James Elton Baker) (1913-72) releases his first hit single There's a Star-Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere (#7 in the U.S.) (RCA Victor) (1M copies), followed by I'm a Convict with Old Glory in My Heart (1945) (#7 country), Someday (You'll Want Me to Want You) (1946) (#2 country), Wave to Me, My Lady (1946) (#3 country) (#19 in the U.S.), Blueberry Lane (1946) (#4 country), Detour (1946) (#5 country), Blue Texas Moonlight (w/The Skytoppers) (1946) (#6 country), Gotta Get Together with My Gal (1946) (#4 country), Chime Bells (w/The Skytoppers) (1948) (#6 country), Candy Kisses (w/The Skytoppers) (1949) (#4 country), Beyond the Sunset (w/Rosalie Allen and The Three Suns) (1950) (#7 country), The Rovin' Gambler (1952), Cannonball Yodel, The Jimmie Rodgers Blues (1968) (#26 country), and The Bitter Taste (1969) (#71 country). He goes on to release 60 albums.

Roy Acuff (1903-92) Fred Rose (1897-1954) Wesley Rose (1918-90)

In 1942 Maynardville, Tenn.-born fiddler-singer Roy Claxton Acuff (1903-92) and Evansville, Ind.-born songwriter Fred Rose (1897-1954) (who likes to use the songwriting alias Floyd Jenkins) found Acuff-Rose Music in Nashville, Tenn., becoming the first Nashville-based music pub. co., going on to sign Hank Williams Sr. In 1954 Fred Rose dies, and his Chicago, Ill.-born son Wesley Rose (1918-90) takes over for him at Acuff-Rose Music, going on to help found the Country Music Assoc. (CMA) before selling out to Gaylord Broadcasting Co. in 1985.

Syd Nathan (1904-68) King Records Logo

In 1943 Cincinnati, Ohio-born Jewish-Am. jukebox record store owner Sydney "Syd" Nathan (1904-68) founds King Records in Cincinnati to distribute hillbilly music, expanding to "race records" by African-Ams., going on to promote the Delmore Brothers, the Stanley Brothers, Moon Mullican, Cowboy Copas, Grandpa Jones, and discover R&B king James Brown in 1956; the motto is: "If it's a King it's a hillbilly".

The Oak Ridge Boys

In 1943 the Southern Gospel band The Oak Ridge Boys is formed in Knoxville, Tenn. under the name Wally Fowler and the Georgia Clodhoppers, who play for employees of the atomic plant in Oak Ridge, Tenn., soon changing their name to Oak Ridge Quartet; in 1949 Curley Kinsey and the Tennessee Ridge Runners split off, causing Fowler to hire the Cavalry Quartet to restock it; in 1961 they change their name to Oak Ridge Boys; on June 10, 1972 they back Elvis Presley in his concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City, and also appear on "Hee-Haw", with new bass singer Richard Sterban, along with Willie Wynn, Duane Allen, William Lee Golden; in Oct. 1973 Joe Bonsall of Philly joins Duane Allen, Richard Sterban, and William Lee Golden, and they switch to country. On Sept. 2, 1977 they release their country debut album Y'all Come Back Saloon (#8 country) (#120 in the U.S.), which features Y'all Come Back Saloon, and Old Time Lovin' (featured on "The Dukes of Hazzard). Album #2 Room Service (May 25, 1978) (#3 country) (#164 in the U.S.) features Cryin' Again, and Come On In (You Did the Best That You Could Do). Album #3 The Oak Ridge Boys Have Arrived (Mar. 30, 1979) (#5 country) features Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight. Album #4 Together (Mar. 30, 1980) (#10 country) (#154 in the U.S.) features Trying to Love Two Women (#1 country), Heart of Mine (#3 country), and Beautiful You. Album #5 Fancy Free (Mar. 26, 1981) (#1 country) (#14 in the U.S.) features Elvira (by Dallas Frazier) (#1 country) (#5 in the U.S.) (2M copies) (their biggest hit) ("giddyup ba oom papa oom papa mowmow" - Richard Sterban), and (I'm Settin') Fancy Free (#1 country) (#104 in the U.S.). Album #6 Bobbie Sue (Feb. 10, 1982) (#1 country) (#20 in the U.S.) features Bobbie Sue (#1 country) (#12 in the U.S.), I Wish You Could Have Turned My Head (And Left My Heart Alone) (#2 country), and So Fine (by The Fiestas) (#22 country) (#76 in the U.S.). Album #7 Christmas (Sept. 23, 1982) (#9 country) (#73 in the U.S.) features Thank God for Kids (#3 country). Album #8 American Made (Jan. 20, 1983) (#2 country) (#51 in the U.S.) features American Made (#1 country) (#72 in the U.S.). Album #9 Deliver (Oct. 20, 1983) (#1 country) (#121 in the U.S.) features I Guess It Never Hurts to Hurt Sometime (#1 country), and Ozark Mountain Jubilee. Album #10 Step On Out (Mar. 6, 1985) (#3 country) (#156 in the U.S.) features Touch a Hand (Make a Friend) (#1 country), Little Things (#1 country), and Come On In (You Did the Best You Could Do) (#3 country). Album #11 Seasons (Mar. 25, 1986) (#8 country) features Juliet, and You Made a Rock of a Rolling Stone. Album #12 Where the Fast Lane Ends (Feb. 10, 1987) (#14 country) (first with Steve Sanders replacing fired William Lee Golden) features This Crazy Love, and It Takes a Little Rain (To Make Love Grow). Album #13 Heartbeat (Sept. 30, 1987) (#20 country) features Time In, and True Heart. Album #14 Monongahela (Aug. 10, 1988) (#9 country) features Gonna Take a Lot of River (#1 country), Bridges and Walls (#10 country), and Beyond Those Years (#7 country). They go on to release 31 studio albums and 63 singles incl. 17 #1s.

Curley Williams (1914-70)

In Sept. 1943 after performing on the Grand Ole Opry in Dec. under the name Dock Williams and the Santa Fe Trail Riders, and being told by George D. Hay to change his stage name, Cairo, Ga.-born country-Western musician-songwriter Dock "Curley" Williams (1914-70) and the Georgia Peach Pickers debut on the Grand Old Opry, signing in 1945 with Columbia Records, going on to release Jealous Lady, Blue Melody, Georgia Steel Guitar, Southern Belle from Nashville, Tennessee, Fiddlin' Boogie (1949), Half As Much (1951) (which is covered by Hank Williams Sr. (1952), Rosemary Clooney (1952), Patsy Cline (1962), Eddy Arnold (1964), Emmylou Harris (1992) et al.), Georgia Boogie, and Move In A Little Closer (1966).

Hollywood Barn Dance, 1943-8 Cottonseed Clark (1909-92)

In 1943 Peter Potter's Hollywood Barn Dance country-Western musical variety show debuts as a wartime replacement for Gene Autry's "Melody Ranch", hosted by Paris, Tex.-born Cottonseed Clark (S. Clark Fulks) (1909-92), known for Smoky River Serenade (1947), and The Arkansas Swing (1948); performers incl. Foy Willing and the Riders of the Purple Sage, who provide the music for the All-Star Western Theater, along with fiddler Charlie Linvalle, yodeler Carolina Cotton, comic Johnny Bond, Kirby Grant, singing cowboy Ken Curtis, Andy Parker and the Plainsmen, Clem Smith, Maureen O'Connor, Roy Rogers, even Bob Hope; ends in 1948.

On Jan. 8, 1944 the first Billboard No. 1 Country Hits list is pub., incl. Pistol Packin' Mama by Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters, and Al Dexter; at first it is limited to jukebox play, and 2-8 slots; on Dec. 10, 1949 they begin pub. most-played country & Western records by folk disc jockeys; on Oct. 20, 1958 they combine them in "Hot C&W Sales" (30 slots), changing to "Hot Country Songs" on Nov. 3, 1962, expanding to 100 slots on July 14, 1973, then trimming down to 75 slots on Jan. 20, 1990; by 2014 there are over 1.6K hot country #1 singles.

The Bailes Brothers

In 1944 the Bailes Brothers incl. Kyle O. Bailes (1915-96), Johnnie Bailes (1918-89), Walter Bailes (1920-2000), and Homer Bailes (1922-2013) from Kanawha County become the first act from W. Va. to become regulars on the Grand Ole Opry; they go on to record Oh So Many Years, Jesus, Hold My Hand, Will the Angels Have a Sweetheart, We're Living in the Last Days Now, Remember Me (1946), Daniel Prayed (1951), Building on the Sands (1952), and That's What We Need (1953).

Tex Ritter (1905-74)

In 1944 after becoming the first artist to sign with Capitol Records in 1942, Murvaul, Tex.-born "Song of the Gringo" singing cowboy actor Woodward Maurice "Tex" Ritter (1905-74) (father of actor John Ritter) releases his debut single I'm Wastin' My Tears on You (#1 country) (#11 in the U.S.), followed by There's a New Moon Over My Shoulder (1944) (#2 country) (#21 in the U.S.), Jealous Heart (by Jenny Lou Carson) (1945) (#2 country), You Two-Timed Me One Time Too Often (1945) (by Jenny Lou Carson) (#1 country) (first #1 country hit written by a woman), You Will Have to Pay (1946) (#1 country), Christmas Carols by the Old Corral (1946) (#2 country), Have I Told You Lately That I Love You? (1946) (#3 country), Rock and Rye (1948) (#5 country), The Deck of Cards (1948) (#10 country), Daddy's Last Letter (1950) (#6 country), The Wayward Wind (1956) (#28 in the U.S.), and I Dreamed of a Hillbilly Heaven (1961) (#5 country) (#20 in the U.S.).

Spade Cooley (1910-69)

On Jan. 15, 1945 after taking over from Jimmy Wakely at the Venice Pier Ballroom in Calif., Grand, Okla.-born part-Cherokee Western swing fiddler Donnell Clyde "Spade" Cooley (1910-69) and His Western Dance Gang release Shame on You (#1 in the U.S.), which becomes his signature song, going on to become known as "the King of Western Swing"; the first song pub. by Hill & Range Pub. Co. of Los Angeles, Calif., founded by Vienna, Austria-born Julian J. Aberbach (1909-2004) et al., which goes on to dominate country music (75% of the action in Nashville), contracting with Elvis Presley in 1955 to pub. all his songs, which keeps him from pub. his own material until the early 1970s. In 1945 Spade Cooley and His Orchestra release I've Taken All I'm Gonna Take from You (#4 country), followed by Detour (1946) (#2 country), You Can't Break My Heart (1946) (#3 country), and Crazy 'Cause I Love You (1947) (#4 country). In June 1948 Cooley begins hosting a radio show on KTLA-TV in Los Angeles, Calif, becoming the #1 draw on the West Coast. Too bad, in 1961 Cooley is convicted of the head-bashing stomach-stomping murder of his 2nd wife Ella Mae Evans, ending his career.

Eddy Arnold (1918-2008)

In 1945 after signing with RCA Victor in 1944 with mgr. Col. Tom Parker (who later manages Elvis Presley), Henderson, Tenn.-born "Tennessee Plowboy" Richard Edward "Eddy" Arnold (1918-2008) releases his first hit single Each Minute Seems a Million Years, (#5 country), followed by What Is Life Without Love (1946) (#1), That's How Much I Love You (1946) (#2), It's a Sin (1947) (#1), I'll Hold You in My Heart (1947) (#1), Anytime (1948) (#1) (#17 in the U.S.), Bouquet of Roses (1948) (#1) (#13 in the U.S.), A Heart Full of Love (For a Handful of Kisses) (1948) (#1) (#23 in the U.S.), I'm Throwing Rice (At the Girl I Love) (1949) (#1) (#18 in the U.S.), and Take Me in Your Arms and Hold Me (1949) (#1). In the early 1950s he begins recording with the Hugo Winterhalter Orchestra at RCA, helping create the Nashville Sound, releasing more hits incl. There's Been a Change in Me (1950) (#1), Kentucky Waltz (1951) (#1), I Wanna Play House with You (1951) (#1), May the Good Lord Bless and Keep You (1951) (#8 country), Eddy's Song (1952) (#1), The Cattle Call (by Tex Owens) (1955) (#1) (#69 in the U.S.), Make the World Go Away (1965) (#1) (#6 in the U.S.), I Want to Go with You (1966) (#1) (#36 in the U.S.), Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye (1968) (#1) (#84 in the U.S.), and Portrait of My Woman (1970) (#26 country). He goes on to release 50 studio albums and 167 singles incl. 58 top-10 and 19 #1s.

Hank Penny (1918-92) Wynonie Harris (1915-69)

In 1945 Birmingham, Ala.-born Western Swing musician (banjo) Herbert Clayton "Hank" Penny (1918-92) releases his first country charter When You Cry, You Cry Alone, followed by Steel Guitar Stomp (featuring Merle Travis on guitar and Noel Boggs on steel guitar) (1946), Get Yourself a Redhead (1946), Hadacillin Boogie, Let Me Play with Your Poodle (1947), Hillbilly Be-Bop (1949) (King Records), and Bloodshot Eyes (1950), which is covered in 1951 by African-Am. Omaha, Neb.-born rock & roll singer Wynonie Harris (1915-69), making a fan of Elvis Presley. In 1954-61 Penny performs at the Golden Nugget Casino in Las Vegas, Nev., hiring steel guitar player Curly Chalker and banjo player Roy Clark, helping launch his career.

Chet Atkins (1924-2001)

In 1946 Luttrell, Tenn.-born non-singing country music guitarist Chester Burton "Chet" Atkins (1924-2001) (who likes to refer to himself as "CGP" - Certified Guitar Player) makes his first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry as a member of Red Foley's band, releasing the single Guitar Blues, which features clarinet player Dutch McMillan and piano player Owen Bradley. Too bad, he isn't considered "country enough", and moves to Denver, Colo. until 1947, when RCA Victor invites him to Chicago to record. In 1949 he joins the Carter Sisters. In 1954 he releases Mr. Sandman (#13 country), and Silver Bell (w/Hank Snow) (#15 country), followed by Yakety Axe (1965) (#4 country) (#9 in the U.S.), Yankee Doodle Dixie (1957), Prissy (1966) (#30 country), and We Didn't See a Thing (w/George Jones and Ray Charles) (1983) (#6 country). In 1957 he becomes head of RCA Victor's Nashville division, pioneering the Nashville Sound by taking out fiddles and steel guitars to appeal to pop fans. He goes on to release 88 studio albums and 113 singles.

Cowboy Copas (1913-63)

In 1946 Blue Creek, Ohio-born "Country Gentleman of Song" Lloyd Estel "Cowboy" Copas (1913-63) releases his first country hit Filipino Baby (#4 country), followed by Signed Sealed and Delivered (1948) (#2 country), Tennessee Waltz (by Redd Stewart and Pee Wee King) (1948) (#3 country), Candy Kisses (1949) (#5 country), and Alabam (1960) (#1 country) (#63 in the U.S.). Too bad, on Mar. 5, 1963 he is killed in an airplane crash in Camden, Tenn. along with Patsy Cline and Hawkshaw Hawkins.

Connie B. Gay (1914-89)

In 1946 Lizard Lick, N.C.-born Connie Barriot Gay (1914-89) begins hosting the 3-hour "Town and Country Time" show on WARL-AM in Arlington, Va., coining the term "country music" as preferable to "country western music" and "hillbilly music", syndicating it across the U.S. and the Armed Forces Network, then creating a televised version on WMAL-TV in Washington, D.C. in 1954, expanding to 50 TV stations and 1.8K radio stations, going on to discover Jimmy Dean, Patsy Cline, and Roy Clark, and hosting Elvis for 3 hours in Mar. 1956, becoming the driving force in country music commercialization, raking in $2M/year.

Fred Kirby (1910-96)

In 1946 after being scared by Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Charlotte, N.C.-born Frederick Austin "Fred" Kirby (1910-96) and the Briar Hoppers release Atomic Power, followed by When That Hell Bomb Falls (Columbia Records) (1950), becoming known as the Victory Cowboy for raising money for the U.S. nuclear effort while hosting the children's show Kirby's Corral on WBTV in Charlotte.

The Maddox Brothers and Rose

In 1946 the Boaz, Ala.-born hillbilly band The Maddox Brothers and Rose, incl. Cliff Maddox (1912-49), Cal Maddox (1915-68), Fred Maddox (1919-92) (slap bassist), Don Maddox (1922-), Roselea Arbana "Rose" Maddox (1925-98), and Henry Maddox (1928-74), who hitchhiked to Los Angeles, Calif. in 1933 with $35 begin recording for Four Star Records, becoming known as "America's most colorful hillbilly band", becoming regulars on Louisiana Hayride; their records incl. Small Town Mama (?), Bring It On Down to My House (?), Move It On Over (1948), Honky Tonkin (1949), I'll Make Sweet Love to You (1952), Ugly and Slouchy (1957), and Stop Whistlin' Wolf. After they disband in 1957, Rose goes solo, releasing Mental Cruelty (w/Buck Owens) (1961) (#4 country), Loose Talk (w/Buck Owens) (1961) (#4 country), and Sing a Little Song of Heartache (1962) (#3 country). On Feb. 20, 1966 she releases the album Rose Maddox Sings Bluegrass (Capitol Records), which features Roll in My Sweet Baby's Arms, and Down, Down, Down. In 1994 she releases the album $35 and a Dream, which features $35 and a Dream. She goes on to release 14 country hits.

Dude Martin (1915-91) Ted Johnson (1916-2011)

In 1946 after serving in the U.S. Navy in WWII, Plainsburg, Calif.-born Western Swing singing cowboy Steve "Dude" Martin (John Stephen "Steve" McSwain) (1915-91) and his Roundup Gang become popular on radio in the San Francisco, Calif. area, releasing Strawberry Roan (1948), Deepfreeze Dinah, and Pistol Boogie, hosting The Dude Martin Show on TV in 1949-51; his partner and bandleader is San Francisco, Calif.-born accordion player Harry Theodore "Ted" "Hezzie" Johnson (1916-2011) of the Nevada Night Herders.

Cliffie Stone (1917-98)

In 1946 Stockton, Calif.-born Hollywood Barn Dance performer Cliffie Stone (Clifford Gilpin Snyder) (1917-98), son of Cliff "Herman the Hermit" Snyder joins Capitol Records as a talent scout, discovering Tennessee Ernie Ford, Molly Bee, Hank Thompson, and Stan Freberg, and helping Merle Travis relocate to Hollywood from Nashville. In 1947 he and his Barn Dance Band release their first country hit Silver Stars, Purple Sage, Eyes of Blue (#4 country) (Capitol Records), followed by Peepin' Thru the Keyhole (Watching Jole Blon) (1948) (#4 country), When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again (by Wiley Walker and Gene Sullivan) (1948) (#11 country), The Popcorn Song (w/Bob Roubian) (1955) (#14 in the U.S.), and Little Pink Mack (w/Kay Adams) (1966) (#30 country).

Merle Travis (1917-83) Thom Bresh (1948-)

In 1946 Rosewood, Muhlenberg County, Ky.-born Merle Robert Travis (1917-83), known for his unique thumb-heavy boom chucka "Travis picking" syncopated style of finger picking releases his first country hit single Cincinnati Lou (#2 country), followed by No Vacancy (1946) (#3 country), Divorce Me C.O.D. (1946) (#1 country), Missouri (1947) (#5 country), So Round, So Firm, So Fully Packed (1947) (#1 country), Steel Guitar Rag (1947) (#4 country), Three Times Seven (1947) (#4 country), Fat Gal (1947) (#4 country), Merle's Boogie Woogie (1948) (#7 country), Crazy Boogie (1948) (#11 country), What a Shame (1949) (#13 country), Lost John (1951), Nine Pound Hammer (1951), Wildwood Flower (w/Hank Thompson) (1955) (#5 country), John Henry Jr. (1966) (#44 country), and Midnight Special (1968). His Hollywood, Calif.-born son Thomas Charles "Thom" Bresh (1948-) goes on to adopt his style, releasing Homemade Love (1976) (#6 country), and Sad Country Love Song (1976) (#17 country).

Tex Williams (1917-85)

In 1946 Ramsey, Ill.-born Sollie Paul "Tex" Williams (1917-85) releases his first hit country single The California Polka (#4 country), followed by Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette) (1947) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.), That's What I Like About the West (1947) (#4 country), Don't Telephone - Don't Telegraph (Tell a Woman) (1948) (#2 country), Suspicion (1948) (#4 country), Life Gits Tee-Jus, Don't It? (1948) (#5 country), and Wild Card (by Buddy Ebsen and Bonnie Lake) (1950).

Johnny Bond (1915-78) Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen

In 1947 Enville, Okla.-born rockabilly singer Cyrus Whitfield "Johnny" Bond (1915-78) and his Red River Valley Boys release their debut single Divorce Me C.O.D. (#4 country), followed by So Round, So Firm, So Fully Packed (1947) (#3 country), The Daughter of Jole Blon (1947) (#4 country), Oklahoma Waltz (1948) (#9 country), Love Song in 32 Bars (1950) (#8 country), Sick, Sober and Sorry (1951) (#7 country), Hot Rod Lincoln (by Charlie Ryan and W.S. Stevenson) (1960) (#26 in the U.S.), and 10 Little Bottles (1965) (#2 country) (#43 in the U.S.). In 1972 Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen release Hot Rod Lincoln (#9 in the U.S.), which modifies Bond's version to rock it up.

Billy Hughes (1908-85)

In 1947 Sallisaw, Okla.-born Western Swing musician Everett Ishmael "Billy" Hughes (1908-85) releases his 1-hit wonder Cocaine Blues (King Records) ("Now listen all you dopies, take my advice./ Don't ever use a needle more than twice/ Or you'll become an addict, and blow your lid./ Look at what it did to the Cocaine Kid."), going on to compose "Tennessee Saturday Night", which becomes a #1 country hit for Red Foley in 1949.

Hank Williams Sr. (1923-53) Audrey Williams (1923-75) Billie Jean Horton (1933-)

In 1947 after his Banks, Ala.-born country singer 1st wife (since Dec. 15, 1944) Audrey Williams (Audrey Mae Sheppard) (1923-75) helps him talk Fred Rose into an audition, leading to a contract with MGM Records, Butler County, Ala.-born Hiram King "Hank" Williams Sr. (1923-53) releases Move It On Over (#4 country), which becomes his first big country hit, about a man who comes home late and is forced by his wife to sleep in the doghouse. In Feb. 1948 he releases Honky Tonkin' (#14 country). Too bad, his alcoholism causes Audrey to leave him in early 1948 for awhile, and when she returns she gives birth on May 26, 1949 to Hank Williams Jr. On Feb. 25, 1949 he releases Lovesick Blues, which goes #1, singing it at his Grand Ole Opry debut on June 11, receiving a record six encores, becoming his signature song. On Dec. 31, 1951 Audrey leaves him again, and they divorce on July 10, 1952. In July 1952 he releases Jambalaya (On the Bayou) (co-written by Moon Mullican based on the Cajun French song "Grand Texas") (#1 country). On Oct. 19, 1952 he marries 19-y.-o. Bossier City, La.-born country singer Billie Jean Horton (Billie Jean Jones Eshliman Williams Horton Berlin) (1933-). In 1952 he and his Drifting Cowboys release Half As Much (#2 country) (MGM Records), by Curley Williams, who is listed as C. Williams on the label, causing people to consider it a misprint and give credit to Hank. On Jan. 1, 1953 (midnight) Am. country singer-composer Hank Williams (b. 1923) dies near Oak Hill, W. Va. of heart failure in the back seat of a Cadillac en route from Knoxville, Tenn. to Canton, Ohio after an engagement in Charleston, W. V. is cancelled due to an ice storm; 15K-25K attend his funeral on Jan. 4 in Montgomery, Ala. at the Montgomery Auditorium, where Red Foley, Ernest Tubb, and Roy Acuff perform; I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive (co-written by Fred Rose) (1952) goes #1 country in Jan. 1953; you guessed it, self-prophecy?; in 1953 Your Cheatin' Heart is released posth., about 1st wife Audrey Williams, with lyrics jotted down in the car seat by 2nd wife (1953-3) Billie Jean; Kaw-Liga (co-written by Fred Rose) (#1 country) is released posth.; he leaves 40 hit records incl. 11 #1s - the good die young? On Sept. 26, 1953 Billie Jean marries country singer Johnny Horton. In 1952 Audrey Williams releases Leave Us Woman Alone, followed by They're Begging You to Stay (1952), Little Bosephus (1955), I'll Let the Telephone Ring (1955), and Almost Persuaded. Audrey Williams pays Hank Sr.'s 2nd wife Billie Jean Jones $30K to give up the title of Hank Williams' widow; too bad, her alcoholism causes Hank Jr. to become estranged from her after he turns 18, and she dies on Nov. 4, 1975 from heart failure caused by alcoholism. In 1961 Billie Jean Horton releases Ocean of Tears, going on to hook up with Johnny Cash while he's still married to 1st wife Vivian Liberto, then when she can't compete with June Carter marry and divorce insurance exec Kent Berlin.

On Apr. 3, 1948 Louisiana Hayride debuts from the Municipal Auditorium in Shreveport, hosted by Horace "Hoss" Logan, becoming the scene of Elvis Presley's first TV appearance on Mar. 3, 1955; it airs its last show on Aug. 27, 1960.

'Village Barn', 1948-9 'Village Barn', 1948-9 'Village Barn', 1948-9

On May 24, 1948 the live weekly variety series Village Barn debuts on NBC-TV (until Sept. 1949), originating from the Village Barn nightclub in Greenwich Village, N.Y., becoming the first country music program on U.S. network TV; the debut episode features Tex Ruby, Curly Fox, and The Dixie Boys; later episodes feature Pappy Howard and His Tumbleweed Gang, Harry Ranch and His Kernels of Korn, Bill Long's Ranch Girls, Plute Pete, Romolo De Spirito, Shorty Warren and His Western Rangers, and Okla. gov. Roy J. Turner; when it closes in the late 1960s, the Village Barn becomes Electric Lady Studios, famous as the place where Jimi Hendrix records; above it is the 8th Street Playhouse.

Stan Jones (1914-63)

On June 5, 1948 Douglas, Ariz.-born Nat. Park Service employee Stanley Davis "Stan" Jones (1914-63) and the Death Valley Rangers release (Ghost) Riders in the Sky: A Cowboy Legend (Mercury Records), which ends up being covered by 50+ performers; Jones goes to work composing for dir. John Ford's films "The Searchers" and "Rio Grande".

Big D Jamboree

On Oct. 16, 1948 the Big D Jamboree, held in the Dallas Sportatorium debuts on KRLD-AM in Dallas, Tex., airing nationally on the CBS-Radio Network in 1956, and picked up by KRLD-TV, becoming a launchpad for the Louisiana Hayride; performers incl. Hank Locklin, Webb Pierce, Billy Walker, Jimmy Lee Fautheree (1934-2004), Gene O'Quin (1932-78), Elvis Presley, and Johnny Cash.

Hawkshaw Hawkins (1921-63)

In 1948 6'5" Huntington, W. Va.-born Harold Franklin "Hawkshaw" Hawkins (1921-63) releases his first country hit Pan American (#9 country), followed by Dog House Boogie (1948) (#6 country), I Wasted a Nickel (1949) (#15 country), The Sunny Side of the Mountain (1949), I Love You a Thousand Ways (1951) (#8 country), I'm Waiting Just for You (1951) (#8 country), Slow Poke (1951) (#7 country) (#26 in the U.S.), Soldier's Joy (1959) (#15 country) (#87 in the U.S.), and Lonesome 7-7203 (by Justin Tubb) (1963) (#1 country) (#108 in the U.S.). Too bad, on Mar. 5, 1963 three days after his only #1 country hit is released he is killed in a plane crash in Camden, Tenn. along with Patsy Cline and Cowboy Copas.

Lonzo and Oscar

In 1948 the country music comedy duo Lonzo and Oscar, incl. Lloyd "Lonzo" George (1924-91) (Cordova, Ga.) and Rollin "Oscar" Sullivan (1929-2012) (Edmonton, Ky.) and the Winston County Pea Pickers release their first hit I'm My Own Grandpa (by Dwight Latham and Moe Jaffe) (RCA Victor) (1M copies), followed by Why Should I Cry for You (1952), The Green Horned Farmer, Skunk Skinned Britches, John Henry, Movin' On, No Help Wanted, Hole in the Bottom of the Sea, The Cattle Call Song, and Country Music Time (1963) (Decca Records). In 1950 Johnny Sullivan (1917-67) becomes the new Lonzo, followed in 1967 by David Hooten; they disband in 1985.

Patti Page (1927-2013)

In 1948 Claremore, Okla.-born pop singer Patti Page (Clara Ann Fowler) (1927-2013) releases her first hit single Confess (#12 in the U.S.), becoming the first successful artist for Mercury Records. In 1948 she also releases Say Something Sweet (to Your Sweetheart) (w/Vic Damone) (#23 in the U.S.), followed by With My Eyes Wide Open, I'm Dreaming (#11 in the U.S.), followed by All My Love (Bolero) (1950) (#1 in the U.S.) (1M copies), Tennessee Waltz (by Redd Stewart and Pee Wee King) (1950) (#2 country) (#1 in the U.S.) (which begins a trend of crossing-over to country), Mockin' Bird Hill (1950) (#2 in the U.S.), Would I Love You (Love You, Love You) (1950) (#4 in the U.S.), I Don't Care if the Sun Don't Shine (1950) (#8 in the U.S.), I Went to Your Wedding (#1 in the U.S.), (How Much Is That) Doggie in the Window (#1 in the U.S.), Why Don't You Believe Me (#4 in the U.S.), Changing Partners (1953) (#3 in the U.S.), Cross Over the Bridge (1954) (#2 in the U.S.), Allegheny Moon (1956) (#2 in the U.S.), Mama from the Train (1956) (#11 in the U.S.), Old Cape Cod (1957) (#3 in the U.S.), Left Right Out of Your Heart (1958) (#9 in the U.S.), Mom and Dad's Waltz (1961) (#21 country) (#58 in the U.S.), Go On Home (1961) (#13 country) (#42 in the U.S.), Most People Get Married (1962) (#8 country) (#27 in the U.S.), Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1965) (#8 in the U.S.), Gentle On My Mind (by John Hartford) (#7 in the U.S.), and No Aces (1981) (#39 country). She goes on to release 40 albums and 110 charting singles incl. four #1s, selling 100M records.

Pee Wee King (1914-2000) Redd Stewart (1923-2003)

In 1948 after being inspired by Bill Monroe's "The Kentucky Waltz", Abrams, Wisc.-born former Gene Autry cowboy film actor Pee Wee King (Julius Frank Anthony Kuczynski) (1914-2000) and Ashland City, Tenn.-born Harry Ellis "Redd" Stewart (1923-2003) of the Golden West Cowboys release their new song Tennessee Waltz, which becomes a country music std.

The Stanley Brothers Carter Stanley (1925-66) and Ralph Stanley (1927-)

In 1948 the Dickenson County, Va.-born Stanley Brothers incl. Carter Stanley (1925-66) and Ralph Edmund Stanley (1927-) (AKA the Clinch Mountain Boys) release their version of the 19th cent. song Molly and Tenbrooks (The Racehorse Song), becoming the 2nd star bluegrass band after Bill Monroe, causing a rivalry. They follow with The White Dove (1949), Little Glass of Wine (1949), The Angels Are Singing (In Heaven Tonight) (1949), Blue Moon of Kentucky (by Bill Monroe) (1954), How Far to Little Rock (1960) (#17 country), and Finger Poppin' Time (1961). When Carter dies of cirrhosis in 1966, Ralph continues alone, being awarded an honorary doctorate of music from Lincoln Memorial U. in Harrogate, Tenn. in 1976, causing him to go by the name Dr. Ralph Stanley, and becoming the first person inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in the 21st cent.

Rex Allen (1920-99)

In 1949 Willcox, Ariz.-born Western actor ("Last of the Silver Screen Cowboys") Rex Elvie Allen (1920-99) releases his debut single Afraid (#14 country), starring in 19 Westerns in 1950-4 beginning with "The Arizona Cowboy" (1950) with his white Stetson, horse Koko, and sidekick Buddy Ebsen or Slim Pickens, making the last singing Western, "Phantom Stallion" in 1954. In 1951 he releases Sparrow in the Treetop (#10 country) (#28 in the U.S.), followed by Crying in the Chapel (1953) (#4 country) (#8 in the U.S), and Son, Don't Go Near the Indians (1962) (#4 country) (#17 in the U.S.). In the 1960s he goes to work for Walt Disney Pictures as "the Voice of the West", narrating "The Incredible Journey" (1963), "Charlotte's Web" (1973), and Purina Dog Chow commercials.

Little Jimmy Dickens (1920-2015)

In 1949 Bolt, W. Va. 4'11" country novelty song singer ("Willie Nelson after taxes") James Cecil "Little Jimmy" Dickens (1920-2015) (first to wear rhinestone-studded outfits in performances) releases his first country hit Take an Old Cold 'Tater (And Wait) (#7 country) (Columbia Records), followed by Country Boy (1949) (#7 country), My Heart's Bouquet (1949) (#10 country), A-Sleeping at the Foot of the Bed (1949) (#6 country), Hillbilly Fever (1950) (#3 country), Out Behind the Barn (1954) (#9 country), and The Violet and the Rose (1962) (#10 country). In 1950 he discovers Marty Robbins at a TV station in Phoenix, Ariz. In 1964 he becomes the first country artist to tour the globe. In 1965 he releases his biggest hit May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose (1965) (#1 country) (#15 in the U.S.), followed by When the Ship Hit the Sand (1966) (#27 country) (#103 in the U.S.), and Country Music Lover (1966) (#23 country).

Homer and Jethro

In 1949 Nashville, Tenn.-based country music duo ("the Thinking Man's Hillbillies") Homer and Jethro, incl. Knoxville, Tenn.-born Henry Doyle Haynes (1920-71) (Homer) (guitar) (Fender Stratocaster serial #0001) and Consasauga, Tenn.-born Knoxville, Tenn.-raised Kenneth C. Burns (1920-89) (Jethro) (mandolin), known for their parodies of country and pop hits release their debut single I Feel That Old Age Creeping On (#14 country), followed by Baby, It's Cold Outside (w/June Carter) (#9 country) (#22 in the U.S.), (How Much Is) That Hound Dog in the Window (1953) (#2 country) (#17 in the U.S.), Hernando's Hideaway (1954) (#14 country), The Battle of Kookamonga (1959) (#26 country) (#14 in the U.S.), Please Help Me, I'm Falling (1960) (#101 in the U.S.), and I Want to Hold Your Hand (1964) (#49 country).

Hank Locklin (1918-2009)

In 1949 McLellan, Fla.-born honky tonk singer Lawrence Hankins "Hank" Locklin (1918-2009) released his first hit country single The Same Sweet Girl (#8 country), followed by Let Me Be the One (19530 (#1 country), Why Baby Why (1956) (#9 country), Geisha Girl (1957) (#4 country) (#66 in the U.S.), Send Me the Pillow You Dream On (1958) (#5 country) (#77 in the U.S.), It's a Little More Like Heaven (1958) (#3 country), Please Help Me, I'm Falling (1960) (#1 country) (#8 in the U.S.), and You're the Reason (1961) (#14 country), (#107 in the U.S.). He goes on to sell 15M records worldwide.

George Morgan (1924-75) Mickey Gilley (1936-)

In 1949 Waverly, Tenn.-born George Thomas Morgan (1924-75) releases Candy Kisses (#1 in the U.S.), and Please Don't Let Me Love You (#4 in the U.S.), followed by Room Full of Roses, written by Sons of the Pioneers member Tim Spencer, which becomes #4 in the U.S., while their version becomes #10; in Apr. 1974 Ferriday, La.-born Mickey Leroy Gilley (1936-) releases his version on the B-side of "She Called Me Baby" (by Harlan Howard), which becomes #1 on the Hot Country singles chart.

'Hometown Jamboree', 1949-59

In Dec. 1949 the Sat. night Hometown Jamboree debuts on KXLA-AM in Pasadena, Calif., and KLAC-TV/KCOP in Los Angeles, Calif., hosted by Cliffie Stone (Clifford Gilpin Snyder) (1917-98) at the Am. Legion Stadium in El Monte, Calif., later at the Harmony Park Ballroom in Anaheim, Calif., launching the careers of Tennessee Ernie Ford, Speedy West, Billy Strange, Bill Aken (Zane Ashton) et al.; in 1953 it moves to KTLA-TV in Los Angeles; it is cancelled in 1959.

Third Generation of Country Music (1950s-1960s)

In the 1950s the Nashville Sound along with the Nashville A-Team of session musicians are created by record producer Owen Bradley (1925-98) in a Quonset hut at 804-16th Ave. in Nashville, Tenn., incl. Homer Louis "Boots" Randolph III (1927-2007) (sax), Murrey Mizell "Buddy" Harman Jr. (1928-2008) (drums), Floyd Cramer (1933-97) (keyboards), Hargus Melvin "Pig" Robbins (1938-) (keyboards), Thomas Grady Martin (1929-2001) (guitar) (inventor of the electric guitar fuzz effect), Walter Louis "Hank" Garland (1930-2004) (guitar), John Paul "Johnny" Gimble (1926-) (violin), Buddy Spicher (1938-) (violin), Bob Loyce Moore (1932-) (bass), Earl Eugene Scruggs (1924-2012) (banjo), Charles Wilburn "Buck" Trent (1938-) (banjo), Sonny Osborne (1937-) (banjo), Roddis Franklin "Pete" Drake (1932-88) (steel guitar), Gerald Lester "Jerry" Byrd (1920-2005) (steel guitar), Kenneth C. "Jethro" Burns (1920-89) (mandolin), Charles Ray "Charlie" McCoy (1941-) (harmonica), Jimmy Riddle (1918-82) (harmonica) to back country music singers incl. Eddy Arnold, Patsy Cline, Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, Jim Reeves et al., branching out to jazz; the Jordanaires, Anita Kerr Singers, and Harden Trio sing backup; they go defunct in the early 1970s. In 1956 the success of the Nashville Sound causes RCA Records to build RCA Studio B in Nashville at the request of Chet Atkins and Steve Sholes.

Stoney Cooper (1918-77)

In 1950 Harman, W. Va.-born fiddler Dale Troy "Stoney" Cooper (1918-77) and his Valley Head, W. Va.-born wife (since 1939) Wilma Lee Cooper (nee Leary) (1921-2011) (members of the WWVA Jamboree since 1947, and of the Grand Ole Opry since 1954) and the Clinch Mountain Clan release Faded Love, followed by Cheated Too (1956) (#14 country), Come Walk with Me (w/Carol Lee) (1958) (#4 country), Big Midnight Special (1959) (#4 country), There's a Big Wheel (1959) (#3 country), Johnnny, My Love (Grandma's Diary) (1960) (#17 country), This Ole House (19600 (#16 country), and Wreck on the Highway (1961) (#8 country).

Tennessee Ernie Ford (1919-91) Jimmy Bryan (1925-80) and Speedy West (1924-2003)

In 1950 Bristol, Tenn.-born Ernest Jennings "Tennessee Ernie" Ford (1919-91) releases The Shotgun Boogie, which goes #1 on the country charts for three weeks, making him a star. In 1950 he and Kay Starr release I'll Never Be Free, featuring musicians Ivy J. "Jimmy" Bryant Jr. (1925-80) ("Fastest Guitar in the Country") and Wesley Webb "Speedy" West (1924-2003), who sign with Capitol Records as Ford's backing band. In 1955 Ford releases Sixteen Tons (#1 in the U.S.) (#1 country), written by Merle Travis in 1946 based on the mines of Muhlenberg County, Ky.; "You load 16 tons, whadya get, another day older and deeper in debt. St. Peter don't you call me cause I can't go, I owe my soul to the company store"; a big hit (20M copies), it becomes his signature song, getting him his own NBC-TV show The Ford Show next year (until 1961), which features a gospel song at the end of each show, plus his catchphrase "Bless your pea-pickin' heart". In 1955 he also releases The Ballad of Davy Crockett (#4 country).

Lefty Frizzell (1928-75)

In 1950 Corsicana, Tex.-born, El Dorado, Ark.-raised ("King of the Honky Tonk") William Orville "Lefty" Frizzell (1928-75) releases his first #1 country hit If You've Got the Money I've Got the Time, followed by I Love You A Thousand Ways (1950) (#1), I Want to Be With You Always (1950) (#1), Always Late (With Your Kisses (1951) (#1), Give Me More, More, More (Of Your Kisses) (1951) (#1), and Saginaw, Michigan (1964) (#1). In 1951 he has four songs in the country top-10 at the same time, which is topped by the Beatles in 1964 (five). Too bad, he has a massive stroke on July 19, 1975 caused by alcoholism. His relaxed style influences Merle Haggard, George Jones, Willie Nelson, John Fogerty, Roy Orbison, Keith Whitley, and Dwight Yoakam.

Carl Smith (1927-2010)

In 1950 Maynardsville, Tenn.-born honky tonk country singer Carl Milton "Mr. Country" Smith (1927-2010) releases Let's Live a Little (#2 country), followed by If Teardrops Were Pennies (1951) (#8 country) and Let Old Mother Nature Have Her Way (1951) (#1 country), launching his chart-topping Am. country music career, which comes complete with June Carter (b. 1929), whom he marries next year (until 1956), going on to score 30 top-10 Billboard country hits incl. 21 in a row, incl. a charting single every year in the 1970s except one. In 1952 he releases Are You Teasing Me (#1 country), and It's a Lovely, Lovely World (Since I Met You) (#5 country), followed by Hey, Joe (1953) (#1 country), Back Up Buddy (1954) (#2 country), and Loose Talk (1954) (#1 country) (his last #1),

Hank Snow (1914-99)

In 1950 Brooklyn, Nova Scotia, Canada-born "the Yodeling/Singing Ranger" Clarence Eugene "Hank" Snow (1914-99) and the Rainbow Ranch Boys release their first country hit I'm Moving On (#1 country) (RCA Victor), followed by The Golden Rocket (1950) (#1 country), The Rhumba Boogie (1951) (#1 country), Down the Trail of Achin' Hearts (w/Anita Carter) (1951) (#2 country), Bluebird Island (w/Anita Carter) (1951) (#4 country) The Gold Rush is Over (1952) (#2 country), Ladies' Man (1952) (#2 country), I Went to Your Wedding (1952) (#3 country), (Now and Then There's) A Fool Such as I (1952) (#3 country), Spanish Fireball (1953) (#3 country), I Don't Hurt Anymore (1954) (#1 country), Let Me Go, Lover! (by Jenny Lou Carson and A. Hill) (1954) (#1 country), Yellow Roses (1955) (#3 country), Conscience I'm Guilty (1956) (#4 country), Tangled Mind (1957) (#4 country), The Last Ride (1959) (#3 country), I've Been Everywhere (#68 in the U.S.), The Name of the Game Was Love (1968) (#1 country), and Hello Love (1974) (#1 country). He goes on to release 45 albums and 88 singles incl. 7 #1s.

Town Hall Party, 1951-61

In fall 1951 the Sat. night Town Hall (Ranch) Party, a clone of Art Linkletter's House Party for country music fans debuts on KXLA-AM radio in Pasadena, Calif., expanding to KFI-AM in Los Angeles, and KTTV-TV, which is picked up by the U.S. Armed Forces TV Service, and NBC-Radio; the MC is Jay Stewart (Fix0 (1918-89); regulars incl. Cyrus Whitfield "Johnny" Bond (1915-78), Woodward Maurice "Tex" Ritter (1905-74), Sollie Paul "Tex" Williams (1917-85), Merle Robert Travis (1917-83), the Collins Kids incl. Lawrencine "Lorrie" Collins (1942-) and Lawrence "Larry" Collins (1944-), William Orville "Lefty" Frizzell (1928-75), Enos William "Skeets" McDonald (1915-68), Merle Robert Travis (1917-83), Pee Wee Adams, Shirley Adams, Buddy Dooly, Ray Klein, Dortha Wright, Wesley Tuttle and Marilyn Tuttle, Joe Maphis and Rose Lee Maphis, Jenks "Tex" Carman, Eddie Kirk, Fiddlin' Kate (Margie Warren), Freddie Hart, Billy Hill, Mary Lou Brunell, Bobby Charles, Mary John Johnson, Les "Carrot Top" Anderson, Quincy Snodgrass, and Tex Tiny; the 10-member Town Hall Party Band incl. Merle Travis, Joe Maphis, Marian Hall, Billy Hill, Fiddlin' Kate, PeeWee Adams, Jimmy Pruit, Billy Mize, and Cliff Crofford; in 1954 guest performer Gene Autry sets attendance records; in Apr. 1958 Town Hall patrons help boost the new Los Angeles Dodgers, owned by Gene Autry, which wins the 1959 World Series; in Dec. 1958 the new Showboat Hotel in Las Vegas begins hosting Town Hall Party shows featuring Tex Ritter and other regulars, hurting its audience; the last show is aired on Jan. 14, 1961.

Jimmy Lee Fautheree (1934-2004) and Johnny 'Country' Mathis (1933-2011) Wayne Paul Walker (1925-79)

In 1951 Smackover, Ark.-born rockabilly singer (Big D Jamboree/Louisiana Hayride star) Jimmy Lee Fautheree (1934-2004) releases his debut single Love Is Hard to Understand / I Keep the Blues All the Time (Capitol Records) under the name Jimmy Lee, followed by Go Ahead and Go (1951), Lips That Kiss So Sweetly (1951), Suspense (1952), I'm Diggin' A Hole to Bury My Heart (1952), Blowin' and Goin' (1952), and How About A Date (1953). Too bad, none of them chart, causing Capitol Records to drop him, after which he pairs with Johnny "Country" Mathis (1933-2011) as Jimmy and Johnny, performing on Louisiana Hayride, and releasing If You Don't Somebody Else Will (Chess Records) in 1954, which doesn't chart either, and Till the End of the World in 1956, which ditto, after which he pairs with Quapaw, Okla.-born Wayne Paul Walker (1925-79) (husband of Ernest Tubb's daughter Violet "Scooter Bill" Tubb in 1958-73), releasing Lips That Kiss So Sweetly / Love Me (Chess Records) in 1955, which dittos. In 1958 Fautheree releases Teenage Wedding (written by Wayne Walker and Mel Tellis) (Vin Records) under the name Johnny Angel. When that doesn't chart, he goes into Gospel music, then in the 1970s quits to go into the asbestos removal business. Walker gives up performing for songwriting, composing 500+ tunes incl. "I've Got a New Heartache", a #2 country hit for Ray Price in 1956, and "Are You Sincere", a #3 pop hit for Andy Williams in 1958. In 1963 Mathis releases Please Talk to My Heart (#14 country), going on to become a prolific songwriter for George Jones, Webb Pierce, Johnny Paycheck et al., composing 500+ tunes. In 1995 Fautheree and Mathis release It Won't Be Much Longer.

Sonny James (1929-)

In 1952 Hackleburg, Ala.-born "the Southern Gentleman" Sonny James (James Hugh Loden) (1929-) releases his first country hit That's Me Without You (#9 country) (Capitol Records), followed by She Done Give Her Heart to Me (1954) (#14 country), For Rent (One Empty Heart) (1956) (#7 country), Twenty Feet of Muddy Water (1956) (#11 country), and The Cat Came Back (1956) (#12 country). In 1957 he releases Young Love (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) (#11 in the U.K.) (1M copies), the first teenage country crossover single. He follows with First Date, First Kiss, First Love (1957) (#9 country) (#25 in the U.S.), Lovesick Blues (1957) (#15 country), Uh-Huh-mm (1957) (#8 country) (#92 in the U.S.), The Minute You're Gone (1963) (#9 country) (#95 in the U.S.), You're the Only World I Know (1964) (#1 country) (#91 in the U.S.), Behind the Tear (1965) (#1 country) (#113 in the U.S.), I'll Keep Holding On (Just to Your Love) (1965) (#2 country) (#116 in the U.S.), Take Good Care of Her (1965) (#1 country), Room in Your Heart (1966) (#2 country), I Need You (1967) (#1 country), I'll Never Find Another You (1967) (#1 country) (#97 in the U.S.), It's the Little Things (1967) (#1 country), A World of Our Own (1967) (#1 country) (#118 in the U.S.), Heaven Says Hello (1968) (#1 country), Born to Be With You (1968) (#1 country) (#81 in the U.S.), Only the Lonely (1969) (#1 country) (#92 in the U.S.), Running Bear (1969) (#1 country) (#94 in the U.S.), Since I Met You Baby (1969) (#1 country) (#65 in the U.S.), It's Just a Matter of Time (#1969) (#1 country) (#87 in the U.S.), My Love (1970) (#1 country) (#125 in the U.S.), Don't Keep Me Hangin' On (1970) (#1 country), Endlessly (1970) (#1 country) (#108 in the U.S.), Empty Arms (1971) (#1 country) (#93 in the U.S.), Bright Lights, Big City (1971) (#1 country) (#91 in the U.S.), Here Comes Honey Again (1971) (#1 country), Only Love Can Break a Heart (1971) (#2 country), That's Why I Love You Like I Do (1972) (#1 country), When the Snow Is on the Roses (1972) (#1 country) (#103 in the U.S.), White Silver Sands (1972) (#5 country), I Love You More and More Everyday (1973) (#4 country), Is It Wrong (For Loving You) (1974) (#1 country), A Mi Esposa Con Amor (To My Wife With Love) (1974) (#4 country), Little Band of Gold (1975) (#5 country), A Little Bit South of Saskatoon (1975) (#6 country) (featured in the 1977 Paul Newman film "Slap Shot"), When Something Is Wrong With My Baby (1976) (#6 country), In the Jailhouse Now (w/the Tenn. State Prison Band) (1977) (#15 country), and Innocent Lies (w/the Southern Gentlemen) (1981) (#19 country). He goes on to release 37 studio albums and 103 singles incl. 23 #1s incl. 16 straight in 1967-71.

Skeets McDonald (1915-68)

In 1952 after Capitol Records signs hi as the answer to Columbia Records' Lefty Frizzell, forcing him to drop his rockabilly songs in favor of country songs, Greenway, Ark.-born Enos William "Skeets" McDonald (1915-68) releases his first country hit Don't Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes (by Slim Willett) (#1 country), followed by 80+ more singles incl. You're Too Late (1955), and What a Lonesome Life It's Been (1959); in 1959 he signs with Columbia Records, releasing rockabilly songs backed by guitarist Eddie Cochran, incl. You Oughta See Grandma Rock, and Heartbreaking Mama (1959), along with country songs incl. This Old Heart (1960) (#21 country), Call Me Mr. Brown (1963) (#9 country), Big Chief Buffalo Nickel (Desert Blues) (1965) (#29 country), and Mabel (1967) (#28 country).

Webb Pierce (1921-91)

In 1952 West Monroe, La.-born honky tonk singer Webb Michael Pierce (1921-91) releases his first hit country single Wondering (#1 country), followed by That Heart Belongs to Me (1952) (#1 country), Back Street Affair (1952) (#1 country), It's Been So Long (1953) (#1 country), There Stands the Glass (1953) (#1 country), Slowly (1954) (#1 country), Even Tho' (1954) (#1 country), Sparkling Brown Eyes (w/the Wilburn Brothers) (1954) (#4 country), More and More (1954) (#1 country) (#22 in the U.S.), In the Jailhouse Now (1955) (#1 country), I Don't Care (1955) (#1 country), Love, Love, Love (1955) (#1 country), Why Baby Why (w/Red Sovine) (1956) (#1 country), Yes I Know Why (1956) (#2 country), Cause I Love You (1956) (#3 country), I'm Tired (1957) (#3 country), Honky Tonk Song (1957) (#1 country), Oh So Many Years (w/Kitty Wells) (1957) (#8 country), Bye Bye Love (1957) (#7 country) (#73 in the U.S.), Crying' Over You (1957) (#3 country), I Ain't Never (1959) (#2 country) (#24 in the U.S.), No Love Have I (1960) (#4 country) (#54 in the U.S.), Is It Wrong (For Loving You) (1960) (#11 country) (#69 in the U.S.), Sweet Lips (1961) (#3 country), (You're My) Memory No. 1 (1964) (#2 country), and Fool Fool Fool (1967) (#6 country).

Ray Price (1926-2013)

In 1952 Perryville, Tex.-born "Cherokee Cowboy" Noble Ray Price (1926-2013) (former Nashville roommate of Hank Williams Sr.) releases his first charting counry hit Talk to Your Heart (#3 country), followed by I'll Be There (If You Ever Want Me) (1954) (#2 country), Release Me (by Eddie Miller) (1954) (#6 country), Crazy Arms (by Ralph Mooney and Charles Seals) (1956) (#1 country) (#27 in the U.S.), My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You (1957) (#1 country) (#63 in the U.S.), City Lights (1958) (#1 country) (#71 in the U.S.), The Same Old Me (1959) (#1 country), Heartaches by the Number (by Harlan Howard) (1959) (#2 country), Under Your Spell Again (1959) (#5 country), Make the World Go Away (1963) (#2 country) (#100 in the U.S.), Burning Memories (1964) (#2 country), The Other Woman (In My Life) (1965) (#2 country), Touch My Heart (1966) (#3 country), For the Good Times (1970) (#1 country) (#11 in the U.S.), I Won't Mention It Again (1971) (#1 country) (#42 in the U.S.), I'd Rather Be Sorry (1971) (#2 country) (#70 in the U.S.), The Lonesomest Lonesome (1972) (#2 country) (#109 in the U.S.), She's Got to Be a Saint (1972) (#1 country) (#93 in the U.S.), You're the Best Thing That Ever Happened to me (1973) (#1 country) (#82 in the U.S.), and Faded Love (w/Willie Nelson) (1980) (#3 country). He goes on to release 52 studio albums and 116 singles incl. 9 #1s.

Marty Robbins (1925-82) Marty Robbins (1925-82) Marty Robbins (1925-82)

In 1952 Glendale, Ariz.-born Marty Robbins (Martin David Robinson) (1925-82) (Paiute mother) releases his debut single I'll Go On Alone (featuring fiddle player Johnny Gimble), which goes #1 on the country charts. He follows with Singing the Blues (by Melvin Endsley) (1956) (#1 country) (#17 in the U.S.), A White Sport Coat and a Pink Carnation (1956) (#1 country) (#2 in the U.S.), Knee Deep in the Blues (by Melvin Endsley) (1956) (#3 country), The Story of My Life (1957) (#1 country) (#15 in the U.S.), and Just Married (1957) (#1 country) (#26 in the U.S.). In Sept. 1959 he releases the album Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs (Columbia Records) (#6 in the U.S.) (500K copies), which features El Paso (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.). He follows with Big Iron (1960) (#5 country) (#26 in the U.S.), Don't Worry (1961) (#1 country) (#3 in the U.S.), It's Your World (1961) (#3 country) (#51 in the U.S.), Devil Woman (1962) (#1 country) (#16 in the U.S.), Ruby Ann (1962) (#1 country) (#18 in the U.S.), Begging to You (1963) (#1 country) (#74 in the U.S.), The Cowboy in the Continental Suit (1964) (#3 country) (#103 in the U.S.), Ribbon of Darkness (1965) (#1 country) (#103 in the U.S.), The Shoe Goes on the Other Foot Tonight (1966) (#3 country), Tonight Carmen (1967) (#1 country) (#114 in the U.S.), I Walk Alone (1968) (#1 country) (#65 in the U.S.), It's a Sin (1969) (#5 country), My Woman, My Woman, My Wife (1970) (#1 country) (#42 in the U.S.), El Paso City (1976) (#1 country), Among My Souvenirs (1976) (#1 country), and Some Memories Just Won't Die (1982) (#10 country). He goes on to release 52 albums and 100 singles incl. 17 #1s and 82 top-40s. In 1966 he enters the Nashville 400 NASCAR race, going on to race mainly Dodge Chargers until his 1982 death, causing NASCAR to rename the Nashville 420 in his honor in 1983.

Kitty Wells (1919-2012)

In 1952 Nashville, Tenn.-born Kitty Wells (Ellen Muriel Deason) (1919-2012) releases It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels (#1 country), an answer to Hank Thompson's "The Wild Side of Life", making her the first female to top the U.S. country charts, and the first female country star. In 1953 she releases Hey Joe, and Cheatin's a Sin. In 1954 and Red Foley (1910-68) release One by One (#1 country). In 1955 she releases Making Believe (#1 country), written by Jimmy Work. In 1956 she releases Kitty Wells' Country Hit Parade, becoming the first female country singer to release an LP album. In 1961 she releases Heartbreak U.S.A., her last #1 country hit.

Slim Whitman (1923-2013)

In 1952 after years of struggling until he is discovered by mgr. Col. Tom Parker, Tampa, Fla.-born "America's Favorite Folk Artist" Ottis Dewey "Slim" Whitman Jr. (1923-2013) (a 3-octave falsetto yodeler who plays a guitar left-handed even though he's right-handed, turning on lefty George Harrison to guitar playing) releases his first country hit Love Song of the Waterfall (#10 country), followed by Indian Love Call (1952) (#2 country) (#9 in the U.S.), Keep It a Secret (1952) (#3 country), Secret Love (1954) (#2 country) (makes him a U.S. country star, touring with Elvis Presley), Rose Marie (1954) (#4 country) (#1 in the U.K.) (makes him a big star in Britain incl. the first country music singer to perform at the London Palladium), Singing Hills (1954) (#4 country), The Cattle Call (1955) (#11 country), China Doll (1955) (#15 in the U.K.), More Than Yesterday (1965) (#8 country), Guess Who (1971) (#7 country) (#121 in the U.S.), and It's a Sin to Tell a Lie (1971) (#21 country). His album The Very Best of Slim Whitman (1976) goes #1 for 6 weeks in the U.K., and is followed by Red River Valley (1977), which goes #1 for 4 weeks in the U.K., and Home on the Range (1977) (#2 in the U.K.). In 1980 he releases the album Songs I Love to Sing (#25 country) (#175 in the U.S.), and Christmas with Slim Whitman (#47 country) (#184 in the U.S.), which are direct-marketed on TV, introducing him to a new generation. On Dec. 13, 1996 Tim Burton's Mars Attacks! (Warner Bros.) debuts, featuring gawd-awful Slim Whitman "Indian Love Call" music, introducing yet another new generation to him; Michael Jackson is a fan. He goes on to sell 120M+ records.

Faron Young (1932-96)

In 1952 Shreveport, La.-born "the Singing/Young Sheriff", "the Hillbilly Heartthrob" honky tonk singer Faron Young (1932-96) releases his first country hit Goin' Steady (#2 country), followed by I Can't Wait (For the Sun to Go Down on You) (1953) (#5 country), Place for Girls Like You (1954) (#8 country), If You Ain't Lovin' (You Ain't Livin') (1954) (#2 country), Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young (1955) (#1 country), It's a Great Life (If You Don't Weaken) (1955) (#5 country), All Right (1955) (#2 country), I've Got Five Dollars and It's Saturday Night (1956) (#4 country), Sweet Dreams (1956) (#2 country), You're Still Mine (1956) (#3 country), I Miss You Already (And You're Not Even Gone) (1956) (#5 country), Alone with You (by Roy Drusky) (1958) (#1 country), Country Girl (by Roy Drusky) (1959) (#1 country), Riverboat (1959) (#4 country), Your Old Used to Be (1960) (#5 country), Hello Walls (1961) (#1 country) (his biggest hit), Three Days (1962) (#7 country), The Comeback (1962) (#4 country), The Yellow Bandana (1963) (#4 country), Keeping Up with the Joneses (w/Margie Singleton) (by Justin Tubb) (1964) (#5 country), Unmitigated Gall (1966) (#7 country), I Just Came to Get My Baby (1968) (#8 country), Wine Me Up (1969) (#2 country), It's Four in the Morning (1971) (#1 country), This Little Girl of Mine (1972) (#5 country), Just What I Had in Mind (1973) (#9 country), and Some Kind of a Woman (1974) (#8 country). Too bad, after sliding down and off the charts and becoming an old fart and being dropped by Nashville, he commits suicide on Dec. 10, 1996.

Roy Drusky (1930-2004)

In 1953 Atlanta, Ga.-born singer-songwriter Roy Frank Drusky Jr. (1930-2004) (failed ML baseball player) releases his debut single Such A Fool (Starday Records), which doesn't chart, but gains him membership in the Grand Ole Opry; in 1960 after signing with Columbia Records then Decca Records, he releases his first hit single Another (Just Like Me) (#2 country), followed by Anymore (1960) (#3 country), Three Hearts in a Tangle (1961) (#2 country), Second Hand Rose (1962) (#3 country). In 1964 after switching to Mercury Records, he releases Peel Me A Manner (co-written by Bill Anderson) (#8 country), followed by Pick of the Week (by Liz Anderson) (1964) (#13 country), All My Friends Are Gonna Be Strangers (by Liz Anderson) (1965) (#6 country), Yes Mr. Peters (w/Priscilla Mitchell, wife of Jerry Reed) (1965) (#1 country), The World Is Round (1966) (#10 country), If the Whole World Stopped Lovin' (1967) (#12 country), Where Does the Blue and Lonely Go (1968) (#10 country), Jody and the Kid (by Kris Kristofferson) (1968) (#24 country) (first country singer to cover Kris Kristofferson), Such A Fool (1969) (#7 country), Long Long Texas Road (1970) (#5 country), All My Hard Times (1970) (#9 country), Red Red Wine (by Neil Diamond) (1971) (#17 country), and Satisfied Mind (by Jack Rhodes) (1973) (#25 country).

Ferlin Husky (1925-2011) Jean Shepard (1933-)

In 1953 after a stint on Hometown Jamboree in 1951 and several non-charters, Cantwell, Mo.-born Ferlin Eugene Husky (1925-2011) (who doesn't think his name will sell, experimenting with Simon Crum and Terry Preston) releases his first #1 country hit A Dear John Letter with Pauls Valley, Okla.-born Ollie Imogene "Jean" Shepard (1933-) (#4 in the U.S.), about a Korean War soldier dumped by his girlfriend (first post-WWII record by a woman country artist to sell 1M copies), followed the same year by the sequel Forgive Me, John (#4 country) (#24 in the U.S.). In 1955 he releases Cuzz Yore So Sweet (as Simon Crum) (#5 country), I Feel Better All Over (More Than Anywhere Else's) (#6 country), and Little Tom (#7 country). In 1957 after switching to the Nashville Sound, he releases Gone (#1 country) (#4 in the U.S.) (1M copies), making him a crossover success. In 1958 he releases Country Music is Here to Stay (as Simon Crum) (#2 country), followed by Wings of a Dove (by Bob Ferguson) (1960) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.), Timber I'm Falling (by Dallas Frazier) (1964), Once (1967) (#4 country), Just for You (1968) (#4 country).

Jim Reeves (1923-64)

In 1953 Galloway, Tex.-born James Travis "Gentleman Jim" Reeves (1923-64) releases his debut single Mexican Joe (#1 country) (#23 in the U.S.), followed by Bimbo (1953) (#1 country) (#23 in the U.S.), I Love You (w/Ginny Wright) (1954) (#3 country), Yonder Comes a Sucker (1955) (#4 country), Am I Losing You (1957) (#3 country), and Four Walls (1957) (#1 country) (#11 in the U.S.), Billy Bayou (1958) (#1 country) (#95 in the U.S.), Home (1959) (#2 country), He'll Have to Go (1960) (#1 country) (#2 in the U.S.) ("Put your sweet lips a little closer to the phone/ Let's pretend that we're together all alone/ I'll tell the man to turn the jukebox way down low/ And you can tell your friend there with you he'll have to go"), Losing Your Love (1961) (#2 country) (#89 in the U.S.), I'm Gonna Change Everything (1962) (#2 country) (#95 in the U.S.), Welcome to My World (1964) (#2 country) (#102 in the U.S.) (a favorite of Meher Baba), and I Guess I'm Crazy (1964) (posth.) (#1 country) (#82 in the U.S.). Too bad, he dies on July 31, 1964 in Davidson County, Tenn. in a private plane crash, which doesn't stop his songs from charting, incl. There's a Heartache Following Me (1964) (a favorite of Meher Baba, causing his follower Pete Townshend of The Who to record his version on his first solo album "Who Came First" in 1972), This Is It (1965) (#1 country) (#88 in the U.S.), Is It Really Over? (1965) (#1 country) (#79 in the U.S.), Distant Drums (1966) (#1 country) (#45 in the U.S.), Blue Side of Lonesome (1966) (#1 country) (#59 in the U.S.), and I Won't Come in While He's There (1967) (#1 country) (#112 in the U.S.). To top it off, he becomes the most popular English language singer in Sri Lanka.

George Jones (1931-2013) Jim Carrey (1962-) George Jones (1931-2013) George Jones (1931-2013) George Riddle (1936-2014)

In Feb. 1954 Saratoga, Tex.-born ("Rolls-Royce of Country Singers") George Glenn Jones (1931-2013), AKA Thumper, the Possum, and No Show (for his alcoholism) releases his debut single No Money in This Deal on Starday Records. In 1955 he scores his first of 150+ hits Why Baby Why, followed on Feb. 9, 1959 with White Lightning (#1 in the U.S.) (by J.P. "the Big Bopper" Richardson). In 1960 he forms the backing band The Jones Boys, starting with Marion, Ind.-born George Riddle (1936-2014). The Window Up Above (1960) (#2 country), Tender Years (1961) (#1 country) (#76 in the U.S.), She Thinks I Still Care (1962) (#1 country), We Must Have Been Out of Our Minds (w/Melba Montgomery) (1963) (#3 country), She's Lonesome Again (1963) (later covered by George Riddle), The Race Is On (1964) (#3 country) (#96 in the U.S.), Love Bug (19650 (#6 country), Walk Through This World With Me (1967) (#1 country), Say It's Not You (1968) (#8 country), As Long As I Live (w/Gene Pitney) (1968) (#3 country), (I'll Be Over You) When the Grass Grows Over Me (1968) (#2 country), and I'll Share My World with You (w/Tammy Wynette) (1968) (#2 country) (#124 in the U.S.), In 1969 he marries "Stand By Your Man", Tammy Wynette, who can't stand him by the time she divorces him in 1975. In 1970 he releases Good Year for the Roses (#2 country) (#112 in the U.S.), followed by Loving You Could Never Be Better (1972) (#2 country), A Picture of Me (Without You) (1972) (#5 country), The Grand Tour (1974) (#1 country), The Door (1974) (#1 country), Her Name Is (1976) (#3 country), Maybellene (w/Johnny Paycheck) (1978) (#7 country) He Stopped Loving Her Today (1980) (#1 country) (his biggest hit?), I'm Not Ready Yet (1980) (#2 country), Still Doin' Time (1981) (#1 country), Yesterday's Wine (w/Merle Haggard) (1982) (#1 country), C.C. Waterback (w/Merle Haggard) (1982) (#10 country), Same Ole Me (w/the Oak Ridge Boys) (1982) (#5 country), Shine On (Shine All Your Sweet Love on Me) (1983) (#3 country), I Always Get Lucky with You (1983) (#1 country), Tennessee Whiskey (1983) (#2 country), We Didn't See a Thing (w/Ray Charles) (1983) (#6 country), You Still Got a Place in My Heart (1984) (#3 country), She's My Rock (1984) (#2 country), Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes (1985) (#3 country), The One I Loved Back Then (The Corvette Song) (1985) (#3 country), (I'm A) One Woman Man (1988) (#5 country), A Few Ole Country Boys (w/Randy Travis) (1990) (#8 country), You Don't Seem to Miss Me (w/Patty Loveless) (1997) (#14 country) (#109 in the U.S.), Beer Run (B Double E Double Are You In?) (w/Garth Brooks) (2001) (#24 country) (#118 in the U.S.). He goes on to release 60 studio albums, scoring more hits than any musical artist of any genre. "If we call could sound like we wanted to, we'd all sound like George Jones." (Waylon Jennings).

Elvis Presley (1935-77) Elvis Presley (1935-77) Elvis Presley (1935-77) Elvis Presley (1935-77) Sun Records Logo

On July 5, 1954 Tupelo, Miss.-born white former truck driver Elvis Aaron Presley (1935-77), who walked into the Memphis Recording Service at Sun Records on July 18, 1953 and paid $4 to cut his first record, consisting of My Happiness and That's When Your Heartaches Begin for his mother's birthday (although they don't own a record player) holds his first commercial recording session with Sun Records, then on July 7, 1954 makes his radio debut on station WHBQ in Memphis with his debut single That's All Right (Mama) (first recorded in 1946 by Arthur Crudup) after rogue DJ Dewey "Daddy-O" Phillips (1926-68) takes the risk of playing a single that could be taken as black music or white music, causing a sensation, playing it 14 straight times while Elvis watches a movie to calm his nerves, then interviewing him to establish that he is white, becoming "the first salvos in an undeclared war on segregated radio stations" (Rolling Stone mag.); "What he actually did was take 'black' and 'white' music and transform them into this third thing" (Greg Drew); Knoxville, Tenn. record merchant Sam Morrison of Bell Sales Co. then plays the record on loudspeakers to the public, selling hundreds of copies, incl. two to an RCA talent scout, which results in RCA buying Elvis' contract from Sun Records; "None of us would have made it without Elvis" (Buddy Holly); "Before Elvis there was nothing" (John Lennon); the B-side is Blue Moon of Kentucky (by Bill Monroe), using a 4/4 arrangement; "I guess the first thing people want to know is why I can't stand still when I'm singing. Some people tap their feet, ome people snap their fingers, and some people just sway back and forth. I sort of do 'em all together, I guess. Singing rhythm and blues really knocks it out" (Elvis); in 1954-7 Sun Records also signs Johnny Cash, "The Killer" Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Charlie Rich, and Conway Twitty (under his real name Harold Jenkins). On Aug. 20, 1955 Elvis releases I Forgot to Remember to Forget (by Stan Kesler and Charlie Feathers) (#1 country), along with B-side Mystery Train (#11 country), turning him into a nat. country music star. On Jan. 29, 1970 Elvis releases Kentucky Rain/ My Little Friend (#1 country) (#16 in the U.S.), written by Eddie Rabbitt, featuring Ronnie Milsap on piano. On Dec. 8, 1970 he releases I Really Don't Want to Know/ There Goes My Everything (Dec. 8) (#23 country) (#21 in the U.S.). On Jan. 2, 1971 he releases album #11 Elvis Country (I'm 10,000 Years Old) (#12 in the U.S.) (#6 in the U.K.) (1M copies), which features Funny How Time Slips Away (by Willie Nelson), and Make the World Go Away (by Hank Cochran). On Jan. 16, 1971 he releases Help Me Make It Through the Night (by Kris Kristofferson). On May 7, 1975 he releases Green, Green Grass of Home (#30 in the U.K.).

The Browns

In 1954 the Sparkman, Ark.-born country-folk music sibling trio The Browns, incl. James Edward "Jim Ed" Brown (1934-), Maxine Brown (1932-), and Bonnie Brown (1937-) release their first hit country single Looking Back to See (#8 country), which gets them a spot on Ernest Tubb's radio show, followed in 1955 by Louisiana Hayride and Ozark Jubilee. They follow with Here Today and Gone Tomorrow (1955) (#7 country), I'll Take the Chance (1956) (#2 country), Just As Long As You Love Me (1956) (#11 country), Money (1957) (#15 country), I Heard the Bluebirds Sing (1957) (#4 country), Would You Care (1958) (#13 country), Beyond the Shadow (1959) (#11 country), The Three Bells (1959) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.), Scarlet Ribbons (For Her Hair) (1959) (#7 country) (#13 in the U.S.), The Old Lamplighter (1960) (#20 country) (#5 in the U.S.), Send Me the Pillow That You Dream On (1960) (#23 country) (#56 in the U.S.), Then I'll Stop Loving You (1964) (#12 country), and I'd Just Be Fool Enough (1966) (#16 country). In 1965 they join the Grand Ole Opry, and disband in 1967. In 1965 Jim Ed Brown goes solo, releasing Pop A Top (1967) (#3 country), Morning (1970) (#4 country) Angel's Sunday (1971) (#13 country), Southern Loving (1973) (#6 country), Broad-Minded Man (1973) (#15 country), Sometime Sunshine (1974) (#10 country), and It's That Time of Night (1974) (#10 country). In 1976 he begins releasing a string of hit singles with Helen Cornelius (until 1981). He goes on to release 22 studio albums and 51 singles.

Jimmy C. Newman (1927-2014)

In 1954 Mamou, La.-born Jimmy C[ajun]. (Yves) Newman (1927-2014) releases his first country hit Cry, Cry Darling (#4 country), which gets him invited to join the Louisiana Hayride and the Grand Ole Opry. He follows with Daydreamin' (1955) (#7 country), Blue Darlin' (1955) (#7 country), God Was So Good (1956) (#9 country), Seasons of My Heart (1956) (#9 country), A Fallen Star (1957) (#2 country), You're Makin' a Fool Out of Me (1958) (#7 country), A Lovely Work of Art (1960) (#6 country), Alligator Man (1961) (#22 country) (which becomes his theme song), Bayou Talk (1963) (#12 country), D.J. for a Day (1964) (#9 country), Artificial Rose (1965) (#8 country), Back Pocket Money (1966) (#10 country), Blue Lonely Winter (1967) (#11 country), and Born to Love You (1968) (#20 country). In 1976 he releases the Cajun song The Potato Song, which goes gold in Canada.

Porter Wagoner (1927-2007)

In 1954 West Plains, Mo.-born Porter Wayne Wagoner (1927-2007) releases his debut single Company's Comin' (#7 country), followed by A Satisfied Mind (by Jack Rhodes) (#1 country), Eat, Drink and Be Merry (Tomorrow You'll Cry) (1955) (#3 country), What Would You Do? (If Jesus Came to Your House) (1956) (#8 country), Uncle Pen (1956) (#14 country), Tryin' to Forget the Blues (1956) (#11 country), and I Thought I Heard You Calling My Name (1957) (#11 country). In 1957 he joins the Grand Ole Opry, becoming known as "Mr. Grand Ole Opry", starting out with a leisure suit and flat top haircut and evolving into a blonde pompadour and flashy Nudie and Manuel suits. In 1960 The Porter Wagoner Show debuts on syndicated TV for 280 episodes (until 1981), reaching 3M viewers, featuring Norman Jean in 1960-5, Jeannie Seely in 1965-6, Dolly Parton in 1966-74, Barbara Lea in 1974-6, and Linda Carol Moore in 1976-81. In 1962 he releases Misery Loves Company (#1 in the U.S.), followed by Sorrow on the Rocks (1964) (#5 country), Green, Green Grass of Home (by Claude "Curly" Putnam Jr.) (1965) (#4 country), The Cold Hard Facts of Life (1967) (#2 country), The Carroll County Accident (by Bob Ferguson) (1968) (#2 country) (#92 in the U.S.), Big Wind (1969) (#3 country), When You're Hot You're Hot (1969) (#21 country), Be A Little Quieter (1971) (#11 country), Charley's Picture (1971) (#15 country) (#116 in the U.S.), What Ain't to Be Just Might Happen (1972) (#8 country), A World Without Music (1972) (#14 country), and Highway Headin' South (1974) (#15 country). He goes on to release 53 studio albums and 80 singles incl. three #1s.

Billy Walker (1929-2006)

In 1954 after joining the Louisiana Hayride in 1952, Ralls, Tex.-born "the Tall Texan" William Marvin "Billy" Walker (1929-2006) releases his first country hit Thank You for Calling (#8 country). In 1955 he and Slim Whitman help Elvis Presley get on the show for his TV debut. In 1957 he releases On My Mind Again (#12 country), followed by Funny How Time Slips Away (by Willie Nelson) (1961) (#23 country), (I'd Like to Be In) Charlie's Shoes (1962) (#1 country), Willie the Weeper (1962) (#5 country), Circumstances (1964) (#7 country), Cross the Brazos at Waco (1964) (#2 country) (#128 in the U.S.), Matamoros (1965) (#8 country), A Million and One (1966) (#2 country), Bear With Me a little Longer (1966) (#3 country), and Ramona (1968) (#8 country). In 1968-9 he hosts Billy Walker's Country Carnival on TV. He goes on to release When a Man Loves a Woman (The Way That I Love You) (1970) (#3 country), She Goes Walking Through My Mind (1970) (#3 country), I'm Gonna Keep On Keep On Lovin' You (1971) (#3 country), Sing Me a Love Song to Baby (1972) (#3 country), Gone (Our Endless Love) (w/Mike Curb Congregation) (1972) (#24 country), and Bye Bye Love (w/Barbara Fairchild) (1980) (#74 country).

The Wilburn Brothers

In 1954 after being brought to the Grand Ole Opry in 1940 then forced to leave 6 mo. later due to federal child labor laws, becoming regulars on Louisiana Hayride in 1948-51, and becoming members of the Grand Ole Opry in 1953, Hardy, Ark.-born country music duo The Wilburn Brothers, incl. Doyle Wilburn (1930-82) and Teddy Wilburn (1931-2003) release their first country hit Sparkling Brown Eyes (w/Webb Pierce) (Decca Records) (#4 country). In 1956 after turning down "Heartbreak Hotel" for being "strange and almost morbid", leaving Elvis Presley to do it, they release Go Away With Me (#6 country), followed by Mister Love (w/Ernest Tubbe) (1957) (#8 country), Which One is to Blame (1959) (#4 country), The Knoxville Girl (1959) (#18 country), Somebody's Back in Town (1959) (#6 country), A Woman's Intuition (1959) (#9 country), Trouble's Back in Town (1962) (#4 country) (#101 in the U.S.), Roll Muddy River (1963) (#4 country), It's Another World (1965) (#5 country), and Hurt Her Once for Me (1966) (#3 country). In 1963 they found Surefire Music Pub. Co., signing new star Loretta Lynn, followed by Patty Loveless in 1973. In 1963 the Nashville, Tenn.-based syndicated The Wilburn Brothers Show debuts for 354 episodes (until 1974).

Red Foley (1910-68)

On Jan. 22, 1955 (Sat.) Ozark Jubilee debuts on ABC-TV for 297 episodes (until Sept. 24, 1960), hosted by Blue Lick, Ky.-born Clyde Julian "Red" Foley (1910-68) ("Mr. Country Music"), who signs off with "Goodnight mama, goodnight papa", becoming the first U.S. network program featuring top country music stars, filmed in Springfield, Mo., reaching 9M viewers on TV plus millions more on ABC Radio; regulars incl. Billy Walker.

Charlie Feathers (1932-98)

In Apr. 1955 after starting out as a session musician at Sun Studios, Holly Springs, Miss. country-rockabilly musician Charles Arthur "Charlie" Feathers (1932-98) releases his debut single I've Been Deceived, followed by Defrost Your Heart (1956), Get With It (1956), Can't Hardly Stand It (1956) (featured in the 2004 film "Kill Bill Vol. 2"), One Hand Loose (1956), When You Decide (1957), Too Much Alike (1957), Jungle Fever (1960), One More Time (?), and That Certain Female (1974) (featured in the 2003 film Kill Bill Vol. 1).

Johnny Cash (1932-2003) Johnny Cash (1932-2003) Johnny Cash (1932-2003)

On June 21, 1955 Kingsland, Ark.-born "Man in Black" John R. "Johnny" Cash (1932-2003) releases his debut single Hey Porter, about his elation at being allowed to return home from Landsberg, Germany. On Oct. 11, 1955 he releases his debut album With His Hot and Blue Guitar (first album issued by Sun Records), featuring Cry! Cry! Cry! (#14), So Doggone Lonesome (#4), Folsom Prison Blues (Dec. 15) (#1) (#32 in the U.S.), and I Walk the Line (#1). On Dec. 4, 1956 the Million Dollar Quartet, incl. Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins holds an impromptu jam session in Sun Record Studios in Memphis, Tenn., becoming the first supergroup; it is not released until 1981. Album #16 Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash (Aug. 6, 1963) (#1 country) (#26 in the U.S) features Ring of Fire (Apr. 19) (#1 country) (#17 in the U.S.), written by June Carter and Merle Kilgore; "I fell into a burning ring of fire./ I went down down down, and the flames went higher./ And it burns burns burns, the ring of fire, the ring of fire." Album #19 I Walk the Line (May 1964) (#1 country) (#53 in the U.S.) features Understand Your Man (#1 country) (#35 in the U.S.). In 1965 he accidentally starts a fire in Los Padres Nat. Forest in Calif. when his truck's wheel bearing overheats, burning 508 acres and driving off 49 of the refuge's 53 endangered condors, getting him sued by the federal govt., which is awarded $125,172, reduced to $82,001 in a settlement, with Cash uttering the soundbyte: "I don't care about your damn yellow buzzards." In 1967 he and June Carter release Jackson (by Billy Edd Wheeler and Jerry Leiber) (#2 country). On Mar. 1, 1968 after knowing her for 13 years and proposing to her during a live performance in London, Ont., Canada, he marries June Carter, whom he loves so much that he only lasts 4 mo. after her May 2003 death. Album #31 At San Quentin (June 4, 1969) (album) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) features A Boy Named Sue (#1 country) (#2 in the U.S.); recorded at San Quentin State Prison on Feb. 24; written by Playboy cartoonist Shel Silverstein (1930-99). Album #33 Hello, I'm Johnny Cash (Jan. 1970) (#1 country) (#6 in the U.S.) features If I Were a Carpenter (w/June Carter) (#2 country) (#36 in the U.S.), and Blistered (#4 country) (#50 in the U.S.), and See Ruby Fall (#4 country) (#75 in the U.S.). Album #35 The Johnny Cash Show (Oct. 1970) (#1 country) (#44 in the U.S.) features Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down (#1 country) (#46 in the U.S.). I Walk the Line Soundtrack (Nov. 1970) (#9 country) (#176 in the U.S.) features Flesh and Blood (#1 country) (#54 in the U.S.), Album #38 Man in Black (May 1971) (#1 country) (#56 in the U.S.) features Man in Black (#3 country) (#58 in the U.S.). Album #44 Any Old Wind That Blows (Jan. 1973) (#5 country) (#188 in the U.S.) features Any Old Wind That Blows (by Dick Feller) (#3 country), Oney (#2 country), and If I Had a Hammer (by Pete Seeger and Lee Hays) (#29 country). Album #54 One Piece at a Time (May 1976) (#2 country) (#185 in the U.S.) features One Piece at a Time (#1 country) (#29 in the U.S.). Album #62 Silver (May 1979) (#28 country) features (Ghost) Riders in the Sky (#2 country). On May 26, 1986 the album Class of '55 is released, starring Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Ray Orbison. The posth. album Out Among the Stars (Mar. 25, 2014) (#1 country) (#3 in the U.S.) (#4 in the U.K.) features Out Among the Stars, Baby Ride Easy (w/June Carter), She Used to Love Me a Lot, and I'm Movin' On (by Hank Snow) (w/Waylon Jennings).

Connie Francis (1938-)

In 1955 Yiddish-speaking Italian-Am. Newark, N.J.-born pop singer Connie Francis (Concetta Rosa Maria Franconero) (1938-) releases her debut single Freddy (MGM Records), which is a flop, but doesn't stop her. In 1958 she releases her first big hit Who's Sorry Now, (#4 in the U.S.) (#1 in the U.K.) launching her prolific internat. pop career, which incl. covers of Italian, German, Irish, Jewish and other ethnic songs, and even spills over into country, starting with the album Country & Western - Golden Hits (1959) (MGM Records), which features Your Cheatin' Heart (by Hank Williams Sr.), and Tennessee Waltz (by Redd Stewart and Pee Wee King), followed by the album Country Music, Connie Style (1962) (#22 country), which features I Fall to Pieces (by Hank Cochran and Harlan Howard), I'm Movin' On, and Oh Lonesome Me (by Don Gibson). In 1960 she releases the single Jealous of You (Tango Della Gelosia) (#24 country), followed by The Wedding Cake (1969) (#33 country).

'Satan Is Real', by the Louvin Brothers, 1959

In 1955 the Ala.-based country-gospel duo The Louvin Brothers, incl. Ira Lonnie Loudermilk (1924-65) and Charlie Elzer Loudermilk (1927-2011), cousins of Durham, N.C.-born singer-songwriter John D. Loudermilk (1934-) AKA Johnny Dee release their first country hit When I Stop Dreaming (#8 country), followed by I Don't Believe You've Met My Baby (1956) (#1 country), Hoping That You're Hoping (1956) (#7 country), You're Running Wild (1956) (#7 country), Cash on the Barrelhead (1956) (#7 country), and My Baby's Gone (1958) (#9 country). On Nov. 16, 1959 they release the album Satan Is Real, with a cover featuring a 12-ft. plywood Devil in a rock quarry surrounded by burning tires, which is widely ridiculed.

Red Sovine (1917-80)

In 1955 Charleston, W. Va.-born Woodrow Wilson "Red" Sovine (1917-80) releases his first #1 country hit Why Baby Why with Webb Pierce, followed by If Jesus Came to Your House (1956) (#15 country), and Hold Everything (Till I Get Home) (1956) (#5 country). He then segues into trucker songs, starting with Giddyup Go (1965) (#1 country) (#82 in the U.S.), followed by Phantom 309 (1967) (#9 country), Teddy Bear (1976) (#1 country) (#40 in the U.S.), and Little Joe (1976) (#45 country) (#102 in the U.S.). He finishes his career with the Eric Clapton cover Lay Down Sally (1978) (#70 country).

Don Gibson (1928-2003)

In 1956 Shelby, N.C.-born honky tonk country singer-songwriter ("the Sad Poet") Donald Eugene "Don" Gibson (1928-2003) releases his first country hit Sweet Dreams (#9 country) (RCA Records), followed by Oh Lonesome Me (1958) (#7 country) (#7 in the U.S.), I Can't Stop Loving You (1958) (#7 country) (#81 in the U.S.), Blue Blue Day (1958) (#1 country) (#20 in the U.S.), Give Myself a Party (1958) (#5 country) (#46 in the U.S.), Look Who's Blue (1958) (#8 country) (#58 in the U.S.), Who Cares (1958) (#3 country) (#43 in the U.S.), Lonesome Old House (1959) (#11 country) (#71 in the U.S.), Don't Tell Me Your Troubles (1959) (#5 country) (#85 in the U.S.), I'm Movin' On (1959) (#14 country), Just One Time (1960) (#2 country) (#29 in the U.S.), Far, Far Away (1960) (#11 country) (#72 in the U.S.), Sea of Heartbreak (1961) (#2 country) (#21 in the U.S.), Lonesome Number One (1961) (#2 country) (#59 in the U.S.), I Can Mend Your Broken Heart (1962) (#5 country) (#105 in the U.S.), (Yes) I'm Hurting (1966) (#6 country), Funny, Familiar, Forgotten Feelings (1966) (#8 country), It's a Long, Long Way to Georgia (1968) (#12 country), There's A Story (Goin' Round) (w/Dottie West) (1969) (#7 country), Rings of Gold (w/Dottie West) (#2 country), Country Green (1971) (#5 country), Woman (Sensuous Woman) (1972) (#1 country), Touch the Morning (1973) (#6 country), Snap Your Fingers (1973) (#12 country), One Day at a Time (1974) (#8 country), Bring Back Your Love to Me (1974) (#9 country), Any Day Now (1978) (#26 country), Forever One Day at a Time (1979) (#37 country), and Sweet Sensuous Sensations (1980) (#42 country). In Nov. 2009 the Don Gibson Theater in Shelby, N.C. opens.

George Hamilton IV (1937-2014)

In 1956 Winston-Salem, N.C.-born pop singer George Hege Hamilton IV (1937-2014) releases his first hit A Rose and a Baby Ruth (by John D. Loudermilk) (500K copies). On Feb. 8, 1960 after going country he becomes a member of the Grand Ole Opry, and is signed by Chet Atkins with RCA Records. In 1960 he releases his first country hit Before This Day Ends (#4 country), followed by Three Steps to the Phone (Millions of Miles) (1961) (#9 country), If You Don't Know I Ain't Gonna Tell You (1962) (#6 country), Abilene (by John D. Loudermilk) (1963) (#1 country) (#15 in the U.S.) (his biggest hit), Fort Worth, Dallas or Houston (by John D. Loudermilk) (1964) (#9 country), Truck Drivin' Man (1965) (#11 country), Early Morning Rain (1966) (#9 country), She's a Little Bit Country (1970) (#3 country), Dirty Old Man (1973) (#38 country), and I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now (1977) (#81 country). In the early 1970s be begins touring the world incl. the Soviet Union, Poland, Australia, East Asia, and the Middle East, becoming known as "the International Ambassador of Country Music".

Johnny Horton (1925-60) Johnny Horton (1925-60)

In 1956 Los Angeles, Calif.-born "the Singing Fisherman" John Gale "Johnny" Horton (1925-60) releases his first country hit Honky-Tonk Man (#9 country), followed by I'm a One-Woman Man (1956) (#7 country), The Woman I Need (1957) (#9 country), All Grown Up (1958) (#8 country), When It's Springtime in Alaska (It's Forty Below) (1959) (#1 country), and The Battle of New Orleans (1959) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.); #1 for 6 weeks even though it's totally anachronistic (coded message for Southern white supremacists fighting the feds on integration?); "In 1814 we took a little trip/ Along with Colonel Jackson down the mighty Mississip/ We took a little bacon and we took a little beans/ And we caught the bloody British in the town of New Orleans"; (chorus) "We fired our guns and the British kept a'comin/ There wasn't near as many as there was awhile ago/ We fired once more and they began a runnin'/ Down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico." He follows it with North to Alaska (1960) (#1 country), Sink the Bismarck (1960) (#6 country), and Sleepy-Eyed John (1961) (posth.). (#9 country). On Sept. 26, 1953 he marries Billie Jean Williams. Too bad, on Nov. 5, 1960 he is killed in a head-on collision on a narrow bridge with an intoxicated truck driver in Milano, Tex.

Jerry Lee Lewis (1935-) Jerry Lee Lewis (1935-)

In 1956 despite being Bible-thumping religious and being troubled by the devilish tendency of his work, Ferriday, La.-born singer-songwriter and flamboyant pianist ("the Killer") Jerry Lee Lewis (1935-) (cousin of Mickey Gilley) releases his debut single Crazy Arms (by Ralph Mooney and Charles Seals) (Sun Records), followed by Whole Lot of Shakin' Going On (1957) (#1 country) (#3 in the U.S.) (#8 in the U.K.), Great Balls of Fire (1957) (#1 country) (#2 in the U.S.), Breathless (1958) (#4 country) (#7 in the U.S.), and High School Confidential (1958) (#9 country) (#21 in the U.S.). Too bad, in May 1958 he is exposed by reporter Ray Berry at Heathrow Airport in London for marrying his 13-y.-o. 1st cousin once removed Myra Gale Brown in Dec. 1957 at age 22, causing the sexually repressed Victorian-era Brits to go nonlinear and chase him back to the U.S., where he is blacklisted to the relief of Christian conservatives like Johnny Cash, who think that his sexual inuendoes and onstage machinations are leading his fans straight to Hell, it's on the left, on the left, no, on the right; the fact that he first got married at age 14 to a 17-y.-o. doesn't help; he ends up getting married 7x. In 1963 he signs with Smash Records, trying in vain to revive his career with rock records then switching to country and toning down his act, finding success, releasing Pen and Paper (1964) (#36 country), Another Place, Another Time (1968) (#4 country), What's Made Milwaukee Famous (Has Made a Loser Out of Me) (1968) (#2 country), She Still Comes Around (To Love What's Left of Me) (1968) (#2 country), To Make Love Sweeter for You (1968) (#1 country), One Has My Name (The Other Has My Heart) (1969) (#3 country), Invitation to Your Party (1969) (#6 country), She Even Woke Me Up to Say Goodbye (1969) (#2 country), One Minute Past Eternity (1969) (#2 country), Don't Let Me Cross Over (w/Linda Gail Lewis) (#9 country), Once More with Feeling (1970) (#2 country), I Can't Seem to Say Goodbye (1970) (#7 country), There Must Be More to Love Than This (1970) (#1 country), Touching Home (1971) (#3 country), When He Walks on You (Like You Have Walked on Me) (1971) (#11 country), Would You Take Another Chance on Me (1971) (#1 country), Chantilly Lace (by J.P. "the Big Bopper" Richardson et al.) (1971) (#1 country), Sometimes a Memory Ain't Enough (1973) (#6 country), Let's Put It Back Together Again (1976) (#6 country), Middle Age Crazy (1977) (#4 country), When Two Worlds Collide (1980) (#11 country), Somewhere Over the Rainbow (1980) (#10 country), Thirty Nine and Holding (1981) (#4 country), and Never Too Old to Rock 'n' Roll (w/Ronnie McDowell) (1989) (#50 country). In 1986 he is inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. On May 26, 1986 the album Class of '55 is released, starring Lewis, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and Ray Orbison. In 1988 his cousin Jimmy Lee Swaggart (1935-), an Assemblies of God minister is caught with a ho, causing him to be defrocked. He goes on to release 40 studio albums and 77 singles incl. 10 #1s.

Osborne Brothers

In 1956 after first performing in 1951, the Hyden, Ky.-based bluegrass band The Osborne Brothers, incl. Bobby Osborne (1931-) and Sonny Osborne (1937-), Red Allen (AKA Stanley Alpine), Ernie Newton (bass), Tommy Jackson (violin), and Art Stamper (violin) release their debut single Ruby Are You Mad (first bluegrass recording with twin banjos), getting them a position on the WWVA Jamboree. In 1958 after paring down to a trio with Red Allen, they release Once More (#13), originating a 3-part stacked harmony that makes the 3rd singer (Allen) interchangeable. In 1960 they become the first bluegrass act to perform on a college campus, at Antioch College, pissing-off bluegrass purists by using electronic and percussion instruments. On Aug. 8, 1964 after signing with Decca Records in 1963 they are inducted into the Grand Ole Opry. On Dec. 25, 1967 they release their big hit Rocky Top (by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant of Gatlinburg, Tenn.) (#33 country), which becomes the Tenn. state song on Feb. 15, 1982. They follow with Tennessee Hound Dog (1969) (#28 country), and Kentucky (?), which becomes a Ky. state song in Feb. 1992. In 1973 they become the first bluegrass group to perform at the White House.

Wynn Stewart (1934-85)

In 1956 after two singles released via Intro Records fail to chart, and Skeets McDonald helps him sign with Capitol Records, Morrisville, Mo.-born Bakersfield sound pioneer (failed baseball player) Winford Lindsey "Wynn" Stewart (1934-85), backed by Roy Nichols (guitar), Ralph Mooney (steel guitar), and Bobby Austin (bass) releases his first hit single Waltz of the Angels (#14 country) (Capitol Records), followed by Wishful Thinking (1960) (#5 country), Wrongful Company (w/Jan Howard) (1960) (#26 country), Big, Big Love (1961) (#18 country), Another Day, Another Dollar (1962) (#27 country) (later used in VW Jetta commercials) It's Such a Pretty World Today (1967) (#1 country), Cause I Have You (1967) (#9 country), Love's Gonna Happen to Me (1968) (#7 country), Something Pretty (1968) (#10 country), It's a Beautiful Day (1970) (#13 country), and After the Storm (1976) (#8 country), Eyes as Big As Dallas (1979) (#37 country) (WIN Records), and Wait 'Til I Get My Hands on You (1985) (#98 country) (posth.). In the early 1960s he becomes part-owner of the Nashville Nevada Nightclub in Las Vegas, discovering Merle Haggard.

Charlie Walker (1926-2008)

In 1956 Copeville, Tex.-born honky tonk country musician (former DJ and member of the Cowboy Ramblers) Charlie Walker (1926-2008) releases his first country hit Only You, Only You (#9 country) (Decca Records), followed by Pick Me Up On Your Way Down (by Harlan Howard) (1958) (Columbia Records) (#2 country), I'll Catch You When You Fall (1959) (#16 country), Who Will Buy the Wine (1960) (#11 country), Facing the Wall (1961) (#25 country), Close All the Honky Tonks (1964) (#17 country), Wild as a Wildcat (1965) (#8 country), and Please Don't Squeeze My Sharmon (1967) (#8 country). In 1967 he becomes a member of the Grand Ole Opry. He follows with Bow Down Your Head and Cry, My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You, and Don't Sing a Song About Texas (1979).

Jim Reeves (1923-64) Bob Ferguson (1927-2001)

In Feb. 1957 Galloway, Tex.-born James Travis "Gentleman Jim" Reeves (1923-64) records Four Walls (#1 country) (#11 in the U.S.), the first Nashville Sound record, a reaction to the honky tonk sound which cuts out the fiddle and steel guitar and adds choruses; "My Grandpa farmed for a livin'/ Content to live the simpler kind of life,/ My Grandma worked in the kitchen,/ Awfully proud to be that farmer's wife./ They used to say that they'd got everything that they need,/ Each mornin' they wake up,/ Four walls, three words, two hearts, one love"; also this year Ferlin Husky releases Gone (by Smokey Rogers) (#1 country), which makes it to #4 on the U.S. pop charts, becoming the first Nashville Sound pop hit; in Dec. 1957 Don Gibson releases Oh Lonesome Me (RCA) (#7 country) (#7 in the U.S.), produced by Chet Atkins, also pioneering the Nashville Sound, with the soundbyte: "It's the sound of money"; meanwhile after his 1958 song "On the Wings of a Dove" becomes a million-seller by Ferlin Husky, whom he met in El Cajon, Calif., becoming his mgr., Willow Springs, Mo.-born Robert Bruce "Bob" Ferguson Sr. (1927-2001) becomes an executive asst. to Chet Atkins at RCA Victor, helping to create the Nashville Sound, developing new talent incl. Porter Wagoner, Dolly Parton, Connie Smith, and Charlie Pride; Nashville Sound evolves into Country Pop; meanwhile the Bakersfield Sound is developed by Ken Nelson of Capital Records in Calif. as a reaction to the Nashville Sound, which produces artists incl. Buck Owens and the Buckaroos, Tommy Collins, Merle Haggard, Jean Shepard, Freddie Hart, Susan Raye, and Wynn Stewart; the 1954 single Louisiana Swing by Bud Hobbs is the first Bakersfield Sound record; in the 1960s Nashville Sound morphs into pop-friendly Countrypolitan, with orchestras and choirs, favored by Glen Campbell, Lynn Anderson, Charlie Rich, and Charley Pride. Later on Sept. 25, 1997 after Ferguson graduates from Vanderbilt U. with an anthropology degree, the newly-forming NBA Nashville Predators team adopts a saber-toothed cat (Smilodon) logo after the first skeleton E of the Mississippi River was discovered in 1971 during the construction of the First Am. Nat. Bank in downtown Nashville, Tenn. by Ferguson.

Jimmy Dean (1928-2010) Jimmy Dean (1928-2010), 'Big Bad John', 1961

On Apr. 8, 1957 The Jimmy Dean Show is first aired by CBS-TV under the name "The Morning Show", airing on weekday and Sat. afternoons until June 1959, making Plainview, Tex.-born Jimmy Ray Dean (1928-2010) a star; it switches to ABC-TV on Sept. 19, 1963-Apr. 1, 1966, featuring Dean interacting with animated TV char. Fred Flintstone, and singing duets with Muppet Rowlf the Dog, operated by Jim Henson; in 1973-5 a half-hour version is syndicated. In Sept. 1961 he releases the album Big Bad John and Other Fabulous Songs and Tales, which features Smoke, Smoke, Smoke That Cigarette ("I smoked them all my life and I ain't dead yet/ But nicotine slaves are all the same/ At a pettin' party or a poker game/ Everything's gotta stop when you have that cigarette"), and Big Bad John (#1 in the U.S., #2 in the U.K.) (1M copies), written by Jimmy Dean and Roy Acuff; "Every morning at the mine, you could see him arrive. He stood 6 foot 6, weighed 245. Kind of broad at the shoulders, narrow at the hip. And everybody knew you didn't give no lip to Big John"; "Grabbed a sagging timber and gave out with a groan and like a giant oak tree just stood there alone".

Patsy Cline (1932-63) Cowboy Copas (1913-63) Hawkshaw Hawkins (1921-63) Jack Anglin (1916-63) Texas Ruby (1908-63)

In 1957 Winchester, Va.-born Patsy Cline (Virginia Patterson Hensley) (1932-63) releases Walkin' After Midnight (#2 country) (#12 in the U.S.), launching a country-pop crossover career. In 1961 she releases I Fall to Pieces (by Hank Cochran and Harlan Howard) (#1 country) (#12 in the U.S.), and Crazy (#2 country, #9 in the U.S.) (composed by Wilie Nelson), followed in 1962 by She's Got You (by Hank Cochran) (#1 country, #14 in the U.S.). In 1961-2 she dethrones Kitty Wells as Billboard Mag.'s favorite country & western artist. Too bad, on Mar. 5, 1963 while enjoying being on top she is killed in a plane crash near Camden, Tenn., along with Lloyd Estel "Cowboy" Copas (b. 1913) and Harold Franklin "Hawkshaw" Hawkins (b. 1921) after Hawkins gives his commercial airline ticket to Billy Walker and takes the private plane. On Mar. 8, 1863 country singer Jack Anglin (1916-63) dies in an auto crash in Madison, Tenn. while driving to attend a memorial service for Cline. On Mar. 29, 1963 country singer Texas Ruby (Ruby Agnes Owens) (1908-63) (sister of "The Cattle Call" songwriter Tex Owens) dies in a home fire in Nashville, Tenn., leaving fiddling hubby Curly Fox to carry on, making Mar. 1963 the Month That Country Music Died?

Skeeter Davis (1931-2004)

In 1957 after leaving the Davis Sisters, Dry Ridge, Ky.-born country-pop singer Skeeter Davis (Mary Frances Penick) (1931-2004) releases her first hit single Lost to a Geisha Girl (#15 country) (RCA Records), followed by Set Him Free (1959) (#5 country), Homebreaker (1959) (#15 country), Am I That Easy to Forget (1960) (#11 country), (I Can't Help You) I'm Falling Too (1960) (#2 country), My Last Date (With You) (1960) (#4 country), The Hands You're Holding Now (1961) (#11 country), Optimistic (1961) (#10 country), Where I Ought to Be (#1962) (#9 country), The End of the World (1962) (#2 country) (#2 in the U.S.) (#18 in the U.K.), Something Precious (1962) (#23 country), I'm Saving My Love (1963) (#9 country) (#41 in the U.S.), I Can't Stay Mad At You (1963) (#14 country) (#7 in the U.S.), He Says the Same Things to Me (1964) (#17 country) (#47 in the U.S.), Gonna Get Along Without You Now (1964) (#8 country) (#48 in the U.S.), A Dear John Letter (w/Bobby Bare) (1965) (#11 country) (#114 in the U.S.), Fuel to the Flame (1967) (#11 country), What Does It Take (To Keep A Man Like You Satisfied) (1967) (#5 country) (#121 in the U.S.), There's A Fool Born Every Minute (1968) (#16 country), I'm A Lover (Not A Fighter) (1969) (#9 country), Bus Fare to Kentucky (1970) (#21 country), and I Can't Believe That It's All Over (1973) (#12 country) (#101 in the U.S.).

The Everly Brothers

In 1957 the Everly Brothers, incl. Brownie, Ky.-born Isaac Donald "Don" Everly (1937-) (baritone) and Chicago, Ill.-born Phillip "Phil" Everly (1939-2014) (tenor), known for their beautiful vocal harmony (causing the Beatles to later call themselves "the English Everly Brothers") release their first hit Bye Bye Love (#1 country) (#2 in the U.S.), followed by Wake Up Little Susie (1957) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.), written by husband-wife team Boudleaux Bryant (1920-87) and Felice Bryant (1925-2003), who also write "Bye Bye Love" and "All I Have to Do is Dream", then go country with "Rocky Top". They follow with All I Have to Do Is Dream (1958) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.), Bird Dog (1958) (#1 country) (#3 in the U.S.), Devoted to You (1958) (#7 country) (#10 in the U.S.), (Till) I Kissed You (1959) (#8 country) (#4 in the U.S.), followed by a string of ever-descending pop hits incl. Love Hurts by Boudleaux Bryant (1961), which becomes a hard rock classic with a 1975 cover by Nazareth. Too bad, on July 14, 1973 after a bad performance at Knott's Berry Farm in Calif., they split, and don't reuinite until 1983. They go on to release 21 studio albums and 75 singles incl. 11 #1s.

Bobby Helms (1933-97)

In 1957 Bloomington, Ind.-born Robert Lee "Bobby" Helms (1933-97) releases his first country hit Fraulein (#1 country) (#36 in the U.S.) (Decca Records), followed by My Special Angel (1957) (#1 country) (#7 in the U.S.), Jingle Bell Rock (1957) (#13 country) (#6 in the U.S.) (1M copies), Just a Little Lonesome (1958) (#10 country), and Jacqueline (1958) (#5 country) (#63 in the U.S.) (#20 in the U.K.).

Brenda Lee (1944-)

In 1957 13-y.-0. 4'9" Atlanta, Ga.-born singer Brenda Lee (Brenda Mae Tarpley) (1944-) releases single #4 Dynamite (#72 in the U.S.) (which gives her the title "Little Miss Dynamite"), followed by One Step at A Time (1957) (#43 in the U.S.), Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree (Nov. 1958) (#14 in the U.S., #6 in the U.K.) (written by Johnny Marks - sells only 5K the first year, but eventually sells 5M copies), Sweet Nothin's (1959) (#4 in the U.S. and U.K.) (first top-10 hit), Let's Jump the Broomstick (1959) (#12 in the U.K.), I'm Sorry (1960) (#1 in the U.S., #12 in the U.K.) (the new "Nashville Sound", adopted by Ray Charles for "Georgia On My Mind"), I Want to Be Wanted (1960) (#1 in the U.S., #31 in the U.K.), All the Way (1961), Dum Dum (1961), Fool #1 (1961) (#3 in the U.S., #38 in the U.K.), Break It To Me Gently (1962) (#4 in the U.S., #46 in the U.K.), All Alone Am I (1962) (#3 in the U.S., #7 in the U.K.), Losing You (1963) (#6 in the U.S., #10 in the U.K.), The Grass Was Greener (1963) (#17 in the U.S.), As Usual (1963) (#12 in the U.S., #5 in the U.K.), The End of the World (1963), Jingle Bell Rock (1964), Too Many Rivers (1965) (#13 in the U.S., #22 in the U.K.), and Coming on Strong (1966) (#11 in the U.S.), becoming the top-charting female vocalist of the 1960s. Too bad, her voice changes, and her career tanks, maybe it was the British Invasion, maybe not.

Kenny Rogers (1938-)

In Feb. 1958 Houston, Tex.-born Kenneth Donald "Kenny" Rogers (1938-) releases his debut single That Crazy Feeling (#51 in the U.S.). In 1967 he forms the country rock group The First Edition with Terry Williams, Mike Settle, Thelma Camacho, and Mickey Jones, which releases Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In (1967) (#5 in the U.S.), Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town (1969) (#39 country) (#6 in the U.S). In 1976 the group disbands, and he goes solo again, releasing Lucille (#1 country) (#5 in the U.S.), followed by Daytime Friends (and Nighttime Lovers) (1977) (#1 country) (#28 in the U.S.), Love or Something Like It (1978) (#1 country) (#32 in the U.S.), The Gambler (1978) (#1 country) (#16 in the U.S.), She Believes in Me (1979) (#1 country) (#5 in the U.S.), You Decorated My Life (1979) (#1 country) (#7 in the U.S.), Coward of the County (1979) (#1 country) (#3 in the U.S.) (3M copies), Lady (1980) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.), I Don't Need You (#1 country) (#3 in the U.S.), Love Will Turn You Around (1982) (#1 country) (#13 in the U.S.), We've Got Tonight (w/Sheena Easton) (1983) (#1 country) (#6 in the U.S.), and Islands in the Stream (w/Dolly Parton) (1983) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.). In 1999 he releases Buy Me A Rose (w/Alison Krauss and Billy Dean) (#1 country) (#40 in the U.S.). He goes on to release 30+ albums and 75+ singles (incl. 21 country #1s) and sell 165M records worldwide.

Bill Anderson (1937-) Mary Lou Turner (1947-)

In 1958 after his song "City Lights" is recorded by Ray Price and goes #1, allowing him to move to Nashville and sign with Decca Records, Columbia, S.C.-born country singer-songwriter James William "Whisperin' Bill" Anderson (1937-) (and The Po' Boys) releases his first hit country single That's What It's Like to Be Lonesome, followed by Ninety-Nine Years (1959) (#13 country), and The Tip of My Fingers (1960) (#7 country). In 1961 he becomes a member of the Grand Ole Opry. He follows with Mama Sang a Song (1962) (#1 country) (#89 in the U.S.), Still (1963) (#1 country) (#8 in the U.S.) (his signature song, with his own whispering brand of rapping), 8 x 10 (1963) (#2 country) (#53 in the U.S.), Five Little Fingers (1964) (#5 country) (#118 in the U.S.), Me (1964) (#8 country), and Three A.M. (1964) (#8 country). On Feb. 15, 1965 he appears on To Tell the Truth, where he is billed as "generally considered to be the top composer of country music in the nation." He follows with I Know You're Married (But I Love You Still) (w/Jan Howard) (1966) (#29 country), I Get the Fever (1966) (#1 country), I Love You Drops (1966) (#4 country), Get While the Gettin's Good (1967) (#5 country), For Loving You (w/Jan Howard) (#1 country), Happy State of Mind (1968) (#2 country), My Life (Throw It Away If I Want To) (1969) (#1 country), But You Know I Love You (1969) (#2 country), If It's All the Same to You (w/Jan Howard) (1969) (#2 country), Love Is a Sometimes Thing (1970) (#5 country), Where Have All Our Heroes Gone (1970) (#6 country) (#93 in the U.S.), Someday We'll Be Together (w/Jan Howard) (1970) (#4 country), Always Remember (1971) (#6 country) (#111 in the U.S.), Quits (1971) (#3 country), All the Lonely Women in the World (1972) (#5 country), Don't She Look Good (1972) (#2 country), If You Can Live With It (I Can Live Without It) (1973) (#2 country), The Corner of My Life (1973) (#2 country), World of Make Believe (1974) (#1 country), Sometimes (w/Mary Lou Turner) (1976) (#1 country), and That's What Made Me Love You (w/Mary Lou Turner) (1976) (#7 country). In 2001 Too Country (by Bill Anderson and Chuck Cannon) is released by Brad Paisley (w/Buck Owens, Bill Anderson, and George Jones). He goes on to release 43 studio albums and 81 singles incl. seven #1s. In 1976 Hazard, Ky.-born Mary Lou Turner (1947-) releases the single It's Different with You (#25 country) (MCA Records), followed by Love It Away (1976) (#30 country), and Cheatin' Overtime (1977) (#41 country).

Bobby Bare (1935-)

In 1958 just before being drafted into the U.S. Army like Elvis and writing a song about it, Ironton, Ohio-born Elvis wannabe Robert Joseph "Bobby" Bare Sr. (1935-) releases his debut single The All American Boy (#2 in the U.S.) (#22 in the U.K.) (Capitol Records), released under the alias Bill Parsons after he records a demo for the latter and it is used as the master. In 1962 after giving up on rock and roll and signing with RCA Records, he releases Shame on Me (#18 country) (#23 in the U.S.), followed by Detroit City (1963) (#6 country) (#16 in the U.S.), 500 Miles Away from Home (1963) (#5 country) (#10 in the U.S.), Miller's Cave (1964) (#4 country) (#33 in the U.S.), Four Strong Winds (1964) (#3 country) (#60 in the U.S.), A Dear John Letter (w/Skeeter Davis) (1965) (#11 country) (#114 in the U.S.), It's All Right (1965) (#7 country) (#122 in the U.S.), Just to Satisfy You (1965) (#31 country), Streets of Baltimore (1966) (#5 country) (#124 in the U.S.), The Game of Triangles (w/Liz Anderson and Norma Jean) (1966) (#5 country), Chet's Tune (w/Skeeter Davis and Norma Jean) (1967) (#38 country), (Margie's At) The Lincoln Park Inn (1969) (#4 country), and God Bless America Again (1969) (#16 country). In 1970 after signing with Mercury Records, he releases That's How I Got to Memphis (#3 country), Come Sundown (1970) (#7 country) (#122 in the U.S.), Please Don't Tell Me How the Story Ends (1971) (#8 country), What Am I Gonna Do (1972) (#13 country), and Sylvia's Mother (by Shel Silverstein) (#12 country). In 1973 after re-signing with RCA Records, he releases Ride Me Down Easy (#11 country), Daddy, What If (w/Bobby Bare Jr.) (1974) (#2 country) (#41 in the U.S.), and Marie Laveau (1974) (#1 country). In 1978 after signing with Columbia Records, he releases Sleep Tight Good Night Man (#11 country), No Memories Hanging' Round (w/Rosanne Cash) (1979) (#17 country), Numbers (1980) (#11 country), Willie Jones (w/Charlie Daniels) (1980) (#19 country), and It's A Dirty Job (w/Lacy J. Dalton) (1983) (#30 country).

Glen Campbell (1936-) Glen Campbell (1936-)

In 1958 Delight, Ark.-born Glen Travis Campbell (1936-) releases his debut single Dreams for Sale (with the Glen-Aires), the first in a string of flops, causing him to become a session musician in Los Angeles and a songwriter for Am. Music Pub. Co., followed in Dec. 1964-Mar. 1965 a touring member of the Beach Boys, replacing Brian Wilson. In 1965 he releases Universal Soldier (by Buffy Sainte-Marie) (#45 in the U.S.) (crossing over a little too far?) ("People who are advocating burning draft cards should be hung"), followed by Burning Bridges (1966) (#18 country), By the Time I Get to Phoenix (1967) (#2 country) (#26 in the U.S.), I Wanna Live (1967) (#1 country) (#36 in the U.S.), and Dreams of the Everyday Housewife (1967) (#3 country) (#32 in the U.S.), winning a record four Grammys in both country and pop categories in 1967. He follows with Gentle On My Mind (by John Hartford) (#44 country) (#39 in the U.S.) (becomes the theme of "The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour", with banjo-picking Hartford standing up from the audience to start it), Wichita Lineman (1968) (#1 country) (#3 in the U.S.), Let It Be Me (w/Bobbie Gentry) (1969) (#14 country) (#36 in the U.S.), Galveston (1969) (#1 country) (#4 in the U.S.), True Grit (1969) (#9 country) (#35 in the U.S.), and Try a Little Kindness (1969) (#2 country) (#23 in the U.S.), On Jan. 22, 1969 The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour debuts on CBS-TV for 68 episodes (until June 13, 1972). He follows with All I Have to Do is Dream (w/Bobbie Gentry) (1970) (#6 country) (#27 in the U.S.), It's Only Make Believe (1970) (#3 country) (#10 in the U.S.), Bonaparte's Retreat (1974) (#3 country), Rhinestone Cowboy (1974) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.), Country Boy (You Got Your Feet in L.A.) (1975) (#3 country) (#11 in the U.S.), Southern Nights (1977) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.), Sunflower (by Neil Diamond) (1977) (#4 country) (#39 in the U.S.), Any Which Way You Can (1980) (#10 country), Dream Lover (w/Tanya Tucker) (1980) (#59 country), A Lady Like You (1984) (#4 country), Slow Nights (w/Mel Tillis) (1984) (#47 country), She's Gone, Gone, Gone (1989) (#6 country) - his memory?

Stonewall Jackson (1932-)

In 1958 after becoming the first artist to join the Grand Ole Opry without a recording contract, and touring with his mentor Ernest Tubb before signing with Columbia Records, Tabor City, N.C.-born S Ga.-raised honky tonk country singer Stonewall Jackson (1932-) (a direct descendant of the Confed. general?) releases his debut single Don't Be Angry, followed by Life to Go (1958) (#2 country), Waterloo (by John D. Loutermilk) (1958) (#1 country) (#4 in the U.S.), Mary Don't You Weep (1960) (#12 country) (#41 in the U.S.), Why I'm Walkin' (by Melvin Endsley) (1960) (#6 country) (#83 in the U.S.), A Wound Time Can't Erase (1962) (#3 country), Leona (1962) (#9 country), B.J. the D.J. (1963) (#1 country), Don't Be Angry (1964) (#4 country), I Washed My Hands in Muddy Water (1965) (#8 country), Stamp Out Loneliness (1967) (#5 country), and Me and You and a Dog Named Boo (by Kent LaVoie) (1971) (#7 country). In 2006 after being told that they don't want to see gray hairs on stage anymore, he sues the Grand Ole Opry for $10M for age discrimination, and settles out of court.

Mel Tillis (1932-)

In 1958 Dover, Fla.-born songwriter Lonnie Melvin "Mel" Tillis (1932-) releases The Violet and a Rose and Sawmill, his first Billboard country charters. In 1965 he releases his first top-15 hit Wine. In 1969 he releases his first #1 hits These Lonely Hands of Mine, and She'll Be Hanging Around Somewhere, followed by Heart Over Mind (1970) (#3), beginning a long stream of hits incl. and I Ain't Never (1972) (#1), Your Body is an Outlaw (1980) (#3), and Southern Rains (1981) (#1). His last top-10 hit is New Patches (1984).

Conway Twitty (1933-93)

In 1958 Friars Point, Miss.-born Conway Twitty (Harold Lloyd Jenkins) (1933-93) (named after silent film actor Harold Lloyd, and rechristened after Conway, Ark. and Twitty, Tex.) releases his first #1 U.S. hit It's Only Make Believe (MGM Records), the B-side of "I'll Try", which was discovered by an Ohio radio station, with his voice confused with Elvis Presley's, followed by pop hits Mona Lisa (1959) (#29 in the U.S.), and Danny Boy (1959) (#10 in the U.S.). In 1966 after years of trying to break into the country charts, he releases Guess My Eyes Were Bigger Than My Heart (#18 country), followed by I Don't Want to Be with Me (1967) (#21 country), The Image of Me (1968) (#5 country), Next in Line (1968) (#1 country), Darling You Know I Wouldn't Lie (1968) (#2 country), I Love You More Today (1969) (#1 country), To See My Angel Cry (1969) (#3 country), That's When She Started to Stop Loving You (1969) (#3 country), Hello Darlin (1970) (#1 country) (#60 in the U.S.) (500K copies), Fifteen Years Ago (1970) (#1 country) (#81 in the U.S.), and How Much More Can She Stand (1970) (#1 country) (#105 in the U.S.). In 1971 he and Loretta Lynn release the first of 11 studio albums together incl. 12 singles incl. five #1s (ends 1988). In 1971 he releases I Wonder What She'll Think About Me Leaving (1971) (#4 country) (#112 in the U.S.), I Can't See Me Without You (1971) (#4 country), (Lost Her Love) On Our Last Date (1971) (#1 country) (#112 in the U.S.), After the Fire Is Gone (w/Loretta Lynn) (1971) (#1 country) (#56 in the U.S.), Lead Me On (w/Loretta Lynn) (1971) (#1 country), I Can't Stop Loving You (1972) (#1 country), She Needs Someone to Hold Her (When She Cries) (1972) (#1 country), Baby's Gone (1973) (#2 country), You've Never Been This Far Before (1973) (#1 country) (#22 in the U.S.), Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man (w/Loretta Lynn) (1973) (#1 country), There's a Honky Tonk Angel (Who'll Take Me Back In) (1974) (#1 country), I'm Not Through Loving You Yet (1974) (#3 country), I See the Want To in Your Eyes (1974) (#1 country), As Soon As I Hang Up the Phone (w/Loretta Lynn) (1974) (#1 country), Linda on My Mind (1975) (#1 country) (#61 in the U.S.), Touch the Hand (1975) (#1 country), This Time I've Hurt Her More Than She Loves Me (1975) (#1 country), Feelings (w/Loretta Lynn) (1975) (#1 country), Don't Cry Joni (w/Joni Lee) (1975) (#4 country) (#63 in the U.S.), After All the Good Is Gone (1976) (#1 country), The Games That Daddies Play (1976) (#1 country), I Can't Believe She Gives It All to Me (1976) (#1 country), The Letter (w/Loretta Lynn) (1976) (#3 country), Play Guitar Play (1977) (#1 country), I've Already Loved You in My Mind (1977) (#1 country), Georgia Keeps Pulling on My Ring (1977) (#3 country), I Can't Love You Enough (w/Loretta Lynn) (1977) (#2 country), Boogie Grass Band (1978) (#2 country), Your Love Has Taken Me That High (1978) (#3 country), From Seven Till Ten (w/Loretta Lynn) (1978) (#6 country), Don't Take It Away (1979) (#1 country), I May Never Get to Heaven (1979) (#1 country), Happy Birthday Darlin' (1979) (#1 country), I'd Love to Lay You Down (1980) (#1 country), It's True Love (w/Loretta Lynn) (1980) (#5 country), Rest Your Love on Me (1981) (#1 country), Tight Fittin' Jeans (1981) (#1 country), Red Neckin' Love Makin' Night (1981) (#1 country), The Clown (1981) (#1 country), Slow Hand (1982) (#1 country), We Did But Now You Don't (1982) (#2 country), The Rose (1983) (#1 country), Lost in the Feeling (1983) (#2 country), Somebody's Needin' Somebody (1984) (#1 country), I Don't Know A Thing About Love (The Moon Song) (1984) (#1 country), Ain't She Somethin' Else (1984) (#1 country), Don't Call Him A Cowboy (1985) (#1 country), Between Her Blue Eyes and Jeans (1985) (#3 country), Desperado Love (1986) (#1 country), Fallin' for You for Years (1986) (#2 country), Julia (1987) (#2 country), I Want to Know You Before We Make Love (1987) (#2 country), It's Only Make Believe (w/Ronnie McDowell) (1988) (#8 country), Making Believe (w/Loretta Lynn) (1988), Crazy in Love (1990) (#2 country), I Couldn't See You Leavin' (1990) (#2 country), (I Wanna Hear) A Cheatin' Song (w/Anita Cochran) (2004) (#57 country), and Rainy Night in Georgia (w/Sam Moore) (1994). He goes on to release 58 studio albums and 112 singles incl. 44 #1s, holding the record for most #1 singles of any act (40) until George Strait breaks it in 2006; too bad, he never becomes a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Connie B. Gay (1914-89)

In 1958 the Country Music Assoc. (CMA) is founded in Nashville, Tenn. by "Town and Country Time" disc jockey Connie Barriot Gay (1914-89) (coiner of the term "country music") (discoverer of Jimmy Dean and Patsy Cline), becoming the first trade org. formed to promote country music; in 1967 the first CMA Awards are held, hosted by Sonny James and Bobbie Gentry; the winners are Eddy Arnold, Jack Greene, and Loretta Lynn; the 1968 awards are hosted by Roy Rogers and Dale Evans; the first live telecast is in 1969.

Norma Jean (1938-)

In 1959 after gaining nat. exposure on Ozark Jubilee in 1955-7, Wellston, Okla.-born "Pretty Miss" Norma Jean Beasler (1938-) (known simply as Norma Jean when Red Foley makes it official in 1958) releases her first country single Chapel Bells (Columbia Records), which is a non-charter, followed by several more, causing Columbia Records to drop her. In 1961-7 after moving to Nashville, she becomes a member of The Porter Wagoner Show. In 1963 after Chet Atkins signs her with RCA Victor Records, she releases Let's Go All the Way (1963) (#11 country), followed by I'm A Walking Advertisement (For the Blues) (1964) (#32 country), and Put Your Arm Around Her (1964). In 1965 after joining the Grand Ole Opry, she releases Go Cat Go (1964) (#8 country) (#134 in the U.S.), followed by I Cried All the Way to the Bank (#21 country), followed by I Wouldn't Buy a Used Car from Him (1965) (#8 country), Put Your Arms Around Her (1965) (#25 country), Don't Let That Doorknob Hit You (1966) (#24 country), The Game of Triangles (w/Liz Anderson and Bobby Bare) (1966) (#5 country), and Heaven, Help the Working Girl (1967) (#18 country). In 1967 she is replaced on The Porter Wagoner Show by Dolly Parton. In 1968 she releases You Changed Everything About Me But My Name (1968) (#35 country), followed by Whiskey Six Years Old (1970) (#48 country), and The Kind of Needin' I Need (1971) (#42 country). In 1971 she leaves RCA Records, gives up alcoholism, and becomes a Christian. In 1982 she releases Let's Go All the Way (w/Claude Gray) (#68 country) (Decca Records). She goes on to release 20 studio albums and 37 singles.

Freddie Hart (1926-)

In 1959 after releasing a number of non-charters since 1953, Loachapoka, Ala.-born country singer-songwriter Freddie Hart (Frederick Segrest) (1926-) releases his first charter The Wall (by Harlan Howard) (#24 country) (Columbia Records), followed by Chain Gang (1959) (#17 country), The Key's in the Mailbox (1960) (#18 country), Hank Williams' Guitar (w/The Heartbeats) (1965) (#23 country) (Kapp Records), and Born a Fool (1968) (#21 country). In 1970 after re-signing with Capitol Records and becoming part of the Bakersfield Sound, he releases The Whole World's Holdin' Hands (#27 country), followed by Easy Loving (1971) (#1 country), My Hang-Up Is You (1972) (#1 country), Bless Your Heart (1972) (#1 country), Got the All Overs for You (All Over Me) (1972) (#1 country), Super Kind of Woman (1973) (#1 country), Trip to Heaven (1973) (#1 country), Hang in There Girl (1974) (#2 country), The First Time (1975) (#2 country), Warm Side of You (1975) (#6 country), You Are the Song (Inside of Me) (1976) (#11 country), That Look in Her Eyes (1976) (#11 country), Thank God She's Mine (1977) (#11 country), The Pleasure's Been All Mine (1977) (#13 country), Sure Thing (1980) (#15 country) (Sunbird Records), You're Crazy Man (1981) (#31 country), and You Were There (1981) (#38 country).

Buck Owens (1929-2006)

In 1959 Sherman, Tex.-born Alvis Edgar "Buck" Owens Jr. (1929-2006), who moved to Bakersfield, Calif. in 1951 and signed a recording contract with Capital Records in Feb. 1957 releases his first hit country song Second Fiddle (#24 country), backed by the Buckaroos, followed by Under Your Spell Again (1959) (#4 country), Excuse Me (I Think I've Got a Heartache) (1960) (#2 country), Foolin' Around (1961) (#2 country) (#113 in the U.S.), Mental Cruelty (w/Rose Maddox) (1961) (#8 country), Save the Last Dance for Me (1962) (#11 country), Act Naturally (1963) (#1 country), Love's Gonna Live Here (1963) (#1 country), My Heart Skips a Beat (1963) (#1 country) (#94 in the U.S.), I Don't Care (Just as Long as You Love Me) (1964) (#1 country) (#92 in the U.S.), I've Got a Tiger by the Tail (1964) (#1 country) (#25 in the U.S.), Before You Go (1964) (#1 country) (#82 in the U.S.), Only You (Can Break My Heart (1964) (#1 country) (#120 in the U.S.), Together Again (1964) (#1 country), Buckaroo (1965) (#1 country) (#60 in the U.S.), Waitin' in Your Welfare Line (1966) (#1 country) (#57 in the U.S.), Think of Me (1966) (#1 country) (#74 in the U.S.), Open Up Your Heart (1966) (#1 country), Where Does the Good Times Go (1966) (#1 country) (#114 in the U.S.), Sam's Place (1967) (#1 country) (#92 in the U.S.), Your Tender Loving Care (1967) (#1 country), How Long Will My Baby Be Gone (1968) (#1 country), Who's Gonna Mow Your Grass (1969) (#1 country) (#106 in the U.S.), Johnny B. Goode (1969) (#1 country) (#114 in the U.S.), Tall Dark Stranger (1969) (#1 country), The Great White Horse (w/Susan Raye) (1970) (#8 country) (#9 in the U.S.), Rollin' in My Sweet Baby's Arms (1971) (#2 country), Made in Japan (1972) (#1 country). In 1986 he leaves Hee-Haw. In 1988 he and Dwight Yoakam release Streets of Bakersfield (#1 country). In 1998 he and Cledus T. Judd release First Redneck on the Internet. He goes on to release 97 singles incl. 21 #1 country hits, becoming the only country star to have a hit record that is later done by the Beatles ("Act Naturally" in 1965, with Ringo Starr singing lead, plus a duet with Owens in 1989).

Jerry Reed (1937-2008)

In 1959 after struggling for a couple of years in the army, Atlanta, Ga.-born singer-songwriter-actor Jerry Reed (Hubbard) (1937-2008) releases his first charting country single Soldier's Joy (#115 in the U.S.), moving to Nashville in 1961 and becoming a guitarist and songwriter. In 1962 he releases Good Night Irene (#79 in the U.S.) and Hully Gully Guitar (#99 in the U.S.), followed by Guitar Man (1967) (#53 country) (covered by Elvis Presley), Tupelo Mississippi Flash (1967) (#15 country), Remembering (1968) (#14 country), There's Better Things in Life (#1969) (#20 country), Are You from Dixie ('Cause I'm from Dixie Too) (1969) (#11 country), Amos Moses (1970) (#16 country) (#8 in the U.S.), When You're Hot, You're Hot (1971) (#1 country) (#9 in the U.S.), Ko-Ko Joe (1971) (#11 country) (#51 in the U.S.), Another Puff (1972) (#27 country) (#65 in the U.S.), Alabama Wild Man (#22 country) (#62 in the U.S.), You Took All the Ramblin' Out of Me (1972) (#18 country), Lord, Mr. Ford (1973) (#1 country) (#68 in the U.S.), The Crude Oil Blues (1974) (#13 country) (#91 in the U.S.), East Bound and Down (by Jerry Reed and Dick Feller) (1977) (#2 country) (#103 in the U.S.) (from the 1977 film "Smokey and the Bandit"), Sugar-Foot Rag (1979) (#12 country), She Got the Goldmine (I Got the Shaft) (1982) (#1 country) (#3 in the U.S.), The Bird (1982) (#2 country) (#1 in the U.S.), Down on the Corner and (1983) (#13 country) (#11 in the U.S.). He goes on to release 49 albums and 59 singles incl. 4 #1s.

Hargus 'Pig' Robbins (1938-)

In 1959 blind Spring City, Tenn.-born country pianist-singer Hargus Melvin "Pig" Robbins (1938-) releases his first single Save It, going on to become a top Nashville session musician and release albums incl. A Bit of Country Piano (1963), Play It Again, Hargus (1968), Hargus Robbins (1969), One More Time (1969), and Country Instrumentalist of the Year (1977) (#46 country). In 1979 he releases the singles Chunky People (#83 country), and Unbreakable Hearts (#92 country).

Loretta Lynn (1932-) Loretta Lynn (1932-)

In Feb. 1960 Butcher Hollow, Ky.-born unknown Loretta Lynn (nee Webb) (1932-) cuts her first record I'm a Honky Tonk Girl, touring the U.S. to sell it to country radio stations until it reaches #14, launching her career. She follows with Success (1962) (#6 country), Wine, Women, and Song (1963) (#3 country), Before I'm Over You (1963) (#4 country), Happy Birthday (1964) (#3 country), Mr. and Mrs. Used to Be (w/Ernest Tubb) (1964) (#11 country), Blue Kentucky Girl (her favorite song) (1965) (#7 country), You Ain't Woman Enough (To Take My Man) (1966) (#2 country), Dear Uncle Sam (1966) (#4 country), Don't Come Home A'Drinkin' (With Lovin' on Your Mind) (by Peggy Sue Webb) (1966) (#1 country) ("But liquor and love, they just don't mix"), What Kind of a Girl (Do You Think I Am) (1967) (#5 country), Fist City (1968) (#1 country), You've Just Stepped In (From Stepping Out on Me) (1968) (#2 country), Your Squaw is on the Warpath (1968) (#3 country), Woman of the World (Leave My World Alone) (1969) (#1 country), and To Make a Man (Feel Like a Man) (1969) (#3 country). On Dec. 28, 1970 she releases the album Coal Miner's Daughter, which features Coal Miner's Daughter (#1 country) (#83 in the U.S.). She follows with I Wanna Be Free (1971) (#3 country) (#94 in the U.S.), One's On the Way (1971) (#1 country), You're Lookin' at Country (1971) (#5 country), Rated "X" (1972) (#1 country), Love Is the Foundation (1973) (#1 country) (#102 in the U.S.), Hey Loretta (1973) (#3 country), Trouble in Paradise (1974) (#1 country), When the Tingle Becomes a Chill (1975) (#2 country), Somebody Somewhere (Don't Know What He's Missin' Tonight) (1976) (#1 country), She's Got You (Patsy Cline cover) (1977) (#1 country), Out of My Head and Back in My Bed (1977) (#1 country), They Don't Make 'em Like My Daddy Anymore (1974) (#4 country), The Pill (1975) (#5 country) (#70 in the U.S.), I Lie (1982) (#9 country), Silver Threads and Golden Needles (by Jack Rhodes) (w/Dolly Parton and Tammy Wynette) (1994) (#68 country), and Coal Miner's Daughter (w/Sheryl Crow and Miranda Lambert) (2010) (#55 country). She goes on to release 54 studio albums and 88 singles incl. 16 #1s.

Roy Orbison (1936-88)

On May 5, 1960 Vernon, Tex.-born 4-octave-range singer-songwriter Roy Kelton Orbison (1936-88), known for wearing black clothes and black sunglasses to cover for his childhood jaundice and congenital poor eyesight, with black dye in his prematurely white hair, making him look like Elvis' sick brother released his first of 22 1960s hit singles Only the Lonely (#2 in the U.S., #1 in the U.K.), followed by Running Scared (Mar. 1961) (#1 in the U.S., #9 in the U.K.), Crying (July 1961) (#2 in the U.S., #7 in the U.K.), Love Hurts (by Boudleaux Bryant) (1961) (#5 in Australia), Dream Baby (How Long Must I Dream?) (Jan. 1962) (#4 in the U.S., #2 in the U.K.), In Dreams (Feb. 1963) (#7 in the U.S., #6 in the U.K.), Falling (May 1963) (#22 in the U.S., #9 in the U.K.), Blue Bayou (Aug. 1, 1963) (#29 in the U.S., #3 in the U.K.), Pretty Paper (Nov. 1963) (#15 in the U.S., #6 in the U.K.), It's Over (Apr. 1964) (#1 country) (#9 in the U.S.) (#1 in the U.K.), and Oh, Pretty Woman (Aug. 1964) (#1 in the U.S. and U.K.). That's right, the Beatles Invasion even killed him. In Jan. 1967 he releases the tribute album Roy Orbison Sings Don Gibson, which features Too Soon to Know (#3 in the U.K.), and (I'd Be) A Legend in My Time. On May 26, 1986 he releases the album Class of '55 (#15 country), recorded with Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, and Carl Perkins, which features Class of '55, and Big Train (from Memphis) (by John Fogerty). The Oct. 18, 1988 album Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1 (#3 in the U.S.) (#16 in the U.K.) (6M copies), recorded with George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, and Leff Lynne features Handle with Care, Tweeter and the Monkey Man, and End of the Line. The Feb. 7, 1989 posth. album (his last) Mystery Girl (#17 country) (#5 in the U.S.) (#2 in the U.K.) (3M copies) features She's a Mystery to Me, and You Got It (#1 country) (#9 in the U.S.) (#3 in the U.K.). He goes on to release 23 studio albums and 92 singles incl. 22 top-40s, six top-5s, and two #1s.

Dorsey Burnette (1932-79)

In 1960 after his Rock and Roll Trio (with brother Johnny Burnette and Paul Burlison) tanks, and they sell some songs to Ricky Nelson et al., Memphis, Tenn.-born rockabilly singer-songwriter Dorsey Burnette (1932-79) (father of Fleetwood Mac member Billy Burnette) releases the single (There Was A) Tall Oak Tree (#23 in the U.S.) (Imperial Records), On Aug. 14, 1964 Johnny Burnette is killed on a boating accident in Clear Lake, Calif., causing Dorsey to become a born-again Christian and go country, releasing In the Spring (The Roses Always Turn Red) (1972) (#21 country), I Just Couldn't Let Her Walk Away (1972) (#40 country), I Let Another Good One Get Away (1973) (#42 country), Darlin' (Don't Come Back) (w/the Sound Company) (1973) (#26 country), Molly (I Ain't Gettin' Any Younger) (1975) (#28 country), and Things I Treasure (1977) (#31 country). In 1977 he composes the soundtrack of the horror flick Kingdom of the Spiders.

Harlan Howard (1927-2002) Jan Howard (1932-)

In 1960 after he scores hits with "Pick Me Up on Your Way Down" (recorded by Charlie Walker), and "Heartaches by the Number" (recorded by Ray Price and Guy Mitchell), Detroit, Mich.-born country songwriter Harlan Perry Howard (1927-2002) moves from Los Angeles to Nashville, signing with Acuff-Rose Music and scoring more hits with "I Fall to Pieces" (co-written by Hank Cochran) (recorded by Patsy Cline after his wife Jan Howard records the demo), "She Called Me Baby" (recorded by Charlie Rich), "Mommy for a Day" (recorded by Kitty Wells), "Pick Me Up on Your Way Down" (recorded by Charlie Walker), "Busted" (recorded by Johnny Cash and Ray Charles), and "The Wall" (recorded by Johnny Cash). His West Plains, Mo.-born wife Jan Howard (Lula Grace Johnson) (1932-) makes her debut with Wynn Stewart's band, moves with him to Nashville in 1960, and releases her first country hit The One You Slip Around With (#13 country), winning the 1960 Billboard mag. most promising female country award over Loretta Lynn, then charting again with I Wish I Was a Single Girl Again (1962) (#27 country), followed by Evil on Your Mind (Decca Records) (1966) (#5 country), Bad Seed (1966) (#10 country), Count Your Blessings, Woman (1968) (#16 country), My Son (1968) (#15 country), and We Had All the Good Things Going (1969) (#20 country). She becomes a member of the Grand Ole Opry on Mar. 27, 1971, touring with Johnny Cash in 1976-80 amid rumors of an affair. In 1978 she becomes a background singer for Tammy Wynette. She goes on to release 16 studio albums and 52 singles incl. one #1.

Bob Luman (1937-78)

In 1960 after getting turned on by an Elvis performance, then almost signing with the ML Pittsburgh Pirates until the Everly Brothers talk him out of it, Nacogdoches, Tex.-born ex-rockabilly star wannabe Robert Glynn "Bob" Luman (1937-78) releases his first hit single Let's Think About Livin' (Warner Bros. Records) (#9 country) (#7 in the U.S.) (#10 in the U.K.), followed by a decade of touring in Las Vegas et al. along with low-charters, turning his career around with a contract with Epic Records, releasing When You Say Love (1971) (#6 country), Lonely Women Make Good Lovers (1972) (#4 country), Neither One of Us (1973) (#7 country), Still Loving You (1973) (#7 country), and The Pay Phone (1977) (#13 country). He goes on to become the first country singer to perform in Puerto Rico before dying of pneumonia at age 41.

Roger Miller (1936-92)

In 1960 Fort Worth, Tex.-born Okla.-raised Roger Dean Miller Sr. (1936-92) releases his first hit single You Don't Want My Love (In the Summertime) (#14 country) (RCA Records), followed by Dang Me (1964) (#1 country) (#7 in the U.S.), Chug-a-Lug (1964) (#3 country) (#9 in the U.S.), Do-Wacka-Do (1965) (#15 country) (#31 in the U.S.), King of the Road ("Trailer for sale or rent/ Rooms to let 50 cents/ No phone, no pool, no pets/ I ain't got no cigarettes/ Ah but two hours of pushin' broom/ Buys an 8 by 12 4-bit room/ I'm a man of means by no means/ King of the road." (1965) (#1 country) (#4 in the U.S.), Engine Engine #9 (1965) (#2 country) (#7 in the U.S.), Kansas City Star (1965) (#7 country) (#31 in the U.S.), England Swings (1965) (#3 country) (#8 in the U.S.),, Husbands and Wives (1966) (#5 country) (#26 in the U.S.). Walkin' in the Sunshine (1967) (#7 country) (#37 in the U.S.), Little Green Apples (1968) (#6 country) (#39 in the U.S.), Me and Bobby McGee (1969) (#12 country) (#122 in the U.S.), Where Have All the Average People Gone (1969) (#14 country), and Tomorrow Night in Baltimore (#11 country).

In 1960 purple-painted Tootsie's Orchid Lounge in Nashville, Tenn. behind the Ryman Auditorium opens, becoming a hangout for stars incl. Patsy Cline, Mel Tillis, Waylon Jennings, Roger Miller, Kris Kristofferson, and Willie Nelson.

Dave Dudley (1928-2003) Truck Stop

In 1961 after releasing several non-charters since 1955, Spencer, Wisc.-born country singer (failed baseball player) ("Father of Truck-Driving Country Music") Dave Dudley (David Darwin Pedruska) (1928-2003) releases his first country charter Maybe I Do (Vee Records) (#28 country), followed by Six Days on the Road (by Earl Green and Peanut Montgomery) (Golden Wing Records) (#2 country) (#32 in the U.S.) (1M copies), Cowboy Boots (1963) (Mercury Records) (#3 country) (#95 in the U.S.), Last Day in the Mines (1964) (#7 country) (#125 in the U.S.), Mad (1964) (#6 country), Two Six Packs Away (1965) (#15 country), Truck Drivin' Son-of-a-Gun (1965) (#3 country) (#125 in the U.S.), What We're Fighting For (1965) (#4 country), Vietnam Blues (1966) (#12 country) (#127 in the U.S.), Lonelyville (1966) (#13 country), My Kind of Love (1967) (#12 country), Trucker's Prayer (1967) (#23 country), There Ain't No Easy Run (1968) (#10 country), Please Let Me Prove (My Love for You) (1968) (#10 country), George (And the North Woods) (1969) (#10 country), The Pool Shark (1970) (#1 country), Day Drinkin' (w/Tom T. Hall) (1970) (#23 country), Comin' Down (1971) (#8 country), Fly Away Again (1971) (#8 country), and Don't Mess with U.S. Truckers. In 1977 the German country band Truck Stop releases the album Zuhause (Home) (150K copies) (#27 in Germany), which features I Would Like So Much to Hear Dave Dudley (Ich mochte so gern Dave Dudley hoeren) (Ich möcht' so gern Dave Dudley hör'n). He goes on to release 70+ albums and 33 top-40 country hits. Truck Stop goes on to release Hello Josephine (1974), The Wild, Wild West (Der wilde, wilde Westen) (1980) (#1 in Germany), Old Texas Town (Die Westernstadt) (1981) (#1 in Germany), Take It Easy (1983), Arizona, Arizona (1990), and When It was Night in Old Tucson (Wenn es Nacht wird in Old Tucson) (1992).

Del Reeves (1932-2007)

In 1961 after signing with Capitol Records in 1954, then switching to Decca, Reprise, Columbia, and United Artists, Sparta, N.C.-born honky tonk singer-songwriter Franklin Delano "Del" Reeves (1932-2007) releases his first hit single Be Quiet Mind (#9 country), followed by He Stands Real Tall (1962) (#11 country), The Only Girl I Can't Forget (1963) (#13 country), and Talking to the Night Lights (1964) (#14 country). In 1965 he releases his debut album Girl on the Billboard (#8 country), which features Girl on the Billboard (#1 country), and The Belles of the Southern Bell (#4 country). Album #2 Doodle-Oo-Doo-Doo (1965) (#6 country) features Women Do Funny Things to Me (#9 country). Album #3 Del Reeves Sings Jim Reeves (1966) (#23 country) features Am I Losing You In 1966 he joins the Grand Ole Opry. Album #13 Looking at the World Through a Windshield (1968) (#33 country) features Looking at the World Through a Windshield (trucker song) (#5 country). Album #14 Down at Good Time Charlie's (1969) (#42 country) features Good Time Charlie's (#3 country), and Be Glad (#5 country). Album #16 Big Daddy Del (1970) (#41 country) features There Wouldn't Be a Lonely Heart in Town (#12 country). In 1970 he and Penny DeHaven release Landmark Tavern (#20 country). In 1971 he releases his last hit The Philadelphia Fillies (#9 country). In 1979 he becomes an exec with Mercury Records, later signing Billy Ray Cyrus.

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, 1961-

In 1961 the Country Music Hall of Fame is founded by the Country Music Assoc. (CMA); the first inductees are Jimmie Rodgers, Fred Rose, and Hank Williams Sr.; in 1964 the nonprofit Country Music Foundation is founded to operate the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, which opens on Music Row at Music Square East and Division St. on Apr. 1, 1967 in Nashville, Tenn.; in ? it moves to 222 Fifth Ave. South.

Hank Cochran (1935-2010)

In 1962 after composing "I Fall to Pieces" with Harlan Howard in 1960, along with "She's Got You", "Why Can't He Be You", and "Make the World Go Away", Isola, Miss.-born Garland Perry "Hank" Cochran (1935-2010) releases his debut single Sally Was a Good Old Girl (#20 country), followed by I'd Fight the World (1962) (#23 country), A Good Country Song (1963) (#25 country), All of Me Belongs to You (1967) (#70 country), Willie (1978) (#91 country), Ain't Life Hell (w/Willie Nelson, whom he discovered at Tootsie's Orchid Lounge in Nashville, Tenn.) (1978) (#77 country), and A Little Bitty Tear (w/Willie Nelson) (1980) (#57 country).

Melba Montgomery (1938-)

In 1962 Florence, Ala.-born Melba Montgomery (1938-) releases her debut single I'm No Longer in Your Heart, followed by What's in Our Hearts (w/George Jones) (1963) (#3 country), We Must Have Been Out of Our Minds (w/George Jones) (1963) (#3 country), Let's Invite Them Over (w/George Jones) (1963) (#17 country) Hall of Shame (1963) (#26 country), The Greatest One of All (1964) (#22 country), Bluegrass Hootenanny (w/George Jones) (1964) (#12 country), Please Be My Love (w/George Jones) (1964) (#31 country), Baby, Ain't That Fine (w/Gene Pitney) (1965) (#15 country), Blue Moon of Kentucky (w/George Jones) (1966), Party Pickin' (w/George Jones) (1967) (#37 country), Something to Brag About (w/Charlie Louvin) (1971) (#45 country), He's My Man (1971) (#61 country), Baby, You've Got What It Takes (w/Charlie Louvin) (1971) (#45 country), Wrap Your Love Around Me (1973) (#38 country), No Charge (1974) (#1 country) (#39 in the U.S.), Don't Let the Good Times Fool You (1975) (#15 country), and Angel of the Morning (1977) (#22 country). She goes on to release 29 studio albums and 59 singles.

Ian Tyson (1933-) and Sylvia Tyson (1940-)

In 1962 after moving from Toronto to New York City and signing with mgr. Albert Grossman, Canadian-born folk music singers Ian Tyson (1933-) and Sylvia Tyson (nee Fricker) (1940-) release their debut album Ian & Sylvia, with Ian playing the guitar and Sylvia the autoharp, which gets them an invite to the 1963 Newport Folk Festival; they follow with album #2 Four Strong Winds (1964) (#115 in the U.S.), which incl. their signature song Four Strong Winds (which becomes a #3 country hit for Bobby Bare in 1967), and Tomorrow Is a Long Time (by Bob Dylan), album #3 Northern Journey (1964) (#70 in the U.S.), incl. You Were On My Mind, which later becomes a hit for We Five (#3 in the U.S. in 1965) and Crispian St. Peters (#36 in the U.S. in 1967), album #4 Early Morning Rain (1965) (#77 in the U.S.), which incl. (That's What You Get) For Lovin' Me (by Gordon Lightfoot), album #5 Play One More (1966) (#142 in the U.S.), which goes electric with full modern arrangements, incl. Short Grass, album #6 So Much for Dreaming (1967) (#130 in the U.S.), which incl. Wild Geese, and Child Apart, album #7 Lovin' Sound (1967) (#148 in the U.S.), which incl. Lovin' Sound, and album #9 Full Circle (1968), after which they slide off the charts despite going country rock and forming the group Great Speckled Bird in 1969, releasing album #10 Great Speckled Bird (Apr. 1970) (first album produced by Todd Rundgren), which incl. Calgary, album #11 Ian and Sylvia (1971) (#201 in the U.S.), which incl. Summer Wages, and album #12 You Were on My Mind (1972), which incl. You Were on My Mind; they part ways in 1975.

Hoyt Axton (1938-99)

In 1963 Duncan, Okla.-born folk-country singer-songwriter Hoyt Wayne Axton (1938-99) (son of "Heartbreak Hotel" composer Mae Axton) releases his debut single Greenback Dollar (later covered by the Kingston Trio), followed by his album Joy to the World (1971), which features Joy to the World, and The Pusher. In 1974 he follows with When the Morning Comes (w/Linda Ronstadt) (#10 country) (#54 in the U.S.), followed by Boney Fingers (1974) (#8 country). In 1975 he releases album #14 Southbound (A&M Records) (#27 country) (#188 in the U.S.), which features Southbound, No No Song, Roll Your Own, and Nashville. In 1979 he releases the singles Della and the Dealer (#17 country), and A Rusty Old Halo (1979) (#14 country). Meanwhile his songs become hits for others incl. "Joy to the World" (Three Dog Night), "The Pusher" (Steppenwolf), and "No-No Song" (Ringo Starr), and he becomes a popular actor, doing a Big Mac TV commercial for McDonald's in 1969, then appearing in "The Black Stallion" (1979) and "Gremlins" (1984), and doing a TV commercial for Pizza Hut in 1985. Too bad, he becomes a cocaine addict, and has a stroke in 1995 before dying of a heart attack on Oct. 26, 1999 30 mo. after his mother. In 1998 the album The A&M Years is released, covering his biggest hits from 1973-6; it features Flash of Fire, Geronimo's Cadillac, and When the Morning Comes.

Merle Haggard (1937-2016) Merle Haggard (1937-2016) Bonnie Owens (1929-2006) Leona Williams (1943-)

In 1963 after spending the 1950s in and out of priz, then getting out of priz in 1960 and going straight, Oildale, Calif.-born Bakersfield sound pioneer Merle Ronald "Hag" Haggard (1937-2016) releases his first hit Sing A Sad Song by Wynn Stewart (#19 country). In 1965 he marries Buck Owens' Blanchard, Okla.-born ex-wife Bonnie Owens (nee Campbell) (1929-2006) (until 1978) after she is named 1965 female vocalist of the year by the Academy of Country Music, becoming his singing partner. His debut duet album with Bonnie Owens (Just Between the Two of Us) (Sept. 6, 1966) (#9 country) (Capitol Records) features Just Between the Two of Us (w/Bonnie Owens) (by Liz Anderson) (#28 country). His debut album Strangers (Sept. 6, 1965) (#9 country) (Capitol Records) features (All My Friends Are Gonna Be) Strangers (w/Bonnie Owens) (by Liz Anderson) (#10 country), causing him to name his backing group The Strangers. Album #2 Swinging Doors (Oct. 3, 1966) (#1 country) features Swinging Doors (#5 country), and The Bottle Let Me Down (#3 country). Album #3 I'm A Lonesome Fugitive (Mar. 4, 1967) (#3 country) (#165 in the U.S.) features I'm A Lonesome Fugitive (#1 country) Album #4 Branded Man (Aug. 28, 1967) features Branded Man (#1 country), and I Threw Away the Rose (#2 country). Album #5 Sing Me Back Home (Jan. 2, 1968) (#1 country) features Sing Me Back Home (#1 country). Album #6 The Legend of Bonnie & Clyde (Apr. 8, 1968) (#6 country) features The Legend of Bonnie Clyde (co-written by Bonnie Owens) (#1 country). Album #7 Mama Tried (Oct. 3, 1968) (#4 country) features Mama Tried (#1 country). Album #8 Pride in What I Am (Feb. 3, 1969) (#11 country) (#189 in the U.S.) features I Take a Lot of Pride in What I Am (#3 country. Album #9 Same Train, Different Time (1969) features covers of Jimmie Ridgers songs. Album #10 A Portrait of Merle Haggard (Sept. 2, 1969) (#3 country) (#99 in the U.S.) features Workin' Man Blues (#1 country), and Hungry Eyes (#1 country). Album #11 Okie from Muskogee (Dec. 29, 1969) (#1 country) (#46 in the U.S.) features Okie from Muskogee (#1 country), a big counter-hippie hit for rednecks; "We don't smoke marijuana in Muskogee,/ We don't take our trips on LSD,/ We don't burn our draft cards down on main street/ We like living right and being free/ We don't make a party out of lovin'/ We like holdin' hands and pitchin' woo/ We don't let our hair grow long and shaggy/ Like the hippies out in San Francisco do/ I'm proud to be an Okie from Muskogee/ A place where even squares can have a ball/ We still wave Old Glory down at the courthouse/ And white lightnin's still the biggest thrill of all/ Leather boots are still in style for manly footwear,/ Beads and Roman sandals won't be seen,/ Football's still the roughest thing on campus,/ And the kids here still respect the college dean." Introducing My Friends the Strangers (Apr. 6, 1970) (#34 country) features Street Singer (#9 country) (#124 in the U.S.). Album #12 The Fightin' Side of Me (1970) (#1 country) features The Fightin' Side of Me (#1 country) (#92 in the U.S.), and Medley of Impersonations. Album #13 A Tribute to the Best Damn Fiddle Player in the World (My Salute to Bob Wills) (1970) features six remaining members of The Texas Playboys. Album #14 Hag (Apr. 22, 1971) (#1 country) (#66 in the U.S.) features Jesus, Take a Hold (#3 country) (#107 in the U.S.), I Can't Be Myself (When I'm With You) (#3 country) (#106 in the U.S.), Soldier's Last Letter (#3 country) (#90 in the U.S.), and Sidewalks of Chicago. Album #15 Someday We'll Look Back (Aug. 9, 1971) (#4 country) (#108 in the U.S.) features Someday We'll Look Back (#2 country), and Carolyn (#1 country). Album #16 Let Me Tell You About a Song (June 1972) (#7 country) (#166 in the U.S.) features Grandma Harp (#1 country), and Daddy Frank (Guitar Man) (#1 country). Album #17 It's Not Love (But It's Not Bad) (Dec. 1972) (#1 country) features It's Not Love (But It's Not Bad) (#1 country). Album #18 Merle Haggard's Christmas Present (Nov. 1973) (#4 country) features If We Make It Through December (#1 country) (#28 in the U.S.), which becomes a recession anthem. Album #19 If We Make It Through December (Feb. 1974) (#4 country) (#190 in the U.S.) features you guessed it. Album #20 Merle Haggard Presents His 30th Album (Aug. 1974) (#1 country), which features Album #21 Keep Movin' On (Apr. 1975) (#1 country) (#129 in the U.S.) features Movin' On (from the TV series), and Kentucky Gambler (by Dolly Parton). Album #22 It's All in the Movies (Feb. 1976) (#1 country) features It's All in the Movies, and The Seeker (by Dolly Parton). Album #23 My Love Affair with Trains (July 1976) features My Love Affair with Trains (by Dolly Parton) (#7 country), and Here Comes the Freedom Train (by Stephen H. Lemberg). Album #24 The Roots of My Raising (Nov. 1976) (#8 country), which features The Roots of My Raising (#1 country), and Cherokee Maiden (#1 country). Album #25 Ramblin' Fever (May 1977) (MCA Records) (#5 country) features Ramblin' Fever. Album #26 A Working Man Can't Get Nowhere Today (Sept. 1977) (#28 country) (Capitol Records) features A Working Man Can't Get Nowhere Today, and Making Believe (by Jimmy Work). Album #27 My Farewell to Elvis (Oct. 1977) (#6 country) (#133 in the U.S.) (MCA Records) features From Graceland to the Promised Land (#4 country). Album #28 I'm Always on a Mountain When I Fall (June 1978) (#17 country) features I'm Always on a Mountain When I Fall (by Chuck Howard). In 1978 he and his Vienna, Mo.-born 2nd wife (1978-83) Leona Williams (Leona Belle Helton) (1943-) release The Bull and the Beaver (#8 country). Album #29 Serving 190 Proof (May 18, 1979) (#17 country) features Heaven Was A Drink of Wine (#4 country), I Must Have Done Something Bad (#4 country), My Own Kind of Hat (#4 country), and Red Bandana (#4 country). Album #30 The Way I Am (Apr. 1980) (#16 country) features The Way I Am (#2 country). Album #31 Back to the Barrooms (Oct. 10, 1980) (#8 country) features Misery and Gin (#10 country) (from the 1980 film Bronco Billy). Album #32 Songs for the Mama that Tried (Sept. 1981) (#46 country) (MCA Records) features When God Comes and Gathers His Jewels (by Hank Williams Sr.). Album #33 Big City (Epic Records) (#3 country) (#161 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Big City (#1 country), My Favorite Memory (#1 country), Are the Good Times Really Over (I Wish a Buck Was Still Silver) (#2 country). Album #34 A Taste of Yesterday's Wine (with George Jones) (Aug. 1982) (#4 country) (#123 in the U.S.) features Yesterday's Wine (#1 country), and C.C. Waterback (#10 country). Album #35 Going Where the Lonely Go (Nov. 1982) (#3 country) features Going Where the Lonely Go (#1 country), and You Take Me for Granted (by Leona Williams) (#1 country). The duet album Pancho & Lefty (Jan. 1983) (#1 country) (#37 in the U.S.) with Willie Nelson is their breakthrough album; it features Pancho & Lefty (by Townes Van Zandt) (#1 country), and Reasons to Quit (#6 country). Album #38 That's the Way Love Goes (Aug. 1983) (#8 country) features That's the Way Love Goes (#1 country), Someday when Things Are Good (#1 country), and What Am I Gonna Do (With the Rest of My Life) (#55 country). Album #39 It's All in the Game (1984) (#1 country) features It's All in the Game. In 1984 he releases the single A Place to Fall Apart (w/Janie Fricke) (#1 country). In 1987 Haggard releases his 38th #1 hit. In 1994 the album Mama's Hungry Eyes: A Tribute to Merle Haggard is released. He goes on to release 76 studio albums and 96 singles incl. 38 #1s.

The Even Dozen Jug Band

In Jan. 1964 the Even Dozen Jug Band, founded in New York City in 1963, incl. John Sebastian, David Grisman, Steve Katz, Maria Muldaur, and Joshua Rifkin releases their first and only album The Even Dozen Jug Band; it incl. Take Your Fingers Off It, Original Colossal Drag Rag, Mandolin King Rag, Evolution Mama, All Worn Out, and Sadie Green.

Dolly Parton (1946-) Dolly Parton (1946-) Dolly Parton (1946-) Dolly Parton Topless (1946-)

On June 1, 1964 after releasing non-charters Puppy Love (1959), and It's Sure Gonna Hurt (1962), then leaving the day after her h.s. graduation, 5'1" Sevier County, Tenn.-born singer-songwriter Dolly Rebecca Parton (1946-) (who sounds like Minnie Mouse?) spends her first day in Nashville, Tenn. in search of a record deal, (the second day is spent on her back, and the third at the plastic surgeon's office?), releasing I Wasted My Tears (1964), followed by Happy, Happy Birthday Baby (1965) (#108 in the U.S.), Dumb Blonde (1967) (#24 country), Something Fishy (1967) (#17 country), and Just Because I'm a Woman (1967) (#17 country). On ? she undergoes breast enlargement surgery (40DDD) to make herself look like a made-up whore with bodacious tatas, while putting on the act that she's a hooker with a heart of gold, uttering the soundbyte: "It costs a lot of money to look this cheap." In 1966 she marries Carl Dean, who enjoys her big boobs and scrawny behind for the next 4+ decades while remaining out of sight in the background; meanwhile she maintains a suspiciously close relationship with childhood friend Judy Ogle, causing rumors of lesbianism; in 1967 she replaces Pretty Miss Norma Jean Beasler (1938-) on The Porter Wagoner Show, and becomes a country star. In 1970 she releases Mule Skinner Blues (Blue Yodel No. 8) (#8 country), followed by Joshua (1970) (#1 country) (#108 in the U.S.), Coat of Many Colors (1971) (#4 country), Touch Your Woman (1972) (#6 country), Jolene (1973) (#3 country) (#60 in the U.S.), I Will Always Love You (1974) (#1 country) (written for her musical partner Porter Wagoner as they split ways), Love Is Like a Butterfly (1974) (#1 country) (#105 in the U.S.), The Bargain Store (1975) (#1 country), The Seeker (1975) (#2 country) (#105 in the U.S.), All I Can Do (1976) (#3 country), Here You Come Again (1977) (#1 country) (#3 in the U.S.), It's All Wrong, But It's All Right (1978) (#1 country), Heartbreaker (1978) (#1 country) (#37 in the U.S.), You're the Only One (1979) (#1 country) (#59 in the U.S.), Sweet Summer Lovin' (1979) (#7 country) (#77 in the U.S.), Starting Over Again (1980) (#1 country) (#36 in the U.S.), Old Flames Can't Hold a Candle to You (1980) (#1 country), 9 to 5 (1980) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.), But You Know I Love You (1981) (#1 country) (#41 in the U.S.), Everything's Beautiful (In Its Own Way) (1982) (#7 country) (#102 in the U.S.), Save the Last Dance for Me (1983) (#3 country) (#45 in the U.S.), Islands in the Stream (w/Kenny Rogers) (1983) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.), Tennessee Homesick Blues (1984) (#1 country) (from the film "Rhinestone"), Don't Call It Love (1985) (#3 country), Real Love (w/Kenny Rogers) (1985) (#1 country) (#91 in the U.S.), Think About Love (1985) (#1 country), To Know Him Is to Love Him (w/Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt) (1987) (#1 country), Why'd You Come in Here Lookin' Like That (1989) (#1 country), Yellow Roses (1989) (#1 country), Rockin' Years (w/Ricky Van Shelton) (1991) (#1 country), and When I Get Where I'm Going (w/Brad Paisley) (2005) (#1 country) (#39 in the U.S.). In 1986 the Dollywood theme park, co-owned by country singer Dolly Parton opens in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. in the Smoky Mts., growing to 3M visitors a year. She goes on to release 42 studio albums incl. 41 top-10, and 180 compilation albums, plus 110 charting singles incl. 25 #1s (a record shared with Reba McEntire), and compose 3K songs. On July 5, 1996 Dolly the Sheep (1996-2003) is born, becoming the first mammal to be cloned, named after Dolly Parton because it was cloned from a cell from an adult ewe's mammary gland.

Dotti West (1932-91)

In June 1964 McMinnville, Tenn.-born Dottie West (Dorothy Marie Marsh) (1932-91) releases her first top-10 country hit Here Comes My Baby (#10 country), which wins her the first-ever Grammy for best female country vocal performance in 1965, becoming her signature song. Going into the duet biz, in 1964 she releases Love Is No Excuse (w/ Jim Reeves) (by Justin Tubb) (#7 country) (#115 in the U.S.), followed in 1969 by Rings of Gold with Don Gibson (#2 country) (#32 in the U.S.), Slowly with Jimmy Dean (1971) (#29 country), Every Time Two Fools Collide with Kenny Rogers (1978) (#1 country) (#101 in the U.S.), Anyone Who Isn't Me Tonight with Kenny Rogers (1978) (#2 country), All I Ever Need Is You with Kenny Rogers (1979) (#1 country), Till I Can Make It On My Own with Kenny Rogers (1979) (#3 country). In Feb. 1980 she goes solo again, releasing A Lesson in Leavin' (#1 country). She goes on to release 71 singles.

Connie Smith (1941-)

On Aug. 1, 1964 Elkhart, Ind.-born Connie Smith (Constance June Meador) (1941-) releases her debut single Once a Day (by Bill Anderson) (#1 country) (#101 in the U.S.) (first #1 country debut single by a female country artist) (most weeks spent at #1 by a female country artist until Taylor Swift), followed by Then and Only Then (1965) (#4 country) (#116 in the U.S.), If I Talk to Him (1965) (#4 country), Nobody But a Fool (Would Love You) (1966) (#4 country), Ain't Had No Lovin' (1966) (#2 country), The Hurtin's All Over (1966) (#3 country), Cincinnati, Ohio (1967) (#4 country), Burning a Hole in My Mind (1967) (#5 country), You and Your Sweet Love (1969) (#6 country), Young Love (w/Nat Stuckey) (1979) (#20 country), I Never Once Stopped Loving You (1970) (#5 country), Just One Time (1971) (#2 country) (#119 in the U.S.), Just for What I Am (1972) (#5 country), If It Ain't Love (Let's Leave It Alone) (1972) (#7 country), and I Just Want to Be Your Everything (1977) (#14 country). She goes on to release 31 albums (incl. three #1s) and 51 singles incl. 20 top-10s.

Waylon Jennings (1937-2002)

In Dec. 1964 after giving his seat to J.P. "the Big Bopper" Richardson on the Day the Music Died, former bass player for Buddy Holly, Littlefield, Tex.-born Waylon Arnold Jennings (1937-2002), known for adopting the Lubbock Sound of Buddy Holly and the Red Dirt sound of Stillwater, Okla. releases his debut album Waylon at JD's. In 1969 he marries country singer Jessi Colter. In 1971 he releases the album Cedartown, Georgia, which features Cedartown, Georgia (#14 country). In Feb. 1972 after going outlaw, he releases the album Good Hearted Woman (RCA Records), which features Good Hearted Woman (co-written by Willie Nelson), followed in 1972 by Ladies Love Outlaws (RCA Records) (#11 country), coining the term outlaw for country music; it features Under Your Spell Again (w/Jessi Colter) (#39 country). Album #22 Dreaming My Dreams (June 1975) (#1 country) features Dreaming My Dreams with You (by Allen Reynolds) (#10 country), and Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way (#1 country). On Jan. 12, 1976 he releases the album Wanted! The Outlaws with Willie Nelson, Jessi Colter, and Tompall Glaser, reaching #1 on the country charts and #10 on the pop charts, becoming the first platinum country music album, featuring the singles Suspicious Minds (#2) and Good Hearted Woman (#1). In Jan. 1978 he and Willie Nelson release the album Waylon & Willie (#1 country) (#12 in the U.S.), which features Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys (#1 country), Lookin' for a Feeling (#1 country), I Can Get Off on You (#1 country), The Wurlitzer Prize (I Don't Want to Get Over You) (#1 country), and If You Can Touch Her At All (#5 country).

Pete Drake (1932-88)

In 1964 after mating a talk box to his electric steel guitar, Augusta, Ga.-born studio musician Roddis Franklin "Pete" Drake (1932-88) (founder of the Sons of the South in Atlanta, Ga. in the 1950s, which incl. Jack Greene, Doug Kershaw, Roger Miller, Jerry Reed, and Joe South) releases his million-selling hit Forever (#22 in the U.S.), using the profits to found Stop Records and First Generation Records.

Terry Stafford (1941-96)

In 1964 Hollis, Okla.-born Elvis sound-alike singer-songwriter Terry LaVerne Stafford (1941-96) fom Amarillo, Tex. releases his debut album Suspicion!, which features his 1-hit wonder Suspicion (#3 in the U.S.) (#31 in the U.K.) (1M copies); it features a synthesizer worked by Bob Summers, brother-in-law of Les Paul; on Apr. 4, 1964 the Beatles hold the top five spots on the Billboard Hot 100, and this song is #6; a week later it peaks at #3, with the Beatles holding 3 of the top 5 spots. He follows with Amarillo by Morning (1973) (#31 country).

Doc Watson (1923-2012) Merle Watson (1949-85) Gaither Carlton (1901-72)

In 1964 after switching from electric to acoustic guitar in 1960 and getting his big break at the 1963 Newport Folk Festival, Deep Gap, N.C.-born blind bluegrass-country-blues singer-songwriter-guitarist Arthel Lane "Doc" Watson (1923-2012) (known for playing a Gallagher G-50 guitar called Old Hoss) releases his first studio album Doc Watson (Vanguard Records), which features Nashville Blues (by the Delmore Brothers), Sitting on Top of the World (by Sam Chatmon and Walter Vinson), Intoxicated Rat (by Dorsey Dixon), and Country Blues (by Dock Boggs). Wilkes County, N.C.-born country fiddler Gaither Carlton (1901-72), father of his wife (since 1947) Rosa Lee Carlton, known for Hicks' Farewell (1961) acccompanies him in 1961-72. Album #8 The Elementary Doctor Watson! (1972) (#44 country), performed with his son Eddy Merle Watson (1949-85) (named after Merle Travis) features The Last Thing on My Mind (by Tom Paxton), Freight Train Boogie, and More Pretty Girls Than One (by Alton Delmore and Arthur Smith). Album #9 Then and Now (w/Merle Watson) (1973) (#44 country) features Bonaparte's Retreat (by Pee Wee King and Redd Stewart), Bottle of Wine (by Tom Paxton) (#71 country), and If I Needed You (by Townes Van Zandt). Album #11 Memories (1975) (#47 country) (#193 in the U.S.) features Rambling Hobo, Shady Grove, and Wake Up, Little Maggie (co-written by Gaither Carlton). Album #12 Doc and the Boys (1976) (#41 country) features Cypress Grove Blues (by Skip James), and Natural Born Gamblin' Man (by Merle Travis and Tex Atchison). Album #14 Look Away! (w/Merle Watson) (1978) features Don't Think Twice, It's All Right (#88 country). Too bad, on Oct. 23, 1985 Merle Watson (b. 1949) dies in a tractor accident in Lenoir, N.C. Doc Watson goes on to release 38 studio albums and 14 singles.

In 1964 the Academy of Country Music (ACM) (originally the Country and Western Music Academy) is founded in Encino, Calif. by "Release Me" songwriter Edward Monroe "Eddie" Miller (1919-77) et al. to promote country music in the 13 Western states.

Ronnie Milsap (1943-)

In 1965 Robbinsville, N.C.-born blind musician Ronnie Lee Milsap (1943-) releases the R&B hit Never Had It So Good (#106 in the U.S.), followed by a string of flops. In Aug. 1971 he releases his debut country album Ronnie Milsap, which also flops, followed in Sept. 1973 by album #2 Where My Heart Is, which goes #5 on the country charts. In Apr. 1974 he releases album #3 Pure Love (#8 country), which features the #1 country hits Pure Love (by Eddie Rabbitt), and Please Don't Tell Me How the Story Ends (#95 in the U.S.), turning him into a crossover artist. In Sept. 1980 he releases Smoky Mountain Rain (#1 country) (#24 in the U.S.). In June 1981 he releases (There's) No Gettin' Over Me (#1 country) (#5 in the U.S.), I Wouldn't Have Missed It for the World (#1 country) (#20 in the U.S.), and Any Day Now (#1 country) (#14 in the U.S.). In 1983 he releases Stranger in My House (#5 country) (#23 in the U.S.). He goes on to release 40 #1 hits and 30+ albums selling 35M copies.

Anne Murray (1945-)

In 1965 Springhill, N.S., Canada-born pop-country singer Morna Anne Murray (1945-) releases her debut album What About Me, which features the tracks What About Me, There Goes My Everything, and The Last Thing on My Mind. Album #2 This Way Is My Way (Oct. 1969) features the hit track Snowbird (#10 country) (#8 in the U.S.) (first Canadian female singer earn a gold record in the U.S.). She follows with Sing High, Sing Low (1971) (#53 country) (#83 in the U.S.), A Stranger in My Place (1971) (#27 country) (#122 in the U.S.), Cotton Jenny (1972) (#11 country) (#71 in the U.S.), Danny's Song (1972) (#10 country) (#7 in the U.S.), A Love Song (1973) (#5 country) (#12 in the U.S.), You Won't See Me (by the Beatles) (1974) (#8 in the U.S.), You Needed Me (1978) (#4 country) (#1 in the U.S.) (first Canadian female singer), I Just Fall in Love Again (1978) (#1 country) (#12 in the U.S.), Shadows in the Moonlight (1979) (#1 country) (#25 in the U.S.), Broken Hearted Me (1979) (#1 country) (#12 in the U.S.), Daydream Believer (by the Monkees) (1980) (#3 country) (#12 in the U.S.), Could I Have This Dance (1980) (#1 country) (#33 in the U.S.), Blessed Are the Believers (1981) (#1 country) (#34 in the U.S.), Another Sleepless Night (1982) (#4 country) (#44 in the U.S.), A Little Good News (1983) (#1 country) (#74 in the U.S.), Just Another Woman in Love (1984) (#1 country), Nobody Loves Me Like You Do (w/Dale Loggins) (1984) (#1 country) (#103 in the U.S.), Time Don't Run Out on Me,/a> (1985) (#2 country), Now and Forever (You and Me) (1986) (#1 country) (#92 in the U.S.), and Feed This Fire (1990) (#5 country). She goes on to release 32 studio albums and 76 singles incl. 33 #1s, and sell 54M albums.

Johnny Paycheck (1938-)

In 1965 Greenfield, Ohio-born 1-hit wonder Johnny Paycheck (Donald Eugene Lytle) (1938-2003) releases his first charting country single A-11 (#26 country), followed by The Lovin' Machine (1966) (#8 country), Motel Time Again (1966) (#13 country), Jukebox Charlie (1967) (#15 country), She's All I Got (1971) (#2 country), Someone to Give My Love To (1972) (#4 country), Mr. Lovemaker (1973) (#2 country), Take This Job and Shove It (by David Allan Coe) (1977) (#1 country), Maybellene (1978) (#7 country), and Friend, Lover, Wife (1978) (#7 country). He goes on to release 27 studio albums and 64 singles.

Charley Pride (1938-)

In Jan. 1966 Sledge, Miss.-born failed pro baseball player Charley Frank Pride (1938-) releases his debut single The Snakes Crawl at Night (RCA Victor). In Dec. 1967 he releases album #3 The Country Way (#1 country) (#199 in the U.S.), which features Does My Ring Hurt Your Finger, and The Day the World Stood Still. In 1969 he releases Kaw-Liga (by Hank Williams and Fred Rose) (#3 country) (#120 in the U.S.), followed by All I Have to Offer You (Is Me) (1969) (#1 country) (#91 in the U.S.), and (I'm So) Afraid of Losing You Again (1969) (#1 country) (#74 in the U.S.). By the early 1970s he becomes the best-selling performer for RCA Records since Elvis Presley, releasing Is Anybody Goin' to San Antone (1970) (#1 country) (#70 in the U.S.), Wonder Could I Live There Anymore (1970) (#1 country) (#87 in the U.S.), I Can't Believe That You've Stopped Loving Me (1970) (#1 country) (#71 in the U.S.), I'd Rather Love You (1971) (#1 country) (#79 in the U.S.), I'm Just Me (1971) (#1 country) (#94 in the U.S.), Kiss an Angel Good Mornin' (1971) (#1 country) (#21 in the U.S.), All His Children (w/Henry Mancini) (1972) (#2 country) (#92 in the U.S.), It's Gonna Take a Little Bit Longer (1972) (#1 country) (#102 in the U.S.), She's Too Good to Be True (1971) (#1 country), A Shoulder to Cry On (1973) (#1 country) (#101 in the U.S.), Don't Fight the Feelings of Love (1973) (#1 country) (#101 in the U.S.), Amazing Love (1973) (#1 country), Then Who Am I (1974) (#1 country), Hope You're Feelin' Me (Like I'm Feelin' You) (1975) (#1 country), My Eyes Can Only See as Far as You (1976) (#1 country), She's Just an Old Love Turned Memory (1977) (#1 country), I'll Be Leaving Alone (1977) (#1 country), More to Me (1977) (#1 country), Someone Loves You Honey (1978) (#1 country), Where Do I Put Her Memory (1979) (#1 country), You're My Jamaica (1979) (#1 country), Honky Tonk Blues (1980) (#1 country), You Win Again (1980) (#1 country), Never Been So Loved (In All My Life) (1981) (#1 country), Mountain of Love (1981) (#1 country), You're So Good When You're Bad (1982) (#1 country), Why Baby Why (1982) (#1 country), and Night Games (1983) (#1 country). He then starts a fast slide, releasing Ev'ry Heart Should Have One (1983) (#2 country), Shouldn't It Be Easier Than This (1987) (#5 country), I'm Gonna Love Her on the Radio (1988) (#13 country), and The More I Do (1989) (#77 country). He goes on to score 39 #1 country singles, becoming one of three African-Ams. inducted as a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Bob Dylan (1941-)

On May 16, 1966 after moving his recording sessions from New York City to Nashville, Duluth, Minn.-born leading folk-rock singer Bob Dylan (Robert Allen Zimmerman) (1941-) releases album #7 (double album) Blonde on Blonde (#9 in the U.S.) (#3 in the U.K.) (Columbia Records), which features Rainy Day Women (#2 in the U.S.) (#7 in the U.K.) ("Everybody must get stoned"), I Want You (#20 in the U.S.) (#17 in the U.K.), Just Like A Woman (#33 in the U.S.), Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat (#81 in the U.S.), Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again, Visions of Johanna, and Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands. After Nashville turns him onto country music and he affects a country crooning voice, he releases album #9 Nashville Skyline (Apr. 9, 1969) (Columbia Records) (#3 in the U.S.) (#1 in the U.K.), with a backing band incl. Charlie Daniels (bass), Pete Drake (steel guitar), and Kenneth Buttrey (drums) which features Lay Lady Lay (#7 in the U.S.) (#5 in the U.K.), Tonight I'll Be Staying Here with You (#50 in the U.S.), and I Threw It All Away (#85 in the U.S.) (#30 in the U.K.). Album #10 (double album) Self Portrait (June 8, 1970) (Columbia Records) (#4 in the U.S.) (#1 in the U.K.) features Copper Kettle, and Blue Moon (by Lorenz Hart and Richard Rodgers). Too bad, the country music market fails to accept him, and he drops his act and goes back to his iconic snotty nasal voice.

'The Roger Miller Show, 1966

On Sept. 12, 1966 (Mon.) (8:30p.m.) the half-hour variety series The Roger Miller Show debuts on NBC-TV for ? episodes (until Dec. 26), starring "King of the Road" singer Roger Dean Miller Sr. (1936-92), who performs with the Eddie Karam Orchestra.

Liz Anderson (1927-2011)

In 1966 Rouseau, Minn.-born country singer-songwriter Liz Anderson (Elizabeth Jane Haaby) (1927-2011), mother of Lynn Anderson (1947-) releases her debut single Go Now, Pay Later (#23 country) (RCA Records), followed by The Game of Triangles (w/Bobby Bare and Norma Jean) (1966) (#5 country), So Much for Me, So Much for You (1966) (#45 country), Wife of the Party (1966) (#22 country), Mama Spank (1967) (#5 country), Tiny Tears (1967) (#24 country), Thanks a Lot for Tryin' Anyway (1967) (#40 country), Mother May I (w/Lynn Anderson) (1968) (#21 country), Like A Merry-Go-Round (1968) (#43 country), and Husband Hunting (1970) (#26 country). In the 1990s she founds Showboat Records to distribute records by her and her daughter. She goes on to release 11 studio albums and 22 singles.

Dallas Frazier (1939-)

In 1966 after his song "Alley Oop" becomes a hit for The Hollywood Argyles in 1957, his song "Timber I'm Falling" becomes a hit for Ferlin Husky in 1964, and his song "There Goes My Everything" becomes a hit for Jack Greene in 1966, Spiro, Okla.-born singer-songwriter Dallas Frazier (1939-) releases his first charting single Elvira (#72 in the U.S.), named after a street in East Nashville, Tenn.; in 1978 Rodney Crowell covers it, turning The Oak Ridge Boys onto it, who make a #1 country hit of it in 1981. His singing career then limps along until 1973, while his songs get covered by a raft of stars incl. George Jones, Connie Smith, Brenda Lee, Charley Pride, Merle Haggard, Elvis Presley, Diana Ross, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Engelbert Humperdinck.

Jack Greene (1930-2013)

In 1966 after leaving Ernest Tubb's Texas Troubadors, Maryville, Tenn.-born Jack Henry "the Jolly Green Giant" Greene (1930-2013) releases his first country hit There Goes My Everything (by Dallas Frazier) (#1 country) (#65 in the U.S.), which becomes his signature song, followed by All the Time (1966) (#1 country) (#103 in the U.S.), What Locks the Door (1967) (#2 country), You Are My Treasure (1968) (#1 country), Until My Dreams Come True (1969) (#1 country), and Statue of a Fool (1969) (#1 country). In 1970 he teams with Jeannie Seely, 4th wife of Hank Cochran.

Kris Kristofferson (1936-)

In 1966 Brownsville, Tex.-born Rhodes scholar, Columbia Studios janitor, and commercial heli pilot Kristoffer "Kris" Kristofferson (1936-) releases his first successful single Viet Nam Blues. In 1970 after he can't make it as a singer but sells several songs to other artists, he releases his debut album Kristofferson (#10 country) (#43 in the U.S.), which is re-released in 1971 under the title "Me and Bobby McGee" after his babe Janis Joplin's cover becomes a big hit; it features Me and Bobby McGee, Help Me Make It Through the Night, For the Good Times, and Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down. Album #2 The Silver Tongued Devil and I (1971) (#4 country) (#21 in the U.S.) features Loving Her Was Easier (Than Anything I'll Ever Do Again) (#4 country) (#26 in the U.S.), and The Pilgrim, Chapter 33 ("He's a prophet, he's a pusher, partly truth and partly fiction, a walking contradiction"), which is featured in the 1976 film "Taxi Driver". In 1973 after marrying Rita Coolidge in 1972, they release the duet album Full Moon, the first of three.

Jeannie Seely (1940-)

In 1966 after taking the advice of hubby Hank Cochran and Dottie West to move to Nashville last year, Titusville, Penn.-born Marilyn Jeanne "Jeannie" Seely (1940-) releases her first country hit Don't Touch Me (Hank Cochran) (#2 country) (#85 in the U.S.) (Monument Records), which wins her the best female country vocal performance Grammy (3rd female country singer to win), and gets her a place on the Grand Ole Opry, followed by It's Only Love (1966) (#15 country), A Wanderin' Man (1966) (#13 country), I'll Love You More (Than You'll Need) (1967) (#10 country), and Wish I Didn't Have to Miss You (w/Jack Greene) (1969) (#2 country), Much Obliged (w/Jack Greene) (1971) (#15 country), What in the World Has Gone Wrong with Our Love (1972) (#19 country), Can I Sleep in Your Arms (1973) (#6 country), and Lucky Ladies (1973) (#11 country). She goes on to release 15 studio albums and 33 singles.

Gene Clark (1944-91) Gene Clark (1944-91)

In Feb. 1967 after leaving The Byrds in 1966, Tipton, Mo.-born Harold Eugene "Gene" Clark (1944-91) releases his debut solo album Gene Clark with the Gosdin Brothers (Columbia Records), which features Echoes, Think I'm Gonna Feel Better, Tried So Hard, and Keep on Pushin'. In Oct. 1968 he and Doug Dillard (formerly of The Dillards) release the pioneer country rock album The Fantastic Expedition of Dillard & Clark, which features Out on the Side, She Darked the Sun, Don't Come Rollin', and Train Leaves Here This Morning. Their 2nd and final album Through the Morning, Through the Night (Aug. 1969) (A&M Records) features Through the Morning, Through the Night, and No Longer a Sweetheart of Mine. Clark's 2nd album White Light (Aug. 1971) (A&M Records) features White Light, and With Tomorrow. Album #3 Roadmaster (Jan. 1973) (A&M Records) features She's the Kind of Girl, One in a Hundred, Here Tonight, and Full Circle Song. Album #4 No Other (Sept. 1974) (Asylum Records) features No Other, and Life's Greatest Fool. Album #5 Two Sides to Every Story (Jan. 1977) features Home Run King, and Lonely Saturday.

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Vassar Clements (1928-2005)

In Feb.-Mar. 1967 the Long Beach, Calif.-based country rock band The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (orginally the New Coast Two, and Illegitimate Jug Band) (AKA the Toot Uncommons) ("a bunch of long-haired West Coast boys"- Roy Acuff) incl. Jeff Hanna, Bruce Kunkel Jimmie Fadden, Bob Carpenter, Jeff Hanna, John McEuen, Jimmy Ibbotson, Bernie Leadon, and Jackson Browne (with an ever-changing cast) releases its debut album The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (#151 in the U.S.), which features Buy for Me the Rain (#45 in the U.S.). Album #4 Uncle Charlie & His Dog Teddy (Feb. 1970) (#66 in the U.S.) features Mr. Bojangles (by Jerry Jeff Walker) (#9 in the U.S.), House on Pooh Corner (#53 in the U.S.), and Some of Shelly's Blues (#64 in the U.S.). The triple album Will the Circle Be Unbroken (1972) (#4 country) (#68 in the U.S.) (1M copies), a collaboration with Roy Acuff, Earl Scribbs, Mother Maybelle Carter, Merle Travis, Doc Watson, Pete "Oswald" Kirby, Norman Blake, Jimmy Martin, et al., making a star of Kinard, Fla.-born bluegrass fiddler ("Father of Hillbilly Jazz") Vassar Carlton Clements (1928-2005); it features Keep on the Sunny Side (by A.P. Carter), Grand Ole Opry Song (#97 country) (w/Jimmy Martin and Vassar Clements), Tennessee Stud (by Jimmie Driftwood), Dark as a Dungeon (by Merle Travis), Wreck on the Highway (by Dorsey Dixon), and I Saw the Light (by Hank Williams Sr.). Album #6 Stars & Stripes Forever (June 1974) (#32 country) (#28 in the U.S.) features Jambalaya (On the Bayou) (by Hank Williams and Moon Mullican). In 1976-81 they become the Dirt Band. Album #12 Let's Go (1983) (#26 country) features Dance Little Jean (#9 country), and Shot Full of Love (#19 country). Album #13 Plain Dirt Fashion (1984) (#8 country) features Long Hard Road (The Sharecropper's Dream) (#1 country), I Love Only You (#3 country), High Horse (#2 country), and Two Out of Three Ain't Bad (by Jim Steinman). Album #14 Partners, Brothers and Friends (1985) (#9 country) features Partners, Brothers and Friends (#6 country), Modern Day Romance (#1 country), and Home Again in My Heart (#3 country). Album #15 Hold On (July 7, 1987) (#14 country) features Fishin' in the Dark (#1 country). Album #16 Workin' Band (1988) (#33 country) features Workin' Man (Nowhere to Go) (#4 country), I've Been Lookin' (#2 country), and Down That Road Tonight (#6 country). The album Will the Circle Be Unbroken Vol. 2 (May 1, 1989) features Will the Circle Be Unbroken (w/Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash, Roy Acuff, Ricky Skaggs, Levon Helm, and Emmylou Harris), One Step Over the Line (w/John Hiatt and Rosanne Cash) (#63 country), The Valley Road (w/Bruce Hornsby) (#5 in the U.S.) (#44 in the U.K.), And So It Goes (w/John Denver), and When It's Gone. Album #17 The Rest of the Dream (1990) (#53 country) features From Small Things (Big Things One Day Come) (#65 country), and You Made Life Good Again (#60 country). Will the Circle Be Unbroken: Volume Two (May 1, 1989) (#5 country) (#95 in the U.S.) (1M copies), a collaboration with Roy Acuff, Earl Scruggs, Jimmy Martin, Vassar Clements, Johnny Cash, Rosanne Cash, Emmylou Harris, Micheal Martin Murphey, Ricky Skaggs, Levon helm, John Denver, John Prine, John Hiatt, and Bruce Hornsby features When It's Gone, You Ain't Goin' Nowhere (by Bob Dylan), sung by Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman of The Byrds, and And So It Goes, sung by John Denver ("Is this practice?" - "They're all practice"). Will the Circle Be Unbroken, Volume III (2002) (#18 country) (#134 in the U.S.) features I Find Jesus, and Diamonds in the Rough (by the Carter Family). They go on to release 25 studio albums and 41 singles incl. three #1s.

Lynn Anderson (1947-)

In Mar. 1967 Grand Forks, N.D.-born, Fair Oaks, Calif.-raised 1966 Calif. Horse Show Queen ("the Great Lady of Country Music") Lynn Rene Anderson (1947-), daughter of Liz Anderson (1927-2011) releases her debut album Ride, Ride, Ride (by Liz Anderson) (#25 country), which features Ride, Ride, Ride (#36 country), and If I Kiss You (Will You Go Away) (by Liz Anderson) (#5 country). Album #2 Promises, Promises (Dec. 1967) (#1 country) features Promises, Promises (#4 country), and No Another Time (#8 country). Album #3 Big Girls Don't Cry (July 1968) (#11 country) features Big Girls Don't Cry (#12 country). Album #4 With Love, from Lynn (Mar. 1969) (#22 country) (#197 in the U.S.) features Flattery Will Get You Everywhere (#11 country), and Our House Is Not A Home (#18 country). Album #5 At Home with Lynn (July 1969) (#19 country) features That's a No No (#2 country). Album #6 Songs That Made Country Girls Famous (Nov. 1969) (#9 country) features Album #7 Uptown Country Girl (Feb. 1970) (Columbia Records) (#29 country) features He'd Still Love Me (#15 country), and I've Been Everywhere (#16 country). Album #8 Stay There 'Til I Get There (May 1970) (#28 country) features Stay There 'Til I Get There (#7 country). Album #9 No Love At All (Aug. 1970) (#22 country) features No Love At All (#15 country). Album #10 I'm Alright (Sept. 1970) (#33 country) features I'm Alright. Album #11 Rose Garden (Dec. 1970) (#1 country) (#19 in the U.S.) (Columbia Records) (1M copies) features Rose Garden (#1 country) (#3 in the U.S.) (1M copies). Album #12 You're My Man (July 1971) (#1 country) (#99 in the U.S.) features You're My Man (#1 country) (#63 in the U.S.). Album #13 How Can I Unlove You (Oct. 1971) (#2 country) (#132 in the U.S.) features How Can I Unlove You (#1 country) (#63 in the U.S.). Album #14 Cry (Mar. 1972) (#2 country) (#114 in the U.S.) features Cry (#3 country) (#71 in the U.S.). Album #15 Listen to a Country Song (July 1972) (#3 country) (#160 in the U.S.) features Listen to a Country Song (#4 country) (#107 in the U.S.), and Fool Me (#4 country) (#101 in the U.S.). Album #16 Keep Me in Mind (Jan. 1972) (#7 country) (#201 in the U.S.) features Keep Me in Mind (#1 country) (#104 in the U.S.). Album #17 Top of the World (June 1973) (#7 country) (#179 in the U.S.) features Top of the World (#2 country) (#74 in the U.S.), and Sing About Love (#3 country). Album #18 Smile for Me (Mar. 1974) (#14 country features Smile for Me (#15 country), and Talkin' to the Wall (#7 country). Album #19 What A Man My Man Is (Nov. 1974) (#18 country) features What A Man My Man Is (#1 country) (#93 in the U.S.). Album #20 I've Never Loved Anyone More (Aug. 1975)(#20 country) features I've Never Loved Anyone More (#14 country), and He Turns It Into Love Again (#13 country). Album #21 All the King's Horses (Mar. 1976) (#28 country) features All the King's Horses (#20 country), Paradise (#26 country), and Rodeo Cowboy (#44 country). Album #22 Wrap Your Love All Around Your Man (Jan. 1977) (#28 country) features Wrap You Love All Around Your Man (#12 country). Album #23 I Love What Love Is Doing to Me/He Ain't You (Aug. 1977) (#38 country) features I Love What Love Is Doin' to Me (#22 country), He Ain't You (#19 country), and We Got Love (#26 country). Album #24 From the Inside (1978) features Last Love of My Life (#43 country), and Rising Above It All. Album #25 Outlaw Is Just A State of Mind (Mar. 1979) (#29 country) features Isn't It Always Love (#10 country), I Love How You Love Me (#18 country), and Sea of Heartbreak (#33 country). Album #26 Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (July 1980) (#37 country) features Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (#26 country), and Blue Baby Blue (#27 country). Album #27 Back (July 1983) (#61 country) features You're Welcome to Tonight (w/Gary Morris) (#9 country), What I Learned from Loving You (#18 country), and You Can't Lose What You Never Had (#42 country). She goes on to release 33 studio albums and 66 singles incl. 11 #1s.

Tammy Wynette (1942-98) Tammy Wynette (1942-98)

In Apr. 1967 Itawamba County, Miss.-born singer ("First Lady of Country Music") Tammy Wynette (Virginia Wynette Pugh) (1942-98) releases her debut album Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad (#7 country), which features Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad (#3 country), and Apartment No. 9 (#44 country). In Aug. 1967 she releases My Elusive Dreams (w/David Houston) (by Billy Sherrill and Curly Putman) (#1 country) (#89 in the U.S.). Album #2 Take Me to Your World/ I Don't Wanna Play House (Jan. 5, 1968) (#3 country) features Take Me to Your World (#1 country), and I Don't Wanna Play House (#1 country). Album #3 D-I-V-O-R-C-E (Dec. 1968) (#1 country) (#147 in the U.S.) features D-I-V-O-R-C-E (#1 country) (#63 in the U.S.). Album #5 Stand By Your Man (1969) (#2 country) (#43 in the U.S.) (Epic Records) features Stand By Your Man (#1 country) (#19 in the U.S.) (Epic Records), written in 15 min. with Billy Sherrill, becoming a big hit with country fans, but pissing-off feminists bigtime, making her more popular?; meanwhile she marries 3rd hubby George Jones next year, and stands by him until 1975. Her compilation album Tammy's Greatest Hits (Aug. 1969) (#2 country) (#37 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features Singing My Song (#1 country) (#75 in the U.S.), and The Ways to Love a Man (#1 country) (#81 in the U.S.). In 1970 she releases He Loves Me All the Way (#1 country) (#97 in the U.S.), followed by Run Woman Run (1970) (#1 country) (#92 in the U.S.), The Wonders You Perform (1970) (#5 country) (#104 in the U.S.), We Sure Can Love Each Other (1971) (#2 country) (#103 in the U.S.), Good Lovin' (Makes It Right) (1971) (#1 country) (#111 in the U.S.), Bedtime Story (1971) (#1 country) (#86 in the U.S.), Reach Out Your Hand (And Touch Somebody) (1972) (#2 country), My Man (Understands) (1972) (#1 country), Til I Get It Right (1972) (#1 country) (#108 in the U.S.), Kids Say the Darndest Things (1973) (#1 country) (#72 in the U.S.), Another Lonely Song (1973) (#1 country), Woman to Woman (1974) (#4 country), (You Make Me Want to Be a) Mother (1975) (#4 country), Til I Can Make It on My Own (1976) (#1 country) (#84 in the U.S.), You and Me (1976) (#1 country) (#101 in the U.S.), Womanhood (1978) (#3 country), Cowboys Don't Shoot Straight Like They Used To (1981) (#21 country), Crying in the Rain (1981) (#18 country), Another Chance (1982) (#8 country), and Sometimes When We Touch (w/Mark Gray) (1985) (#6 country) (#24 in the U.S.). In 1994 she releases It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels (by Kitty Wells) (w/Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton). She goes on to release 42 studio albums and 79 singles incl. 20 #1s.

Bobbie Gentry (1944-) Bobbie Gentry (1944-)

In July 1967 Chickasaw County, Miss.-born Bobbie Gentry (Roberta Lee Streeter) (1944-) releases her debut album Ode to Billy Joe (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.), which knocks the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" off the #1 Billboard 200 slot after 15 weeks; it features Ode to Billy Joe (#17 country) (#1 in the U.S.); "Got some news this morning from Choctaw Ridge, that Billie Joe McAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge"; hated by Bob Dylan, who parodies it in "Clothesline Saga". Album #2 The Delta Sweete (Mar. 1968) (#132 in the U.S.) features Louisiana Man (by Doug Kershaw) (#100 in the U.S.). The album Bobbie Gentry and Glen Campbell (Sept. 1968) features All I Have to Do Is Dream (by the Everly Brothers) (#27 in the U.S., #3 in the U.K.), Little Green Apples (by Bob Russell), and My Elusive Dreams (by Billy Sherrill and Curly Putman).

Classics IV

In 1967 the Jacksonville, Fla.-based band Classics IV, fronted by Dennis Yost (1943-2008) (who owns a Classic drum set) releases Spooky (#3 in the U.S., #46 in the U.K.), pioneering Soft Southern Rock. They follow it in 1968 with Stormy, and in 1969 with Traces.

Johnny Duncan (1938-2006)

In 1967 Dublin, Tex.-born Johnny Richard Duncan (1938-2006) (cousin of Dan Seals, and Jimmy Seals of Seals & Crofts) releases his debut single Hard Luck Joe (#54 country) (Columbia Records), followed by Jackson Ain't a Very Big Town (w/June Stearns) (1968) (#21 country), When She Touches Me (1969) (#30 country), Let Me Go (Set Me Free) (1970) (#27 country), Baby's Smile, Woman's Kiss (1971) (#12 country), Fools (1972) (#19 country), Sweet Country Woman (1973) (#6 country), Talkin' with My Lady (1973) (#18 country), Stranger (w/Janie Fricke) (1976) (#4 country), Thinkin' of a Rendezvous (w/Janie Fricke) (1976) (#1 country), It Couldn't Have Been any Better (w/Janie Fricke) (1977) (#1 country), Come a Little Bit Closer (w/Janie Fricke) (1977) (#4 country), A Song in the Night (1977) (#5 country), She Can Put Her Shoes Under My Bed (Anytime) (1978) (#1 country), Hello Mexico (And Adios Baby to You) (#4 country), Slow Dancing (1979) (#6 country), and The Lady in the Blue Mercedes (1979) (#9 country). He goes on to release 14 studio albums and 30 singles incl. three #1s.

Vern Gosdin (1934-2009)

In 1967 Woodland, Ala.-born Vernon "Vern" "the Voice" Gosdin (1934-2009) and his brother Rex Gosdin (the Gosdin Brothers) release their first country single, Hangin' On, then retire in the early 1970s before Vern comes back in 1976 with a remake of Hanging' On (w/Emmylou Harris) (#9 country), followed by Till the End (1977) (#7 country), Never My Love (1978) (#9 country), Dream of Me (1981) (#7 country), Today My World Slipped Away (1982) (#10 country), If You're Gonna Do Me Wrong (Do It Right) (1983) (#5 country), Way Down Deep (1983) (#5 country), I Wonder Where We'd Be Tonight (1983) (#10 country), I Can Tell by the Way You Dance (You're Gonna Love Me Tonight) (1984) (#1 country), What Would Your Memories Do (1984) (#10 country), Slow Burning Memory (1984) (#10 country), Dim Lights, Thick Smoke (And Loud, Loud Music) (1985) (#20 country), Do You Believe Me Now (1987) (#4 country), Set 'Em Up Joe (1988) (#1 country), Chiseled in Stone (1988) (#6 country), Who You Gonna Blame It On This Time (1989) (#2 country), I'm Still Crazy (1989) (#1 country), That Just About Does It (1989) (#4 country), Right in the Wrong Direction (1990) (#10 country), This Ain't My First Rodeo (1990) (#4 country), and Is It Raining at Your House (1990) (#10 country).

The Byrds

On Jan. 15, 1968 after progressing from folk rock to raga rock and psychedelic rock, Los Angeles, Calif.-based rock band The Byrds releases album #5 The Notorious Byrd Brothers (Columbia Records), which features Goin Back; exeunt David Crosby and Michael Clarke, leaving Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman, who go country, then add Gram Parsons, releasing album #6 Sweetheart of the Rodeo (Aug. 30) (Columbia Recrods), the first major country rock album by an established act; incl. You Ain't Going Nowhere (by Bob Dylan), You Don't Miss Your Water, Pretty Boy Floyd (by Woody Guthrie), and Hickory Wind. They disband in 1973.

The Band

On July 1, 1968 after touring with Bob Dylan in 1965-6, the Canadian (Toronto)-based roots rock band The Band (formerly Levon and the Hawks, Canadian Squires), incl. Robbie Robertson (Jaime Robert Klegerman) (1943-), Richard George Manuel (1943-86), Eric Garth Hudson (1937-) (organ), Richard Clare "Rick" Danko (1942-99), Mark Lavon (Levon) Helm (1940-) (only Yankee, the one with the mournful voice who sings "The Weight"), known for switching instruments and taking turns singing release their debut album Music from Big Pink, a pink house at 2188 Stoll Rd. (56 Parnassus Ln.), West Saugerties, N.Y., which features the single The Weight, giving rock and roll a funky backwoods country dimension. Album #2 The Band (Brown Album) (Sept. 22, 1969) (Capitol Records) (#9 in the U.S.) features Up on Cripple Creek (#25 in the U.S.), Rag Mama Rag (#57 in the U.S.), The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, Look Out Cleveland, and King Harvest (Has Surely Come). Album #3 Stage Fright (Aug. 17, 1970) goes rock.

Creedence Clearwater Revival Saul Zaentz (1921-)

On July 5, 1968 the swamp rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR), fronted by Louisiana, er, Berkeley, Calif.-born singer-songwriter John Cameron Fogerty (1945-) released their debut album Creedence Clearwater Revival, which features their first hit Suzie Q. Album #2 Bayou Country (Jan. 1969) features Born on the Bayou, Good Golly Miss Molly, and Proud Mary. Album #3 Green River (Aug. 1969) features Green River, and Bad Moon Rising, popular with vampire lovers everywhere. Album #4 Willy and the Poor Boys (Nov. 1969) features Down on the Corner, Midnight Special, and the Vietnam War protest song Fortunate Son. Album #5 Cosmo's Factory (June 25, 1970) features Looking Out My Back Door, Run Through the Jungle, Up Around the Bend, Travelin' Band, and Who'll Stop the Rain. Album #6 Pendulum (Dec. 7, 1970) features Have You Ever Seen the Rain?. Too bad, mgr. John Fogerty put all the members' money in the tax dodge scam of his producer Saul Zaentz (1921-), losing it to the Castle Bank of Nassau, and after releasing album #8 Mardi Gras on Apr. 11, 1972, they broke up on Oct. 16, 1972, after which John Fogerty got in a court battle with Zaentz, which Fogerty won, later putting the line "Zanz can't dance but he'll steal your money" in his song "Zanz Kant Danz", which caused another court battle that Fogert won.

Billie Jo Spears (1937-2011)

In Nov. 1968 after her 1953 teenie debut single Too Old for Toys, Too Young for Boys (Abbot Records) is a flop, Beaumont, Tex.-born Billie Jo (Jean) Spears (Moore) (1937-2011) releases her debut album The Voice of Billie Jo Spears (Capitol Records), a non-charter, which features Harper Valley PTA (beaten to the market by Jeannie C. Riley's version, killing sales), Easy to Be Evil, and He's Got More Love on His Little Finger (#48 country). Album #2 Mr. Walker, It's All Over (May 1969) (#26 country) features Mr. Walker, It's All Over (#4 country) (#80 in the U.S.). Album #3 Miss Sincerity (Nov. 1969) (#41 country) features Stepchild (#43 country). Album #7 Blanket on the Ground (Feb. 1975) (#4 country) (United Artists) features Blanket on the Ground (#1 country) (#78 in the U.S.). Album #8 Billie Jo (Oct. 1975) (#45 country) features Stay Away from the Apple Tree (#20 country), and Silver Wings and Golden Rings (#20 country). Album #9 What I've Got in Mind (June 1976) (#7 country) (#46 in the U.S.) features What I've Got in Mind (#5 country), and Misty Blue (#5 country). Album #10 I'm Not Easy (Nov. 1976) (#36 country) features I'm Not Easy (#11 country), and Never Did Like Whiskey (#18 country). Album #11 If You Want Me (June 1977) (#39 country) features If You Want Me (#8 country), and Too Much Is Not Enough (#18 country). Album #12 Lonely Hearts Club (Feb. 1978) (#46 country) features Lonely Hearts Club (#18 country), I've Got to Go (#17 country), and '57 Chevrolet (#16 country). Album #13 Love Ain't Gonna Wait for Us (Oct. 1978) features Love Ain't Gonna Wait for Us (#24 country). Album #14 I Will Survive (May 1979) features I Will Survive (#21 country), Rainy Days and Stormy Nights (#21 country), and Livin' Our Love Together (#23 country). Album #15 Standing Tall (May 1980) (#70 country) (Liberty Records) features Standing Tall, and Natural Attraction (#39 country). Album #16 Only the Hits (Feb. 1981) features Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad (#13 country). She goes on to release 18 studio albums and 46 singles incl. one #1.

The Nashville Brass

In 1968 after working for MGM Records to produce records by Connie Francis and sign Herman's Hermits, then moving to RCA in New York City and being told that country music fans "don't like horns", then moving to Nashville and talking Chet Atkins into it, Randolph, Mass.-born Danny Davis (George Joseph Nowlan) (1925-2008) forms the instrumental country band The Nashville Brass, incl. Bill McElhiney (trumpet), Grady Martin (guitar), Floyd Cramer (piano), Bob Moore (bass), John Hartford (banjo), Bobby Thompson (banjo), and Buddy Harmon (drums), releasing their debut album The Nashville Brass Play The Nashville Sound (#33 country) (#78 in the U.S.), which features I Saw the Light (by Rev. Gary Davis) (#129 in the U.S.), and On the Rebound. Album #2 The Nashville Brass Featuring Danny Davis Play More Nashville Sounds (1969) (#6 country) (#143 in the U.S.) features Album #3 Movin On (1969) (#16 country) (#141 in the U.S.) features I'm Movin' On, Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town (by Mel Tillis), and Wabash Cannonball (by A.P. Carter) (#63 country) (#131 in the U.S.). Album #4 You Ain't Heard Nothin' Yet (1970) (#9 country) (#102 in the U.S.) features Columbus Stockade Blues (#70 country). Album #6 Down Homers (1970) (#11 country) (#140 in the U.S.) features Down Yonder. Album #7 Hank Locklin & Danny Davis and the Nashville Brass features Please Help Me, I'm Falling (#68 country), and Flying South (#56 country). Album #8 Somethin' Else (1971) (#12 country) (#161 in the U.S.) (first Nashville album featuring an electric sitar) features Green Green Grass of Home. Album #28 Danny Davis & Willie Nelson with the Nashville Brass (1980) (#14 country) (#150 in the U.S.) features Night Life (#20 country), and Funny How Time Slips Away (#41 country). On July 23, 2005 they give their last public performance.

Mickey Gilley 91936-)

In 1968 Ferriday, La.-born Mickey Leroy Gilley (1936-) (cousin of Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl McVoy, Jim Gilley, and Jimmy Swaggart) releases his first charting country single Now I Can Live Again (#68 country), followed by Room Full of Roses (by Tim Spencer) (1974) (#1 country) (#50 in the U.S.), I Overlooked an Orchid (1974) (#1 country), City Lights (by Bill Anderson) (1974) (#1 country), Window Up Above (1975) (#1 country), Don't the Girls All Get Prettier at Closing Time (1976) (#1 country), Bring It On Home to Me (1976) (#1 country) (#101 in the U.S.), She's Pulling Me Back Again (1977) (#1 country), Honky Tonk Memories (1977) (#4 country), The Power of Positive Drinkin' (1978) (#8 country), Here Comes the Hurt Again (1978) (#9 country), My Silver Lining (1979) (#8 country), and True Love Ways (1980) (#1 country) (#66 in the U.S.). In 1980 after seeing his sales slide and deciding to go more pop, he releases Stand By Me (featured in the 1980 film Urban Cowboy) (#1 country) (#22 in the U.S.), followed by That's All That Matters (by Hank Cochran) (1980) (#1 country) (#101 in the U.S.), A Headache Tomorrow (Or a Headache Tonight) (1981) (#1 country), You Don't Know Me (1981) (#1 country) (#55 in the U.S.), Lonely Nights (1981) (#1 country), Tears of the Lonely (1982) (#3 country), Put Your Dreams Away (1982) (#1 country), Talk to Me (1982) (#1 country) (#106 in the U.S.), Fool for Your Love (1983) (#1 country), You've Really Got a Hold on Me (1984) (#2 country), Too Good to Stop Now (1984) (#4 country), Your Memory Ain't What It Used to Be (1985) (#5 country), Doo-Wah Days (1986) (#6 country), Full Grown Fool (1987) (#16 country), She Reminded Me of You (1988) (#23 country), There I've Said It Again (1989) (#53 country). He goes on to release 26 studio albums and 43 singles incl. 20 #1s.

Jerry Jeff Walker (1942-)

In 1968 Oneonta, N.Y.-born country music singer-songwriter Jerry Jeff Walker (Ronald Clyde Crosby) (1942-) releases his first charting single Mr. Bojangles (#77 in the U.S.), about a tap-dancing homeless white man he met in a New Orleans jail ("I knew a man Bojangles and he'd dance for you in worn-out shoes/ Silver hair, ragged shirt and baggy pants, that old soft shoe/ He'd jump so high, he'd jump so high, then he lightly touched down/ Mr. Bojangles, Mr. Bojangles, dance"), after which the hit covers by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, Tom T. Hall, Sammy Davis Jr. et al. turn him into a living legend, allowing him to set up shop in Austin Tex. He follows with Jaded Lover (1975) (#54 country), Leavin' Texas (1977) (#10 country), I Feel Like Hank Williams Tonight (1989) (#70 country) (Tried and True Records), and Trashy Women (1989) (#63 country) ("I like my women just a tad on the trashy side").

In 1968 Buck Owens performs at the Fillmore West in Haight Ashbury, San Francisco, Calif., which helps launch Country Rock, an outgrowth of the Bakersfield Sound, which is adopted by the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Dr. Hook, John Fogerty and the Blue Ridge Rangers, Bob Dylan, Gene Clark, Gram Parsons, Emmylou Harris, Poco, the Flying Burrito Brothers, the Everly Brothers, the Outlaws, Ricky Nelson, Mike Nesmith, Neil Young, the Dillards, the Doobie Brothers, Linda Ronstadt and the Pure Prairie League, New Riders of the Purple Sage, the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, the Beau Brummels, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Eagles, Brooks and Dunn, the Grateful Dead, Bruce Springsteen, Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban, Toby Keith, Trace Adkins, Steve Earle et al.

Charlie Rich (1932-95)

In 1968 after becoming a session musician for Sun Records in 1958, followed by years of low-charting rock records, causing him to reinvent himself as a Nashville Sound singer, Colt, Ark.-born Charles "Charlie" Rich (1932-95) releases his first country charter Set Me Free (#44 country), followed by Raggedy Ann (1968) (#45 country), Life's Little Ups and Downs (1969) (#41 country), Nice'n Easy (1970) (#37 country), I'll Take It on Home (1972) (#6 country), Behind Closed Doors (1973) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) (1M copies), The Most Beautiful Girl (1973) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) (500K copies) ("Hey, did you happen to see the most beautiful girl in the world, and if you did, was she crying, crying?"), There Won't Be Anymore (1973) (#1 country) (#18 in the U.S.), A Very Special Love Song (1974) (#1 country) (#11 in the U.S.), I Love My Friend (1974) (#1 country) (#24 in the U.S.), I Don't See Me in Your Eyes Anymore (1974) (#1 country) (#47 in the U.S.), She Called Me Baby (1974) (#1 country) (#47 in the U.S.), My Elusive Dreams (by Billy Sherrill and Curly Putman) (1975) (#3 country) (#49 in the U.S.), Every Time You Touch Me (I Get High) (1975) (#3 country) (#19 in the U.S.), All Over Me (1975) (#4 country), Since I Fell for You (1975) (#10 country) (#71 in the U.S.), Easy Look (1977) (#12 country), Rollin' with the Flow (1977) (#1 country) (#101 int he U.S.), Puttin' in Overtime at Home (1978) (#8 country), On My Knees (w/Janie Fricke) (1978) (#1 country), A Man Just Don't Know What a Woman Goes Through (1980) (#12 country) (#26 in the U.S.), Are We Dreamin' the Same Dream (1981) (#26 country). He goes on to become known as the Silver Fox and release 12 studio albums and 41 singles incl. 10 #1s.

Jeannie C. Riley (1945-) Tom T. Hall (1936-)

In 1968 Stamford, Tex.-born 1-hit wonder Jeannie C. Riley (Jeanne Carolyn Stephenson) (1945-) releases Harper Valley PTA (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) (#12 in the U.K.) (6M copies), written by Olive Hill, Ky.-born Thomas "Tom" T. Hall (1936-), "the Storyteller", who arrived in Nashville in 1964 with $46 and a geetar, and uses the fame to begin releasing his own songs, incl. Ballad of Forty Dollars (1968) (#4 country), A Week in a Country Jail (1969) (#1 country), Homecoming (1969) (#5 country), Shoeshine Man (1970) (#8 country), Salute to a Switchblade (1970) (#8 country), The Year Clayton Delaney Died (1971) (#1 country) (#42 in the U.S.), The Monkey That Became President (1972) (#11 country), Me and Jesus (1972) (#8 country) (#98 in the U.S.), (Old Dogs, Children And) Watermelon Wine (1972) (#1 country), Ravishing Ruby (1973) (#3 country), I Love (1973) (#1 country) (#12 in the U.S.), That Song Is Driving Me Crazy (1974) (#2 country) (#63 in the U.S.), Country Is (1974) (#1 country), I Care (1974) (#1 country), Faster Horses (The Cowboy and the Poet) (1975) (#1 country), I Like Beer (1975) (#4 country), Your Man Loves You Honey (1977) (#4 country), May the Force Be with You Always (1977) (#13 country), What Have You Got to Lose (1978) (#9 country), and The Old Side of Town (1980) (#9 country). Hall goes on to release 27 studio albums and 52 singles incl. seven #1s.

In the late 1960s the Outlaw Country Music movement is founded as a reaction to the Bakersfield Sound and law in order in general by ex-con Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, ex-con David Allan Coe, the Eli Radish Band et al., and named after David Allan Coe, a member of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club.

The Flying Burrito Brothers

In Feb. 1969 the West Coast country rock band The Flying Burrito Brothers, incl. Byrds members Gram Parsons (1946-73) and Christopher "Chris" Hillman (1944-), along with "Sneaky" Pete Kleinow and Chris Ethridge release their debut album The Gilded Palace of Sin (#164 in the U.S.), which features Do Right Woman, Dark End of the Street, and Christine's Tune. Album #2 Burrito Deluxe (May 1970) features Wild Horses (by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards), If You Gotta Go (by Bob Dylan), and Farther Along. Album #3 The Flying Burrito Bros (June 1971) (#176 in the U.S.), first with Rick Roberts replacing Gram Parsons features To Ramona (by Bob Dylan). Album #4 Last of the Red Hot Burritos (May 1972), a live album by Chris Hillman, Al Perkins, and Kenny Wertz features After they disband then reform ("refry") with Kleinow, Ethridge, Byrds drummer Gene Parsons, Joel Scott Hill from Canned Heat, and fidler Gib Guilbeau, album #5 Flying Again (Oct. 1975) (#138 in the U.S.) features Why Baby Why (by George Jones), and Dim Lights, Thick Smoke (And Loud, Loud Music). Album #6 Airborne (June 1976), first with Chris Ethridge replaced by Byrds bassist Skip Battin features Waiting for Love to Begin, and Big Bayou. In June 1979 they release the album Live from Tokyo (Close Encounters on the West Coast), which features White Line Fever (by Merle Haggard) (#95 country). In Jan. 1981 after being pared down to Kleinow, Guilbeau, and Battin they release album #7 Hearts on the Line, which features She Belongs to Everyone But Me (#16 country), Does She Wish She Was Single Again (#20 country), and She's a Friend of a Friend. Album #8 Sunset Sundown (Jan. 1982) features If Something Should Come Between Us (Let It Be Love) (#27 country), I'm Drinkin' Canada Dry (#39 country), Closer to You (#40 country), and Coast to Coast. In 1984 they release the singles Almost Saturday Night (#49 country), and My Kind of Lady (#53 country). In 1980-7 they become the Burrito Brothers, followed by Burrito Deluxe in 2009-9, and The Burritos in 2009-12.

Linda Ronstadt (1946-)

In Mar. 1969 after releasing three albums with the folk-rock trio The Stone Poneys (founded 1965) (incl. Bob Kimmel and Kenny Edwards), incl. album #2 Evergreen, Volume 2 (June 1967), which features the big hit Different Drum (by Mike Nesmith), Tucson, Ariz.-born Linda Maria Ronstadt (1946-) releases her debut album Hand Sown... Home Grown, the first alternate country record by a female artist, which features Album #2 Silk Purse (Mar. 1970) (#103 in the U.S.) features Long, Long Time (#25 in the U.S.), Will You Love Me Tomorrow (by Gerry Goffin and Carole King) (#111 in the U.S.), and He Darked the Sun. Album #3 Linda Ronstadt (1972) (#35 country) (#163 in the U.S.) features I Fall to Pieces (by Hank Cochran and Harlan Howard), and Rock Me on the Water (#85 in the U.S.). Album #4 Don't Cry Now (Sept. 1973) (Asylum Records) (#5 country) (#45 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Silver Threads and Golden Needles (by Jack Rhodes) (#20 country) (#67 in the U.S.), Love Has No Pride (51 in the U.S.), and Colorado (#108 in the U.S.). Album #5 Heart Like a Wheel (Nov. 1974) (#1 country) (#45 in the U.S.) (2M copies) features When Will I Be Loved (by Phil Everly) (#1 country) (#2 in the U.S.), I Can't Help It (If I'm Still in Love with You) (#2 country), and You're No Good (#1 in the U.S). Album #6 Prisoner in Disguise (Sept. 1975) (#2 country) (#4 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features Love Is a Rose (by Neil Young) (#5 country) (#63 in the U.S.), Heat Wave (#5 in the U.S.), and The Tracks of My Tears (#11 country) (#25 in the U.S.). Album #7 Hasten Down the Wind (Aug. 1976) (#1 country) (#3 in the U.S.) (1M copies) (first female artist with three straight million-selling albums) features That'll Be the Day (#27 country) (#11 in the U.S.), Someone to Lay Down Beside Me (#42 in the U.S.), and Lose Again (#76 in the U.S). Her compilation album Greatest Hits (Dec. 1976) (#2 country) (#6 in the U.S.) (20M copies) features Album #8 Simple Dreams (Sept. 1977) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) (3M copies) features Blue Bayou (#2 country) (#3 in the U.S.), It's So Easy (#81 country) (#5 in the U.S.), I Never Will Marry (#8 country), and Lose Again (#76 in the U.S.). Album #9 Living in the USA (Sept. 1978) (#3 country) (#1 in the U.S.) (2M copies) features her in a satin exercise outfit in roller skates, causing a skating craze in the U.S.; it features Back in the U.S.A. (by Chuck Berry) (#41 country) (#16 in the U.S.), Ooh Baby Baby (#85 country) (#7 in the U.S.), Just One Look (by Doris Troy and Gregory Carroll) (#44 in the U.S.), and Alison (by Elvis Costello). Album #10 Mad Love (Feb. 1980) (#3 in the U.S.) (1M copies) is an excursion into punk rock; it features How Do I Make You (by Billy Steinberg) (#10 in the U.S.), Hurt So Bad (by Little Anthony & The Imperials) (#8 in the U.S.), and I Can't Let Go (#31 in the U.S.). Album #11 Get Closer (Sept. 1982) (#19 country) (#31 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Get Closer (#29 in the U.S.), I Knew You When (by Joe South) (#84 country) (37 in the U.S.), and Easy for You to Say (#54 in the U.S.). Get Closer (#29 in the U.S.), and I Knew You When (#84 country) (#37 in the U.S.). Album #12 What's New (Sept. 1983) (#3 in the U.S.) (3M copies), first with Nelson Riddle features What's New (by Bob Haggart) (#53 in the U.S.), I've Got a Crush on You (by George and Ira Gershwin), and Someone to Watch Over Me (by George and Ira Gershwin). On Feb. 26, 1987 she, Emmylou Harris, and Dolly Parton release the album Trio (#1 country) (#6 in the U.S.) (1M copies). On Feb. 9, 1999 they follow with Trio II (#4 country) (#64 in the U.S.) (500K copies). On Aug. 24, 1999 she and Emmylou Harris release the album Western Wall: The Tucson Sessions (#6 country) (#73 in the U.S.). She goes on to release 29 studio albums and 63 singles incl. five #1s.

'Hee-Haw', 1969-92 'Hee-Haw', 1969-92

On June 15, 1969 the corny Nashville country music comedy variety show Hee-Haw debuts on CBS-TV (until 1971, then in syndication until Sept. 19, 1992), hosted by Alvis Edgar "Buck" Owens Jr. (1929-2006) and Roy Linwood Clark (1933-) in Kornfield Kounty, featuring Minnie Pearl (Sarah Ophelia Colley Cannon) (1912-96), along with Grandpa Jones (Louis Marshall Jones) (1913-98), David "Stringbean" Akeman (1916-73), Junior Samples (Alvin Samples Jr.) (1926-83), Lulu Roman (Bertha Louise Hable) (1946-), and Gordon Robert "Gordie" Tapp (1922-) (the Culhanes of Cornfield County), plus Roy Claxton Acuff (1903-92), and Archie Campbell (1914-87).

John Denver (1943-97)

On Oct. 14, 1969 Roswell, N.M.-born John Denver (Henry John Deutschendorf Jr.) (1943-97) releases his debut album Rhymes & Reasons Album #4 Poems, Prayers and Promises (Apr. 6, 1971) (his breakthrough album) features Poems, Prayers and Promises, Take Me Home, Country Roads (his signature song), and Sunshine on My Shoulders. Album #6 Rocky Mountain High (Sept. 15, 1972) (#4 in the U.S.) (#11 in the U.K.), his first U.s. top-10 album features Mother Nature's Son, and Rocky Mountain High (becomes the 2nd Colo. state song in Mar. 2007). Album #7 Farewell Andromeda (June 1973) (#16 in the U.S.) features Farewell Andromeda (Welcome to My Morning) (#89 in the U.S.), I'd Rather Be a Cowboy (#62 in the U.S.), Please, Daddy (Don't Get Drunk This Christmas) (#69 in the U.S.), Angel from Montgomery (by John Prine). Album #8 Back Home Again (June 15, 1974) (#1 in the U.S.) features Back Home Again (#1 country) (#5 in the U.S.), Annie's Song (#9 country) (#1 in the U.S.) (about 1st wife Annie Martell, composed in 10 min. on a ski lift), Thank God I'm a Country Boy (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.), and Sweet Surrender (#7 country) (#13 in the U.S.). Too bad, on Oct. 12, 1997 Am. "Rocky Mountain High" singer-actor John Denver (b. 1943) is near Pacific Grove, Calif. in an airplane accident in the Pacific Ocean in his experimental Rutan Long-EZ 2-seat canard plane when he can't switch fuel tanks in flight.

The Allman Brothers Band

On Nov. 4, 1969 the Jacksonville, Fla. and Macon, Ga.-based Southern rock-blues band The Allman Brothers Band, incl. Howard Duane Allman (1946-71) (guitar), Gregory LeNoir "Gregg" Allman (1947-) (vocals, guitar, organ), Forrest Richard "Dicky" Betts (1943-) (vocals, guitar), Raymond Berry Oakley III (1948-72) (bass), Claude Hudson "Butch" Trucks (1947-) (drums), and Jai Johanny "Jaimoe" Johanson (1944-) (drums) release their debut album The Allman Brothers Band (#188 in the U.S.), which sells poorly despite Rolling Stone calling it "consistently... subtle, and honest, and moving", turning them off to albums and causing them to concentrate on live performances. Album #3 At Fillmore East (July 1971) (double album) (1M coopies), their first live album is their breakthrough album; it features Hot 'Lanta, Whipping Post, and In Memory of Elizabeth Reed. Too bad, on Oct. 29, 1971 after all the members struggle with heroin addiction, Duane Allman dies in a motorcycle accident in Macon, Ga. Album #4 Eat a Peach (Feb. 12, 1972) (#4 in the U.S.) features Mountain Jam, Melissa, and Blue Sky. Too bad, on Nov. 11, 1972 Berry Oakley is killed in a motorcycle in Macon, Ga. three blocks from where Duane Allman was killed. Album #5 Brothers and Sisters (Aug. 1973) (#1 in the U.S.) (1M copies), first with Chuck Leavell (piano) and Lamar Williams (bass) features Ramblin' Man (#2 in the U.S.).

David Allan Coe (1939-)

In 1969 after 20 years in and out of prison, followed by living in a hearse parked in front of the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville in 1967 until he signs with Plantation Records, Akron, Ohio-born outlaw country singer-songwriter David Allan Coe (1939-) releases his debut single One Way Ticket to Nashville, followed by You Never Even Called Me by My Name (1975) (#8 country), Longhaired Redneck (1976) (#17 country), Willie Waylon and Me (1976) (#25 country), The Ride (1983) (#4 country), Mona Lisa Lost Her Smile (1984) (#2 country), She Used to Love Me a Lot (1984) (#11 country). He also releases a string of porno songs, incl. Little Susie Shallow Throat, Whips and Things (Finger-Fucking Sally), Don't Bite the Dick That Fucks You, Fuckin' in the Butt, and Pick 'Um, Lick 'Um, Stick 'Um. In 1977 he composes "Take This Job and Shove It", which becomes a hit for Johnny Paycheck.

Peggy Sue Webb (1947-)

In 1969 after signing with Decca Records, Butcher Holler, Ky.-born Peggy Sue (Webb) (1947-), middle sister of Loretta Lynn and Crystal Gayle releases her debut single I'm Dynamite (#28 country), followed by I'm Gettin' Tired of Babyin' You (1969) (#30 country), and All American Husband (1970) (#37 country). After releasing two albums, she leaves Decca and fades into the background behind her sisters.

Fourth Generation of Country Music (1970s-1980s)

Jessi Colter (1943-)

In Apr. 1970 after marrying rock & roll star Duane Eddy in 1961, and releasing her debut single Lonesome Road, followed by I Think I Cried Long Enough Over You (1961), both of which are non-charters, then divorcing him in 1968 and marrying Waylon Jennings in 1969, adopting her stage name in honor of her great grandfather, Phoenix, Ariz.-born Jessi Colter (Mirriam Johnson) (1943-) releases her debut studio album A Country Star Is Born (RCA Victor), which features I Ain't the One. In 1970 she and Waylon Jennings release the single Suspicious Minds (#25 country), followed in 1971 by Under Your Spell Again (1971) (#39 country). In Jan. 1975 after signing with Capitol Records, she releases album #2 I'm Jessi Colter (#4 country) (#50 in the U.S.), which features I'm Not Lisa (#1 country) (#4 in the U.S.), and What's Happened to Blue Eyes (#5 country) (#57 in the U.S.). The compilation album Wanted! The Outlaws (Jan. 12, 1976) (#1 country) (#10 in the U.S.) (2M copies) (first country album to sell 1M copies), a collaboration with Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and Tompall Glaser features My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys (by Sharon Rice), Honky Tonk Heroes (by Billy Joe Shaver), and I'm Looking for Blue Eyes (by Jessi Colter). Album #3 Jessi (Jan. 1976) (#4 country) (#109 in the U.S.) features It's Morning (And I Still Love You) (#11 country), and Without You (#50 country). Album #4 Diamond in the Rough (July 1976) (#4 country) (#79 in the U.S.) features I Thought I Heard You Calling My Name (#29 country). Album #5 Mirriam (July 1977) (#29 country) features I Belong to Him. The album White Mansions (June 1978) (#38 country) (#181 in the U.S.), documenting the lives of Confed. whites during the U.S. Civil War is collaboration with Waylon Jennings, Steve Cash, John Dillon, and Eric Clapton; it features Dixie, Hold On, Join Around the Flag, White Trash, and Oh Dixie, Now You're Done. Album #6 That's the Way a Cowboy Rocks and Rolls (Nov. 1978) (#46 country) features Maybe You Should've Been Listening (#45 country), and Love Me Back to Sleep (#91 country). Album #7 Leather and Lace (w/Waylon Jennings) (Feb. 1981) (#11 country) (#43 in the U.S.) (500K copies), a lapse into love songs features Storms Never last (#17 country), and The Wild Side of Life (by Hank Thompson)/ It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels (by Kitty Wells) (#10 country). Album #8 Ridin' Shotgun (1981) features Holdin' On (#70 country). Album #9 Rock and Roll Lullaby (1984) (Triad Records) features I Want to Be with You. In the early 1980s his drug abuses cause them to almost break up. Album #11 Out of the Ashes (Feb. 28, 2006) (#61 country) (Shout!), first released after the death of hubby Waylon Jennings features Out of the Ashes the Phoenix Rises. She goes on to release 11 studio albums and 23 singles incl. one #1.

Mac Davis (1942-)

On May 10, 1970 after writing hit songs "In the Ghetto", "Memories" et al., Lubbock, Tex. singer-songwriter Morris Mac Davis (1942-) releases his debut album Song Painter (#35 country) (#182 in the U.S.), which features Whoever Finds This, I Love You (#43 country) (#53 in the U.S.). Album #2 I Believe in Music (May 10, 1971) (#160 in the U.S.) features I Believe in Music (#117 in the U.S.). Album #3 Baby, Don't Get Hooked on Me (1972) (his breakthrough album) features Baby, Don't Get Hooked On Me (#26 country) (#1 in the U.S.).

Armadillo World HQ, 1970-80

On Aug. 7, 1970 Armadillo World HQ in Austin, Tex. opens in an old rented Nat. Guard armory, rented by Eddie Wilson after his flagship rock music venue the Vulcan Gas Co. closes, becoming the center of the Austin hippie culture complete with toleration of marijuana use and huge Lone Star beer sales, launching the Austin Sound AKA Redneck Rock AKA Cosmic Cowboy, with acts incl. The Lost Gonzo Band, Michael Martin Murphy, and Jerry Jeff Walker; it goes bankrupt in 1977, and holds its last concert on New Year's Eve (Dec. 31), 1980, featuring Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen, and Asleep at the Wheel; the music scene it created helps launch PBS-TVs "Austin City Limits"; in 1976 the first annual Armadillo Christmas Bazaar is held, becoming a top national arts and crafts show.

Brewer and Shipley

In 1970 the Kansas City, Mo.-based duo Brewer and Shipley, incl. Michael "Mike" Brewer (1944-) (tall hairy one) and Tom Shipley (short hairy one) release their 1-hit wonder (created in a moment of boredom, about smoking marijuana) One Toke Over the Line, which pisses-off Pres. Richard Nixon and Vice-Pres. Spiro Agnew, but is mistakenly performed on The Lawrence Welk Show and palmed off as a spiritual.

Charlie Daniels (1936-)

In 1970 Leland, N.C.-born country/Southern rock fiddler Charles Edward "Charlie" Daniels (1936-) releases his debut album Charlie Daniels, which features Great Big Bunches of Love, and Ain't No Way. Album #5 Fire on the Mountain, (Nov. 29, 1974) features Long Haired Country Boy, Orange Blossom Special, and The South's Gonna Do It Again, which gives an anthem to Southern Rock. Album #6 (his first charting country album) Nightrider (Nov. 25, 1975) (#27 country) (#57 in the U.S.) features Willie Jones, and Texas. Album #7 Saddle Tramp (Mar. 29, 1976) (#7 country) (#35 in the U.S.) features Wichita Jail (#22 country). Album #9 Midnight Wind (Oct. 7, 1977) (#42 country) (#105 in the U.S.) features Midnight Wind, and Heaven Can Be Anywhere (#85 country). Album #10 Million Mile Reflections (Apr. 20, 1979) (#1 country) (#5 in the U.S.) features Mississippi (#19 country), and The Devil Went Down to Georgia (#1 country) (#3 in the U.S.), a giant crossover hit that becomes non-country fans' favorite country song. Album #11 Full Moon (July 18, 1980) (#5 country) (#11 in the U.S.) (dedicated to Tommy Caldwell) features In America (#13 country) (#11 in the U.S.), and Willie Jones (w/Bobby Bare) (#19 country). Album #12 Windows (Mar. 5, 1982) (#7 country) (#26 in the U.S.) features Still in Saigon (#22 in the U.S.), We Had It All One Time (#69 country), and Ragin' Cajun (#76 country) (#109 in the U.S.). He goes on to release 30 studio albums and 54 singles incl. 1 #1.

Crystal Gayle (1951-)

In 1970 Loretta Lynn's Wabash, Ind.-born younger sister Crystal Gayle (Brenda Gail Webb) (1951-) (named after the Krystal hamburger chain), known for her brown-blue-green-? eyes and floor-length hair releases her debut single I've Cried (The Blue Right Out of My Eyes) (#23 country), followed by Wrong Road Again (by Allen Reynolds) (1974) (#6 country), Somebody Loves You (by Allen Reynolds) (1975) (#8 country), and I'll Get Over You (1975) (#1 country) (#71 in the U.S.). Album #3 Crystal (1976) (37 country), her attempt to break away from her sister's style and crossover to pop features You Never Miss a Real Good Thing (Till He Says Goodbye) (1976) (#1 country), Ready for the Times to Get Better (Allen Reynolds) (#1 country) (#52 in the U.S.), and I'll Do It All Over Again (#2 country). Album #4 We Must Believe in Magic (1977) (#2 country) (#12 in the U.S.) (#15 in the U.K.) (1M copies) (first platinum album recorded by a female country music artist) features Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue (#1 country) (#2 in the U.S.). Album #5 When I Dream (1978) (#2 country) (#25 in the U.K.) (1M copies) features Talking in Your Sleep (1978) (#1 country) (#18 in the U.S.), and Why Have You Left the One You Left Me For (1978) (#1 country). She follows with When I Dream (1979) (#3 country) (#84 in the U.S.), Half the Way (1979) (#2 country) (#15 in the U.S.), Your Old Cold Shoulder (1979) (#5 country), It's Like We Never Said Goodbye (1980) (#1 country) (#63 in the U.S.), If You Ever Change Your Mind (1980) (#1 country), Too Many Lovers (1981) (#1 country), The Woman in Me (1981) (#3 country) (#76 in the U.S.), Til I Gain Control Again (1982) (#1 country), You and I (w/Eddie Rabbitt) (#1 country) (#7 in the U.S.), Our Love Is on the Fault Line (1983) (#1 country), Baby, What About You (1983) (#1 country) (#83 in the U.S.), The Sound of Goodbye (1983) (#1 country) (#84 in the U.S.), I Don't Wanna Lose Your Love (1984) (#2 country), Turning Away (1984) (#1 country), Cry (1986) (#1 country), Straight to the Heart (1986) (#1 country), and Only Love Can Save Me Now (1987) (#11 country). She goes on to release 22 albums and 57 singles incl. 20 #1s.

In 1970 the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame is founded in Nashville, Tenn. by the Nashville Songwriters Foundation.

Little Feat

In Jan. 1971 Los Angeles, Calif.-based country rock band Little Feat, incl. Lowell George (vocals, guitar) (formerly of Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention), Bill Payne (keyboards), Roy Estrada (bass), and Richie Hayward (drums) (named after Lowell's little feat, with the spelling modified as a homage to the Beatles) releases its debut album Little Feat (Warner Bros. Records), which features Willin'. Album #2 Sailin' Shoes (May 1972) features Sailin' Shoes. In 1972 Kenny Gradney replaces Estrada, and guitarist Paul Barrere and drummer Sam Clayton join, changing the style toward New Orleans funk. Album #3 Dixie Chicken (Jan. 25, 1973) features Dixie Chicken, which becomes their signature song. Album #4 Feats Don't Fail Me Now (Aug. 1974) features Feats Don't Fail Me Now, and Oh, Atlanta.

Black Oak Arkansas

In Mar. 1971 Black Oak, Ark.-based Southern rock band Black Oak Arkansas (originally the Knowbody Else), incl. Benton Harbor, Mich.-born James "Jim Dandy" Mangrum (1948-) (vocals) (inspiration for David Lee Roth), Rickie Lee "Risky" "Ricochet" Reynolds (guitar), Stanley "Goober Grin" Knight (guitar), Harvey "Burley" Jett (guitar), Pat "Dirty" Daughterty (bass), and Wayne "Squeezebox" Evans (drums) releases its debut album Black Oak Arkansas (Atco Records) (#127 in the U.S.), which features Uncle Lijiah, Memories at the Window, The Hills of Arkansas, and Singing the Blues (by Melvin Endsley). Album #2 Keep the Faith (Jan. 1972) (#103 in the U.S.) features Keep the Faith, Revolutionary All American Boys, Fever in My Mind, and The Big One's Still Coming. Album #3 If an Angel Came to See You... Would You Make Her Feel at Home (June 1972) (#93 in the U.S.) features Gravel Roads, Fertile Woman, Mutants of the Monster, and We Help Each Other. Album #4 Raunch 'N' Roll Live (Mar. 1973) (#90 in the U.S.) features Gettin' Kinda Cocky, When Electricity Came to Arkansas, Hot Rod, and Hot and Nasty. Album #5 High on the Hog (Sept. 23, 1973) (#52 in the U.S.) features Jim Dandy (#25 in the U.S.), Swimmin' in Quicksand, Back to the Land, and Movin'.

New Riders of the Purple Sage

In Aug. 1971 the San Francisco, Calif.-based country rock band New Riders of the Purple Sage, formed mainly of members of The Grateful Dead, incl. Jerry Garcia (steel guitar), John Collins "Marmaduke" Dawson IV (1945-2009) (guitar), David Nelson (guitar), Spencer Dryden (drums), and Dave Torbert (bass) release their debut album New Riders of the Purple Sage (#39 in the U.S.), which features the tracks I Don't Know You, Dirty Business, and Last Lonely Eagle. In Nov. 1971 Buddy Cage replaces Jerry Garcia. Album #2 Powerglide (Mar. 1972) (#33 in the U.S.) features I Don't Need No Doctor, Rainbow, Sweet Lovin' One, and Hello Mary Lou (by Gene Pitney). Album #3 Gypsy Cowboy (Dec. 1972) features Gypsy Cowboy, Death and Destruction, Whiskey, Groupie, and Superman. Album #4 The Adventures of Panama Red (Oct. 1973) (#55 in the U.S.) features Panama Red, Lonesome L.A. Cowboy, and Kick in the Head.

Olivia Newton-John (1948-) Matt Lattanzi (1959-) Chloe Lattanzi (1986-)

In Nov. 1971 English-born Australian rock-pop-country singer Olivia Newton-John (1948-), daughter of Irene Born, eldest child of atomic physicist Max Born (connecting her somehow with super physicist Isaac Newton too?) released her debut album If Not for You (#158 in the U.S.), featuring If Not for You, and If You Could Read My Mind. Album #2 Let Me Be There (Dec., 1973) (#1 country) (#54 in the U.S.) features Let Me Be There. Album #3 If You Love Me, Let Me Know (May 1974) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) features If You Love Me (Let Me Know) (#2 country) (#5 in the U.S.), and I Honestly Love You (#6 country) (#1 in the U.S.). Album #4 Have You Never Been Mellow (Feb. 1975) (#1 in the U.S.) features Have You Never Been Mellow. Album #6 Come On Over (Feb. 29, 1976) (#2 country) (#13 in the U.S.) features Come On Over (by Barry Gibb and Robin Gibb), Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain (by Fred Rose), and Jolene (by Dolly Parton. Album #7 Don't Stop Believin' (Oct. 1976) (#7 country) (#33 in the U.S.) features Don't Stop Believin' (by John Farrar) (#14 country) (#33 in the U.S.), Every Face Tells a Story (#21 country) (#55 in the U.S.), and Sam (#40 country) (#20 in the U.S.). Album #8 Making a Good Thing Better (1977) (#13 country) (#34 in the U.S.) features Making a Good Thing Better (by Pete Wingfield), Slow Dancing (by Jack Tempchin), and Ring of Fire (by June Carter and Merle Kilgore). Album #9 Totally Hot (1978) (#7 in the U.S.) features Totally Hot (#52 in the U.S.), A Little More Love (#94 country) (#3 in the U.S.), and Deeper than the Night (#87 country) (#11 in the U.S.). Album #10 Physical (Oct. 13, 1981) (#6 in the U.S.) (#11 in the U.K.) (2M copies) features Physical. In Dec. 1984 Olivia married Portland, Ore.-born "Xanadu" dancer Matt Lattanzi (1959-); they divorced in 1995. In 2011 Olivia's daughter Chloe Rose Lattanzi (1986-) freaked her mother out by releasing the disturbing shock rock video Play With Me.

John Prine (1946-) Oh Boy Records Logo

In 1971 Maywood, Ill.-born John Prine (1946-) releases his debut album John Prine (#154 in the U.S.), which gets him hailed as "the next Dylan"; it features Illegal Smile, Sam Stone (his signature song), Paradise, Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore, Angel from Montgomery, Hello in There, and Far from Me. Album #2 Diamonds in the Rough (#148 in the U.S.) features Diamonds in the Rough, and The Great Compromise. Album #3 Sweet Revenge (Oct. 1973) (#135 in the U.S.) features Sweet Revenge, and Nine Pound Hammer. Album #4 Common Sense (1975) (#66 in the U.S.) features Common Sense, and You Never Can Tell (by Chuck Berry). Album #5 Bruised Orange (1978) (#116 in the U.S.) features Bruised Orange (Chain of Sorrow), That's the Way That the World Goes 'Round, and Sabu Visits the Twin Cities Alone. Album #6 Pink Cadillac (1979) (#152 in the U.S.) features Saigon, How Lucky, and Ubangi Stomp. Album #7 Storm Windows (1980) (#144 in the U.S.) features Storm Windows, It's Happening to You, and Living in the Future. In 1984 he founds Oh Boy Records to release country records. Album #8 Aimless Love (1984) features Aimless Love, Maureen, Maureen, The Bottomless Lake, and Me, Myself and I. Album #9 German Afternoons (1986) features New Grass Revival; it features I Just Want to Dance with You. Album #10 The Missing Years (1991), his comeback album features appearances by Tom Petty, Phil Everly, Bonnie Raitt, and Bruce Springsteen, and features Jesus the Missing Years, Take a Look at My Heart (w/Bruce Springsteen) (co-written by John Mellencamp), and Everybody Wants to Feel Like You. Album #12 Lost Dogs and Mixed Blessings (Apr. 4, 1995) (#159 in the U.S.) features Day Is Done, Ain't Hurtin' Nobody, Lake Marie, and We Are the Lonely. In 1998 he is diagnosed with squamous cell cancer of the neck; surgery alters his voice, giving it a gravelly tone. Album #13 In Spite of Ourselves (1999) (#21 country) (#197 in the U.S.) features In Spite of Ourselves (w/Iris DeMent), I Know One (w/Emmylou Harris), and Wedding Bells (Let's Turn Back the Years) (w/Lucinda Williams). Album #15 Fair & Square (Apr. 26, 2005) (#55 in the U.S.) features Some Humans Ain't Human, and Safety Joe. The album Standard Songs for Average People (Apr. 24, 2007), with Mac Wiseman features Blue Side of Lonesome (by Leon Payne), I Forgot to Remember to Forget (by Stan Kesler and Charlie Feathers), Old Rugged Cross (by George Bennard), and Where the Blue of the Night.

New Grass Revival

In 1971 after forming Poor Richard's Almanac in 1969, and the Bluegrass Alliance Band in 1970, the Louisville, Ky.-based progressive (fusion) bluegrass band New Grass Revival is founded by Bowling Green, Ky.-born mandolin player Sam Bush (1952-) and Glasgow, Ky.-born Courtney Johnson (1939-96) (vocals, banjo) (originators of the Newgrass style), along with Ebo Walker (bass), Lonnie Peerce (fiddle), and Curtis Burch (vocals, guitar). In 1972 they release their debut album The Arrival of the New Grass Revival (Starday Records), which features Ginseng Sullivan (by Norman Blake), Lonesome Fiddler Blues (by Vassar Clements). Album #2 Fly through the Country features Fly Through the Country, Glory, These Days (by Jackson Browne), and Skippin' in the Mississippi Dew (by John Hartford). When the Storm Is Over. Album #3 When the Storm Is Over features When the Storm Is Over (by Bob Lucas), and White Freight Liner Blues (by Townes van Zandt). Album #4 Barren County (1979) features Dancin' with the Angels (by Peter Rowan). Album #5 Commonwealth (1981) (last with Johnson and Burch) features Steam Powered Aereo Plane (by John Hartford), and Nothing Wasted, Nothing Gained (by Sam Bush and Steve Brines). Album #6 On the Boulevard (1984), first with Bela Fleck (banjo, vocals) and John Cowan (bass, vocals), Pat Flynn (vocals, guitar), and Eddie Bayers (drums) features On the Boulevard (by Pat Flynn), Just Is (by John Cowan), and County Clare (by Bela Fleck). Album #7 New Grass Revival (1986) features Love Someone Like Me, What You Do to Me, and Ain't That Peculiar. Album #8 Hold to a Dream (1987) features Hold to a Dream, Unconditional Love (#44 country), and Can't Stop Now (#45 country). Album #9 (last) Friday Night in America (1989) features Callin' Baton Rouge (#37 country), and Do What You Gotta Do.

Joe Stampley (1943-) and Moe Bandy (1944-)

In 1971 Springhill, La.-born ex-rock singer (The Uniques) Joe Stampley (1943-) releases his debut single Take Time to Know Her (#74 country) (ABC-Dot Records), followed by Soul Song (1972) (#1 country), If You Touch Me, You've Got to Love Me (1972) (#9 country), Bring It On Home (To Your Woman) (1973) (#7 country), I'm Still Loving You (1973) (#3 country), Take Me Home to Somewhere (1974) (#5 country), Roll On Big Mama (1975) (#1 country), All These Things (1976) (#1 country), Everyday I Have to Cry Some (1977) (#14 country), Red Wine and Blue Memories (1978) (#6 country), If You've Got Ten Minutes (Let's Fall in Love) (1978) (#6 country), Do You Ever Fool Around (1978) (#5 country), Put Your Clothes Back On (1979) (#9 country), I'm Gonna Love You Back to Loving Me Again (1981) (#9 country), Poor Side of Town (1983) (#12 country), Double Shot of My Baby's Love (1983) (#8 country). He goes on to release 60+ charting singles, incl. eight in 1976, earning him Billboard's single country artist of the year. Meanwhile in 1974 Meridian, Miss.-born Marion Franklin "Moe" Bandy Jr. (1944-) releases the single It Was Always So Easy (To Find an Unhappy Woman) (#7 country), followed by Bandy the Rodeo Clown (1975) (#7 country), Hank Williams, You Wrote My Life (1975) (#2 country), I'm Sorry for You, My Friend (1977) (#9 country), Two Lonely People (1978) (#7 country), It's a Cheating Situation (w/Janie Fricke) (1979) (#2 country), I Cheated Me Right Out of You (1979) (#1 country), She's Not Really Cheatin' (She's Just Gettin' Even) (1982) (#4 country), Let's Get Over Them Together (w/Becky Hobbs) (1983) (#10 country), and Americana (1988) (#8 country). Meanwhile in 1979 after meeting in the Hard Rock Cafe in London and joking that "Moe and Joe" sounds as good as "Waylon and Willie", Joe Stampley and Moe Bandy team up to release comical songs, starting with Just Good Ol' Boys (#1 country), followed by Holding the Bag (1979) (#7 country), Hey Joe (Hey Moe) (satire of a Carl Smith song) (1981) (#10 country), Honky Tonk Queen (1981) (#12 country), and Where's the Dress (parody of Boy George) (1984) (#8 country). In 1980 they win the CMA's vocal duo of the year award, and in 1980-1 they win the ACM's vocal duo of the award. In 2001 Stampley founds Critter Records, signing Ark.-born Billy Hoffman, who releases his debut singles Perfect Night (#69 country) and You're the Ticket (#75 country).

'Otis Williams and the Midnight Cowboys', 1971

In 1971 after Pete Drake bets retired Cincinnati, Ohio-born doo-wop star Otis Williams (1936-) (known for the #1 R&B hit "Hearts of Stone" in 1954) he can't make a country album that sells, he releases Otis Williams and the Midnight Cowboys (Stop Records), using Nashville musicians incl. Scotty Moore, billed as The Midnight Cowboys (named after the 1969 film), "an all-black country band"; it features I Wanna Go Country (by Charlie Monk and Jim Owen) (#72 country), That's How I Got to Memphis (by Tom T. Hall), Do It to Someone You Love (by Tom T. Hall), and Rocky Top (by Felice and Boudeloux Bryant).

Pure Prairie League Vince Gill (1957-)

In Mar. 1972 the Waverly, Ohio-based country rock band Pure Prairie League, incl. Craig Fuller, Tommy McGrail, Jim Caughlan, and John Call, named after a temperance union in the 1939 film "Dodge City" releases its debut album Pure Prairie League, followed by album #2 Bustin' Out (#34 in the U.S.0 in Oct. 1972, which features the hit song Amie (#27 in the U.S.), helping spark a minor bluegrass revival on midwestern U.S. college campuses. Too bad, in Feb. 1973 Fuller is forced to leave the group after being sentenced to 6 mo. in jail for draft evasion in Ky. Album #3 Two Lane Highway (Apr. 1975) (#24 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Two Lane Highway (#97 in the U.S.), and Just Can't Believe It (w/Emmylou Harris). Album #4 If the Shoe Fits (Nov. 1975) (#33 in the U.S.) features That'll Be the Day (by Buddy Holly and Jerry Allison) (#96 country). In Sept. 1978 Norman, Okla.-born bluegrass musician Vincent Grant "Vince" Gill (1957-) joins, and they release album #8 Can't Hold Back (June 1979) (#124 in the U.S.), followed by album #9 Firin' Up (Feb. 1980) (#37 in the U.S.), their biggest hit, which features Let Me Love You Tonight (#10 in the U.S.), and I'm Almost Ready (#34 in the U.S.). Album #10 Something in the Night (Feb. 1981) (#72 in the U.S.) features Still Right Here in My Heart (#38 in the U.S.), and You're Mine Tonight (#68 in the U.S.). In 1984 Vince Gill releases his debut solo album Turn Me Loose (#64 country), which features Turn Me Loose (#39 country), Victim of Life's Circumstances (#40 country), and Oh Carolina (#38 country). Album #6 I Still Believe in You (Sept. 1, 1992) (#3 country) (#10 in the U.S.) features I Still Believe in You (#1 country). In Mar. 2000 he marries Amy Grant. He goes on to release 14 studio albums and 49 singles incl. five #1s, and sell 26M albums.

Michael Martin Murphey (1945-)

On May 25, 1972 after modest success with the Trinity River Boys and the Lewis & Clarke Expedition, writing the song What Am I Doing Hanging' Round (along with Owen Castleman) for his friend Michael Nesmith of The Monkees, Dallas, Tex.-born pop-outlaw country singer-songwriter-musician Michael Martin Murphey (1945-) releases his debut album Geronimo's Cadillac (A&M Records) (#160 in the U.S.), which features Geronimo's Cadillac (#37 in the U.S.), which becomes the anthem of the Am. Indian Movement (AIM). Album #2 Cosmic Cowboy Souvenir (1973) (#196 in the U.S.) features Cosmic Cowboy. Album #3 Michael Murphey (1973) (Epic Records) features Holy Roller, and Fort Worth I Love You. Album #4 Blue Sky - Night Thunder (1975) (#18 in the U.S.) features Wildfire (#3 in the U.S.), and Carolina in the Pines (#21 in the U.S.). Album #5 Swans Against the Sun (1976) (#47 country) (#44 in the U.S.) features Renegade (#39 in the U.S.), A Mansion on the Hill (w/John Denver) (#36 country), and Rhythm on the Road. Album #6 Flowing Free Forever (1976) (#130 in the U.S.) features Cherokee Fiddle (#58 country). Album #7 Lone Wolf (1978) (#99 in the U.S.) features Nothing Is Your Own, and Paradise Tonight. Album #8 Peaks, Valley, Honky Tonks & Alleys (1979) (#206 in the U.S.) features Chain Gang (#93 country), and Backslider's Wine (#92 country). Album #9 Hard Country Soundtrack (1981) features Take It As It Comes (W/Katy Moffatt) (#83 country). In 1982 he shifts to pure country. Album #10 Michael Martin Murphey (1982) (#14 country) (#69 in the U.S.) (Liberty Records) features What's Forever For (#1 country) (#19 in the U.S.), Still Taking Chances (#3 country) (#76 in the U.S.), Love Affairs (#11 country), and The Two-Step Is Easy (#44 country). Album #11 The Heart Never Lies (1983) (#27 country) (#187 in the U.S.) features His compilation album The Best of Michael Martin Murphey (1984) (#20 country) features What She Wants (#8 country). Album #12 Tonight We Ride (1986) (#46 country) (Warner Bros. Records) features Tonight We Ride (#26 country), Rollin' Nowhere (#15 country), and Fiddlin' Man (#40 country). Album #13 Americana (1987) (#32 country) features A Face in the Crowd (w/Holly Dunn) (#4 country), and A Long Line of Love (#1 country). Album #14 River of Time (1988) (#11 country) features I'm Gonna Miss You, Girl (#3 country), From the Word Go (#3 country), Talkin' to the Wrong Man (w/Ryan Murphey) (#4 country), and Pilgrims on the Way (Matthew's Song) (#29 country). Album #15 Land of Enchantment (1989) (#33 country) features Land of Enchantment (which becomes the state song of N.M.), Never Givin' Up on Love (#9 country), Family Tree (#48 country), and Route 66 (#67 country). Album #16 Cowboy Songs (1990) (#25 country) (500K copies) (first cowboy music album to achieve gold status since Marty Robbins' 1959 "Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs") features Cowboy Logic (#52 country), and Let the Cowboy Dance (#74 country). Album #28 Buckaroo Blue Grass (Feb. 10, 2009) is his first bluegrass album. Album #33 Red River Drifter (2013) (#48 country) features Red River Drifter. He goes on to release 33 studio albums and 43 singles incl. two country #1s.

Donna Fargo (1945-)

In May 1972 after five years of non-charters, Mount Airy, N.C.-born Donna Fargo (Yvonne Vaughan) (1945-) releases her debut album The Happiest Girl in the Whole U.S.A. (Dot Records) (#1 country) (#47 in the U.S.) (500K copies), which features The Happiest Girl in the Whole U.S.A. (#1 country) (#11 in the U.S.), and Funny Face (#1 country) (#5 in the U.S.). Album #2 My Second Album (Feb. 1973) (#1 country) (#104 in the U.S.) features Superman (#1 country) (#41 in the U.S.), and You Were Always There (#1 country) (#93 in the U.S.). Album #3 All About a Feeling (Oct. 1973) (#5 country) (#204 in the U.S.) features Little Girl Gone (#2 country) (#57 in the U.S.), and I'll Try a Little Bit Harder (#6 country). Album #4 Miss Donna Fargo (1974) (#4 country) (#207 in the U.S.) features You Can't Be a Beacon if Your Light Don't Shine (#1 country) (#57 in the U.S.), US of A (#9 country) (#86 in the U.S.), It Do Feel Good (#7 country) (#98 in the U.S.). Album #5 Whatever I Say Means I Love You (July 1975) (#28 country) features Whatever I Say (Means I Love You) (#38 country), and Hello Little Bluebird (#14 country). Album #6 On the Move (1976) (#31 country) (Warner Bros. Records) features Mr. Doodles (#20 country), and I Loved You All of the Way (#15 country). Album #7 Fargo Country (1977) (#11 country) features That Was Yesterday. Album #8 Shame on Me (1977) (#18 country) features Shame on Me (#8 country), and Do I Love You (Yes in Every Way) (#2 country). Album #9 Dark-Eyed Lady (1978) (#20 country) features Somebody Special (#6 country), and Another Goodbye (#10 country). Album #10 Just for You features Daddy (#14 country), and Preacher Berry (#45 country). She goes on to release 15 studio albums and 47 singles incl. six #1s.

Opryland USA Logo

On June 30, 1972 Opryland USA, "Home of American Music" in Nashville, Tenn. opens, going on to operate from Mar. to Oct., plus Dec. starting in 1993, reaching 2.5M annual attendance before closing on Dec. 31, 1997. On June 30, 1972 at midnight GMT one sec. is added to clocks worldwide to bring them in line with atomic clocks, becoming the first time in history that a leap second is added to clocks - just like a mini-Armageddon, starting time over?

'Deliverance', starring Burt Reynolds (1936-), 1972

On July 30, 1972 John Boorman's Deliverance debuts, based on the 1970 James Dickey novel, starring Burt Reynolds, Jon Voight, Ronny Cox, and Ned Beatty as Atlanta businessmen Lewis Medlock, Ed Gentry, Drew Ballinger, and Bobby Trippe, who make a big mistake one weekend canoing down the Cahulawassee River in Ga. before the er, erection of a dam, and get captured by two hillbillies with er, small game guns, played by Bill McKinney (1931-) and Herbert "Cowboy" Coward (complete with Billy Bob teeth), after which Bill sodomizes Drew while making him squeal like a pig, then Billy Bob mouth utters the immortal soundbyte "He got a real purdy mouth, ain't he?" to Ed after he is forced to his knees, but are interrupted before he can stick it in by an arrow through the body of Bill by Lewis, after which their trip turns into a flight back to civilization while trying to hide the body, er, bodies; the subliminal message is that Christian men don't know what they're missing with other men?; the film debuts for er, Beatty and Cox; er, Dickey plays a sheriff, as does "Married: With Children" Ed O'Neill; Boorman's son Charley plays Voight's son; the Dueling Banjos Scene, which was copied from an episode of "The Andy Griffith Show" featuring the fictional bluegrass band The Darlings, played by The Dillards, starring inbred albino Lonnie (Billy Redden) on banjo and Ronny Cox on guitar spawns a hit record; "This is the weekend they didn't play golf"; #4 grossing film of 1972 ($46.1M).

Joe Ely (1947-)

In 1972 Amarillo, Tex.-born Lubbock, Tex.-raised country singer Earl R. "Joe" Ely (1947-) and his band The Flatlanders, incl. Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock release their debut album All American Music under the name Jimmie Dale & The Flatlanders, which comes out only on 8-track tape and flops, causing them to disband in 1973; it is re-released in 1990 under the title More a Legend than a Band; it features Dallas (by Jimmie Dale Gilmore), You've Never Seen Me Cry (by Butch Hancock), Bhagavan Decreed (by Ed Vizard), One Day at a Time (by Willie Nelson), and The Heart You Left Behind (by Angeli Strehli). In 1977 Ely releases his debut solo album Joe Ely, which features All My Love (#89 country). Album #2 Honky Tonk Masquerade (1978) features Honky Tonk Masquerade, and Boxcars (by Butch Hancock). In 1992 Ely and Buzzin' Cousins release Sweet Suzanne (#68 country), from the film Falling from Grace. In 1998 the Mexican-Am. supergroup Los Super Seven, incl. Joe Ely, Freddy Fender, David Hidalgo (Los Lobos), Cesar Rosas (Los Lobos) et al. is formed, releasing their 1999 debut album Los Super Seven, which features Let Her Dance. In 1998 The Flatlanders are featured in the film The Horse Whisperer, and in 2002 release album #2 Now Again, followed by album #3 Wheels of Fortune (2004), and album #4 Hills & Valleys (2009).

J.D. Souther (1945-) The Souther-Hillman-Furay Band

In 1972 Detroit, Mich.-born Amarillo, Tex.-raised country-pop singer-songwriter John David Souther (1945-) releases his debut album John David Souther (Elektra Records), which features How Long. He then forms the country rock supergroup Souther-Hillman-Furay Band with Chris Hillman (The Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers) and Richie Furay (Buffalo Springfield and Poco), who release their debut album The Souther-Hillman-Furay-Band (1974) (#11 in the U.S.) (500K copies), which features Fallin' in Love (#27 in the U.S.), followed by album #2 Trouble in Paradise (1975) (#39 in the U.S.). Souther's album #2 Black Rose (1976) (#85 in the U.S.) (Elektra Records), which features Faithless Love. Album #3 You're Only Lonely (1979) features You're Only Lonely (w/Jackson Browne) (Columbia Records) (#60 country) (#7 in the U.S.), and White Rhythm and Blues (#105 in the U.S.). In 1981 he and James Taylor release Her Town Too (#11 in the U.S.). In 1982 he and his babe Linda Ronstadt release Sometimes You Just Can't Win (#27 country). Album #4 Home by Dawn (Warner Bros. Records) (1984) (#203 in the U.S.) features Home by Dawn, and Go Ahead and Rain (#104 in the U.S.). Souther goes on to compose hit songs for the Eagles, incl. "Best of My Love", "Victim of Love", "Heartache Tonight", "New Kid in Town", and "How Long".

Mel Street (1935-78)

In 1972 Grundy, Va.-born honky tonk singer Malachi King "Mel" Street (1935-78) releases his first country hit Borrowed Angel (#7 country), followed by Lovin' on Back Streets (1972) (#5 country), Walk Softly on the Bridges (1973) (#11 country), Lovin' on Borrowed Time (1973) (#11 country), You Make Me Feel More Like a Man (1974) (#15 country), Forbidden Angel (1974) (#16 country), Smokey Mountain Memories (1975) (#13 country), Even If I Have to Steal (1975) (#17 country), I Met a Friend of Yours Today (1976) (#10 country), Close Enough for Lonesome (1977) (#15 country), Barbara, Don't Let Me Be the Last to Know (1977) (#19 country), If I Had a Cheating Heart (1978) (#9 country), and The One Thing My Lady Never Puts into Words (posth.) (1979) (#17 country); too bad, a depressed alcoholic, he commits suicide on Oct. 21, 1978; George Jones sings at his funeral.

Tanya Tucker (1958-)

In 1972 Seminole, Tex.-born outlaw country singer Tanya Denise Tucker (1958-) releases her first hit Delta Dawn (by Larry Collins) (#6 country) (#72 in the U.S.), followed by What's Your Mama's Name (Feb. 1973) (#1 country) (#86 in the U.S.), Blood Red and Goin' Down (1973) (#1 country) (#74 in the U.S.), Would You Lay with Me (In a Field of Stone) (by David Allan Coe) (1974) (#1 country) (#46 in the U.S.), The Man That Turned My Mama On (1974) (#4 country) (#86 in the U.S.), and Lizzie and the Rainman (1975) (#1 country) (#37 in the U.S.). Too bad, she hooks up with Merle Haggard, Don Johnson, Andy Gibb, and Glen Campbell (1981-2) while getting hooked on alcohol and cocaine, causing her career to slide, then rebounds, releasing I Won't Take Less Than Your Love (w/Paul Davis and Paul Overstreet) (Oct. 1987) (#1 country), If It Don't Come Easy (Feb. 1988) (#1 country), and Strong Enough to Bend (June 1988) (#1 country).

Jacky Ward (1946-)

In 1972 Groveton, Tex.-born honky tonk country singer Jacky Ward (1946-) releases his debut single Big Blue Diamond (#39 country), followed by Stealin' (1975) (#50 country) (Mercury Records), Dance Her by Me (One More Time) (1975) (#38 country), I Never Said It Would Be Easy (1976) (#24 country), Texas Angel (1977) (#31 country), Fools Fall in Love (1977) (#9 country), A Lover's Question (by Brook Benton and Jimmy T. Williams) (1977) (#3 country), Three Sheets in the Wind/ I'd Really Love to See You Tonight (w/Reba McEntire) (1978) (#20 country), I Want to Be in Love (1978) (#24 country), Rhythm of the Rain (by The Cascades) (1978) (#11 country), Wisdom of a Fool (1979) (#8 country), That Makes Two of Us (w/Reba McEntire) (1979) (#26 country), You're My Kind of Woman (1979) (#14 country), Save Your Heart for Me (1980) (#8 country), That's the Way a Cowboy Rocks and Rolls (1980) (#7 country), Somethin' on the Radio (1981) (#13 country), and Travelin' Man (by Jerry Fuller) (1982) (#32 country) (Asylum Records).

The Whites Sharon White and Ricky Skaggs (1954-)

In 1972 Fort Worth, Tex.-based country-bluegrass vocal group The Whites, incl. Sharon White, Cheryl White (1955-), and daddy Buck White (1930-) release their debut album Buck White & Down Home Folks (County Records), which is a non-charter. In Aug. 1981 Sharon White marries Ricky Skaggs (1954-). In 1981 they release the single Send Me the Pillow That You Dream On (#66 country). Album #6 Old Familiar Feeling (1983) (#22 country) (Warner Bros. Records) features Give Me Back That Old Familiar Feeling (#10 country), You Put the Blue in Me (#10 country), Hangin' Around (#9 country), I Wonder Who's Holding My Baby Tonight (#9 country), When the New Wears Off of Our Love (#25 country). Album #7 Forever You (1984) (#37 country) features Forever You (#14 country), and Pins and Needles (#10 country), Album #8 Whole New World (1985) (MCA Records) (#42 country) features If It Ain't Love (Let's Leave It Alone) (#12 country), Hometown Gossip (#27 country), and I Don't Want to Get Over You (#33 country). Their compilation album Greatest Hits (1986) features Love Won't Wait (#36 country). Album #9 Ain't No Binds (1986) (#37 country) features There Ain't No Binds (#58 country), and It Should Have Been Easy (#30 country). In 1987 Sharon White and Ricky Skaggs release the single Love Can't Ever Get Better Than This. Album #13 Salt of the Earth (w/Ricky Skaggs) (Sept. 25, 2007) (#45 country) features Love Will Be Enough (by Janis Ian and Paul Overstreet), Homesick for Heaven (by Kelly Willard), Farther Along (by J.R. Baxter), This Old House (by Stuart Hamblen), and Wings of a Dove (by Bob Ferguson).

The Marshall Tucker Band

In Apr. 1973 the Spartanburg, S.C.-based Southern/country rock band Marshall Tucker Band (named after a name on a warehouse door key), incl. Toy Caldwell (1947-93) (vocals, guitar), Tommy Caldwell (1949-80) (bass), Doug Gray (1948-) (vocals), Jerry Eubanks (1950-) (flute), George McCorkle (1946-2007) (guitar), and Paul Riddle (1953-) (drums) releases its debut album The Marshall Tucker Band (#29 in the U.S.) (500K copies), which features Can't You See (#75 in the U.S.), and Take the Highway. Album #2 A New Life (Feb. 1974) (#37 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Another Cruel Love, Southern Woman, and Blue Ridge Mountain Sky. Album #3 Where We All Belong (Nov. 1974) (#54 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features This Ol' Cowboy (#78 in the U.S.), Low Down Ways, and In My Own Way. Album #4 Searchin' for a Rainbow (Aug. 1975) (#21 country) (#15 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Searchin' for a Rainbow (#82 country) (#104 in the U.S.), and Fire On the Mountain (#38 in the U.S.). Album #5 Long Hard Ride (June 1976) (#21 country) (#32 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Long Hard Ride (#63 country), Property Line, Walkin' the Streets Alone, and Windy City Blues. Album #6 Carolina Dreams (1977) (1M copies) (#22 country) (#23 in the U.S.) features Heard It in a Love Song (#51 country) (#14 in the U.S.). Album #7 Together Forever (1978) (#26 country) (#22 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Dream Lover (#75 in the U.S.), and I'll Be Loving You. Album #9 Running Like the Wind (#30 in the U.S.) features Running Like the Wind, and Last of the Singing Cowboys (#42 in the U.S.). Too bad, on Apr. 28, 1980 Tommy Caldwell is killed in a Jeep crash.

Willie Nelson (1933-)

In June 1973 after moving to Nashville in 1960 and recording his first album in 1962, then signing with RCA Victor and joining the Grand Ole Opry in 1965, then moving to Austin, Tex. in 1973 and signing with Atlantic Records, Abbott, Tex.-born ("Red Headed Stranger") Willie Hugh Nelson (1933-) releases his breakthrough album Shotgun Willie (#1 in the U.S.), marking his transition to Outlaw Country Music, which isn't popular with the country music market yet, but gains mainstream acceptance; it features Shotgun Willie (#60 in the U.S.), and Stay All Night (Stay a Little Longer) (#22 in the U.S.). In May 1975 after switching to Columbia Records, he releases his album The Red Headed Stranger (#1 country), which features Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain (#1 country) (#21 in the U.S.), and Remember Me (#2 country) (#67 in the U.S.). On July 18, 1980 he releases the Honeysuckle Rose Soundtrack album (#1 country) (#11 in the U.S.), which features On the Road Again. In 1983 he and Merle Haggard release Pancho & Lefty (by Townes Van Zandt) (#1 country). In 1984 he and Julio Iglesias release To All the Girls I've Loved Before (#1 country) (#5 in the U.S.). Too bad, in 1990 the IRS seizes his assets, claiming he owes them $16M, causing him to release the double album The IRS Tapes: Who'll Buy My Memories? in 1992 to pay them back.

On July 4, 1973 the first annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival in Colo. is held, featuring Fall Creek.

Lynyrd Skynyrd

On Aug. 13, 1973 Jacksonville, Fla.-based Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, named after gym teacher Leonard Skinner (1933-2010) for sending them to the principal's office of Robert E. Lee H.S. in Jacksonville, Fla. for having too long hair, and consisting of Steven Earl Gaines (1949-77), Ronald Wayne "Ronnie" Van Zant (1948-77), Larkin Allen Collins Jr. (1952-90), Garry Robert Rossington (1951-), Larry Junstrom (1949-) (bass), and Bob Burns (1950-)/Thomas Delmer "Artimus" Pyle (1948-) (drums) releases their debut album Lynyrd Skynyrd (pronounced leh-nerd skin-nerd), containing the rock anthem Free Bird, Gimme Three Steps ("Gimme three steps mister/Gimme three steps toward the door/And you won't see me no more"), and Tuesday's Gone. Album #2 Second Helping (Apr. 15, 1974) (#12 in the U.S.) features Sweet Home Alabama, along with their trademark triple guitar attack. Album #3 Nuthin' Fancy (Mar. 24, 1975) (#9 in the U.S.) features Saturday Night Special. Too bad, on Oct. 20, 1977, three days after releasing album #5 Street Survivors, their chartered airplane crashes en route to Baton Rouge, La., killing bandmembers Ronald Wayne "Ronnie" Van Zant (1948-77) and Steven Earl "Steve" Gaines (1949-77).

On Oct. 6, 1973 Casey Kasem's American Country Countdown debuts, hosted by Don Bowman (until 1978), featuring the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart; in 1978 Bob Kingsley becomes the host (until 2005), followed in 2006 by Kix Brooks (until ?).

The Ozark Mountain Daredevils

In Dec. 1973 the Springfield, Mo.-based Eagles wannabe Southern country rock-pop-bluegrass band The Ozark Mountain Daredevils (short for Cosmic Corn Cob & His Amazing Ozark Mountain Daredevils) (formerly Family Tree), incl. Steve Cash (harp), Randle Chowning, John Dillon, Elizabeth Anderson, Larry Lee, Michael Granda (bass), Jody Troutman, Bill Jones, Rick Campanelli/Buddy Brayfield (keyboards), Glyn Johns, and Nick DeCaro (accordion) release their debut album The Ozark Mountain Daredevils (A&M Records), which features If You Wanna Get to Heaven (#25), Country Girl (by Roy Drusky), Spaceship Orion, Chicken Train, and Colorado Song. Album #2 It'll Shine When It Shine (Oct. 1974), recorded in a pre-Civil War farmhouse features It'll Shine When It Shines, Jackie Blue (#3 in the U.S.), E.E. Lawson, and Look Away. Album #3 The Car Over the Lake Album (Sept. 1975) features Album #4 Men from Earth (Sept. 1976) (first with Rune Walle replacing Randle Chowning) features You Know Like I Know, and Homemade Wine. Album #5 Don't Look Down, first without Buddy Brayfield features Following the Way That I Feel.

Dick Feller (1943-)

In 1973 after composing Johnny Cash's hit "Any Old Wind That Blows", Bronaugh, Mo.-born country songwriter-musician Richard Dean "Dick" Feller (1943-) releases his debut album Dick Feller Wrote... (United Artists) (#41 country), which features Biff, the Friendly Purple Bear (#22 country) (#101 in the U.S.), The Credit Card Song (#10 country) (#105 in the U.S.), The Sum of Marcie's Blues, and Daisy Hill. Album #2 No Word on Me (1974) (#30 country) features Cry for Lori. Album #3 Some Days Are Diamonds (1975) (#44 country) features Some Days Are Diamonds (Some Days Are Stone), and Uncle Hiram and the Homemade Beer (#49 country). In 1977 he and Jerry Reed compose East Bound and Down (sung by Jerry Reed) (#2 country) (#103 in the U.S.) for the film Smokey and the Bandit.

Larry Gatlin (1948-)

In 1973 Seminole, Tex.-born Glen Campbell wannabe Larry Wayne Gatlin (1948-) and the Gatlin Brothers release their debut album The Pilgrim (#33 country), which features Sweet Becky Walker (#40 country). In 1974 they release album #2 Rain Rainbow (#37 country), which features Delta Dirt (#14 country) (#84 in the U.S.). Album #3 High Time (#14 country) (1975) features Broken Lady (#5 country), and Statues Without Hearts (#5 country). Album #5 Love Is Just a Game (1977) (#7 country) features Love Is Just a Game (#3 country), I Just Wish You Were Someone I Love (#1 country), and I Don't Wanna Cry (#3 country). Album #6 Oh! Brother (1978) (#7 country) features I've Done Enough Dyin' Today (#7 country), and Night Time Magic (#2 country). Album #7 Straight Ahead (1979) (#7 country) features All the Gold in California (#1 country), and Taking Somebody with Me When I Fall (#12 country) (#108 in the U.S.). Album #11 Houston to Denver (1984) (#9 country) features Houston (Means I'm One Day Closer to You) (#1 country), Denver (#7 country), and The Lady Takes the Cowboy Everytime (#3 country). Album #13 Partners (1987) (#13 country) features She Used to Be Somebody's Baby (#2 country), and Talkin' to the Moon (#4 country). Album #14 Alive and Well... Livin' in the Land of Dreams (1988) (#46 country) features Love of a Lifetime (#4 country). They go on to release 20+ albums and 39 singles incl. five country #1s.

Marie Osmond (1959-) Paul Davis (1948-2008)

In 1973 Ogden, Utah-born Osmond Family member Olive Marie Osmond (1959-) releases her debut album Paper Roses (#1 country) (#59 in the U.S.), which features Paper Roses (#1 country) (#5 in the U.S.) Album #2 In My Little Corner of the World (1974) (#10 country) (#164 in the U.S.) features In My Little Corner of the World (#33 country) (#102 in the U.S). In 1974 she and Donny Osmond release I'm Leaving It Up to You (#17 country) (#1 in the U.S.), followed by Morning Side of the Mountain (1974) (#8 in the U.S.), and Make the World Go Away (1975) (#71 country) (#44 in the U.S.). Album #3 Who's Sorry Now (1975) (#20 country) (#152 in the U.S.) features Who's Sorry Now (#29 country) (#40 in the U.S.). Album #4 This Is the Way That I Feel (1977) (#152 in the U.S.) features This Is the Way That I Feel (#39 in the U.S.). Album #5 There's No Stopping Your Heart (1985) (#16 country) features There's No Stopping Your Heart (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.), Meet Me in Montana (w/Dan Seals) (#1 country) (#19 in the U.S.), and Read My Lips (#4 country) (#5 in the U.S.) Album #6 I Only Wanted You (1986) (#19 country) features You're Still New to Me (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) with Meridian, Miss.-born "Cool Night", "I Go Crazy", "65 Love Affair" pop singer Paul Lavon Davis (1948-2008), and I Only Wanted You (#14 country) (#19 in the U.S.). Album #7 All in Love (1988) (#29 country) features Sweet Life (w/Paul Davis) (#47 country) (#55 in the U.S.), and Sweet Life (#85 country) (#17 in the U.S.). She goes on to release 16 studio albums and 36 singles incl. six #1s.

Jeanne Pruett (1937-)

In 1973 Pell City, Ala.-born Jeanne Pruett (Norman Jean Bowman) (1937-) releases her 1-hit wonder Satin Sheets (#1 country) (#28 in the U.S.), waking country up after it had strayed too far into pop-oriented tunes.

Billy Joe Shaver (1939-) Billy Joe Shaver (1939-)

In 1973 after writing hit songs for Waylon Jennings, Elvis Presley, and Kris Kristofferson, Corsicana, Tex-born Outlaw country singer-songwriter Billy Joe Shaver (1939-) releases his debut album Old Five and Dimers Like Me (Monument Records), which is a non-charter; it features I Been to Georgia on a Fast Train. Album #2 When I Get My Wings (1976) (Capricorn Records) features Ain't No God in Mexico. Album #3 Gypsy Boy (1977) (Capricorn Records) features You Asked Me To (w/Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson) (#80 country), and Honky Tonk Heroes. In 1993 he releases the single Live Forever, co-written by his son Ely (1962-2000). Album #7 Tramp on Your Street (1993) (Volcano Records) features his son Eddy Shaver playing guitar; it features Tramp on Your Street. Album #20 Everybody's Brother (2007) (Compadre Records) features Album #23 Long in the Tooth (2014) (#19 country) (#157 in the U.S.) (Lightning Rod Records) features Long in the Tooth, Hard to Be an Outlaw (w/Willie Nelson), and Music City USA.

Eddie Rabbitt (1941-98)

In 1974 Brooklyn, N.Y.-born country singer (the Wolfman?) Edward Thomas "Eddie" Rabbitt (1941-98), who wrote "Kentucky Rain" for Elvis Presley in 1970 releases his first country charter You Get to Me (#34 country), followed by Forgive and Forget (1975) (#12 country), Drinkin' My Baby (Off My Mind) (1976) (#1 country), Rocky Mountain Music (1976) (#5 country) (376 in the U.S.), Two Dollars in the Jukebox (1976) (#3 country), I Can't Help Myself (1977) (#2 country) (#71 in the U.S.), We Can't Go On Living Like This (1977) (#6 country), Hearts on Fire (1978) (#2 country), You Don't Love Me Anymore (1978) (#1 country) (#53 in the U.S.), and I Just Want to Love You (1978) (#1 country). On May 9, 1979 he decides to become a crossover star with album #5 Loveline, which features Suspicions (#1 country) (#13 in the U.S.), and Pour Me Another Tequila (#5 country). In 1979 he also releases Every Which Way But Loose (#1 country) (#30 in the U.S.), from the 1978 Clint Eastwood film. Album #6 Horizon (June 20, 1980) (#19 in the U.S.) features Drivin' My Life Away (#1 country) (#5 in the U.S.), I Love a Rainy Night (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.), and Gone Too Far (#1 country) (#82 in the U.S.). Album #7 Step by Step (July 31, 1981) (#23 in the U.S.) features Step by Step (#1 country) (#5 in the U.S.), Someone Could Lose a Heart Tonight (#1 country) (#15 in the U.S.), and I Don't Know Where to Start (#2 country) (#35 in the U.S.). Album #8 Radio Romance (Oct. 1, 1982) (#31 in the U.S.) features You and I (w/Crystal Gayle) (#1 country) (#7 in the U.S.), and You Can't Run from Love (#1 country) (#55 in the U.S.). After that he goes back to pure country, and in 1984 he releases B-B-B-Burnin' Up With Love (#3 country), followed by The Best Year of My Life (1985) (#1 country), Both to Each Other (Friends and Lovers) (w/Juice Newton) (1986) (#1 country), I Wanna Dance With You (1988) (#1 country), The Wanderer (by Dion DiMucci) (1988) (#1 country) (by now rock is so far out that old rock is country?), On Second Thought (1989) (#1 country), Runnin' With the Wind (1990) (#8 country), and American Boy (1990) (#11 country). On May 7, 1998 he dies in Nashville of lung cancer after releasing 15 studio albums and 43 singles incl. 34 top-10 and 17 country #1s in 1976-90.

Don Williams (1939-) Don Williams (1939-)

In 1974 after leaving the Pozo-Seco Singers (founded 1964) and going solo, Floydada, Tex.-born "the Gentle Giant" Donald "Don" Williams (1939-) releases his debut single The Shelter of Your Eyes (#14 country), followed by We Should Be Together (by Allen Reynolds) (1974) (#5 country), I Wouldn't Want to Live if You Didn't Love Me (1974) (#1 country), The Ties That Bind (1974) (#4 country), You're My Best Friend (1975) (#1 country), (Turn Out the Light And) Love Me Tonight (1975) (#1 country), 'Till the Rivers All Run Dry (1975) (#1 country), Say It Again (1976) (#1 country), She Never Knew Me (1976) (#2 country), Some Broken Hearts Never Mend (1977) (#1 country), I'm Just a Country Boy (1977) (#1 country), Tulsa Time (1978) (#1 country), It Must Be Love (1979) (#1 country), Love Me Over Again (1979) (#1 country), I Believe in You (by Roger Cook and Sam Hogin) (1980) (#1 country) (#24 in the U.S.), Good Ole Boys Like Me (1980) (#2 country), Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good (1981) (#1 country), Listen to the Radio (1982) (#3 country), Mistakes (1982) (#3 country), If Hollywood Don't Need You (Honey I Still Do) (1982) (#1 country), Love Is on a Roll (1983) (#1 country), Stay Young (1983) (#1 country), Nobody But You (1983) (#2 country), That's the Thing About Love (1984) (#1 country), Walkin' a Broken Heart (1984) (#2 country), Heartbeat in the Darkness (1986) (#1 country), Back in My Younger Days (1990) (#2 country), and True Love (1991) (#4 country). He goes on to release 29 studio albums and 55 singles incl. 21 #1s.

Emmylou Harris (1947-)

In Feb. 1975 after her debut folk album Gliding Bird (1969) flops, and she joins Gram Parsons' band until he dies of an OD on Sept. 19, 1973, releasing Love Hurts (by Boudleaux Bryant) with him in Jan. 1974, Birmingham, Ala.-born statuesque beauty Emmylou Harris (1947-) releases album #2 Pieces of the Sky (#7 country) (#45 in the U.S.), becoming her breakthrough album; it features If I Could Only Win Your Love (by Charlie and Ira Louvin) (#4 country) (#58 in the U.S.), and Boulder to Birmingham (co-written by Bill Danoff), an attempt to deal with Parsons' death; "I would rock my soul in the bosom of Abraham/I would hold my life in his saving grace/I would walk all the way from Boulder to Birmingham/If I thought I could see, I could see your face." Album #2 Elite Hotel (Dec. 29, 1975) (#1 country) (#25 in the U.S.) features Together Again (#1 country), Sweet Dreams (by Patsy Cline) (#1 country), and One of These Days (#3 country). Album #3 Luxury Liner (Jan. 1977) (#1 country) (#21 in the U.S.) features (You Never Can Tell) C'est la Vie (by Chuck Berry) (#6 country, and Making Believe (by Kitty Wells) (#8 country). Album #7 Roses in the Snow (May 1980) (#2 country) (#26 in the U.S.) features Wayfaring Stranger (#7 country), and The Boxer (by Simon and Garfunkel) (#13 country). In 1981 she and Don Williams release If I Needed You (by Townes Van Zandt) (#3 country). She goes on to release 26 albums and 70 singles.

'Nashville', 1975

On June 11, 1975 Robert Altman's Nashville (Paramount) debuts, about a political convention amid a world of country music, starring David Arkin as chaffeur Norman, Keith Carradine as Tom Frank, Karen Black as9Connie White, Ronee Blakley (film debut) as Barbara Jean, Shelley Duvall as L.A. Joan (Martha), Lily Tomlin as Linnea Reese, and Ned Beatty as Delbert Reese; does $10M box office on a $2.2M budget; features Keith Carradine's hit song I'm Easy.

Outlaws

In July 1975 the Tampa, Fla.-based Southern rock band Outlaws (previously The Rogues, the Four Letter Words), incl. Hughie "the Flame" Thomasson (vocals, guitar), Herb Pino (vocals), Hobie O'Brien (guitar), Frank Guidry (guitar), Phil Holmberg (bass), and David Dix (drums) releases its debut album Outlaws (#13 in the U.S.), which features Green Grass and High Tides, and There Goes Another Love Song (#34 in the U.S). The go on to release 11 studio albums.

Hank Williams Jr. (1949-) Hank Williams Jr. (1949-)

In Dec. 1975 after breaking away from his domineering mother Audrey's plan for him to be a Hank Williams Sr. impersonator, and surviving a mountain climbing accident on Aug. 8, 1975 that caused him to start wearing a beard, cowboy hat, and sunglasses, Shreveport, La.-born Hank "Bocephus" Williams Jr. (Randall Hank Williams) (1949-) releases his breakthrough album Hank Williams, Jr. & Friends, transitioning to outlaw country rock; Charlie Daniels plays fiddle; it features I Really Did, and Can't You See (by Toy Caldwell). He follows it with the album Family Tradition (Apr. 17, 1979) (#3 country), which features Family Tradition (#4 country), and I Fought the Law (by Sonny Curtis) (#15 country). Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound (Nov. 1979) features Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound (#2 country), and Women I've Never Had (#5 country). Habits Old and New (June 1980) (#4 country) features Old Habits (#6 country), and Kaw-Liga (by Hank Williams Sr. and Fred Rose) (#12 country). Rowdy (Jan. 1981) (#2 country) (#82 in the U.S.) features Texas Women. The Pressure Is On (Aug. 1981) (#5 country) (#76 in the U.S.) features All My Rowdy Friends (Have Settled Down) (#1 country) (used as the Theme Song for Monday Night Football (Are You Ready for Some Football) in 1989-Oct. 2011), and A Country Boy Can Survive (#2 country). High Notes (Apr. 1982) (#3 country) (#123 in the U.S.) features If Heaven Ain't a Lot Like Dixie (#5 country), and Honky Tonkin' (by Hank Williams Sr.) (#1 country). Born to Boogie (July 1987) (#1 country) (#28 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features Born to Boogie, Honky Tonk Women (by the Rolling Stones), and Young Country. Wild Streak (June 21, 1988) (#1 country) (#55 in the U.S.) features Wild Streak (co-written by Terri Sharp), and If the South Woulda Won. Hank Williams, Jr.'s Greatest Hits, Vol. 3 (Feb. 1989) (#1 country) (#61 in the U.S.) features There's a Tear in My Beer (by Hank Williams Sr.) (#7 country), and Finders Are Keepers (#6 country). On Oct. 3, 2011 he gives an interview to Fox News Channel in which he compares Pres. Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler, causing ESPN to drop his opening number from Monday Night Football. In Aug. 2012 he tells the crowd at the Iowa State Fair: "We've got a Muslim president who hates farming, hates the military, hates the U.S., and we hate him." He goes on to release 50+ albums and 95+ singles incl. 10+ #1s, selling 36M albums worldwide.

The Amazing Rhythm Aces

In 1975 the Memphis, Tenn.-based country rock band The Amazing Rhythm Aces (formerly Fatback), incl. Russell Smith, Jeff "Stick" Davis (bass), Billy Earheart III (keyboards), James Hooker, and Butch McDade (drums) releases their debut album Stacked Deck (ABC Records) (#11 country) (#120 in the U.S.), which features Third Rate Romance (#11 country) (#14 in the U.S.), and Amazing Grace (Used to Be Her Favorite Song) (#9 country) (#72 in the U.S.). Album #2 Too Stuffed to Jump (1976) (#16 country) (#157 in the U.S.) features The End Is Not in Sight (The Cowboy Tune) (#12 country) (#42 in the U.S.), and Dancing the Night Away (later covered by Crystal Gayle). Album #3 Toucan Do It Too (1977) (#24 country) (#114 in the U.S.) features Too Can Do It Too. Album #4 Burning the Ballroom Down (1978) (#28 country) (#166 in the U.S.) features Burning the Ballroom Down.

Asleep at the Wheel

In 1975 Austin, Tex.-based country band Asleep at the Wheel, formed in Paw Paw, W. Va. by Ray Benson and Lucky Oceans (Reuben Gosfield) releases their 1-hit wonder The Letter That Johnny Walker Read (#10 country), followed by House of Blue Lights (1987) (#17 country).

Guy Clark (1941-)

In 1975 Monahans, Tex.-born Outlaw country singer-songwriter Guy Charles Clark (1941-) releases his debut album Old No. 1 (#41 country) (RCA Records), which features L.A. Freeway, and Desperados Waiting for the Train. Album #2 Texas Cookin (1976) (#48 country) features Texas Cookin', Broken Hearted People, and The Last Gunfighter Ballad. Album #4 The South Coast of Texas (1981) (Warner) features The Partner Nobody Chose (co-written by Rodney Crowell) (#38 country), Heartbroke (later covered by Ricky Skaggs), and She's Crazy for Leavin' (later covered by Rodney Crowell). Album #5 Better Days (1983) (#48 country) features Blowin' Like a Bandit, Uncertain Texas (co-written by Rodney Crowell), and No Deal (by Townes Van Zandt). His Nashville home becomes a mecca for up-and-coming Outlaw singers incl. Steve Earle and Rodney Crowell.

Don King (1954-)

In 1975 after signing with Con Brio Records, Fremont, Neb.-born #2-we-try-harder Donald Alan "Don" King (1954-) releases his debut album Dreams and Things (#42 country), which features I've Got You (To Come Home To) (#16 country), She's the Girl of My Dreams (#17 country), and Cabin High (In the Blue Ridge Mountains). In 1978 he invites Tasmanian country-rock singer Tappy (Tony Tapp) to the U.S. In 1981 he releases The Closer You Get (#27 country). He goes on to release four albums and chart 15 country singles.

The Los Gonzo Band

In 1975 the Austin, Tex.-based Lost Gonzo Band, incl. Jerry Jeff Walker, Robert "Bob" Livingston (bass), Gary P. Nunn (keyboards), John Inmon (guitar) et al. releases its debut album The Lost Gonzo Band (MCA Records), which features London Homesick Blues, and Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother. Album #2 Thrills (1976) features Album #3 Signs of Life (1977) (Capitol Records) features They go on to tour with most of Texas' top country musicians incl. Michael Martin Murphey and Ray Wylie Hubbard. In 1990 they reform as a "rock 'n' roll jazz country reggae R&B Texas roadhouse band", incl. Livingston, Inmon, Riley Osborne (keyboards), Tomas Ramirez (sax), Lloyd Maines (steel guitar), and Paul Pearcy (drums). Album #4 Rendezvous (1994) features Rendezvous, Silent Dancer, Corona Con Lima, and Hurricane. Album #5 Dead Armadillos (1996) (Demon Records) features Dead Armadillo, Loose and On My Way, and Desperados. Album #6 Hands of Time (1996) (Vireo Records) features Take Off Your Shoes and Dance, 21, Free My Spirit, Sweet Woman, and Deja-Didjeri-Vu.

The Bellamy Brothers

On Feb. 14, 1976 the Darby, Fla.-based country-pop music duo The Bellamy Brothers, incl. Homer Howard Bellamy (1946-) and David Milton Bellamy (1950-) release their first hit single Let Your Love Flow (#21 country) (#1 in the U.S.), followed by If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me (1979) (#1 country) (#39 in the U.S.), You Ain't Just Whistlin' Dixie (1979) (#5 country), Sugar Daddy (1980) (#1 country), Dancin' Cowboys (1980) (#1 country), Lovers Live Longer (1980) (#3 country), Do You Love As Good As You Look (1981) (#1 country), For All the Wrong Reasons (1982) (#1 country), Redneck Girl (1982) (#1 country), When I'm Away from You (1983) (#1 country), I Need More of You (1985) (#1 country), Old Hippie (1985) (#2 country), Lie to You for Your Love (1985) (#2 country), Feelin' the Feelin' (1986) (#2 country), Too Much Is Not Enough (W/The Forester Sisters) (1986) (#1 country), Kids of the Baby Boom (1987) (#1 country), Crazy from the Heart (1987) (#3 country), Big Love (1989) (#5 country), You'll Never Be Sorry (1989) (#10 country), and I Could Be Persuaded (1990) (#7 country). They go on to release 29 studio albums and 70 singles incl. 10 country #1s.

Helen Cornelius (1941-) and Jim Ed Brown (1934-)

In 1976 Monroe City, Mo.-born Helen Cornelius (Helen Lorene Johnson) (1941-) and Sparkman, Ark.-born James Edward "Jim Ed" Brown (1934-) of The Browns release their first hit country single I Don't Want to Have to Marry You (#1 country), followed by Saying Hello, Saying I Love You, Saying Goodbye (1976) (#2 country), Born Believer (1977) (#12 country), If It Ain't Love by Now (1977) (#12 country), I'll Never Be Free (1978) (#11 country), If the World Ran Out of Love Tonight (1978) (#6 country), You Don't Bring Me Flowers (1978) (#10 country), Lying in Love with You (1979) (#2 country), Fools (1979) (#3 country), Morning Comes Too Early (1980) (#5 country), and Don't Bother to Knock (1981) (#13 country).

Johnny Lee (1946-)

In 1976 Mickey Gilley's associate, Alta Loma, Tex.-born Johnny Lee (John Lee Ham) (1946-) releases his debut country single Sometimes (#59 country), followed by (1976) Red Sails in the Sunset (#22 country), Ramblin' Rose (1977) (#37 country), Country Party (by Ricky Nelson) (1977) (#15 country), Dear Alice (1977) (#58 country), This Time (1978) (#43 country), Lookin' for Love (by Wanda Mallette, Bob Morrison, and Patty Ryan) (1980) (#1 country) (#5 in the U.S.), One in a Million (1980) (#1 country) (#102 in the U.S.), Pickin' Up Strangers (by Byron Hill) (1981) (#3 country), Prisoner of Hope (1981) (#3 country), Bet Your Heart on Me (1981) (#1 country) (#54 in the U.S.), Be There for Me Baby (#10 country), When You Fall in Love (1982) (#14 country), Cherokee Fiddle (1982) (#10 country), Sounds Like Love (1983) (#6 country), Hey Bartender (1983) (#2 country), My Baby Don't Slow Dance (1983) (#23 country), The Yellow Rose of Texas (w/Lane Brody) (1984) (#1 country), You Could've Heard a Heart Break (1984) (#1 country), Rollin' Lonely (1984) (#9 country), Save the Last Chance (1985) (#12 country), and The Loneliness in Lucy's Eyes (The Life Sue Ellen Is Living) (from the album "Dallas: The Music Story") (1986) (#56 country). In 1982-4 he marries "Dallas" star Charlene Tilton (b. 1958), who bears son Johnny Lee Jr. (1990-2014).

Boxcar Willie (1931-99)

In 1976 Ellis County, Tex.-born USAF pilot Boxcar Willie (Lecil Travis Martin) (1931-99) releases his debut album Boxcar Willie, followed by 11 more by 2004, getting inducted into the Grand Ole Opry 1981 as member #60. In 1980 he releases the single Train Medley (#95 country) (#61 country in 1983), followed by Bad News (1982) (#36 country), We Made Memories (w/Penny DeHaven) (1982) (#77 country), Last Train to Heaven (1982) (#80 country), Keep On Rollin' Down the Line (1982) (#70 country), Country Music Nightmare (1983) (#76 country), The Man I Used to Be (1983) (#44 country), Not on the Bottom Yet (1984) (#87 country), Luther (1984) (#69 country), The Wreck of Ole 97 (?), and Wabash Cannonball (?). He goes on to sell 100M+ records, using his money to open the Boxcar Willie Theater at 76 Country Music Blvd. in Branson, Mo., paving the way for other country stars.

'Austin City Limits', 1976-

In 1976 Austin City Limits debuts on PBS-TV station KLRN at the U. of Tex., featuring the music of Texas incl. progressive country; in 1977 London Homesick Blues by Gary P. Nunn, performed by the Lost Gonzo Band becomes the theme song.

Reba McEntire (1955-)

In Aug. 1977 McAlester, Okla.-born red-headed blue-eyed "Queen of Country" Reba Nell McEntire (1955-) releases her debut album Reba McEntire (Mercury Records), which is a flop; it features I Don't Wanna Be a One Night Stand. Album #2 Out of a Dream (Sept. 1979) features Last Night, Ev'ry Night (#28 country), Sweet Dreams (by Don Gibson) (#19 country), That Makes Two of Us (w/Jacky Ward) (#26 country), Runaway Heart (by Paul Harrison) (#36 country), and (I Still Long to Hold You) Now and Then (by Jerry Fuller) (#40 country). Album #3 Feel the Fire (Oct. 1980) features her first top-10 country hit (You Lift Me) (Up To Heaven) (#8 country), I Can See Forever in Your Eyes (#18 country), and I Don't Think Love Oughta Be That Way (#13 country). Album #4 Heart to Heart (Sept. 1981) (#42 country) features Today All Over Again (#5 country), and Only You (And You Alone) (by Buck Ram and Ande Rand) (#13 country). Album #5 Unlimited (June 1982) (#22 country) features Can't Even Get the Blues (#1 country), and You're the First Time I've Thought About Leaving (#1 country), and I'm Not That Lonely Yet (#3 country). Album #6 Behind the Scene (Sept. 1983) (#36 country), which features Why Do We Want (What We Know We Can't Have) (#7 country), and There Ain't No Future in This (#12 country). Album #7 Just a Little Love (Jan. 1984) (MCA Records) (#23 country) features Just a Little Love (#5 country), and He Broke Your Memory Last Night (#15 country). Album #8 My Kind of Country (Oct. 1, 1984) (#13 country) (500K copies) features How Blue (#1 country), and Somebody Should Leave (#1 country). Album #9 Have I Got a Deal for You (June 10, 1985) (#27 country) (500K copies) features Have I Got a Deal for You (#6 country), and Only in My Mind (#5 country). Album #10 Whoever's in New England (Feb. 1986) (#1 country) (1M copies) features Whoever's in New England (#1 country), and Little Rock (#1 country). Album #11 What Am I Gonna Do About You (Oct. 1986) (#1 country) (500K copies) features What Am I Gonna Do About You (#1 country), One Promise Too Late (#1 country), and Let the Music Lift You Up (#4 country). Album #12 The Last One to Know (Sept. 7, 1987) (#3 country) (#102 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features The Last One to Know (#1 country), and Love Will Find Its Way to You (#1 country). Album #13 Reba (Apr. 18, 1988) (#1 country) (#118 in the U.S.) (1M copies), her breakaway from a honky tonk to a Bakersfield sound features Sunday Kind of Love (#5 country), I Know How He Feels (#1 country), and New Fool at an Old Game (#1 country). Album #14 Sweet Sixteen (May 1, 1989) (#1 country) (#78 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features Cathy's Clown (#1 country), Walk On (#2 country), Til' Love Comes Again (#4 country), Little Girl (#7 country). Album #15 Rumor Has It (Aug. 17, 1990) (#2 country) (#39 in the U.S.) (3M copies) features You Lie (#1 country), Fallin' Out of Love (#2 country), Rumor Has It (#3 country), and Fancy (by Bobbie Gentry) (#8 country). On Mar. 23, 1991 (Sun.) an airplane crash kills most of the members of her touring band. Album #16 For My Broken Heart (Oct. 1, 1991) (#3 country) (#13 in the U.S.) (4M copies) features For My Broken Heart (#1 country), Is There Life Out There (#1 country), The Greatest Man I Never Knew (by Richard Leigh and Layng Martine Jr.) (#3 country), and The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia (by Bobby Russell) (#12 country). Album #17 It's Your Call (Dec. 14, 1992) (#1 country) (#8 in the U.S.) (3M copies) features It's Your Call (#5 country) (#110 in the U.S.), The Heart Won't Lie (w/Vince Gill) (#1 country), Take It Back (#5 country). The compilation album Greatest Hits Volume Two (Sept. 28, 1993) (#1 country) (#5 in the U.S.) (5M copies) features Does He Love You (w/Linda Davis) (#1 country), and They Asked About You (#7 country). Album #18 Read My Mind (Apr. 26, 1994) (#2 country) (#2 in the U.S.) (3M copies) features The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (#1 country), Till You Love Me (#2 country) (#78 in the U.S.), And Still (#2 country), Why Haven't I Heard from You (#5 country) (#101 in the U.S.), and She Thinks His Name Was John (#15 country) (#101 in the U.S.). Album #19 Starting Over (Oct. 3, 1995) (#1 country) (#5 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features Ring on Her Finger, Time on Her Hands (#9 country), and On My Own (w/Linda Davis, Martina McBride, and Trisha Yearwood) (by Carole Bayer Sager and Burt Bacharach) (#20 country). Album #20 What If It's You (Nov. 5, 1996) (#1 country) (#15 in the U.S.) (2M copies) features What If It's You (#15 country), How Was I to Know (#1 country), The Fear of Being Alone (#2 country), and I'd Rather Ride Around with You (#2 country). Album #21 If You See Him (June 2, 1998) (#2 country) (#8 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features If You See Him/If You See Her (w/Brooks & Dunn) (#1 country), Forever Love (#4 country), Wrong Night (#6 country), and One Honest Heart (#7 country). Album #22 So Good Together (Nov. 23, 1999) (#5 country) (#28 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features What Do You Say (#3 country) (#31 in the U.S.), I'll Be (#4 country) (#51 in the U.S.), and We're So Good Together (#20 country) (#109 in the U.S.). Her compilation album Greatest Hits Volume III: I'm a Survivor (Oct. 23, 2001) (#1 country) (#18 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features I'm a Survivor (#3 country) (#49 in the U.S.), and Sweet Music Man (#36 country). Album #23 Room to Breathe (Nov. 18, 2003) (#4 country) (#25 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features Somebody (#1 country) (#35 in the U.S.), He Gets That from Me (#7 country) (#59 in the U.S.), I'm Gonna Take That Mountain (#14 country) (#103 in the U.S.), and My Sister (#16 country) (#93 in the U.S.). Album #24 Reba: Duets (Sept. 18, 2007) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) (1M copies) (last with MCA Records) features Because of You (w/Kelly Clarkson) (#2 country) (#50 in the U.S.), Every Other Weekend (w/Kenny Chesney) (#15 country) (#104 in the U.S.), and The Only Promise That Remains (w/Justin Timberlake). Album #25 Keep On Loving You (Aug. 18, 2009) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) (Starstruck/Valory Records) features Strange (#1 country) (#76 in the U.S.), Consider Me Gone (#1 country) (#38 in the U.S.), and I Keep On Loving You (#7 country) (#78 in the U.S.). Album #26 All the Women I Am (Nov. 9, 2010) (#3 country) (#7 in the U.S.) features Turn On the Radio (#1 country) (#53 in the U.S.), and If I Were a Boy (#22 country) (#123 in the U.S.). She goes on to release 28 studio albums (incl. 14 #1s) and 93 singles incl. 25 #1s, and sell 80M records.

Ronnie McDowell (1950-)

In Sept. 1977 Portland, Tenn.-born Elvis wannabe Ronald Dean "Ronnie" McDowell (1950-) releases his first country hit The King Is Gone (#13 country) (#13 in the U.S.) (Scorpion Records), a tribute to Elvis Presley, followed by I Love You, I Love You, I Love You (1977) (#5 country) (#81 in the U.S.), Here Comes the Reason I Live (1978) (#15 country), World's Most Perfect Woman (1979) (#18 country), Wandering Eyes (1980) (#2 country) (#27 in the U.S.), Older Women (1981) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.), Watchin' Girls Go By (1981) (#4 country) (#3 in the U.S.), You're Gonna Ruin My Bad Reputation ((1983) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.), You Made a Wanted Man of Me (1983) (#3 country) (#4 in the U.S.), In a New York Minute (1985) (#5 country) (#1 in the U.S.), Love Talks (1985) (#9 country) (#14 in the U.S.), All Tied Up (1986) (#6 country) (#1 in the U.S.), It's Only Make Believe (1987) (#8 country) (#5 in the U.S.), and Never Too Old to Rock 'n' Roll (w/Jerry Lee Lewis) (1989) (#50 country) He goes on to release 24 studio albums and 49 singles incl. 34 country charters.

Debby Boone (1956-)

In 1977 after leaving the Boone Girls (sisters Cherry, Lindy, and Laury), Hackensack, N.J.-born pop-country-Christian singer Deborah Anne "Debby" Boone (1956-) (daughter of Pat Boone and Shirley Foley Boone, daughter of Red Foley) releases her first solo hit country single You Light Up My Life (#4 country) (#1 in the U.S.), followed by My Heart Has a Mind of Its Own (1978) (#11 country), Baby, I'm Yours (1978) (#33 country), Breakin' in a Brand New Broken Heart (1979) (#25 country), Are You on the Road to Lovin' Me Again (1980) (#1 country), Free to Be Lonely Again (1980) (#14 country), and Perfect Fool (1981) (#23 country).

Janie Fricke (1947-)

In 1977 after moving to Nashville in 1975 and singing background for Johnny Duncan et al., South Whitley, Ind.-born Janie Marie Fricke (Frickie) (1947-) releases her debut single What're You Doing Tonight (#21 country), followed by On My Knees (w/Charlie Rich) (1978) (#1 country), Please Help Me, I'm Falling (1978) (#22 country), Come a Little Bit Closer (w/Johnny Duncan) (1978) (#4 country), I'll Love Away Your Troubles for Awhile (1979) (#14 country), Down to My Last Broken Heart (1980) (#2 country), He's Out of My Life (w/Johnny Duncan) (1980) (#17 country), I'll Need Someone to Hold Me (When I Cry) (1981) (#4 country), Do Me with Love (1981) (#4 country), Don't Worry 'Bout Me Baby (1982) (#1 country), It Ain't Easy Bein' Easy (1982) (#1 country), You Don't Know Love (1982) (#4 country), He's a Heartache (Looking for a Place to Happen) (1983) (#1 country), Tell Me a Lie (1983) (#1 country), Let's Stop Talking About It (1984) (#1 country), Your Heart's Not in It (1984) (#1 country), A Place to Fall Apart (w/Merle Haggard) (1984) (#1 country), She's Single Again (1985) (#2 country), Somebody Else's Fire (1985) (#4 country), Easy to Please (1986) (#5 country), Always Have, Always Will (1986) (#1 country), When a Woman Cries (1986) (#20 country), From Time to Time (It Feels Like Love Again) (w/Larry Gatlin) (1987) (#21 country), and Couldn't See the Gold (w/Tommy Hunter) (1990). She goes on to release 18 studio albums and 37 singles incl. eight #1s. In 1982-3 she wins the CMA female vocalist of the year award.

Doyle Lawson (1944-)

In 1977 Sullivan County, Tex.-born bluegrass-gospel musician Doyle Lawson (1944-) releases his debut album Tennessee Dream (Rebel Records), which features Georgia Cracker, Reminiscing, and Five Miles to Winchester. In 1980 after forming the new band Quicksilver he releases album #2 Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver (Sugar Hill Records), which features Album #5 Rock My Soul (1981), making him a star with his own blend of bluegrass and gospel; it features Rock My Soul, On the Sea of Life, Just Over Yonder, and Sweet Chariot. Album #19 There's a Light Guiding Me features Since Jesus Came Into My Heart, Let Me Tell You About Jesus, and There Is A God. He goes on to release 40+ albums and host the annual Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver Festival in Denton, N.C.

Ghost Riders in the Sky

In 1977 the Nashville, Tenn.-based Western music comedy band (Sons of the Pioneers wannabe) Ghost Riders in the Sky, incl. Ranger Doug (Douglas B. Green) (vocals, guitar), Woody Paul (Paul Christman) (vocals, violin), and Too Slim (Fred LaBour) (vocals, bass) begins performing on WPLN-FM in Nashville, Tenn., going on to entertain mainly children. Album #1 Three on the Trail (1979) (Rounder Records) features Three on the Trail, Ghost Riders in the Sky (by Stan Jones), and Don't Fence Me In (by Bob Fletcher and Cole Porter). Album #2 Cowboy Jubilee (1981) features Cowboy Jubilee (by Ken Carson). Album #3 Prairie Serenade (1982) (1982) features Prairie Serenade (by Douglas Green). Album #4 Weeds & Water (1983) features Cool Water (by Bob Nolan), and Tumbling Tumbleweeds (by Bob Nolan).

John Conlee (1948-)

On Apr. 25, 1978 Versailles, Ky.-born John Conlee (1946-) releases his debut single Rose Colored Glasses (#5 country), followed by Lady Lay Down (1978) (#1 country), Backside of Thirty (1979) (#1 country), Before My Time (1979) (#2 country), Baby, You're Something (1980) (#7 country), Friday Night Blues (1980) (#2 country), She Can't Say That Anymore (1980) (#2 country), Miss Emily's Picture (1981) (#2 country), Busted (by Harlan Howard) (1982) (#6 country), I Don't Remember Loving You (1982) (#10 country), Common Man (1983) (#1 country), I'm Only in It for the Love (1983) (#1 country), In My Eyes (1983) (#1 country), As Long as I'm Rocking with You (1984) (#1 country), Way Back (1984) (#4 country), Years After You (1984) (#2 country), Working Man (1985) (#7 country), Old School (1985) (#5 country), Got My Heart Set On You (1986) (#1 country), The Carpenter (1986) (#6 country), Domestic Life (1987) (#4 country), and Mama's Rockin' Chair (1987) (#11 country). He goes on to release 11 albums and 32 singles incl. seven #1s.

Barbara Mandrell (1948-)

On Aug. 1, 1978 Houston, Tex.-born Barbara Ann Mandrell (1948-) (former steel guitar player for Patsy Cline) releases her first hit country single Sleeping Single in a Double Bed (#1 country), followed by (If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want to Be Right (1978) (#1 country) (#31 in the U.S.), Years (Dec. 7, 1979) (#1 country), Crackers (June 16, 1980) (#3 country), I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool (Apr. 16, 1981) (#1 country), Wish You Were Here (Aug. 31, 1981) (#2 country) (#40 in the U.S.), Till You're Gone (Apr. 8, 1982) (#1 country) (#25 in the U.S.), In Times Like These (Apr. 1983) (#4 country), and One of a Kind Pair of Fools (July 1983) (#1 country). On Nov. 18, 1980 Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters debuts on NBC-TV for 35 episodes (until 1982), featuring Tex.-born country singer sisters Barbara Ann Mandrell (1948-), Thelma Louise Mandrell (1954-) and Ellen Irlene Mandrell (1956-); despite good ratings, the show is discontinued because Barbara suffers from exhaustion. In 1980 she becomes the 3rd woman to win the best entertainer of the year award from the Country Music Assoc.; in 1981 she becomes the first to win 2x; too bad, on Sept. 11, 1984 she has an automobile accident, causing her take off 18 mo. for rehabilitation; she retires in Nov. 1997.

Rodney Crowell (1950-)

In Aug. 1978 after being discovered by Jerry Reed, playing in Emmylou Harris's backing band The Hot Band, and forming The Cherry Bombs in 1977 with Vince Gill, Tony Brown et al., Crosby, Tex.-born Rodney Crowell (1950-) releases his debut album Ain't Living Long Like This, which features Elvira (#95 country), Baby, Better Start Turnin' 'Em Down (#38 country), and (Now and Then, There's) A Fool Such As I (#90 country). In 1979 he marries Johnny Cash's daughter Rosanne Cash (until 1992). Album #2 But What Will the Neighbors Think (1980) (#64 country) (#155 in the U.S.) features Ashes by Now (#78 country) (#37 in the U.S.), Ain't No Money, and Here Come the 80's. Album #3 Rodney Crowell (1983) (#47 country) (#105 in the U.S.) features Stars on the Water (#30 country) (#105 in the U.S.), and Victim or a Fool (#34 country). Album #4 Street Language (#38 country) (#177 in the U.S.) features Let Freedom Ring, When I'm Free Again (#38 country), and Looking for You (co-written by Rosanne Cash) (#59 country). Album #5 Diamonds & Dirt (Mar. 30, 1988) (#8 country) (500K copies), his breakthrough album features It's Such a Small World (w/Rosanne Cash) (#1 country), I Couldn't Leave You If I Tried (#1 country), She's Crazy for Leaving (#1 country), After All This Time (#1 country), Above and Beyond (The Call of Love) (by Buck Owens) (#1 country), setting the record for most #1 country hits from a single album. Album #6 Keys to the Highway (Oct. 10, 1989) (#15 country) (#180 in the U.S.) features Many a Long and Lonesome Highway (#3 country), If Looks Could Kill (#6 country), My Past Is Present (#22 country), and Now That We're Alone (#17 country). Album #7 Life Is Messy (May 19, 1992) (#30 country) (#155 in the U.S.) features Lovin' All Night (#10 country), and What Kind of Love (#11 country).

Rosanne Cash (1955-)

In Dec. 1978 Memphis, Tenn.-born Rosanne Cash (1955-) (eldest daughter of Johnny Cash and 1st wife Vivian Liberto) releases her debut album Rosanne Cash in Germany, which attracts little attention. In 1979 she marries Rodney Crowell (until 1992). Album #2 Right or Wrong (Feb. 1980) features Couldn't Do Nothin' Right (#15 country), No Memories Hangin' Round (w/Bobby Bare) (#17 cuntry, er, country), and Take Me, Take Me (#25 country). Album #3 Seven Year Ache (Feb. 1981) (#1 country) (#26 in the U.S.) features Seven Year Ache (#1 country) (#22 in the U.S.), My Baby Thinks He's a Train (#1 country), and Blue Moon with Heartache (#1 country). Album #4 Somewhere in the Stars (June 1982) (#6 country) (#76 in the U.S.) features Ain't No Money (by Rodney Crowell) (#4 country), I Wonder (#8 country), and It Hasn't Happened Yet (#14 country). Album #5 Rhythm & Romance (May 1985) (#1 country) (#101 in the U.S.) features I Don't Know Why You Don't Want Me (#1 country), and Never Be You (#1 country). Album #6 King's Record Shop (June 26, 1987) (#6 country) (#138 in the U.S.) (named after a shop in Louisville, Ky. owned by Pee Wee King's younger brother Gene) features The Way We Make a Broken Heart (#1 country), If You Change Your Mind (#1 country), Tennessee Flat Top Box (by Johnny Cash) (#1 country), and Runaway Train (#1 country). Album #12 The List (Oct. 6, 2009) (#5 country) (#22 in the U.S.) features Album #13 The River & the Thread (Jan. 14, 2014) (#2 country) (#11 in the U.S.) features A Feather's Not a Bird, The Sunken Lands, and Modern Blue. She goes on to release 13 studio albums and 33 singles incl. 11 #1s.

Juice Newton (1952-)

In 1978 Lakehurst, N.J.-born country-pop singer Judy Kay "Juice" Newton (1952) releases her first single It's a Heartache (#86 in the U.S.), followed by Let's Keep It That Way (1979) (#37 country), Sunshine (1980) (#35 country), Angel of the Morning (1981) (#22 country) (#4 in the U.S.), Queen of Hearts (1981) (#14 country) (#2 in the U.S.), The Sweetest Thing (I've Ever Known) (1981) (#1 country) (#7 in the U.S.), Love's Been a Little Bit Hard on Me (1982) (#30 country) (#7 in the U.S.), Break It To Me Gently (1982) (#2 country) (#11 in the U.S.), You Make Me Want to Make You Mine (1985) (#1 country), Hurt (1985) (#1 country), This Old Flame (1986) (#5 country), Both to Each Other (Friends and Lovers) (w/Eddie Rabbitt) (1986) (#1 country), Cheap Love (1986) (#9 country), What Can I Do With My Heart (1986) (#9 country), and Tell Me True (1987) (#8 country). She goes on to release 17 studio albums and 38 singles incl. six #1s.

Bela Fleck (1958-)

In 1979 after getting turned on by the Beverly Hillbillies theme song and taking up the banjo at age 15, New York City-born banjo player Bela Anton Leos Fleck (1958-), named after composers Bela Bartok, Anton Webern, and Leos Janacek releases his solo debut album Crossing the Tracks. In 1981 he joins New Grass Revival, releasing solo album #2 Drive (bluegrass) in 1987. In 1988 he forms Bela Fleck and the Flecktones along with Howard Levy (keyboards) and Roy "Future" Man Wooten (drums).

Lorrie Morgan (1959-)

In 1979 Nashville, Tenn.-born Loretta Lynn "Lorrie" Morgan (1959-) (daughter of George Morgan) releases her first country single Two People in Love (#75 country), followed by I'm Completely Satisfied with You (w/George Morgan) (#93 country), Out of Your Shoes (1989) (#2 country), Dear Me (1989) (#9 country), Five Minutes (1990) (#1 country), He Talks to Me (1990) (#4 country), Til a Tear Becomes a Rose (w/Keith Whitley) (1990) (#13 country), We Both Walk (1991) (#3 country), Except for Monday (1991) (#4 country), What Part of No (1992) (#1 country), Watch Me (1992) (#2 country), I Don't Know My Own Strength (1995) (#1 country), Back in Your Arms Again (1995) (#4 country), Go Away (1997) (#3 country), Good As I Was to You (1997) (#4 country), and He Drinks Tequila (w/Sammy Kershaw) (#39 country). She ends up married 6x, incl. Ron Gaddis (1979-80), Keith Whitley (1986-9), Brad Thompson (1991-3), Jon Randall (1996-9), Sammy Kershaw (2001-7), and Randy White (2010), hooking up with Dallas Cowboys QB Troy Aikman in 1990, and politician-actor Fred Thompson in 1994-6. She goes on to release 15+ albums and 25+ singles incl. three #1s.

'Coal Miners Daughter', 1980

On Mar. 7, 1980 Michael Apted's Coal Miner's Daughter (Universal) debuts, based on the 1976 autobio., starring Sissy Spacek as country music star Loretta Lynn, and Tommy Lee Jones as her hubby "Mooney" Lynn, becoming the first in a string of movie hits by English dir. Michael Apted (1941-); "The Band" lead singer-drummer Levon Helm plays Loretta's father; features Spacek singing Coal Miner's Daughter (w/Levon Helm); Beverly D'Angelo plays Patsy Cline; does $67M box office on a $15M budget.

Alabama

In May 1980 after playing Southern bars since the early 1970s, then signing with RCA Records and releasing two non-charting albums, Fort Payne, Ala.-based Southern rock-bluegrass music band Alabama (formerly Wildcountry), incl. Randy Yuell Owen (1949-) (vocals, guitar), his cousin Teddy Gentry (bass, vocals), Jeff Cook, and Mark Herndon releases their breakthrough album #4 My Home's in Alabama (#3 country) (#71 in the U.S.), which features My Home's in Alabama (#17 country), Tennessee River (#1 country), Why Lady Why (#1 country), and I Wanna Come Over (#33 country). Album #5 Feels So Right (Feb. 1981) (#1 country) (#16 in the U.S.) features Feels So Right (#1 country) (#20 in the U.S.), Old Flame (#1 country) (#103 in the U.S.), and Love in the First Degree (#1 country) (#15 in the U.S.). Album #6 Mountain Music (Feb. 25, 1982) (#1 country) (#14 in the U.S.) (5M copies) features Mountain Music (#1 country) (#101 in the U.S.), Take Me Down (#1 country) (#18 in the U.S.), and Close Enough to Perfect (#1 country) (#65 in the U.S.). Album #7 The Close You Get... (Mar. 1983) (#1 country) (#10 in the U.S.) features The Closer You Get (#1 country) (#38 in the U.S.), Dixieland Delight (#1 country), and Lay Down on Love (#1 country) (#76 in the U.S.). Album #8 Roll On (Jan. 1984) (#1 country) (#21 in the U.S.) features Roll On (Eighteen Wheeler) (#1 country), When We Make Love (#1 country), If You're Gonna Play in Texas (You Gotta Have a Fiddle in the Band) (#1 country), and (There's A) Fire in the Night (#1 country). Album #9 40-Hour Week (Jan. 1985) (#1 country) (#28 in the U.S.) features There's No Way (#1 country), 40 Hour Week (For a Livin') (#1 country) (record 17 straight country #1s, breaking Sonny James' 1971 record), and Can't Keep a Good Man Down (#1 country). Album #10 The Touch (1986) (#1 country) (#69 in the U.S.) features You've Got the Touch (#1 country), and Touch Me When We're Dancing (#1 country). Album #11 Just Us (Sept. 1987) (#1 country) (#55 in the U.S.) features Tar Top (#7 country), Face to Face (#1 country), and Fallin' Again (#1 country). Album #12 Southern Star (Jan. 31, 1989) (#1 country) (#62 in the U.S.) features Southern Star (#1 country), Song of the South (#1 country), If I Had You (#1 country), and High Cotton (#1 country). Album #13 Pass It On Down (May 21, 1990) (#3 country) (#57 in the U.S.) features Pass It On Down (#3 country), Jukebox in My Mind (#1 country), Forever's As Far As I'll Go (#1 country), Down Home (#1 country), and Here We Are (#2 country). The compilation album Greatest Hits Vol. II (Oct. 8, 1991) (#10 country) (#72 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features Born Country (by Byron Hill and John Schweers) (#2 country), and Then Again (by Rick Bowles and Jeff Silbar) (#4 country). After releasing 19 albums and going on a farewell tour in 1003, they disband in 2006, then reunite in 2011. They go on to release 30 #1 country singles and sell 75M records. "It's unlikely that any other country group will be able to surpass the success of Alabama." (Allmusic)

'Urban Cowboy', 1980

On June 6, 1980 James Bridges' Urban Cowboy (Paramount Pictures) debuts, starring John Travolta as W Tex. hunk Buford Uan "Bud" Davis, who moves in with Uncle Bob (Barry Corbin) in Pasadena (near Houston) for a better job, and spends his spare time at Gilley's (a real-life bar in Pasadena, Tex. owned by Mickey Gilley, with the world's largest indoor bar), hooking up with Sissy (Debra Winger) and fighting with Wes Hightower (Scott Glenn) when he's not riding a mechanical bull; "Hard hat days and honky-tonk nights"; features country singers Mickey Gilley, Johnny Lee, Charlie Daniels, and Bonnie Raitt; does $53.3M box office; the Urban Cowboy Soundtrack album features Lookin' for Love (written by Wanda Mallette, Bob Morrison, and Patty Ryan) by Johnny Lee (#1 country) (#5 in the U.S.), Stand by Me by Mickey Gilley, The Devil Went Down to Georgia by the Charlie Daniels Band, Look What You've Done to Me by Boz Scaggs, Hearts Against the Wind (written by J.D. Souther) by Linda Ronstadt and J.D. Souther, Could I Have This Dance by Anne Murray, and Love the World Away by Kenny Rogers, launching the Urban Cowboy (Neo-Country) (Hill Boogie) Movement in pop-country music.

Joe Sun (1943-)

In July 1980 Rochester, Minn.-born Danish-descent country singer-songwriter Joe Sun (James Joseph Paulsen) (1943-) releases his debut single Old Flames Can't Hold a Candle to You (by Patricia Rose Sebert and Hugh Moffatt) (Ovation Records) (#14 country), slowly setting like the sun on the charts with High and Dry (1978) (#20 country), I Came on Business for the King (1979) #27 country), I'd Rather Go on Hurtin' (1979) (#20 country), Shotgun Rider (1980) (#23 country), Bombed, Boozed, and Busted (1980) (#21 country), Ready for the Times to Get Better (1980) (#43 country), What I Had with You (w/Sheila Andrews) (1980) (#48 country), and Holed Up in Some Honky Tonk (1982) (#40 country).

Earl Thomas Conley (1941-)

On Nov. 3, 1980 after eight years of low-charting singles, Portsmouth, Ohio-born "Thinking Man's Country Singer" Earl Thomas Conley (1941-) releases his first country hit Silent Treatment (#7 country), followed by Fire and Smoke (1981) (#1 country), Somewhere Between Right and Wrong (1982) (#1 country), I Have Loved You Girl (But Not Like This Before) (1983) (#2 country), Your Love's on the Line (1983) (#1 country), Holding Her and Loving You (1983) (#1 country), Don't Make It Easy for Me (1984) (#1 country), Angel in Disguise (co-written by Randy Scruggs) (1984) (#1 country), Chance of Lovin' You (1984) (#1 country), Honor Bound (1985) (#1 country), Love Don't Care (Whose Heart It Breaks) (1985) (#1 country), Nobody Falls Like a Fool (1985) (#1 country), Once in a Blue Moon (1986) (#1 country), Too Many Times (w/Anita Pointer) (1986) (#2 country), I Can't Win for Losin' You (1986) (#1 country), That Was a Close One (1987) (#1 country), Right from the Start (1987) (#1 country), What She Is (Is a Woman in Love) (1988) (#1 country), We Believe in Happy Endings (w/Emmylou Harris) (1988) (#1 country), What I'd Say (1988) (#1 country), and Love Out Loud (1989) (#1 country). He goes on to release 10 studio albums and 38 singles incl. 18 #1s.

Dan Seals (1948-2009)

In 1980 after disbanding the soft rock duo England Dan and John Ford Coley, McCamey, Tex.-born Danny Wayland "Dan" Seals (1948-2009) (brother of Seals & Crofts member Jim Seals) releases his debut album Stones (Atlantic Records), which features Stones (Dig a Little Deeper), and Late at Night (#57 in the U.S.). Album #2 Harbinger (1982) features Can't Get You Out of My Mind (#110 in the U.S.). Album #3 Rebel Heart (1983) (#40 country) (Liberty Records) features Everybody's Dream Girl (#18 country), After You (#28 country), You Really Go for the Heart (#37 country), and God Must Be a Cowboy (#10 country). Album #4 San Antone (1984) (EMI Records) (#24 country) features (You Bring Out) The Wild Side of Me (#9 country), My Baby's Got Good Timing (#2 country), and My Old Yellow Car (#9 country). Album #5 Won't Be Blue Anymore (1985) (#1 country) (#59 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Meet Me in Montana (w/Marie Osmond) (#1 country), Bop (#1 country) (#42 in the U.S.), and Everything That Glitters (Is Not Gold) (#1 country). Album #6 On the Front Line (1986) (#12 country) features You Still Move Me (#1 country), I Will Be There (#1 country), and Three Time Loser (#1 country). The compilation album The Best (Oct. 20, 1987) (#7 country) (Capitol Records) (1M copies) features One Friend (#1 country). Album #7 Rage On (June 29, 1988) (Capitol Records) (#6 country) features Addicted (#1 country), Big Wheels in the Moonlight (#1 country), and They Rage On (#5 country). Album #8 On Arrival (Feb. 28, 1990) (#13 country) features Love on Arrival (#1 country), and Good Times (#1 country). He goes on to release 13 studio albums and 35 singles incl. 11 #1s.

George Strait (1952-)

On Apr. 23, 1981 Poteet, Tex.-born George Harvey Strait (1952-) (known for a super-thin waist with jeans and giant belt buckle) releases his first single for MCA Records, Unwound (written by Dean Dillon and Frank Dycus) (#6 country), followed on Sept. 4 by his debut album Strait Country, which features If You're Thinking You Want a Stranger (There's One Coming Home) (#3 country), launching his record-setting career as "the King of Country" and "King George". Album #2 Strait from the Heart (June 3, 1982) (#18 country), which features Fool Hearted Memory (by Byron Hill) (#1 country), Marina del Rey (#6 country), Amarillo by Morning (#4 country), and A Fire I Can't Put Out (#1 country). Album #3 Right or Wrong (Oct. 6, 1983) (#1 country) features Right or Wrong (#1 country), You Look So Good in Love (#1 country), and Let's Fall to Pieces Together (#1 country). Album #4 Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind (Sept. 26, 1984) (#1 country) (#150 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features The Cowboy Rides Away (#5 country), and The Fireman (#5 country). Album #5 Something Special (Aug. 29, 1985) (#1 country) features The Chair (by Hank Cochran and Dean Dillon) (#1 country), and You're Something Special to Me (#4 country). Album #6 (#7 counting his greatest hits album) #7 (May 14, 1986) (#1 country) (#127 in the U.S.) features Nobody in His Right Mind Would've Left Her (#1 country), and It Ain't Cool to be Crazy About You (#1 country). Album #7 Ocean Front Property (Jan. 12, 1987) (#1 country) (#117 in the U.S.) (2M copies) (first album to debut at #1 on the Billboard country albums chart) features Ocean Front Property (by Hank Cochran, Dean Dillon, and Royce Porter) (#1 country), and All My Ex's Live in Texas (by Sander D. Shafer and Lyndia J. Shafer) (#1 country). Album #8 If You Ain't Lovin' You Ain't Livin' (Feb. 22, 1988) (#1 country) (#87 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features If You Ain't Lovin' (You Ain't Livin') (#1 country), Famous Last Words of a Fool (#1 country), Baby Blue (#1 country). Album #9 Beyond the Blue Neon (Feb. 6, 1989) (#1 country) (#92 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features Baby's Gotten Good at Goodbye (#1 country), What's Going On in Your World (#1 country), and Overnight Success (#8 country). Album #10 Livin' It Up (May 15, 1990) (#1 country) (#35 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features Love Without End, Amen (#1 country), I've Come to Expect it from You (#1 country), and Drinking Champagne (#4 country). On Sept. 15, 1992 he releases the album Pure Country Soundtrack (#1 country) (6M copies). He goes on to surpass Conway Twitty's record 40 Billboard country #1 singles in 2009 with 44, ramping up to 60+ and selling 100M records.

In Apr. 1981 the bi-monthly MusicRow mag. is founded by David M. Ross to cover the Nashville music industry.

'Heartworn Highways', 1981

On May 13, 1981 James Szalapski's Heartworn Highways (Warner Bros.) debuts, documenting the Outlaw Country movement in Nashville in late 1975 and early 1976, incl. David Allan Coe, Guy Clark, Rodney Crowell, Charlie Daniels, Steve Earle, Gamble Rogers, Larry Jon Wilson, Steve Young, and esp. Fort Worth, Tex.-born drugged-out genius John Townes Van Zandt (1944-97).

Ricky Skaggs (1954-)

In May 1981 after playing with Keith Whitley, Ralph Stanley, and Emmylou Harris, Cordell, Ky.-born country-bluegrass mandolin-guitar player Ricky Lee Skaggs (1954-) releases album #3 (his first hit country album) Waitin' for the Sun to Shine (#2 country) (#77 in the U.S.), which features Don't Get Above Your Raisin (#16 country), You May See Me Walkin' (#9 country), Cryin' My Heart Out Over You (#1 country), and I Don't Care (#1 country). Album #5 Highways & Heartaches (#1 country) (#61 in the U.S.) features Heartbroke (#1 country), Highway 40 Blues (#1 country), I Wouldn't Change You If I Could (#1 country), and You've Got a Lover (#2 country). Album #6 Don't Cheat in Our Hometown (1983) (#1 country) features Don't Cheat in Our Hometown (#1 country), Uncle Pen (#1 country), and Honey (Open That Door) (#1 country). Album #7 Country Boy (Oct. 1984) (#1 country) (#180 in the U.S.) features Country Boy (#1 country), and Something in My Heart (#2 country). Live in London (1985) features Cajun Moon (#1 country). Album #8 Love's Gonna Get Ya! (1986) features Love's Gonna Get You Someday (#4 country). Album #10 Kentucky Thunder (May 26, 1989) (#18 country) features Lovin' Only Me (#1 country).

Suzy Bogguss (1956-)

In 1981 Aledo, Ill.-born Susan Kay "Suzy" Bogguss (1956-) (pr. BAH-gus) releases her debut album Suzy (Old Shack Records), which is a non-charter. After moving to Nashville in 1985 and being discovered by Dolly Parton at a Tony Roma's restaurant and singing in Dollywood as its first featured female performer, marrying songwriter Doug Crider in Nov. 1986 and signing with Capitol Records, she releases the singles I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire (by the Ink Spots) (1987) (#68 country), and Love Will Never Slip Away (1987) (#69 country), then releases album #2 Somewhere Between (Mar. 21, 1989) (Capitol Records) (#41 country), which features I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart (by Patsy Montana) (#77 country), Cross My Broken Heart (#14 country), My Sweet Love Ain't Around (#38 country), and Somewhere Between (#46 country). Album #3 Moment of Truth (Aug. 2, 1990) (Liberty Records) features Under the Gun (#72 country), and All Things Made New Again (#72 country). Album #4 Aces (Aug. 27, 1991) (#15 country) (#83 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features Aces (#9 country), Someday Soon (#12 country), Outbound Plane (#9 country), and Letting Go (#6 country). Album #5 Voices in the Wind (Oct. 6, 1992) (#31 country) (#116 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Drive South (#2 country), and Heartache (#23 country). Album #6 Something Up My Sleeve (Sept. 21, 1993) (#27 country) (#121 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Just Like the Weather (#5 country), Hey Cinderella (#5 country), You Wouldn't Say That to a Stranger (#43 country), and Souvenirs (#65 country). Album #7 Give Me Some Wheels (July 23, 1996) (#51 country) (Capitol Records) features Give Me Some Wheels (#60 country), No Way Out (#53 country), and She Said, He Heard (#57 country). Album #8 Nobody Love, Nobody Gets Hurt (June 2, 1998) (#42 country) features Nobody Loves, Nobody Gets Hurt (#63 country), Somebody to Love (#33 country), and From Where I Stand (#67 country). In 1991 she releases the single Hopelessly Yours (w/Lee Greenwood) (#12 country). On Sept. 13, 1994 she and Crosby, Stills, and Nash release the album Red Hot + Country (#30 country) (#183 in the U.S.), which features Teach Your Children with Alison Krauss and Katthy Mattea, along with Fire and Rain by Sammy Kershaw. On Oct. 18, 1994 she and Chet Atkins release the album Simpatico, which features This Is the Beginning, earning them an invite to perform for Pres. Clinton at the White House. She goes on to release 12 studio albums and 36 singles.

Gary Morris (1948-)

On Mar. 15, 1982 Fort Worth, Tex.-born countrypolitan singer Gary Gwyn Morris (1948-) releases his debut album Gary Morris (Warner Bros. Records) (#39 country), which features Headed for a Heartache (#8 country), Don't Look Back (#12 country), and Dreams Die Hard (#15 country). Album #2 Why Lady Why (Aug. 17, 1983) (#6 country) (#174 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Why Lady Why (#4 country), Velvet Chains (#9 country), The Love She Found in Me (#5 country), and The Wind Beneath My Wings (#4 country). In 1983 he and Lynn Anderson release You're Welcome to Tonight (#9 country). Album #3 Faded Blue (Apr. 12, 1984) (#12 country) features Between Two Fires (#7 country), Second Hand Heart (#7 country), and Baby Bye Bye (#1 country). Album #4 Anything Goes (July 15, 1985) (#1 country) features Anything Goes (#28 country), I'll Never Stop Loving You (#1 country), and 100% Chance of Rain (by Charlie Black and Austin Roberts) (#1 country). In 1985 he and Crystal Gayle release Makin' Up for Lost Time (The Dallas Lovers Song) (#1 country). Album #5 Plain Brown Wrapper (Aug. 18, 1986) (#9 country) features Plain Brown Wrapper (#9 country), Leave Me Lonely (#1 country), and Honeycomb (#27 country). Album #6 What If We Fall in Love? (w/Crystal Gale) (July 14, 1987) (#25 country) features Another World. Album #7 Stones (May 1, 1989) (#40 country) features Never Had a Love Song. He goes on to release nine studio albums and 27 singles incl. five #1s.

Lee Greenwood (1942-)

On Apr. 1, 1982 after his first band The Apollos (formed 1962) breaks up in the 1970s, and he is discovered in Reno, Nev. by Mel Tillis' bandleader Larry McFaden and signs with MCA Records, Los Angeles, Calif.-born staunch Republican Melvin Lee Greenwood (1942-) releases his debut album Inside Out (#12 country) (500K copies), which features It Turns Me Inside Out (#17 country), Ring on Her Finger, Time on Her Hands (#5 country), She's Lying (#7 country), Ain't No Trick (It Takes Magic) (#7 country). Album #2 Somebody's Gonna Love You (Mar. 3, 1983) (#3 country) (#73 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Somebody's Gonna Love You (#1 country) (#96 in the U.S.), Going, Going, Gone (#1 country), and I.O.U. (#6 country) (#53 in the U.S.). Album #3 You've Got a Good Love Comin' (May 17, 1984) (#6 country) (#195 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features You've Got a Good Love Comin' (#9 country), God Bless the USA (#7 country) (which enjoys renewed popularity during 1991 Operation Desert Storm and after 9/11) ("From the lakes of Minnesota, to the hills of Tennessee/ Across the plains of Texas, from sea to shining sea/ From Detroit down to Houston and New York to LA/ Well, there's pride in every American heart/ And it's time to stand and say that/ I'm proud to be an American where as least I know I'm free/ And I won't forget the men who died, who gave that right to me/ And I'd gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today/ 'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land God bless the USA"), and Fool's Gold (#3 country). In 1984 he releases the single To Me (w/Barbara Mandrell) (#3 country), followed by It Should Have Been Love by Now (w/Barbara Mandrell) (#19 country). Album #4 Streamline (Aug. 5, 1985) (#1 country) features I Don't Mind the Thorns (If You're the Rose) (#1 country), Don't Underestimate My Love for You (#1 country), and Hearts Aren't Made to Break (They're Made to Love) (#1 country). His first compilation album Greatest Hits (Sept. 16, 1985) (#4 country) (#163 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features Dixie Road (#1 country). Album #5 Love Will Find Its Way to You (Aug. 11, 1986) (#10 country) features Mornin' Ride (#1 country), and Didn't We (#10 country). Album #6 If There's Any Justice (June 15, 1987) (#38 country) features If There's Any Justice (#9 country), Someone (#5 country), and Touch and Go Crazy (#5 country). Album #7 This Is My Country (May 16, 1988) (#25 country) features I Still Believe (#12 country), You Can't Fall in Love When You're Cryin' (#20 country), and I'll Be Lovin' You (#16 country). Album #8 If Only for One Night (May 26, 1989) (#66 country) features I Love the Way He Left You (#43 country), and I Go Crazy (#55 country). Album #9 Holdin' a Good Hand (July 10, 1990) (#69 country) features Holdin' a Good Hand (#2 country), We've Got It Made (#14 country), and Just Like Me (#52 country). Album #10 A Perfect 10 (Apr. 30, 1991) (#38 country) features Hopelessly Yours (w/Suzy Bogguss) (#12 country). Album #11 When You're in Love (Aug. 27, 1991) features Between a Rock and a Heartache (#46 country), and If You'll Let This Fool Back In (#58 country). Album #12 American Patriot (Apr. 21, 1992) (#68 in the U.S.) (1M copies), spurred by Pres. George H.W. Bush's official adoption of "God Bless the USA" as the new U.S. anthem features The Pledge of Allegiance (by Jerry Crutchfield), and America the Beautiful (by Katherine Lee Bates). Album #13 Love's on the Way (Aug. 11, 1992) features Before I'm Ever Over You (#73 country). In Nov. 2008 Pres. George W. Bush appoints him to a 6-year term on the Nat. Council on the Arts. He goes on to release 22 studio albums and release 38 singles incl. seven #1s.

Bluebird Cafe

In June 1982 the Bluebird Cafe at 4104 Hillsboro Pike in Nashville, Tenn. opens, becoming known for In the Round shows for country songwriters incl. Garth Brooks.

Paul Overstreet (1955-)

In 1982 Vancleave, Miss.-born white cowboy hat-loving Paul Lester Overstreet (1955-), husband of Dolly Parton's younger sister Freida Parton releases his debut album Paul Overstreet, which features Beautiful Baby (#76 country). In 1987 he founds the trio S-K-O with Thom Schuyler and Fred Knobloch, then goes solo in 1988. Album #2 Sowin' Love (1989) (#13 country) (RCA Records) features Love Helps Those (#9 country), All the Fun (#5 country), Seein' My Father in Me (#2 country), and Richest Man on Earth (#3 country). Album #3 Heroes (1991) (#17 country) (#163 in the U.S.) features Heroes (#4 country), Daddy's Come Around (#1 country), and Ball and Chain (#5 country). Album #4 Love Is Strong (Aug. 1992) (#60 country) features Me and My Baby (#22 country). He goes on to release 10 studio albums and 16 charting singles incl. two #1s.

Country Music Television Logo The Nashville Network Logo Edward Gaylord (1919-2003)

On Mar. 5, 1983 Viacom Inc.'s Country Music Television (CMT) in Nashville, Tenn. debuts on cable, growing to an audience of 91M U.S. households by 2013; the slogan is "Get country"; it is founded by Oklahoma City, Okla.-based media mogul Edward Lewis Gaylord (1919-2003), owner of The Oklahoman and Hee-Haw, who acquires the Grand Ole Opry and Opryland USA. On Mar. 7, 1983 The Nashville Network (TNN) debuts, founded by Edward Gaylord; in 2003 it becomes Spike TV, then Spike in 2006.

'Fandango', 1983-9

On Mar. 8, 1983 Fandango debuts on TNN (until Mar. 31, 1989), hosted by country singer Bill Anderson, becoming TNN's first TV game show, featuring country music questions.

Robert Ellis Orrall (1955-) Curtis Wright (1955-)

In 1983 Winthrop, Mass.-born pop singer-songwriter Robert Ellis Orrall (1955-) releases his debut single I Couldn't Say No (w/Carlene Carter) (RCA Records) (#32 in the U.S.). After four albums he switches to country music, releasing album #5 Flying Colors (Oct. 1992), his first and last solo country album, which features Boom! It Was Over (#31 country), and Every Day When I Get Home (#64 country). In 1994 he teams up with Huntingdon, Penn.-born country singer Curtis Blaine Wright (1955-) (former guitarist for Vern Gosdin), who released the hit single She's Got a Man on Her Mind (1990) (#38 country) to form the country music duo Orrall & Wright, which releases their only album Orrall & Wright (1994), which features She Loves Me Like She Means It (#47 country), and If You Could Say What I'm Thinking (#70 country). Wright goes on to become the 3rd lead singer of Shenandoah in 1998-2007.

Pam Tillis (1957-)

In 1983 Plant City, Fla.-born Pamela Yvonne "Pam" Tillis (1957-) (daughter of Mel Tillis) releases her debut album Above and Beyond the Doll of Cutey (Warner Bros. Records), which features Killer Comfort, and Love Is Sneakin' Up on You. In 1984 she releases the single Goodbye Highway (#71 country), followed by Those Memories of You (1986) (#55 country), Don't Tell Me What to Do (1990) (#5 country), One of Those Things (1991) (#6 country), Put Yourself in My Place (1991) (#11 country), Maybe it Was Memphis (1991) (#3 country), Shake the Sugar Tree (1992) (#3 country), Let That Pony Run (1993) (#4 country), Romeo (w/Dolly Parton et al.) (1993) (#27 country), Spilled Perfume (1994) (#5 country), When You Walk in the Room (1994) (#2 country), Mi Vida Loca (My Crazy Life) (1994) (#1 country), I Was Blown Away (1995) (#16 country), In Between Dances (1995) (#3 country), Deep Down (1995) (#6 country), The River and the Highway (1996) (#8 country), All the Good Ones Are Gone (1997) (#4 country), and Land of the Living (1997) (#5 country). She goes on to release nine studio albums and 38 singles incl. one #1.

Kathy Mattea (1959-)

On Mar. 22, 1984 South Charleston, W. Va. -born Kathleen Alice "Kathy" Mattea (1959-) releases her debut album Kathy Mattea (Mercury Records) (#42 country), which features Street Talk (#25 country), Someone Is Falling in Love (#26 country), You've Got a Soft Place to Fall (#44 country), and That's Easy for You to Say (#50 country). Album #2 From My Heart (1985) (#42 country) features It's Your Reputation Talkin' (#34 country), He Won't Give In (#22 country), and Heart of the Country (#46 country). Album #3 Walk the Way the Wind Blows (1986) (#13 country) features Walk the Way the Wind Blows (#10 country), Love at the Five and Dime (by Nanci Griffith) (w/Don Williams) (#3 country), You're the Power (by Craig Bickhardt and F.C. Collins) (#5 country), and Train of Memories (#6 country). Album #4 Untasted Honey (Sept. 28, 1987) (#11 country) (500K copies) features Goin' Gone (#1 country), Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses (#1 country), Untold Stories (#4 country), and Life As We Knew It (#4 country). In 1988 she marries Minn.-born country singer Jon Vezner (1953-). Album #5 Willow in the Wind (Apr. 4, 1989) (#6 country) (#82 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Come from the Heart (#1 country), Burnin' Old Memories (#1 country), Where've You Been (by Jon Vezner and Don Henry) (about Vezner's grandparents) (#10 country), and She Came from Fort Worth (#2 country). The compilation album A Collection of Hits (Aug. 7, 1990) (#8 country) (#80 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features The Battle Hymn of Love (w/Tim O'Brien) (#9 country), and A Few Good Things Remain (#9 country). Album #6 Time Passes By (Mar. 19, 1991) (#9 country) (#72 in the U.S.) features Time Passes By (#27 country), Whole Lotta Holes (#18 country), and Asking Us to Dance (#27 country). Album #7 Lonesome Standard Time (Sept. 22, 1992) (#14 country) (#182 in the U.S.) features Lonesome Standard Time (#11 country), Standing Knee Deep in a River (Dying of Thirst) (#19 country), Seeds (#50 country), and Listen to the Radio (#64 country). Album #8 Walking Away a Winner (May 17, 1994) (#12 country) (#87 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Walking Away a Winner (#3 country), Nobody's Gonna Rain on Our Parade (#13 country), Maybe She's Human (#34 country), and Clown in Your Rodeo (#20 country). Album #9 Love Travels (Feb. 4, 1997) (#15 country) (#121 in the U.S.) features 455 Rocket (#21 country), I'm on Your Side, Love Travels (#39 country), and Patiently Waiting. She goes on to release 15 studio albums and 41 singles incl. four #1s.

'Rhinestone', 1984

On June 21, 1984 Bob Clark's Rhinestone (20th Cent. Fox) debuts, starring Sylvester Stallone (who turns down "Beverly Hills Cop" and "Romancing the Stone" to do it) as New York City cabbie w/pumped biceps Nick Martinelli, whom country singer w/pumped breasts Jake Farris (Dolly Parton) bets can make into a country star in two weeks, taking him back to Tenn. for a crash course; a stinker, it does $21M box office on a $28M budget; the Rhinestone Soundtrack album (May 1984) (#32 country) (#135 in the U.S.) features Dolly singing Tennessee Homesick Blues (#1 country), What a Heartache, God Won't Get You (#10 country), and Stay Out of My Bedroom (w/Sylvester Stallone); hog-calling Stallone goes solo on the stinkinstein track Drinkinstein.

The Judds

On Oct. 15, 1984 The Judds, Naomi Judd (1946-) and her daughter Wynonna Judd (1964-) release their debut album Why Not Me (#1 country) (#78 in the U.S.) (RCA Nashville), which features Mama He's Crazy (#1 country), Why Not Me (#1 country), Girls Night Out (#1 country), and Love Is Alive (#1 country). In 1991 after releasing six albums, Naomi drops out after being diagnosed with Hepatitis C.

Sawyer Brown

In 1984 after Don King retires, the Apopka, Fla.-based country music band Sawyer Brown, formed from his road band, incl. Mark Miller (vocals), Bobby Randall (guitar), Jim Scholten (bass), Gregg "Hobie" Hubbard (keyboards), and Joe Smyth (drums) releases its debut album Sawyer Brown (Capitol Records) (#2 country) (#140 in the U.S.), which features Step That Step (#1 country), Used to Blue (#3 country), and Leona (#16 country). Album #2 Shakin' (1985) (#3 country) features Shakin' (#15 country), Betty's Bein' Bad (#5 country), and Heart Don't Fall Now (#14 country). Album #3 Out Goin' Cattin' (1986) (#8 country) features Out Goin' Cattin' (w/Joe Bonsall) (#11 country), and Gypsies on Parade (#25 country). Album #4 Somewhere in the Night (1987) (#16 country) features This Missin' You Heart of Mine (#2 country), Old Photographs (#27 country), and Somewhere in the Night (#29 country). Album #5 Wide Open (Oct. 4, 1988) (#33 country) features My Baby's Gone (#11 country). Album #6 The Boys Are Back (Sept. 19, 1989) (#5 country) features The Race Is On (#5 country), and Did It for Love (#33 country). Their compilation album Greatest Hits (Aug. 27, 1990) (#26 country) features When Love Comes Callin' (#40 country). Album #7 Buick (Jan. 7, 1991) (#23 country) (#140 in the U.S.) features Mama's Little Baby Loves Me (#68 country). Album #8 The Dirt Road (Jan. 6, 1992) (#12 country) (#68 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features The Dirt Road (#3 country), The Walk (#2 country), and Some Girls Do (#1 country). Album #9 Cafe on the Corner (Aug. 25, 1992) (#23 country) (#117 in the U.S.) features Cafe on the Corner (#5 country), All These Years (#3 country), and Trouble on the Line (#5 country). Album #10 Outskirts of Town (Aug. 10, 1993) (#13 country) (#81 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Thank God for You (#1 country) (#117 in the U.S.), The Boys and Me (#4 country), and Hard to Say (#5 country). Their compilation album Greatest Hits 1990-1995) (Jan. 24, 1995) (#5 country) (#44 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Outskirts of Time (#40 country), This Time (#2 country), and I Don't Believe in Goodbye (#4 country). Album #11 This Thing Called Wanting' and Havin' It All (Aug. 29, 1995) (#10 country) (#77 in the U.S.) features (This Thing Called) Wantin' and Havin' It All (#11 country), Treat Her Right (#3 country), and Round Here (#19 country). Album #12 Six Days on the Road (Apr. 15, 1997) (#8 country) (#73 in the U.S.) features Six Days on the Road (#13 country) (#117 in the U.S.), and This Night Won't Last Forever (#6 country) (#109 in the U.S.). Album #13 Drive Me Wild (Mar. 2, 1999) (#10 country) (#99 in the U.S.) features Drive Me Wild (#6 country). The live album The Hits Live (Nov. 7, 2000) (#35 country) features Lookin' for Love (written by Wanda Mallette, Bob Morrison, and Patty Ryan) (#44 country). They go on to release 16 studio albums and 53 singles incl. seven #1s.

Restless Heart

On Mar. 25, 1985 Nashville, Tenn.-based country music band Restless Heart, incl. Verlon Thompson (vocals), Greg Jennings (vocals, guitar), Dave Innis (vocals, piano), Paul Gregg (bass), and John Dittrich (drums) releases its debut album Restless Heart (#10 country), which features Let the Heartache Ride, (Back to the) Heartbreak Kid, and 'Til I Loved You. Album #2 Wheels (Oct. 31, 1986) (#1 country) (#73 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Wheels, That Rock Won't Roll, I'll Still Be Loving You, New York (Hold Her Tight), and Why Does It Have to Be (Wrong or Right). Album #3 Big Dreams in a Small Town (July 15, 1988) (#4 country) (#114 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Big Dreams in a Small Town, The Bluest Eyes in Texas, A Tender Lie, and Say What's in Your Heart. Album #4 Fast Movin' Train (Jan. 4, 1990) (#6 country) (500K copies) features Fast Movin' Train, Dancy's Dream, When Somebody Loves You, and Long Lost Friend. Album #5 Big Iron Horses (Oct. 9, 1992) (#26 country) (500K copies), first without Larry Stewart features Big Iron Horses, Mending Fences, We Got the Love, and When She Cries. They go on to release seven albums and 26 singles incl. six #1s.

'Rustlers Rhapsody', 1985

On May 10, 1985 Hugh Wilson's Rustlers' Rhapsody (Paramount Pictures) debuts, a parody of Western singing cowboy films starring Tom Berenger as Rex O'Herlihan, who comes alive out of a B&W film; co-stars John Wayne's son Patrick Wayne, Andy Griffith, Fernando Rey, Marilu Henner, and Sela Ward; features Lasso the Moon by Gary Morris (#9 country); does $6M box office on a $15M budget.

Farm Aid, Sept. 22, 1985

On Sept. 22, 1985 top rock and country performers incl. Willie Nelson, Neil Young, and John Mellencamp appear in the 14-hour Farm Aid in Champaign, Ill. before 80K, raising $9M, after which Nelson and Mellencamp testify before Congress about the plight of family farmers, getting the Agricultural Credit Act of 1987 passed.

Keith Whitley (1954-89)

On Oct. 28, 1985 Ashland, Ky.-born Jackie Keith Whitley (1954-89) releases his debut album L.A. to Miami (#26 in the U.S.), which features Miami, My Amy, I've Got the Heart for You, Ten Feet Away, Homecoming '63, and Hard Livin'. In 1986 he marries country singer Lorrie Morgan. On May 31, 1988 he releases album #2 Don't Close Your Eyes (#8 country) (#121 in the U.S.), which features Don't Close Your Eyes (#1 country), When You Say Nothing at All (#1 country), I'm No Stranger to the Rain (#1 country), and I Never Go Around Mirrors (by Lefty Frizzell). Too bad, he dies on May 9, 1989 in Nashville, Tenn. of alcoholism. On Aug. 1, 1989 album #3 I Wonder Do You Think of Me (#2 country) is posth. released, which features I Wonder Do You Think of Me (#1 country), It Ain't Nothin' (#1 country), and I'm Over You ("You heard I'm drinking more than I should/ And I ain't been looking all that good/ Someone told you I was taking it rough"/ Why they making them stories up?/ When I'm over you?").

The Forester Sisters

In 1985 the Lookout Mountain, Ga.-born country music quartet The Forester Singers, incl. Kathy, June, Kim, and Christy Forester release their debut album The Forester Sisters (#4 country) (Warner Bros.), which features (That's What You Do) When You're in Love (#10 country), I Fell in Love Last Night (#1 country), Just in Case (#1 country), and Mama's Never Seen Those Eyes (1986) (#1 country). In 1986 they release the single Too Much Is Not Enough (w/The Bellamy Brothers) (#1 country). Album #2 Perfume, Ribbons & Pearls (1986) features Lonely Alone (#2 country). Album #3 You Again (1987) features Too Many Rivers (#5 country), You Again (#1 country), and Lyin' in His Arms Again (#5 country). Album #4 Sincerely (1989) features Letter Home (#9 country), and Sincerely (#8 country). Album #7 Greatest Hits (1989) features Leave It Alone (#7 country). Album #8 Come Hold Me (1990) features Drive South (w/The Bellamy Brothers) (#63 country). Album #9 Talkin' Bout Men (1991) features Men (#8 country). They go on to release 10 albums and 15 charting singles incl. five #1s.

Alison Krauss (1971-)

In 1985 Decatur, Ill.-born Alison Maria Krauss (1971-) releases her debut album Different Strokes of bluegrass fiddle tunes. In 1999 she releases Buy Me A Rose (w/Kenny Rogers and Billy Dean) (#1 country) (#40 in the U.S.). On Dec. 5, 2000 the O Brother, Where Art Thou? Soundtrack album is released (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) (7.8M copies), produced by T-Bone Burnett, featuring Harry McClintock, Norman Blake, Emmylou Harris, John Hartford, the Stanley Brothers, the Fairfield Four, Alison Krauss et al., rekindling interest in bluegrass; Dr. Ralph Stanley performs O Death.

In 1985 the Internat. Bluegrass Music Assoc. (IBMA) is founded in Owensboro, Ky.; in 1988 it establishes the Internat. Bluegrass Music Museum; in 1990 it establishes the annual World of Bluegrass, which moves to Louisville, Ky. in 1997, Nashville, Ky. in 2005-12, and Raleigh, N.C. in 2013; in 1991 it establishes the Internat. Bluegrass Music Hall of Honor.

Steve Earle (1955-) Steve Earle (1955-)

On Mar. 5, 1986 Hampton, Va.-born alternative/outlaw country singer-songwriter Stephen Fain "Steve" Earle (1955-) releases his debut album Guitar Town (#1 country) (#89 in the U.S.) (500K copies), becoming one of the first country music albums to be recorded digitally; it features Guitar Town (#7 country) (#20 in the U.S.), Goodbye's All We Got Left (#8 country), Someday (#28 country), and Hillbilly Highway (#37 country). Album #2 Exit 0 (May 18, 1987) (#15 country) (#90 in the U.S.) features Nowhere Road, and Sweet Little '66. Album #3 Copperhead Road (Oct. 17, 1988) (#7 country) (#56 in the U.S.), which he claims is the first fusion of bluegrass and heavy metal ("power twang" - Rolling Stone) features Copperhead Road (#10 in the U.S.). He goes on to release 13 studio albums and 23 singles.

Randy Travis (1959-)

On June 6, 1986 Marshville, N.C.-born Neotraditionalist Randy Travis (Randy Bruce Traywick) (1959-) releases his debut album Storms of Life (#1 country) (#85 in the U.S.) (4M copies), which features On the Other Hand (by Keith Whitley) (#1 country), 1982 (#6 country), Diggin' Up Bones (#1 country), and No Place Like Home (#2 country). Album #2 Always & Forever (Apr. 4, 1987) (#1 country) (#19 in the U.S.) features I Won't Need You Anymore (Always and Forever) (#1 country), Forever and Ever, Amen (#1 country), Too Gone Too Long (#1 country), and I Told You So (#1 country). Album #3 Old 8 x 10 (July 12, 1988) (#1 country) (#35 in the U.S.) features Honky Tonk Moon (#1 country), Deeper than the Holler (#1 country), Is It Still Over (#1 country), and Promises. Album #5 No Holdin' Back (Sept. 26, 1989) (#1 country) (#33 in the U.S.) features It's Just a Matter of Time (#1 country), Hard Rock Bottom of Your Heart (#1 country), He Walked on Water (#2 country). Album #7 High Lonesome (Aug. 27, 1991) (#3 country) (#43 in the U.S.) features Forever Together (#1 country), Better Class of Losers (#2 country), and Point of Light (#3 country). He goes on to release 20 studio albums and chart 50 singles incl. 16 #1s.

Cowboy Junkies

On June 28, 1986 Toronto, Ont.-based alternative country-blues-folk rock band Cowboy Junkies, incl. Margo Timmins, Michael Timmins, Alan Anton (bass), and Peter Timmins (drums) release their debut album Whites Off Earth Now!!, which establishes their spare country blues sound. Album #2 The Trinity Session (1988) (#26 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Sweet Jane (#5 in the U.S.), and Misguided Angel. Album #4 The Caution Horses (Feb. 1990) features Sun Comes Up, It's Tuesday Morning (#11 in the U.S.) (#90 in the U.K.), and Rock and Bird (w/Lyle Lovett). Album #5 Black Eyed Man (Feb. 11, 1992) features Murder, Tonight, in the Trailer Park (#25 in the U.S.), Cowboy Junkies Lament (by Townes Van Zandt), Townes' Blues, and If You Were the Woman and I Was the Man (w/John Prine). They go on to release 18 albums and 20 singles.

Marty Stuart (1958-) Marty Stuart (1958-)

On Aug. 9, 1986 after marrying Johnny Cash's daughter Cindy Cash in 1983 and playing on the Class of '55 album with him, Philadelphia, Miss.-born John Martin "Marty" Stuart (1958-) releases album #3 Marty Stuart (#34 country), which features Arlene (#19 country), Honky Tonker (#59 country), All Because of You (#39 country), and Do You Really Want My Lovin' (#59 country). In 1988 he divorces Cindy Cash. Album #4 Hillbilly Rock (Oct. 17, 1989) (#19 country) (500K copies) features Hillbilly Rock (#8 country), Cry! Cry! Cry! (#32 country), and Western Girls (#20 country). Album #5 Tempted (Jan. 22, 1991) (#20 country) (#193 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Tempted (#5 country), Little Things (#8 country), Burn Me Down (#7 country), and 'Til I Found You (#12 country). On Nov. 11, 1991 he and Travis Tritt release The Whiskey Ain't Workin' (#2 country). Album #6 This One's Gonna Hurt You (July 7, 1992) (#12 country) (#77 in the U.S.) features This One's Gonna Hurt You (For a Long, Long Time) (w/Travis Tritt) (#7 country), Now That's Country (#18 country), and High on a Mountain Top (#24 country). On July 8, 1997 he marries Connie Smith (1941-). Album #11 Country Music (July 1, 2003) (#40 country) is the debut of his backing band the Fabulous Superlatives; it features A Satisfied Mind (by Jack Rhodes). On Nov. 1, 2008 The Marty Stuart Show debuts on RFD-TV cable, emceed by Grand Ole Opry announcer Eddie Stubbs, and featuring his wife Connie Smith.

Dwight Yoakam (1956-)

On Aug. 19, 1986 Pikeville, Ky.-born Dwight David Yoakam (1956-) releases his debut album Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc. (#1 country), featuring Honky Tonk Man (#3) (written by Johnny Horton in 1956), Guitars, Cadillacs (#4), and It Won't Hurt (#1). On July 7, 1987 he releases album #2 Hillbilly Deluxe (#1 country), featuring Please, Please Baby, Little Ways, and Little Sister. On Aug. 2, 1988 he releases album #3 Buenas Noches from a Lonely Room (#1 country), featuring Buenas Noches from a Lonely Room (She Wore Red Dresses) (#46), Streets of Bakersfield (with Buck Owens) (#1), I Sang Dixie (#1), and I Got You. He goes on to record 20+ albums (5 #1, 12 gold, 9 platinum), with 30+ charting singles, selling 25M+ records, becoming the most frequent musical guest on The Tonight Show.

Holly Dunn (1957-)

In 1986 San Antonio, Tex.-born Holly Dunn (1957-), sister of country songwriter Chris Waters (Dunn) releases her debut album Holly Dunn (MTM Records) (#29 country), which features Daddy's Hands (#7 country). Album #2 Cornerstone (1987) (#22 country) features Love Someone Like Me (#2 country), Only When I Love (#4 country), and Strangers Again (#7 country). In 1987 she and Michael Martin Murphey release A Face in the Crowd (#4 country). Album #3 Across the Rio Grande (1988) (#26 country) features That's What Your Love Does to Me (#5 country), and (It's Always Gonna Be) Someday (#11 country). Album #4 The Blue Rose of Texas (July 10, 1989) (Warner Bros. Records) (#30 country) features Are You Ever Gonna Love Me (#1 country), There Goes My Heart Again (#4 country). Album #5 Heart Full of Love (May 10, 1990)(#47 country) features Heart Full of Love (#19 country), and You Really Had Me Going (#1 country). In 1990 she and Kenny Rogers release Maybe (#25 country). The compilation album Milestones: Greatest Hits (July 23, 1991) (#25 country) (#162 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Maybe I Mean Yes (#48 country). Album #6 Getting It Dunn (June 16, 1992) features Golden Years (#51 country), No Love Have I (#67 country), and As Long As You Belong to Me (#68 country). Album #7 Life and Love and All the Stages (Apr. 18, 1995) (River North Records) features I Am Who I Am (#56 country), and Cowboys Are My Weakness. She goes on to release nine studio albums before retiring in 2003 to become an artist.

Lyle Lovett (1957-)

In 1986 Klein, Tex.-born Lyle Pearce Lovett (1957-) releases his debut album Lyle Lovett (#14 country), which features Cowboy Man (#10 country). In 1988 he releases album #2 Pontiac (#12 country). On Jan. 25, 1989 he releases album #3 Lyle Lovett and His Large Band (#10 country), which features Stand By Your Man (by Tammy Wynette) (#82 country), which is incl. in the soundtrack of the 1993 film "The Crying Game". Album #4 Joshua Judges Ruth (Mar. 31, 1992) (#57 in the U.S.) features You've Been So Good Up to Now (#36 in the U.S.). In June 1993 he marries actress Julia Roberts in Marion, Ind., and divorces her in Mar. 1995. Album #5 I Love Everybody (Sept. 27, 1994) (#26 in the U.S.) (#54 in the U.K.) features They Don't Like Me, Penguins, and Creeps Like Me. Album #6 The Road to Ensenada (June 18, 1996) (#4 country) (#24 in the U.S.) (#62 in the U.K.) features That's Right (You're Not from Texas). Album #7 Step Inside This House (double album) (Sept. 22, 1998) (#9 country) (#55 in the U.S.) (#190 in the U.K.) features If I Needed You (by Townes Van Zandt). He goes on to release 13 albums and 21 singles.

The O'Kanes

In 1986 the Nashville, Tenn.-based country music duo The O'Kanes, incl. Kieran Kane (1949-) (Queens, N.Y. and James Paul "Jamie" O'Hara (1950-) (Toledo, Ohio) release their debut album The O'Kanes (#9 country) (Columbia Records), which features Can't Stop My Heart from Loving You (#1 country), Just Lovin' You (#5 country), Daddies Need to Grow Up Too (#9 country), and Oh Darlin' (#10 country). Album #2 Tired of the Runnin' (1988) (#21 country) features One True Love (#4 country), Blue Love (#10 country), and Rocky Road (#71 country). Album #3 Imagine That (1990) (#63 country) features Diddy All Night Long, and Why Should I? The O'Dudds then disband in 1990, and Kane founds Dead Reckoning Records in 1994 for country music releases.

The Desert Rose Band

On June 2, 1987 the country rock group The Desert Rose Band, incl. Chris Hillman, John Jorgenson, Herb Pedersen, Bill Bryson (bass), Jay Dee Maness (pedal steel guitar), and Steve Duncan (drums) releases its debut album The Desert Rose Band (#24 country), which features Ashes of Love, Time Between, One Step Forward, Love Reuinited, and He's Back and I'm Blue. Album #2 Running (Sept. 6, 1988) (#26 country) features She Don't Love Nobody (by John Hiatt), and Hello Trouble (by Orville Couch). Album #3 Pages of Life (Jan. 16, 1990) (#17 country) (#187 in the U.S.) features Start All Over Again (#6 country), In Another Lifetime (#13 country), Story of Love (#10 country), and Our Baby's Gone. Album #4 True Love (Oct. 1, 1991), first with Tom Brumley replacing Jay De Maness features You Can Go Home (#53 country), Twilight Is Gone (#67 country), and Undying Love (w/Alison Krauss). Album #5 (last) Life Goes On (Sept. 21, 1993), with Jeff Ross replacing John Jorgensen, and Tim Grogan replacing Steve Duncan, featuring guest appearances by Sam Bush, Tony Rice, Larry Park, and Al Perkins features What About Love (#71 country).

Foster & Lloyd

On Sept. 27, 1987 Nashville, Tenn.-based country music duo Foster & Lloyd, incl. Radney Foster and Bill Lloyd release their debut album Foster & Lloyd (RCA Records) (#33 country), which features Crazy Over You (#4 country), What Do You Want from Me This Time? (#6 country), Sure Thing (#8 country), and Texas in 1880 (#18 country). Album #2 Faster & Llouder (1989) (#44 country) (#142 in the U.S.) features Fair Shake (#5 country), Before the Heartache Rolls In (#43 country), and Suzette (#48 country). Album #3 Version of the Truth (1990) (#40 country) features Is It Love (#43 country), and Can't Have Nothin' (#38 country). They disband in 1990, and reunite in 2010, releasing album #4 It's Already Tomorrow ('Effin 'Ell Records) (May 17, 2011), which features It's Already Tomorrow.

Patty Loveless (1957-)

In 1987 Pikeville, Ky.-born Patty Loveless (Patty Lee Ramey) (1957-) (distant cousin of Loretta Lynn and Crystal Gayle) releases her first charting country single If My Heart Had Windows (#10 country), followed by A Little Bit in Love (1988) (#2 country), Blue Side of Town (1988) (#4 country), Timber, I'm Falling in Love (by Kostas) (1989) (#1 country), Don't Toss Us Away (1989) (#5 country), The Lonely Side of Love (1989) (#6 country), Chains (1990) (#1 country), On Down the Line (1990) (#5 country), I'm That Kind of Girl (1991) (#5 country), Hurt Me Bad (In a Real Good Way) (1991) (#3 country), Blame It on Your Heart (1993) (#1 country), How Can I Help You Say Goodbye (1994) (#3 country), I Try to Think About Elvis (1994) (#3 country), You Can Feel Bad (1995) (#1 country), Lonely Too Long (1996) (#1 country), She Drew a Broken Heart (1996) (#4 country), and That's the Kind of Mood I'm In (2000) (#13 country). She goes on to release 14 studio albums and 49 singles incl. five #1s.

Shenandoah

In 1987 the Muscle Shoals, Ala.-based country band Shenandoah, incl. Marty Raybon (1959-) (vocals, guitar), Jim Seals (guitar, vocals), Ralph Ezell (bass), Stan Thorn (keyboards), and Mike McGuire (drums) releases its debut album Shenandoah (Columbia Records), which features They Don't Make Love Like We Used To (#54 country), and Stop the Rain (#28 country). Album #2 The Road Not Taken (Jan. 31, 1989) (#6 country) (500K copies) features She Doesn't Cry Anymore (#9 country), Mama Knows (#5 country), The Church on Cumberland Road (#1 country), Sunday in the South (#1 country), Two Dozen Roses (#1 country), and See If I Care (#6 country). Album #3 Extra Mile (May 2, 1990) (#11 country) (#186 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Next to You, Next to Me (#1 country), Ghost in This House (#5 country), I Got You (#7 country), The Moon Over Georgia (#9 country), and When You Were Mine (#38 country). Album #4 Long Time Comin' (May 12, 1992) (#34 country) features Rock My Baby (#2 country), Hey Mister (I Need This Job) (#28 country), and Leavin's Been a Long Time Comin' (#15 country). Album #5 Under the Kudzu (July 27, 1993) (#38 country) features Janie Baker's Love Slave (#15 country), I Want to Be Loved Like That (#3 country), and If Bubba Can Dance (I Can Too) (#1 country). Album #6 In the Vicinity of the Heart (Nov. 15, 1994) (Liberty Records) (#31 country) (#182 in the U.S.). features Somewhere in the Vicinity of the Heart (w/Alison Krauss) (#7 country), Darned If I Don't (Danged If I Do) (#4 country), and Heaven Bound (I'm Ready) (#24 country). In 1997 they disband, then reunite in 2000. They go on to release nine studio albums and 26 singles incl. five #1s.

Cee Cee Chapman (1958-)

In 1988 Portsmouth, Va.-born Melissa Carol "Cee Cee" Chapman (1958-) ("Cher gone down-home" - People mag.) releases her debut album Twist of Fate (Curb Records), which features Twist of Fate (#49 country), Frontier Justice (#51 country), Love Is a Liar (#64 country), and Gone But Not Forgotten (w/Santa Fe) (#60 country). Album #2 Cee Cee Chapman (Aug. 27, 1990) features Two Ships that Passed in the Moonlight (#64 country), and Everything. Too bad, she drops off the charts and out of sight, gone and forgotten.

Lucinda Williams (1953-)

In 1988 after two non-charters, Lake Charles, La.-born rock-folk-blues-country singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams (1953-) releases album #3 Lucinda Williams (#39 in the U.S.), which features Passionate Kisses. Album #5 Car Wheels on a Gravel Road (June 30, 1998) (#65 in the U.S.) features Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. Album #6 Essence (June 5, 2001) (#28 in the U.S.) (300K copies) features Essence, Lonely Girls< and I Envy the Wind. Album #7 World Without Tears (Apr. 8 2003) (#18 in the U.S.) (400K copies) features Real Live Bleeding Fingers and Broken Guitar Strings. Album #8 West (Feb. 13, 2007) (#14 in the U.S.) (250K copies) features West, and Are You Alright? Album #9 Little Honey (Oct. 14, 2008) (#9 in the U.S.) features Real Love, Tears of Joy, and Little Rock Star (about Kurt Cobain). Album #10 Blessed (Mar. 1, 2011) (#15 in the U.S.) features Buttercup, Born to Be Loved, Sweet Love, and I Don't Know How You're Livin'.

Garth Brooks (1962-) Allen Reynolds (1938-)

On Apr. 12, 1989 Tulsa, Okla.-born Troyal Garth Brooks (1962-) releases his debut album Garth Brooks (#2 country) (#13 in the U.S.), produced by North Little Rock, Ark.-born "Dreaming My Dreams with You", "Five O'Clock World" songwriter Allen Reynolds (1938-), which sells 10M copies, launching his black-hatted super country career of 15 charted albums and 70 hit singles, with total sales of 68M albums, passing up the Beatles in 1991; it features Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old), If Tomorrow Never Comes (co-written by Kent Blazy) (his first country #1), Not Counting You, and The Dance (his personal favorite). Album #2 No Fences (Aug. 27, 1990) (#1 country) (#3 in the U.S.) (stays in the top-40 for 126 weeks) (17M copies) features Friends in Low Places (#1 country) (#36 in the U.K.), Unanswered Prayers (#1 country), Two of a Kind, Workin' on a Full House (#1 country), The Thunder Rolls (#1 country), and Wild Horses (#1 country) (#50 in the U.S.). Album #3 Ropin' the Wind (Sept. 2, 1991) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.0 (#41 in the U.K.) (17M copies) features Rodeo (#3 country), Shameless (#1 country), What She's Doing Now (#1 country), The River (#1 country), and Papa Loved Mama (#3 country). Album #4 The Chase (Sept. 22, 1992) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) (#1 in the U.K.) (9M copies) features Somewhere Other than the Night (#1 country), That Summer (#1 country), Learning to Live Again (#2 country), and We Shall Be Free (#12 country). Album #5 In Pieces (Aug. 31, 1993) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) (9M copies) features Ain't Going Down ('Til the Sun Comes Up) (#1 country) (#13 in the U.K.), American Honky-Tonk Bar Association (#1 country), Standing Outside the Fire (#3 country) (#28 in the U.K.), Callin' Baton Rouge (#2 country), One Night a Day (#7 country), and The Red Strokes (#49 country) (#13 in the U.K.). Album #6 Fresh Horses (Nov. 21, 1995) (#1 country) (#2 in the U.S.) (#22 in the U.K.) (7M copies) features She's Every Woman (#1 country), The Beaches of Cheyenne (#1 country), That Ol' Wind (#4 country), It's Midnight Cinderella (#5 country), and The Change (#19 country). Album #7 Sevens (Nov. 25, 1997) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) (#34 in the U.K.) features In Another's Eyes (w/Trisha Yearwood). Album #8 Scarecrow (Nov. 13, 2001) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) (5M copies) features Beer Run (B Double E Double Are You In?) (w/George Jones), Wrapped in You (#5 country), and Squeeze Me In (w/Trisha Yearwood). He then goes on a 10-year hiatus, and on Dec. 10, 2005 marries Trisha Yearwood.

Clint Black (1962-)

On May 2, 1989 Long Branch, N.J.-born, Katy, Tex.-raised black cowboy hat-loving Clint Patrick Black (1962-) releases his debut album Killin' Time (#1 country) (#31 in the U.S.) (3M copies), which features #1 country hits Killin' Time, A Better Man, Nobody's Home, and Walkin' Away, and #3 country hit Nothing's News. Album #2 Put Yourself in My Shoes (Nov. 27, 1990) (#1 country) (#18 in the U.S.) (3M copies) features Put Yourself in My Shoes (#4 country), Loving Blind (#1 country), Where Are You Now (#1 country), and One More Payment (#7 country). Album #3 The Hard Way (July 14, 1992) (#2 country) (#8 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features When My Ship Comes In (#1 country), We Tell Ourselves (#2 country), and Burn One Down (#4 country). Album #4 No Time to Kill (July 13, 1993) (#2 country) (#14 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features A Good Run of Bad Luck (#1 country), State of Mind (#2 country), A Bad Goodbye (w/Wynonna Judd) (#2 country), No Time to Kill (#3 country), and Half the Man (#4 country). Album #5 One Emotion (Oct. 4, 1994) (#8 country) (#37 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features One Emotion (#2 country), Summer's Comin' (#1 country), Wherever You Go (#3 country), Life Gets Away (#4 country), and Untanglin' My Mind (#4 country). He goes on to release nine albums and score 30 top-10 and 22 #1 country hits.

Travis Tritt (1963-) Travis Tritt (1963-) and Tyler Reese (1988-)

On Aug. 7, 1989 Marietta, Ga.-born James Travis Tritt (1963-) releases his debut single Country Club, which reaches #9 on the country charts, leading to a record deal with Warner Bros., and his debut album Country Club on Feb. 22, 1990, which features Help Me Hold On (#1 country), I'm Gonna Be Somebody (#2 country), and Drift Off to Dream (#3 country). Album #2 It's All About to Change (May 28, 1991) (3M copies), which features Anymore (#1 country), and Bible Belt, featured in the 1992 film "My Cousin Vinny". Album #3 T-R-O-U-B-L-E (Aug. 18, 1992) (2M copies) features T-R-O-U-B-L-E (#1). Album #4 Ten Feet Tall and Bulletproof (May 10, 1994) (#3 country) (#20 in the U.S.) features Ten Feet Tall and Bulletproof, Foolish Pride, and Tell Me I Was Dreaming. Album #5 The Restless Kind (Aug. 27, 1996) (#7 country) (#53 in the U.S.) features More Than You'll Ever Know, Helping Me Get Over You (w/Lari White), She's Going Home with Me, and Where Corn Don't Grow (by Waylon Jennings). Album #6 No More Looking Over My Shoulder (Oct. 13, 1998) (#15 country) (#119 in the U.S.) features No More Looking Over My Shoulder, If I Lost You, and Start the Car. Album #7 Down the Road I Go (Columbia Records) (Oct. 3, 2000) (#8 country) (#51 in the U.S.) features Best of Intentions (#1 country), It's a Great Day to Be Alive (by Jon Randall), Love of a Woman, and Modern Day Bonnie and Clyde. Album #8 Strong Enough (Sept. 24, 2002) (#4 country) (#27 in the U.S.) features Strong Enough to Be Your Man (#13 country) (an answer to Sheryl Crow's 1995 "Strong Enough"), Country Ain't Country Anymore (#26 country). Album #9 My Honky Tonk History (Aug. 17, 2004) (#7 country) (#50 in the U.S.) features The Girl's Gone Wild (#28 country), What You Say (w/John Mellencamp) (#21 country), and I See Me (#32 country). Album #10 The Storm (Aug. 21, 2007) (Category 5 Records) (#3 country) (#28 in the U.S.) features You Never Take Me Dancing (#27 country). Album #11 The Calm After (July 2013) (#31 country) (#190 in the U.S.) features a duet with his daughter Tyler Reese (1988-), Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough (by Patty Smyth and Don Henley).

In 1989 the Western Music Hall of Fame is founded by the Western Music Assoc.; the first group of inductees incl. Rex Allen, Gene Autry, Patsy Montana, Tex Robbins, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, and the Sons of the Pioneers.

Fifth Generation of Country Music (1990s)

Alan Jackson (1958-)

On Feb. 27, 1990 after help from Glen Campbell, Newnan, Ga.-born Alan Eugene Jackson (1958-) releases his first album Here in the Real World (#4 country) (#57 in the U.S.) (2M copies), which features Here in the Real World (#3 country), I'd Love You All Over Again (#1 country), Chasin' That Neon Rainbow (#2 country), Wanted (#3 country), and Blue Blooded Woman (#45 country). Album #2 Don't Rock the Jukebox (May 14, 1991) (#2 country) (#17 in the U.S.) (4M copies) features Don't Rock the Jukebox (#1 country), Someday (#1 country), Dallas (#1 country), Love's Got a Hold on You (#1 country), and Midnight in Montgomery (#3 country). Album #3 A Lot About Livin' (and a Little 'bout Love) (Oct. 6, 1992) (#1 country) (#13 in the U.S.) (6M copies) features She's Got the Rhythm (and I Got the Blues) (#1 country), Chattahoochee (#1 country) (#46 in the U.S.), Mercury Blues (#2 country), Tonight I Climbed the Wall (#4 country), and (Who Says) You Can't Have It All (#4 country). Album #5 Who I Am (June 28, 1994) (#1 country) (#5 in the U.S.) (4M copies) features Summertime Blues (by Eddie Cochran) (#1 country), Livin' on Love (#1 country), Gone Country (#1 country), I Don't Even Know Your Name (#1 country), and Song for the Life (#6 country). In June 2003 he and Jimmy Buffett release It's Five O'Clock Somewhere (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.). He goes on to release 14+ albums incl. 50 top-10 country singles and 35 #1s, selling 80M records.

Lee Roy Parnell (1956-)

On Apr. 10, 1990 Abilene, Tex.-born Lee Roy Parnell (1956-) releases his debut album Lee Roy Parnell, which doesn't chart. Album #2 Love Without Mercy (Apr. 28, 1992) (#66 country) features What Kind of Fool Do You Think I Am (#2 country), Tender Moment (#2 country), Love Without Mercy, and The Rock. Album #3 On the Road (Oct. 26, 1993) (#59 country) features On the Road (#6 country), I'm Holding My Own (#3 country), and Take These Chains from My Heart (by Hank Williams Sr.) (#17 country). Album #4 We All Get Lucky Sometimes (Aug. 1, 1995) (#26 country) (#173 in the U.S.) features We All Get Lucky Sometimes (#46 country), A Little Bit of You (#2 country), Heart's Desire (#3 country), When a Woman Loves a Man (#12 country), and Givin' Water to a Drowning Man (#12 country). Album #5 Ever Night's a Saturday Night (June 17, 1997) (#53 country) features Lucky Me, Lucky You (#35 country), and You Can't Get There from Here (#39 country).

Uncle Tupelo

On June 21, 1990 Alternative Country Music is launched by the Belleville, Ill.-based band Uncle Tupelo incl. Jay Farrar, Jeff Tweedy, and Mike Heidorn with their debut album No Depression, recorded at the Ft. Apache South Studio in Boston, Mass., which features Factory Belt and Atomic Power; alternative country combines elements of rock and roll, adopted by Wilco, Son Volt, Bottle Rockets, Blood Oranges, Drive-By Truckers, Blood Oranges, Whiskeytown et al.; in Sept. 1995 the quarterly mag. No Depression is launched for alternative country music fans.

Billy Dean (1962-)

On Aug. 21, 1990 after appearing on the 1988 Star Search, Quincy, Fla.-born William Harold "Billy" Dean Jr. (1962-) releases his debut album Young Man (#12 country) (#99 in the U.S.) (500K copies), which features Only Here for a Little While (#3 country), and Somewhere in My Broken Heart (#3 country) (#18 in the U.S.). Album #2 Billy Dean (Sept. 24, 1991) (#22 country) (#88 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features You Don't Count the Cost (#4 country), Only the Wind (#4 country), Billy the Kid (#4 country), and If There Hadn't Been You (#3 country). Album #3 Fire in the Dark (Jan. 26, 1993) (#14 country) (#83 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Tryin' to Hide a Fire in the Dark (#6 country), I Wanna Take Care of You (#22 country), I'm Not Built That Way (#34 country), and We Just Disagree (#9 country). Album #4 Men'll Be Boys (June 14, 1994) (#51 country) features Cowboy Band (#24 country), and Men Will Be Boys (#60 country). Album #5 It's What I Do (Apr. 2, 1996) (#18 country) (#143 in the U.S.) features It's What I Do (#5 country), That Girl's Been Spyin' on Me (#4 country), I Wouldn't Be A Man (#45 country), and In the Name of Love. Album #6 Real Man (Aug. 25, 1998) (#41 country) features Real Man (#33 country), and Innocent Bystander (#68 country). In 1999 he releases Buy Me A Rose (w/Kenny Rogers and Alison Krauss) (#1 country) (#40 in the U.S.). Album #7 Let Them Be Little (Mar. 29, 2005) (Curb Records) (#8 country) (#50 in the U.S.) features Let Them Be Little (#8 country) (#68 in the U.S.), Thank God I'm A Country Boy (#27 country), and This Is the Life (#52 country), and Race You to the Bottom. He goes on to release eight studio albums and 28 singles incl. three #1s.

Joe Diffie (1958-)

On Sept. 7, 1990 Tulsa, Okla.-born honky tonk country singer Joe Logan Diffie (1958-) releases his debut album A Thousand Winding Roads (Epic Records) (#23 country), which features Home (#1 country), If You Want Me To (#2 country), If the Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets) (#1 country), and New Way (To Light Up an Old Flame) (#2 country). Album #2 Regular Joe (Jan. 14, 1992) (#22 country) (#132 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Is It Cold in Here (#5 country), Ships That Don't Come In (#5 country), Next Thing Smokin' (#16 country), and Startin' Over Blues (#41 country). Album #3 Honky Tonk Attitude (Apr. 20, 1993) (#10 country) (#67 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features Honky Tonk Attitude (#5 country), Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox (If I Die) (#3 country) (#122 in the U.S.), John Deere Green (#5 country) (#69 in the U.S.), and In My Own Backyard (#19 country). Album #4 Third Rock from the Sun (July 26, 1994) (#6 country) (#53 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features Third Rock from the Sun (#1 country) (#84 in the U.S.), Pickup Man (#1 country) (#60 in the U.S.), So Help Me Girl (#2 country) (#84 in the U.S.), I'm in Love with a Capital U (#21 country), and That Road Not Taken (#40 country). Album #5 Life's So Funny (Dec. 5, 1995) (#28 country) (#167 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Bigger than the Beatles (#1 country), C-O-U-N-T-R-Y (#23 country), Whole Lotta Gone (#23 country), and Down in a Ditch. Album #6 Twice Upon a Time (Apr. 22, 1997) (#33 country) features Something Like This (#40 country), and The Promised Land (#61 country). His compilation album Greatest Hits (June 9, 1998) (#21 country) (#131 in the U.S.) features Poor Me (#43 country), and Texas Size Heartache (#4 country). Album #7 A Night to Remember (June 1, 1999) (#23 country) (#189 in the U.S.) features A Night to Remember (#6 country) (#38 in the U.S.), It's Always Somethin' (#5 country) (#57 in the U.S.), The Quttin' Kind (#21 country) (#90 in the U.S.), and Better Off Gone. Album #8 In Another World (Oct. 30, 2001) (#56 country) (Monument Records) features In Another World (#10 country) (#66 in the U.S.), and This Pretender (#49 country). Album #9 Tougher Than Nails (June 1, 2004) (#42 country) (Broken Bow Records) features Tougher Than Nails (#19 country) (#110 in the U.S.), and If I Could Only Bring You Back (#50 country). Album #10 Homecoming: The Bluegrass Album (Oct. 26, 2010) (Rounder Records) (#10 in the U.S.) features Somehow Tonight (by Earl Scruggs), Lonesome and Dry as a Bone (by Shawn Camp, Matt Lindsey, and Mel Tillis Jr.), and Tall Cornstalk (by Shawn Camp and Harley Allen). Album #11 All in the Same Boat (w/Sammy Kershaw and Aaron Tippin) (May 28, 2013) (#70 country) (Big Hit Records) features All in the Same Boat. He goes on to release nine studio albums and 35 singles incl. seven #1s.

Mark Chesnutt (1963-)

On Sept. 14, 1990 after his 1988 debut album Doing My Country Thing (Axbar Records) fails to chart, Beaumont, Tex.-born Mark Nelson Chesnutt (1963-) releases album #2 Too Cold at Home (MCA Records) (#12 country) (#132 in the U.S.) (1M copies), which features Too Cold at Home (#3 country), Brother Jukebox (by Keith Whitley) (#1 country), Blame It on Texas (#5 country), Your Love Is a Miracle (#3 country), Broken Promise Land (by Waylon Jennings) (#10 country), and Friends in Low Places. Album #3 Longnecks & Short Stories (Mar. 21, 1992) (#9 country) (#68 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features Old Flames Have New Names (#5 country), I'll Think of Something (#1 country), Bubba Shot the Jukebox (#4 country), and Ol' Country (#4 country). Album #4 Almost Goodbye (June 22, 1993) (#6 country) (#43 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features It Sure Is Monday (#19 country), Almost Goodbye (#1 country), I Just Wanted You to Know (#1 country), and Woman, Sensuous Woman (#21 country). Album #5 What a Way to Live (Sept. 13, 1994) (#15 country) (#98 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features She Dreams (#6 country), Goin' Through the Big D (#2 country), Gonna Get a Life (#1 country), and Down in Tennessee (#23 country). Album #6 Wings (Oct. 3, 1995) (#24 country) (#116 in the U.S.) features Trouble (#18 country), It Wouldn't Hurt to Have Wings (#7 country), and Wrong Place, Wrong Time (#37 country). His first Greatest Hits album (Nov. 19, 1996) (#18 country) (#130 in the U.S.) features It's a Little Too Late (#1 country), and Let It Rain (#8 country). Album #7 Thank God for Believers (Sept. 23, 1997) (#25 country) (#165 in the U.S.) features Thank God for Believers (#2 country), It's Not Over (w/Alison Krauss and Vince Gill) (#34 country), I Might Even Quit Lovin' You (#18 country), and Wherever You Are (#45 country). Album #8 I Don't Want to Miss a Thing (Feb. 9, 1999) (#6 country) (#65 in the U.S.) features I Don't Want to Miss a Thing (#1 country), and This Heartache Never Sleeps (#17 country). Album #13 Rollin' with the Flow (June 24, 2008) (#35 country) features Rollin' with the Flow (by Charlie Rich) (#25 country), and She Never Got Me Over You (by Keith Whitley) (#49 country). Album #14 Outlaw (June 22, 2010) (#42 country) features Lovin' Her Was Easier (Than Anything I'll Ever Do Again). He goes on to release 13 studio albums and 40 singles incl. nine #1s, and sell 10M records worldwide.

The Mavericks

In Oct. 1990 Miami, Fla.-based neotraditional country band The Mavericks incl. Raul Malo (vocals), Ben Peeler/David Lee Holt (guitar), Robert Reynolds (bass), and Paul Deakin (drums) release their debut album The Mavericks, which is a non-charters. Album #2 From Hell to Paradise (May 12, 1922) features Hey Good Lookin' (#74 country). Album #3 What a Crying Shame (Feb. 1, 1994) (#6 country) (#54 in the U.S.) (2M copies), first w/o Holt features What a Crying Shame (#25 country), O What a Thrill (#18 country), There Goes My Heart (#20 country), I Should Have Been True (#30 country), and All That Heaven Will Allow (#49 country). Album #4 Music for All Occasions (Sept. 26, 1995) (#9 country) (#58 in the U.S.), first with guitarist Nick Kane features Here Comes the Rain, All You Ever Do is Bring Me Down, and Missing You. Album #5 Trampoline (Mar. 10, 1998) (#9 country) (#96 in the U.S.) features To Be With You, Dance the Night Away (#4 in the U.K.), and I've Got This Feeling (#27 in the U.K.). Album #6 The Mavericks (Sept. 23, 2003) (#32 country), first with Eddie Perez replacing Nick Kane features I Want to Know, Would You Believe, and The Air That I Breathe (by The Hollies) (#59 country). They disband in 2004-2012.

Neal McCoy (1958-)

On Nov. 20, 1990 after opening for Charley Pride, Jacksonville, Tex.-born Neal McCoy (Hubert Neal McGaughey Jr.) (1958-) (formerly Neal McGoy) (Irish-Am. father, Filipino-Am. mother) releases his debut album At This Moment (Atlantic Records), which is a non-charter; it features At This Moment, If I Built You a Fire (#47 country), and This Time I've Hurt Her More (Than She Loves Me) (#50 country). Album #2 Where Forever Begins (June 2, 1992) (#58 country) features Where Forever Begins (#40 country), There Ain't Nothin' I Don't Like About You (#57 country), and Now I Pray for Rain (#26 country). Album #3 No Doubt About It (Feb. 8, 1994) (#13 country) (#84 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features No Doubt About It (#1 country) (#75 in the U.S.), That Wink (#1 country) (#91 in the U.S.), and The City Put the Country Back in Me (#5 country). Album #4 You Gotta Love That (Jan. 24, 1995) (#10 country) (#68 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features For a Change (#3 country) (#108 in the U.S.), They're Playin' Our Song (#3 country), If I Was a Drinkin' Man (#16 country), and You Gotta Love That (#3 country). Album #5 Neal McCoy (June 4, 1996) (#7 country) (#61 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye (#4 country) (#107 in the U.S.), Going, Going, Gone (#35 country), That Woman of Mine (#35 country). His compilation album Greatest Hits (June 10, 1997) (#5 country) (#55 in the U.S.) features The Shake (#5 country). Album #6 Be Good At It (Oct. 28, 1997) (#23 country) (#135 in the U.S.) features If You Can't Be Good (Be Good at It) (#22 country), Party On (#50 country), and Love Happens Like That (#29 country). Album #7 The Life of the Party (Jan. 19, 1999) (#24 country) features I Was (#37 country), and The Girls of Summer (#42 country). Album #8 24-7-365 (Aug. 22, 2000) (#28 country) (Giant Records) features Forever Works for Me (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) (#38 country), Every Man for Himself (#37 country), and Beatin' It In (#41 country). Album #9 The Luckiest Man in the World (Warner Bros. Records) (unreleased) features Put Your Best Dress On (#46 country). Album #10 That's Life (Aug. 23, 2005) (#8 country) (#32 in the U.S.) (903 Music) features Billy's Got His Beer Goggles On (#10 country) (#75 in the U.S.), and The Last of a Dying Breed (#35 country).

Aaron Tippin (1958-)

On Jan. 29, 1991 Pensacola, Fla.-born Travelers Rest, S.C.-raised country singer-songwriter Aaron Dupree Tippin (1958-) releases his debut album You've Got to Stand for Something (RCA Records) (#23 country) (#153 in the U.S.) (500K copies), which features You've Got to Stand for Something (#6 country) (which becomes a hit with U.S. troops fighting in the Gulf War), I Wonder How Far It Is Over You (#40 country), and She Made a Memory Out of Me (#54 country). Album #2 Read Between the Lines (Mar. 10, 1992) (#6 country) (#50 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features There Ain't Nothin' Wrong with the Radio (#1 country), I Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way (#5 country), My Blue Angel (#7 country), and I Was Born with a Broken Heart (#38 country). Album #3 Call of the Wild (Aug. 10, 1993) (#6 country) (#53 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Workin' Man's Ph.D. (#7 country), The Call of the Wild (#17 country), Whole Lotta Love on the Line (#30 country), and Honky Tonk Superman (#47 country). Album #4 Lookin' Back at Myself (Nov. 8, 1994) (#19 country) (#114 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features I Got It Honest (#15 country), and She Feels Like a Brand New Man Tonight (#39 country). Album #5 Tool Box (Oct. 24, 1995) (#12 country) (#63 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features That's As Close As I'll Get to Loving You (#1 country) (#101 in the U.S.), Without Your Love (#22 country), Everything I Own (#51 country), and Hows the Radio Know (#69 country). His compilation album Greatest Hits... and Then Some (Mar. 25, 1997) (#17 country) (#97 in the U.S.) features Cold Gray Kentucky Morning, That's What Happens When I Hold You (#50 country), If Only Your Eyes Could Lie, and A Door (#65 country). Album #6 What This Country Needs (Oct. 6, 1998) (Lyric Street Records) (#23 country) features What This Country Needs (#47 country), For You I Will (#6 country) (#49 in the U.S.), I'm Leaving (#17 country) (#87 in the U.S.), and Her (#33 country). Album #7 People Like Us (July 25, 2000) (#5 country) (#53 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Kiss This (#1 country) (#42 in the U.S.), People Like Us (#17 country) (#107 in the U.S.), and Always Was (#40 country). Album #8 Stars & Stripes (Sept. 10, 2002) (#10 country) (#62 in the U.S.) features Where the Stars and Stripes and the Eagle Fly (#2 country) (#20 in the U.S.), I'll Take Love Over Money (#46 country), If Her Lovin' Don't Kill Me (#40 country), and Love Like There's No Tomorrow (w/Thea Tippin) (#35 country). Album #9 In Overdrive (Feb. 3, 2009) (#73 country) (Country Crossing Records) features Drill Here, Drill Now, and East Bound and Down (by Jerry Reed and Dick Feller). Album #10 All in the Same Boat (w/Joe Diffie and Sammy Kershaw) (May 28, 2013) (#70 country) (Big Hit Records) features All in the Same Boat. He goes on to release 10 studio albums and 35 singles incl. three #1s.

Hal Ketchum (1953-)

On May 7, 1991 Greenwich, N.Y.-born Hal Michael Ketchum (1953-) releases his major album debut Past the Point of Rescue (#6 country) (#45 in the U.S.)(Curb Records) (500K copies), which features Past the Point of Rescue (#2 country), Small Town Saturday Night (#2 country), I Know Where Love Lives (#13 country), and Five O'Clock World (by Allen Reynolds) (#16 country). Album #2 Sure Love (Sept. 22, 1992) (#36 country) (#151 in the U.S.) features Sure Love (#3 country), Hearts Are Gonna Roll (#2 country), Mama Knows the Highway (#8 country), and Someplace Far Away (Careful What You're Dreaming) (#24 country). Album #3 Every Little Word (May 31, 1994) (#31 country) (#146 in the U.S.) features Stay Forever (#8 country), (Tonight We Just Might) Fall in Love Again (#20 country), and That's What I Get for Losin' You (#22 country). Album #4 I Saw the Light (May 19, 1998) (#37 country) features I Saw the Light (#36 country). He goes on to release 10 studio albums.

Diamond Rio

On May 28, 1991 the Nashville, Tenn.-based Christian country band Diamond Rio, incl. Marty Roe (vocals, guitar), Gene Johnson (vocals, mandolin), Jimmy Olander (guitar), Dan Truman (keyboards), Dana Williams (bass), and Brian Prout (drums) releases its debut album Diamond Rio (Arista Records) (#13 country) (#83 in the U.S.) (1M copies), which features Meet in the Middle (#1 country) (first country band with a #1 debut country single) Mirror, Mirror (#3 country), Norma Jean Riley (#2 country), Nowhere Bound (#7 country), and Mama Don't Forget to Pray for Me (#9 country). Album #2 Close to the Edge (Oct. 27, 1992) (#24 country) (#87 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features In A Week or Two (#2 country), Oh Me, Oh My, Sweet Baby (#5 country), This Romeo Ain't Got Juliet Yet (#13 country), and Sawmill Road (#21 country). Album #3 Love a Little Stronger (July 19, 1994) (#13 country) (#100 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features Love A Little Stronger (#2 country), Night Is Fallin' in My Heart (#9 country) (#107 in the U.S.), Bubba Hyde (#16 country) (#102 in the U.S.), and Finish What We Started (#19 country). Album #4 IV (Feb. 27, 1996) (#14 country) (#92 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Walkin' Away (#2 country), That's What I Get for Lovin' You (#4 country), Holdin' (#4 country), and It's All in Your Head (#15 country). Greatest Hits (July 15, 1997) (38 country) (#75 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features How Your Love Makes Me Feel (#1 country), and Imagine That (#4 country). Album #5 Unbelievable (July 28, 1998) (#9 country) (#70 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Unbelievable (#2 country) (#36 in the U.S.), You're Gone (#4 country), and I Know How the River Feels (#33 country). Album #6 One More Day (June 2, 2001) (#5 country) (#36 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features One More Day (#1 country) (#29 in the U.S.), Sweet Summer (#18 country) (#104 in the U.S.), and Stuff (#36 country). Album #7 Completely (Sept. 7, 2002) (#3 country) (#23 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Beautiful Mess (#1 country) (#28 in the U.S.), I Believe (#1 country) (#31 in the U.S.), and Wrinkles (#16 country) (#107 in the U.S.). Album #8 The Reason (Sept. 22, 2009) (#41 country) features God Is There. They go on to release eight studio albums and 34 singles incl. five #1s.

Trisha Yearwood (1964-)

On July 2, 1991 Monticello, Ga.-born Patricia Lynn "Trisha" Yearwood (1964-) releases her debut album Trisha Yearwood (#2 country) (#31 in the U.S.), which features She's in Love with the Boy (#1 country), and Like We Never Had a Broken Heart (#4 country). Album #2 Hearts in Armor (Sept. 1, 1992) (#12 country) (#46 in the U.S.) features Walkaway Joe (#2 country), and Wrong Side of Memphis (#5 country). Album #3 The Song Remembers When (Oct. 26, 1993) (#6 country) (#40 in the U.S.) features The Song Remembers When (#2 country) (#82 in the U.S.), and Better Your Heart Than Mine (#21 country). Album #4 Thinkin' About You (Feb. 14, 1995) (#3 country) (#28 in the U.S.) features Thinkin' About You (#1 country) (#120 in the U.S.), and XXX's and OOO's (An American Girl) (#1 country) (#114 in the U.S.). Album #5 Everybody Knows (Aug. 27, 1996) (#6 country) (#52 in the U.S.) features Everybody Knows (#3 country), and Believe Me Baby (I Lied) (#1 country). On May 27, 1997 she releases How Do I Live (by Diane Warren) (#2 country) (#23 in the U.S.) from the 1997 film "Con Air", which becomes her signature song. Album #6 (Songbook) A Collection of Hits (Aug. 26, 1997) (#1 country) (#4 in the U.S.) (4M copies) features In Another's Eyes (w/Garth Brooks). Album #7 Where Your Road Leads (July 14, 1998) (#3 country) (#33 in the U.S.) features There Goes My Baby (#2 country) (#98 in the U.S.). Album #8 Real Live Woman (Mar. 28, 2000) (#4 country) (#27 in the U.S.) features Real Live Woman. Album #9 Inside Out (June 5, 2001) (#1 country) (#29 in the U.S.) features I Would've Loved You Anyway. Album #10 Jasper County (Sept. 13, 2005) (#1 country) (#4 in the U.S.) features Georgia Rain (#15 country) (#78 in the U.S.). On Dec. 10, 2005 she marries Garth Brooks in their home in Owasso, Okla. after he proposes to her in front of 7K fans in Bakersfield, Calif. on May 25.

Brooks and Dunn

On Aug. 13, 1991 the country music duo Brooks and Dunn incl. Shreveport, La.-born black cowboy hat-loving Leon Eric "Kix" Brooks III (1955-) (dark hair) and Coleman, Tex.-born Ronnie Gene Dunn (1953-) (blonde hair) release their debut album Brand New Man (#3 country) (#10 in the U.S.) (6M copies), which features Brand New Man (#1 country), My Next Broken Heart (#1 country), Neon Moon (#1 country), Boot Scootin' Boogie (#1 country) (#50 in the U.S.), and Lost and Found (#6 country). Album #2 Hard Workin' Man (Feb. 23, 1993) (#2 country) (#9 in the U.S.) features Hard Workin' Man (#4 country), She Used to Be Mine (#1 country), That Ain't No Way to Go (#1 country), We'll Burn That Bridge (#2 country), and Rock My World (Little Country Girl) (#2 country) (#97 in the U.S.). Album #3 Waitin' on Sundown (Sept. 27, 1994) (#1 country) (#15 in the U.S.) features She's Not the Cheatin' Kind (#1 country), I'll Never Forgive My Heart (#6 country), Little Miss Honky Tonk (#1 country), You're Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone (#1 country), and Whiskey Under the Bridge (#5 country). Album #4 Borderline (Apr. 16, 1996) (#1 country) (#5 in the U.S.) features My Maria (#1 country) (#79 in the U.S.), A Man This Lonely (#1 country) (#124 in the U.S.), I Am That Man (#2 country), Why Should I Say Goodbye (#8 country), and Mama Don't Get Dressed Up for Nothing (#13 country). Their first compilation album The Greatest Hits Collection (Sept. 16, 1997) (#2 country) (#4 in the U.S.) features He's Got You (#2 country), and Honky Tonk Truth (#3 country). Album #5 If You See Her (June 2, 1998) (#4 country) (#11 in the U.S.) features If You See Him/If You See Her (w/Reba McEntire) (#1 country), How Long Gone (#1 country), Husbands and Wives (#1 country) (#36 in the U.S.), and I Can't Get Over You (#5 country) (#51 in the U.S.). Album #7 Steers & Stripes (Apr. 17, 2001) (#1 country) (#4 in the U.S.) features Ain't Nothing 'Bout You (#1 country) (#25 in the U.S.), Only in America (#1 country) (#33 in the U.S.), The Long Goodbye (#1 country) (#39 in the U.S.), My Heart Is Lost to You (#5 country) (#48 in the U.S.), and Every River (#12 country) (#75 in the U.S.). Album #8 Red Dirt Road (July 15, 2003) (#1 country) (#4 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features Red Dirt Road (#1 country) (#25 in the U.S.), You Can't Take the Honky Tonk Out of the Girl (#3 country) (#39 in the U.S.), and That's What She Gets for Loving Me (#6 country) (#53 in the U.S.). Album #9 Hillbilly Deluxe (Aug. 30, 2005) (#1 country) (#3 in the U.S.) features Hillbilly Deluxe (#16 country) (#86 in the U.S.), Play Something Country (#1 country) (#37 in the U.S.), Building Bridges (#4 country) (#66 in the U.S.), and Believe (#16 country) (#86 in the U.S.). Album #10 (last) Cowboy Town (Oct. 2, 2007) (#4 country) (#13 in the U.S.) (400K copies) features Proud of the House We Built (#4 country) (#57 in the U.S.), God Must Be Busy (#11 country) (#78 in the U.S.), Put A Girl in It (#3 country) (#54 in the U.S.), and Cowgirls Don't Cry (w/Reba McEntire) (#2 country) (#44 in the U.S.) (their 41st and last top-10 country hit, and Reba's record 56th, passing Dolly Parton). They go on to release 10 studio albums and 50 singles incl. 20 #1s and 19 top-10s.

Tracy Lawrence (1968-)

On Nov. 12, 1991 Atlanta, Tex.-born Tracy Lawrence (1968-) releases his debut album Sticks and Stones (#10 country) (#71 in the U.S.), which features Sticks and Stones (#1 country), Today's Lonely Fool (#3 country), Runnin' Behind (#4 country), and Somebody Paints the Wall (#8 country). Album #2 Alibis (Mar. 9, 1993) (#5 country) (#25 in the U.S.) (2M copies) features Alibis (#1 country), Can't Break It to My Heart (#1 country), My Second Home (#1 country), If the Good Die Young (#1 country). Album #3 I See It Now (Sept. 20, 1994) (#3 country) (#28 in the U.S.). features I See It Now (#2 country), Texas Tornado (#1 country), If the World Had a Front Porch (#2 country), and As Any Fool Can See (#2 country). Album #4 Time Marches On (Jan. 23, 1996) (#4 country) (#25 in the U.S.) features Time Marches On (#1 country), Is That a Tear (#5 country), If You Loved Me (#5 country), and Stars Over Texas (#5 country). Album #5 The Coast Is Clear (Mar. 18, 1997) (#4 country) (#45 in the U.S.) features How a Cowgirl Says Goodbye (#2 country), Better Man, Better Off (#4 country). Album #6 Lessons Learned (Feb. 1, 2000) (#9 country) (#69 in the U.S.) features Lessons Learned (#3 country), and Lonely (#18 country). Album #7 Tracy Lawrence (Oct. 23, 2001) (#13 country) (#136 in the U.S.) features Life Don't Have to Be So Hard. Album #8 Strong (Mar. 30, 2004) (#2 country) (#17 in the U.S.) features Paint Me a Birmingham. Album #9 For the Love (Jan. 30, 2007) (#6 country) (#53 in the U.S.) features Find Out Who Your Friends Are (by Casey Beathard and Ed Hill) (#1 country) (#61 in the U.S.), Til I Was a Daddy Too (#32 country), and You Can't Hide Redneck.

Sammy Kershaw (1958-)

In 1991 Kaplan, La.-born Samuel Paul "Sammy" Kershaw (1958-) (3rd cousin of Cajun fiddler Doug Kershaw) releases his debut single Cadillac Style (#3 country), followed by She Don't Know She's Beautiful (1993) (#1 country) (#119 in the U.S.), Anywhere But Here (1993) (#3 country), Haunted Heart (1993) (#9 country), Queen of My Double Wide Trailer (1993) (#7 country), I Can't Reach Her Anymore (1994) (#3 country), National Working Woman's Holiday (1994) (#2 country), Third Rate Romance (1994) (#2 country), Meant to Be (1996) (#5 country), Vidalia (1996) (#10 country), Love of My Life (1997) (#2 country) (#85 in the U.S.) and He Drinks Tequila, She Talks Dirty in Spanish (w/Lorrie Morgan) (2001) (#39 country). He goes on to release nine studio albums and 33 singles incl. one #1 single.

Billy Ray Cyrus (1961-)

On Mar. 23, 1992 after moving to Los Angeles and living in a car, then being signed by Mercury Records exec Del Reeves, Flatwoods, Ky.-born William "Billy" Ray Cyrus (1961-) releases his debut single Achy Breaky Heart (cover of "Don't Tell My Heart" by the Marcy Brothers) (#1 country) (#4 in the U.S.) (#3 in the U.K.) (1.4M copies), which becomes the first single to achieve triple platinum status in Australia, becoming his signature song, causing Line Dancing to become a craze. His debut album Some Gave All (May 19, 1992) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) (9M copies in the U.S.) (20M copies worldwide) features Could've Been Me (1992) (#2 country) (#72 in the U.S.), and She's Not Cryin' Anymore (#6 country) (#70 in the U.S.), becoming the first album to enter at #1 in the Billboard country albums chart, the first to log 17 consecutive weeks at #1 in the SoundScan era (43 weeks total), the bestselling U.S. album of 1992 (4.8M copies), and the #2 bestselling debut album by a male country artist after Garth Brooks. He follows it with In the Heart of a Woman (1993) (#3 country) (#76 in the U.S.), Somebody New (1993) (#9 country) (#104 in the U.S.), Words By Heart (1994) (#12 country) (#119 in the U.S.), Busy Man (1998) (#3 country) (#46 in the U.S.), and Ready, Set, Don't Go (w/Miley Cyrus) (co-written by Casey Beathard) (2007) (#4 country) (#37 in the U.S.). He goes on to release 13 studio albums and 39 singles incl. three #1s.

Confederate Railroad

On Apr. 28, 1992 after signing a contract with Atlantic Records, Atlanta, Ga.-based Southern country rock band Confederate Railroad (backing band for David Allan Coe), incl. Danny Shirley, Michael Lamb, Chris McDaniel (keyboards), Warren "Gates" Nichols (steel guitar), Wayne Secrest (bass), and Mark Dufresne (drums) releases its debut album Confederate Railroad (#7 country) (#53 in the U.S.) (2M copies), which features Queen of Memphis (#2 country), Jesus and Mama (#4 country), Trashy Women (#10 country) (#113 in the U.S.), and When You Leave That Way You Can Never Go Back (#14 country). Albm #2 Notorious (Mar. 22, 1994) (#6 country) (#52 in the U.S.) features Daddy Never Was the Cadillac Kind (#9 country), and Elvis and Andy (#20 country). Album #3 When and Where (June 13, 1995) (#21 country) (#152 in the U.S.) features When and Where (#24 country). They go on to release six studio albums and 20 charting singles.

Martina McBride (1966-)

On May 12, 1992 Sharon, Kan.-born "Celine Dion of Country Music" Martina McBride (Martina Mariea Schiff) (1966-) releases her debut albm The Time Has Come (#49 country) (#15 in the U.S.), which features The Time Has Come (#23 country). Album #2 The Way That I Am (Sept. 14, 1993) (#14 country) (#106 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features My Baby Loves Me (#2 country), Life #9 (#6 country), and Independence Day (by Gretchen Peters) (spousal abuse) (#12 country). Album #3 Wild Angels (Sept. 26, 1995) (#17 country) (#77 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features Wild Angels (#1 country), and Safe in the Arms of Love (#4 country). Album #4 Evolution (Aug. 26, 1997) (#4 country) (#24 in the U.S.) (2M copies) displays her new crossover sound, joining Faith Hill and Shania Twain; it features Valentine (w/Jim Brickman) (#9 country) (#50 in the U.S.), A Broken Wing (#1 country) (#61 in the U.S.), Wrong Again (#1 country) (#36 in the U.S.), Whatever You Say (#2 country) (#37 in the U.S.), and Happy Girl (#2 country). Album #6 Emotion (Sept. 14, 1999) (3M copies) (#3 country) (#19 in the U.S.) features I Love You (#1 country) (#24 in the U.S.), and Love's the Only House (#3 country) (#42 in the U.S.). Album #7 Martina (Sept. 30, 2003) (#1 country) (#7 in the U.S.) features This One's for the Girls (#3 country) (#39 in the U.S.), In My Daughter's Eyes (#4 country) (#39 in the U.S.), How Far (#12 country) (#68 in the U.S.), and God's Will (#16 country) (#85 in the U.S.). Album #8 Timeless (Oct. 18, 2005) (#1 country) (#200 in the U.S.) features (I Never Promised You) A Rose Garden (#18 country) (#98 in the U.S.), and I Still Miss Someone (w/Dolly Parton) (#50 country). Album #9 Waking Up Laughing (Apr. 3, 2007) (#2 country) (#4 in the U.S.) features Anyway (#5 country) (#32 in the U.S.), How I Feel (#15 country) (#108 in the U.S.), and For These Times (#35 country). Album #10 Shine (Mar. 24, 2009) (#1 country) (#10 in the U.S.) features Ride (#11 country) (#82 in the U.S.), I Just Call You Mine (#18 country) (#97 in the U.S.), and Wrong Baby Wrong (written by the Warren Brothers, Robert Ellis Orrall, and Stephen Baker Liles) (#11 country) (#74 in the U.S.). Album #11 Eleven (Oct. 11, 2011) (#4 country) (#10 in the U.S.) features I'm Gonna Love You Through It (#4 country) (#61 in the U.S.), Teenage Daughters (#17 country) (#100 in the U.S.), and Marry Me (#45 country). She goes on to release 11 albums selling 11M copies.

John Michael Montgomery (1965-)

On Oct. 13, 1992 Danville, Ky.-born John Michael Montgomery (1965-) releases his debut album Life's a Dance (Atlantic Records) (#4 country) (#27 in the U.S.) (3M copies), which features Life's a Dance (#4 country), I Love the Way You Love Me (#1 country) (#60 in the U.S.), and Beer and Bones (#21 country) (#123 in the U.S). Album #2 Kickin' It Up (Jan. 25, 1994) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) (4M copies) features I Swear (#1 country) (#42 in the U.S.) (500K copies), Be My Baby Tonight (#1 country) (#73 in the U.S.), If You've Got Love (#1 country), and Rope the Moon (#4 country) (#115 in the U.S.). Album #3 John Michael Montgomery (Mar. 28, 1995) (#1 country) (#5 in the U.S.) (4M copies) features I Can Love You Like That (#1 country), Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident) (#1 country), No Man's Land (#3 country) (#112 in the U.S.), Cowboy Love (#4 country), and Long as I Live (#4 country). Album #4 What I Do the Best (Sept. 24, 1996) (#5 country) (#39 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features Friends (#2 country) (#69 in the U.S.), How Was I to Know (#2 country), I Miss You a Little (#6 country) (#109 in the U.S.), and Ain't Got Nothin' on Us (#15 country) (#115 in the U.S.). His compilation album Greatest Hits (Oct. 14, 1997) (#5 country) (#33 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features Angel in My Eyes (#4 country). Album #5 Leave a Mark (May 5, 1998) (#15 country) (#95 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Cover You in Kisses (#3 country) (#91 in the U.S.), Hold On to Me (#4 country) (#33 in the U.S.), and Love Working on You (#14 country) (#125 in the U.S.). Album #6 Home to You (May 25, 1999) (#16 country) (#135 in the U.S.) features Home to You (#2 country) (#45 in the U.S.), and Hello L.O.V.E. (#15 country) (#71 in the U.S.). Album #7 Brand New Me (Sept. 19, 2000) (#2 country) (#15 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features The Little Girl (#1 country) (#35 in the U.S.), That's What I Like About You (#44 country). Album #8 Pictures (Oct. 8, 2002) (#13 country) (#110 in the U.S.) features Til Nothing Comes Between Us (#19 country) (#113 in the U.S.). Album #9 Letters from Home (Apr. 20, 2004) (#3 country) (#31 in the U.S.) features Letters from Home (#2 country) (#24 in the U.S.). Album #10 Time Flies (Oct. 24, 2008) (#35 country) (#172 in the U.S.) features Forever (#28 country). He goes on to release 10 studio albums and 36 singles incl. eight #1s.

Joy Lynn White (1961-)

On Oct. 20, 1992 Ark.-born Mishawka, Ind.-raised Joy Lynn White (1961-) releases her debut album Between Midnight & Hindsight (Columbia Records), which features True Confessions (#45 country), Little Tears (#68 country), and Cold Day in July (#71 country). Album #2 Wild Love (Aug. 9, 1994) features Wild Love (#73 country), and Tonight the Heartache's on Me. Album #3 The Lucky Few (Apr. 8, 1997) (Mercury Records) features I Just Wanted to See You Bad, and I Lost It (by Lucinda Williams). Album #4 One More Time (Oct. 18, 2005) (Thorch Records) features One More Time, and Girls with Apartments in Nashville. Album #5 On Her Own (Nov. 1, 2005) features Sunday, My Heart Breaks, I Turn on the Light.

'Pure Country', 1992

On Oct. 23, 1992 Christopher Cain's Pure Country (Warner Bros.) debuts, starring George Strait as country star Wyatt "Dusty" Chandler, who decides to skip out on his mgr. Lula Rogers (Lesley Ann Warren) and go country, meeting babe Harley Tucker (Isabel Glasser), granddaughter of Ernest Tucker (Rory Calhoun); does $15M box office.

Luella DeMent (1961-)

In 1992 Paragould, Ark.-born country-folk singer-songwriter Iris Luella DeMent (1961-) releases her debut studio album Infamous Angel (Warner Bros. Records), which features Infamous Angel, Let the Mystery Be, These Hills, Our Town, and Higher Ground (by Johnson Oatman Jr. and Charles H. Gabriel). Album #2 My Life (1993) (#16 in the U.S.) features My Life, No Time to Cry, and You've Done Nothing Wrong. Album #3 The Way I Should (Oct. 8, 1996) (#22 in the U.S.) features The Way I Should, Livin in the Wasteland of the Free, and There's a Wall in Washington. Album #4 Lifeline (Oct. 19, 2004) (Flariella Records) features He Reached Down, I Shall Never Forget the Day, and Leaning on the Everlasting Arms (by Anthony Johnson Showalter and Elisha A. Hoffman). Album #5 Sing the Delta (Oct. 2, 2012) features Sing the Delta, Go On Ahead and Go Home, and Out of the Fire.

Toby Keith (1961-)

On Apr. 20, 1993 Clinton, Okla.-born country singer-songwriter Toby Keith (Toby Keith Covel) (1961-) releases his debut album Toby Keith (Mercury Records), which features Should've Been a Cowboy (#1 country), He Ain't Worth Missing (#5 country), A Little Less Talk and a Lot More Action (#2 country), and Wish I Didn't Know Now (#2 country). Album #2 Boomtown (Sept. 27, 1994) (#8 country) (#46 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features Who's That Man (#1 country), Upstairs Downtown (#10 country), You Ain't Much Fun (#2 country), and Big Ol' Truck (#15 country). Album #3 Blue Moon (Apr. 16, 1996) (#6 country) (#51 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features Does That Blue Moon Ever Shine on You? (#2 country), A Woman's Touch (#6 country), and Me Too (#1 country). Album #4 Dream Walkin' (June 24, 1997) (500K copies) (#8 country) (#107 in the U.S.) features Dream Walkin' (#5 country), We Were in Love (#2 country), and I'm So Happy I Can't Stop Crying (w/Sting) (#2 country). Album #5 How Do You Like Me?! (Nov. 2, 1999) (#9 country) (#56 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features How Do You Like Me Now? (#1 country) (#31 in the U.S.), Country Comes to Town (#4 country), When Love Fades (#44 country), and You Shouldn't Kiss Me Like This (#1 country). Album #6 Pull My Chain (Aug. 10, 2001) (#1 country) (#9 in the U.S.) (2M copies) features I'm Just Talkin' About Tonight (#1 country), I Wanna Talk About Me (#1 country), and My List (#1 country). Album #7 Unleashed (July 23, 2002) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) (4M copies) features Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American) (#1 country), Who's Your Daddy? (#1 country), Beer for My Horses (w/Willie Nelson) (#1 country), and Rock You Baby (#13 country). Album #8 Shock'n Y'all (Nov. 4, 2003) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) (4M copies) features I Love This Bar (#1 country) (causes him to launch the I Love This Bar and Grill chain, American Soldier (#1 country), and Whiskey Girl (#1 country). Album #9 Honkytonk University (May 17, 2005) (#1 country) (#2 in the U.S.) (2M copies) features Honkytonk U (#10 country), As Good As I Once Was (#1 country), and Big Blue Note (#5 country). Album #10 White Trash with Money (Apr. 11, 2006) (#2 country) (#2 in the U.S.) (1M copies), released on his own Show Dog Nashville label features Get Drunk and Be Somebody (#3 country), A Little Too Late (#2 country), and Crash Here Tonight (#15 country). Album #11 Big Dog Daddy (June 12, 2007) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) features High Maintenance Woman (#3 country). Album #12 That Don't Make Me a Bad Guy (Oct. 28, 2008) (#1 country) (#5 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features She Never Cried in Front of Me (#1 country) (#42 in the U.S.), God Love Her (#1 country) (#36 in the U.S.), and Lost You Anyway (#10 country) (#69 in the U.S.). Album #13 American Ride (Oct. 6, 2009) (#1 country) (#3 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features American Ride (#1 country). Album #14 Bullets in the Gun (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) features Trailerhood (#19 country), and Somewhere Else (#12 country). Album #15 Clancy's Tavern (Oct. 25, 2011) (Universal Music) (#1 country) (#5 in the U.S.) (500K copies), named after his grandmother's bar in Fort Smith, Ark. features Made in America (#1 country) (#40 in the U.S.), Red Solo Cup (#9 country) (#15 in the U.S.), and Beers Ago (#6 country) (#52 in the U.S.). Album #16 Hope on the Rocks (Oct. 30, 2012) (#3 country) (#6 in the U.S.) (300K copies) features Hope on the Rocks (#18 country), and I Like Girls That Drink Beer (#29 country). Album #17 Drinks After Work (Oct. 29, 2013) (#3 country) (#7 in the U.S.) features Drinks After Work (#28 country) (#102 in the U.S.). He goes on to release 17 studio albums and 40+ charting singles incl. 19 #1s and 16 top-10s, and sell 40M albums worldwide.

Tim McGraw (1967-) Tim McGraw (1967-) and Faith Hill (1967-)

On Apr. 20, 1993 Delhi, La.-born shiny black cowboy-hat loving country singer Samuel Timothy "Tim" McGraw (1967-) (illegitimate son of New York Mets pitcher Tug McGraw, who doesn't acknowledge him until age 18) releases his debut album Tim McGraw, which doesn't chart. Album #2 Not a Moment Too Soon (Mar. 22, 1994) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) features Not a Moment Too Soon (#1 country), Don't Take the Girl (#1 country) (#17 in the U.S.), Indian Outlaw (#8 country) (#15 in the U.S.), Down on the Farm (#2 country), and Refried Dreams (#5 country). Album #3 All I Want (Sept. 19, 1995) (#1 country) (#4 in the U.S.) (3M copies) features All I Want Is a Life (#5 country), I Like It, I Love It (#1 country) (#25 in the U.S.), She Never Lets It Go to Her Heart (#1 country), Can't Be Really Gone (#2 country) (#87 in the U.S.), and Maybe We Should Just Sleep On It. On Oct. 6, 1996 he marries Faith Hill. Album #4 Everywhere (June 3, 1997) (#1 country) (#2 in the U.S.) features Everywhere (#1 country), It's Your Love (w/Faith Hill) (#1 country) (#7 in the U.S.), Just to See You Smile (#1 country), Where the Green Grass Grows (#1 country) (#79 in the U.S.), For a Little While (#2 country) (#37 in the U.S.), and One of These Days (#2 country) (#74 in the U.S.). Album #5 A Place in the Sun (May 4, 1999) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) features Please Remember Me (#1 country) (#10 in the U.S.), Something Like That (#1 country) (#28 in the U.S.), My Best Friend (#1 country) (#29 in the U.S.), My Next Thirty Years (#1 country) (#27 in the U.S.), and Some Things Never Change (#7 country) (#58 in the U.S.). On Apr. 21, 2006-Sept. 1, 2007 he and Faith Hill go on the Soul2Soul II Tour, which plays 74 shows in 56 cities and sells 1.1M tickets, grossing $89M, becoming the highest-grossing tour in country music history (until ?). He goes on to release 13 albums incl. 10 #1 albums, and 50+ singles incl. 25 #1s.

Shania Twain (1965-)

On Apr. 20, 1993 Windsor, Ont., Canada-born country singer-songwriter ("Queen of Country Pop") Shania (Ojibwa "on my way") Twain (Eileen Regina Edwards) (1965-) releases her debut album Shania Twain (#67 country), which flops until she becomes famous, then sells 1.4M copies; it features What Made You Say That, Dance with the One That Brought You, and You Lay a Whole Lot of Love on Me. Album #2 The Woman in Me (Feb. 7, 1995) (#1 country) (#5 in the U.S.) (20M copies) features Any Man of Mine (#1 country) (#31 in the U.S.), Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under? (#11 country) (#87 in the U.S.), The Woman in Me (Needs the Man in You) (#14 country) (#90 in the U.S.), (If You're Not In It for Love) I'm Outta Here! (#1 country) (#74 in the U.S.), You Win My Love (#11 country), No One Needs to Know (#7 country), Home Ain't Where His Heart Is (Anymore) (#28 country), and God Bless the Child (#48 country) (#75 in the U.S.). Album #3 Come On Over (Nov. 4, 1997) (#1 country) (#2 in the U.S.) (40M copies) (best-selling country music album) (best-selling studio album by a female act); incl. Come On Over (#6 country) (#58 in the U.S.), Love Gets Me Every Time (#1 country) (#25 in the U.S.), Man! I Feel Like a Woman! (#4 country) (#23 in the U.S.), Don't Be Stupid (You Know I Love You) (#6 country) (#40 in the U.S.), You're Still the One (#1 country) (#2 in the U.S.), and From This Moment On (#6 country) (#4 in the U.S.). Album #4 Up! (Nov. 18, 2002) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) (20M copies) features Up! (#12 country) (#63 in the U.S.), I'm Gonna Getcha Good! (#7 country) (#34 in the U.S.), She's Not Just a Pretty Face (#9 country) (#56 in the U.S.), and Forever and for Always (#14 country) (#57 in the U.S.). She goes on to release four studio albums and 35 singles and sell 85M records, becoming the best-selling female artist in country music history.

Tracy Byrd (1966-)

On Apr. 27, 1993 Vidor, Tex.-born neotraditionalist country singer Tracy Lynn Byrd (1966-) releases his debut album Tracy Byrd (#24 country) (#115 in the U.S.) (MCA Records) (500K copies), which features Holdin' Heaven (#1 country), That's the Thing About A Memory (#71 country), Someone to Give My Love To (by Johnny Paycheck) (#42 country), and Why Don't That Telephone Ring (#39 country). Album #2 No Ordinary Man (June 7, 1994) (#3 country) (#20 in the U.S.) (2M copies) features The First Step (#5 country), Lifestyles of the Not So Rich and Famous (#4 country) (#115 in the U.S.), Watermelon Crawl (#4 country) (#81 in the U.S.), and The Keeper of the Stars (#2 country) (#68 in the U.S.). Album #3 Love Lessons (July 18, 1995) (#6 country) (#44 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Love Lessons (#9 country) (#119 in the U.S.), Walking to Jerusalem (#15 country) (#92 in the U.S.), 4 to 1 in Atlanta (#21 country), and Heaven in My Woman's Eyes (#14 country). Album #4 Big Love (Oct. 22, 1996) (#12 country) (#106 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Big Love (#3 country), (Don't Take Her) She's All I Got (by Johnny Paycheck) (#4 country), Don't Love Make a Diamond Shine (#17 country), and Good Ol' Fashioned Love (#47 country). Album #5 I'm from the Country (May 12, 1998) (#8 country) (#58 in the U.S.) features I'm from the Country (#3 country) (#63 in the U.S.), and I Wanna Feel That Way Again (#9 country). Album #6 It's About Time (Nov. 2, 1999) (#20 country) (#174 in the U.S.) (RCA Records) features Put Your Hand in Mine (co-written by Jimmy Wayne) (#11 country) (#76 in the U.S.), Love, You Ain't Seen the Last of Me (#44 country), and Take Me with You When You Go (#43 country). Album #7 Ten Rounds (July 24, 2001) (#12 country) (#119 in the U.S.) features Ten Rounds with Jose Cuervo (by Casey Beathard, Michael P. Henney, and Marla Cannon-Goodman) (#1 country) (#26 in the U.S.), A Good Way to Get on My Bad Side (w/Mark Chestnutt) (#21 country) (#121 in the U.S.), and Just Let Me Be in Love (#9 country) (#64 in the U.S.). Album #8 The Truth About Men (July 1, 2003) (#5 country) (#33 in the U.S.) features The Truth About Men (#13 country) (#77 in the U.S.), Drinkin' Bone (#7 country) (#60 in the U.S.), How'd I Wind Up in Jamaica (#53 country). His Greatest Hits (Feb. 8, 2005) album (#14 country) (#61 in the U.S.) features Revenge of a Middle-Aged Woman (#34 country). Album #9 Different Things (Sept. 26, 2006) (#36 country) (#165 in the U.S.), released on his own Blind Mule label features Cheapest Motel (#55 country), and Better Places Than This. He goes on to release nine studio albums and 34 singles incl. three #1s.

Lari White (1965-)

On Apr. 27, 1993 after winning the 1992 You Can Be a Star on the Nashville Network, and releasing the non-charter Flying Above the Rain, Dunedin, Fla.-born country singer Lari Michelle White (1965-) releases her debut album Lead Me Not (RCA Records), which features What a Woman Wants (#44 country), Lead Me Not (#47 country), and Lay Around and Love on You (#68 country). Album #2 Wishes (June 14, 1994) (#24 country) (#125 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features That's My Baby (#10 country), Now I Know (#5 country), and That's How You Know (When You're in Love) (#10 country). Album #3 Don't Fence Me In (Feb. 16, 1996) (#53 country) features Ready, Willing and Able (#20 country), and Wild at Heart (#52 country). In 1997 she and Travis Tritt release Helping Me Get Over You (#18 country). Album #4 Stepping Stone (July 28, 1998) (Lyric Street Records) (#50 country) features Stepping Stone (#16 country) (#73 in the U.S.), Take Me (#32 country) (#125 in the U.S.), and John Wayne Walking Away (#64 country). Album #5 Green Eyed Soul (May 20, 2004) (Skinny White Girl) features Nothing But Love.

'The Thing Called Love', 1993

On July 16, 1993 Peter Bogdanovich's The Thing Called Love (Paramount Pictures) debuts, starring Samantha Mathis as Miranda Presley, who travels from New York City to Nashville, Tenn., where she hangs out at the Bluebird Cafe while trying to make it in country music, and hooks up with James Wright (River Phoenix in his last screen appearance before he OD's in the parking lot of the Viper Room in Los Angeles, Calif.) and Linda Lue Linden (Sandra Bullock); too bad, it only does $1M box office on a $14M budget.

Clay Walker (1969-)

On Aug. 3, 1993 black cowboy hat-loving Beaumont, Tex.-born country singer Ernest Clayton "Clay" Walker (1969-) releases his debut album Clay Walker (#8 country) (#52 in the U.S.) (1M copies), which features What's It to You (co-written by Robert Ellis Orrall) (#1 country) (#73 in the U.S.), Live Until I Die (#1 country) (#107 in the U.S.), Dreaming with My Eyes Open (#1 country), and Where Do I Fit in the Picture (311 country). Album #2 If I Could Make a Living (Sept. 27, 1994) (#4 country) (#42 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features If I Could Make a Living (#1 country) (#121 in the U.S.), This Woman and This Man (#1 country), and My Heart Will Never Know (#16 country). Album #3 Hypnotize the Moon (Oct. 17, 1995) (#10 country) (#57 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features Hypnotize the Moon (#2 country) (#105 in the U.S.), Only on Days That End in 'Y' (#5 country), and Bury the Shovel (#18 country). Album #4 Rumor Has It (Apr. 8, 1997) (#4 country) (#32 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features Rumor Has It (#1 country), Then What? (#2 country) (#65 in the U.S.), Watch This (#4 country), and One, Two, I Love You (#18 country). His compilation album Greatest Hits (June 9, 1998) (#9 country) (#41 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features You're Beginning to Get to Me (#2 country) (#39 in the U.S.), and Ordinary People (#35 country) (#120 in the U.S.). Album #5 Live, Laugh, Love (Aug. 24, 1999) (#5 country) (#55 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Live, Laugh, Love (#11 country) (#65 in the U.S.), The Chain of Love (#3 country) (#40 in the U.S.), She's Always Right (#16 country) (#74 in the U.S.), and Once in a Lifetime Love (#50 country). Album #6 Say No More (Mar. 27, 2001) (#14 country) (#129 in the U.S.) features Say No More (#33 country), and If You Ever Feel Like Lovin' Me Again (#27 country). Album #7 A Few Questions (Sept. 9, 2003) (#3 country) (#23 in the U.S.) features A Few Questions (#9 country) (#55 in the U.S.), I Can't Sleep (#9 country) (#61 in the U.S.), and Jesus Was A Country Boy (#31 country). Album #8 Fall (Apr. 17, 2007) (#5 country) (#15 in the U.S.) features Fall (#5 country) (#56 in the U.S.), 'Fore She Was Mama (#21 country) (#116 in the U.S.), and She Likes It in the Morning (#43 country). Album #9 She Won't Be Lonely Long (June 8, 2010) (#5 country) (#16 in the U.S.) features She Won't Be Lonely Long (#4 country) (#53 in the U.S.), Where Do I Go from Loving You (#26 country), Like We Never Said Goodbye (#46 country), and Jesse James (#57 country). He goes on to release nine studio albums and 31 singles incl. six #1s.

Faith Hill (1967-)

On Oct. 12, 1993 Ridgeland, Miss.-born bleached blonde glam babe country pop singer Faith Hill (Audrey Faith Perry) (1967-) releases her debut album Take Me As I Am (#7 country) (#59 in the U.S.) (4M copies), which features Wild One (#1 country), Piece of My Heart (by Erma Franklin) (#1 country). Album #2 It Matters to Me (Aug. 29, 1995) (#4 country) (#29 in the U.S.) (4M copies) features It Matters to Me (#1 country), Let's Go to Vegas (#5 country), Someone Else's Dream (#3 country), You Can't Lose Me (#6 country), and I Can't Do That Anymore (#8 country). On Oct. 6, 1996 she marries Tim McGraw. Album #3 Faith (Love Will Always Win) (Apr. 21, 1998) (#2 country) (#7 in the U.S.) (6M copies) features This Kiss (#1 country) (#7 in the U.S.), Album #4 Breathe (Nov. 9, 1999) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) (8M copies) features Breathe (#1 country) (#2 in the U.S.), The Way You Love Me (#1 country) (#6 in the U.S.), Let's Make Love (w/Tim McGraw) (#6 country) (#54 in the U.S.), and If My Heart Had Wings (#3 country) (#39 in the U.S.). Album #5 Cry (Oct. 15, 2002) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) (2M copies) features Cry (by Angie Aparo) (#12 country), When the Lights Go Down (#26 country), and You're Still Here (#28 country). Album #6 Fireflies (Aug. 2, 2005) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) (3M copies) features Mississippi Girl (#1 country), Like We Never Loved At All (#5 country), The Lucky One (#5 country), Sunshine and Summertime (#7 country), and Stealing Kisses (#36 country). Her compilation album The Hits (Oct. 2, 2007) (#3 country) (#12 in the U.S.) features Lost (#32 country) (#61 in the U.S.), and Red Umbrella (#28 country) (#121 in the U.S.). Album #7 Joy to the World (Sept. 30, 2008) (#2 country) (#13 in the U.S.) features A Baby Changes Everything (#36 country) (#105 in the U.S.). She goes on to release seven studio albums and 41 singles incl. 11 #1s, and sell 40M records.

Blackhawk

On Oct. 25, 1993 Nashville, Tenn.-based country band Blackhawk, incl. Henry Paul (vocals, guitar) of the Outlaws, Van Stephenson (vocals, guitar), and Dave Robbins (keyboards) releases its debut single Goodbye Says It All (#11 country) (#111 in the U.S.), followed by Every Once in a While (1994) (#2 country), I Sure Can Smell the Rain (1994) (#9 country), Down in Flames (1994) (#10 country), That's Just About Right (1995) (#7 country), I'm Not Strong Enough to Say No (1995) (#2 country) (#104 in the U.S.), Like There Ain't No Yesterday (1995) (#3 country), Almost a Memory Now (1996) (#11 country), Big Guitar (1996) (#17 country), and There You Have It (1998) (#4 country). In 2000 Stephenson quits the group because of skin cancer, and is replaced by Outlaws member Randy Threet.

Junior Brown (1952-)

In 1993 after inventing the "guit-steel" double-neck electric-steel guitar in 1985, Kirksville, Ind.-born country singer Jamieson "Junior" Brown (1952-), releases his first charting single Highway Patrol (#73 country), followed by My Wife Thinks You're Dead (1995) (#68 country). On Oct. 5, 2014 he releases the Better Call Saul Song.

Kenny Chesney (1968-)

On Apr. 19, 1994 Powell, Tenn.-born black cowboy hat-loving country singer Kenneth Arnold "Kenny" Chesney (1968-) releases his debut album In My Wildest Dreams, which features Whatever It Takes (#59 country), and The Tin Man (#70 country). Album #2 All I Need to Know (June 13, 1995) (#39 country) features All I Need to Know (#8 country), Fall in Love (#6 country), and Grandpa Told Me So (#23 country). Album #3 Me and You (June 4, 1996) (#9 country) (#78 in the U.S.) features Me and You (#2 country) (#112 in the U.S.), When I Close My Eyes (#2 country), and Back in My Arms Again (#41 country). Album #4 I Will Stand (July 15, 1997) (#10 country) (#95 in the U.S.) features She's Got It All (#1 country) (#110 in the U.S.), and That's Why I'm Here (#2 country) (#79 in the U.S.). Album #5 Everywhere We Go (Mar. 9, 1999) (#5 country) (#51 in the U.S.) (2M copies) features How Forever Feels (#1 country) (#27 in the U.S.), You Had Me from Hello (#1 country) (#34 in the U.S.), and She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy (#11 country) (#66 in the U.S.). Album #6 No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems (Apr. 23, 2002) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) features No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems (#2 country) (#28 in the U.S.), The Good Stuff (#1 country) (#22 in the U.S.), Young (#2 country) (#35 in the U.S.), Big Star (#2 country) (#28 in the U.S.), and A Lot of Things Different (by Bill Anderson and Dean Dillon) (#6 country) (#55 in the U.S.). Album #8 When the Sun Goes Down (Feb. 3, 2004) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) (4M copies) features When the Sun Goes Down (w/Uncle Kracker) (#1 country) (#26 in the U.S.), There Goes My Life (#1 country) (#29 in the U.S.), Anything But Mine (#1 country) (#48 in the U.S.), I Go Back (#2 country) (#32 in the U.S.), The Woman With You (#2 country) (#33 in the U.S.), and Keg in the Closet (#6 country) (#64 in the U.S.). Album #9 Be As You Are (Songs from an Old Blue Chair) (Jan. 25, 2005) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features no singles. Album #10 The Road and the Radio (Nov. 8, 2005) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) (3M copies) features Living in Fast Forward (#1 country) (#48 in the U.S.), Summertime (#1 country) (#34 in the U.S.), Beer in Mexico (#1 country) (#61 in the U.S.), Who You'd Be Today (#2 country) (#37 in the U.S.), and You Save Me (#3 country) (#41 in the U.S.). Album #11 Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates (Sept. 11, 2007) (#1 country) (#3 in the U.S.) (1M copies), which features Never Wanted Nothing More (by Chris Stapleton) (#1 country) (#22 in the U.S.), Don't Blink (#1 country) (#29 in the U.S.), Better As a Memory (#1 country) (#46 in the U.S.), and Shiftwork (w/George Strait) (#2 country) (#47 in the U.S.). Album #12 Lucky Old Sun (Oct. 14, 2008) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) (500K copies), the first release by Blue Chair Records, his personal subdiv. of BNA Records features Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven (w/The Wailers) (#1 country) (#41 in the U.S.), and Down the Road (w/Mac McAnally) (#1 country) (#47 in the U.S.). Album #13 Hemingway's Whiskey (Sept. 28, 2010) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features The Boys of Fall (#1 country) (#18 in the U.S.), Somewhere With You (#1 country) (#31 in the U.S.), Live a Little (#1 country) (#61 in the U.S.), Reality (#1 country) (#62 in the U.S.), and You and Tequila (by Deana Carter and Matraca Berg) (w/Grace Potter) (#3 country) (#33 in the U.S.). Album #14 Welcome to the Fishbowl (June 19, 2012) (#1 country) (#2 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Come Over (by Sam Hunt, Shane McAnally, and Josh Osborne) (#1 country) (#23 in the U.S.), Feel Like a Rock Star (w/Tim McGraw) (#11 country) (#40 in the U.S.), and El Cerrito Place (#17 country) (#72 in the U.S.). Album #15 Life on a Rock (Apr. 30, 2013) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) features Pirate Flag (#7 country) (#46 in the U.S.), and When I See This Bar (#25 country) (#84 in the U.S.). Album #16 The Big Revival (Sept. 23, 2014) (#1 country) (#2 in the U.S.) features American Kids (#2 country) (#23 in the U.S.). On May 9, 2005 Chesney marries actress Renee Zellweger on St. John Island, then on Sept. 15 they announce plans for an annulment, causing rumors that he's a closet gay. He goes on to release 15 studio albums and 57 singles incl. 30 top-10s and 22 #1s, and sell 30M albums.

David Ball (1953-)

On June 14, 1994 Rock Hill, S.C.-born country singer David Ball (1953-) releases his debut album Thinkin' Problem (Warner Bros. Records) (#6 country) (#53 in the U.S.) (1M copies), which features We're Steppin' Out Tonight (#46 country), and You Go, You're Gone (#55 country). Album #2 David Ball (Nov. 22, 1994) (RCA Records) features Thinkin' Problem (#2 country) (#40 in the U.S.), When the Thought of You Catches Up with Me (#7 country) (#107 in the U.S.), and Look What Followed Me Home (#11 country). Album #3 Starlite Lounge (June 25, 1996) (Warner Bros. Records) (#44 country) features Circle of Friends. Album #4 Play (July 31, 1999) (#60 country) features Watching My Baby Not Coming Back (#47 country). Album #5 Amigo (Oct. 2, 2001) (Dualtone Records) (#11 country) (#120 in the U.S.) features Riding with Private Malone (#2 country) (#36 in the U.S.).

Rhett Akins (1969-)

On Jan. 3, 1995 Valdosta, Ga.-born country singer-songwriter Rhett Akins (Thomas Rhett Akins Sr.) (1969-) releases his debut album A Thousand Memories (Decca Records) (#45 country), which features That Ain't My Truck (#3 country). Album #2 Somebody New (June 4, 1996) (#13 country) (#102 in the U.S.) features Don't Get Me Started (#1 country). In 2004 he joins the country songwriting team The Peach Pickers incl. Dallas Davidson and Ben Hayslip. He goes on to release 14 charting country singes.

Deana Carter (1966-) Fred Carter Jr. (1933-2010)

On Mar. 1, 1995 after Willie Nelson hears her demo tapes and invites her to be the only female soloist in the 1994 Farm Aid VII show, Nashville, Tenn.-born country singer-songwriter Deana Kay Carter (1966-), daughter of Winnsboro, La.-born Simon & Garfunkel/Joan Baez/Leon Helm/Nashville session guitarist Fred Carter Jr. (1933-2010) releases her debut album Did I Shave My Legs for This? (#2 country) (#10 in the U.S.) (Capitol Records) (5M copies), which features Did I Shave My Legs for This? (#25 country) (#85 in the U.S.), Strawberry Wine (#1 country) (#65 in the U.S.), We Danced Anyway (#1 country) (#72 in the U.S.), How Did I Get There (#1 country), and Count Me In. Album #2 Everything's Gonna Be Alright (Oct. 20, 1998) (#6 country) (#57 in the U.S.) features Absence of the Heart (#16 country) (#83 in the U.S.), Angels Working Overtime (#35 country), and You Still Shake Me (#36 country). After they stall putting out her 3rd album, causing her to walk out of her contract with Capitol Records in 2001 and sign with Rounder Records, she releases album #3 Father Christmas (Nov. 2001). Album #4 I'm Just a Girl (Mar. 18, 2003) (Arista Records) features I'm Just a Girl (#40 country), and There's No Limit (#14 country). Album #5 The Story of My Life (Mar. 8, 2005) (Vanguard Records) (#26 country) (#150 in the U.S.) features One Day at a Time (#55 country). Album #6 The Chain (Oct. 9, 2007) (#60 country) features On the Road Again (w/Willie Nelson). In Sept. 2013 she finally makes her Grand Ole Opry debut. Album #7 Southern Way of Life (Nov. 2013) features You and Tequila (co-written by Matraca Berg).

Ty Herndon (1962-)

On Apr. 18, 1995 Meridian, Miss.-born country singer Boyd Tyrone "Ty" Herndon (1962-) releases his debut album What Mattered Most (Epic Records) (#9 country) (#68 in the U.S.) (500K copies), which features What Mattered Most (#1 country) (#90 in the U.S.), I Want My Goodbye Back (#7 country), Heart Half Empty (w/Stephanie Bentley) (#21 country), and In Your Face (#63 country). Album #2 Living in a Moment (Aug. 13, 1996) (#6 country) (#65 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Living in a Moment (#1 country), (I Need to Be) Loved Too Much (#2 country), I Have to Surrender (#17 country), and She Wants to Be Wanted Again (#21 country). Album #3 Big Hopes (May 26, 1998) (#22 country) (#140 in the U.S.) features It Must Be Love (#1 country) (#38 in the U.S.), Hands of a Working Man (#5 country) (#47 in the U.S.), and A Man Holdin' On (To a Woman Lettin' Go) (#5 country) (#81 in the U.S.), Album #4 Steam (Nov. 2, 1999) (#14 country) (#124 in the U.S.) features Steam (#18 country) (#83 in the U.S.), No Mercy (#26 country) (#92 in the U.S.), and A Love Like That (#58 country). Album #5 Right About Now (Jan. 9, 2007) (#41 country) (Titan Records) features Right About Now, and Mighty Mighty Love. On Nov. 20, 2014 he comes out as gay, followed hours later by country singer Billy Gilman (1988-). He goes on to release six studio albums and 20 singles incl. three #1s.

Daryle Singletary (1971-)

On May 23, 1995 Cairo, Ga.-born country singer Daryle Bruce Singletary (1971-) releases his debut album Daryle Singletary (Giant Records) (#44 country), which features I Let Her Lie (#2 country), Too Much Fun (#4 country), and I'm Living Up to Her Low Expectations (#39 country). Album #2 All Because of You (Oct. 8, 1996) (#60 country) features Amen Kind of Love (#2 country), and The Used to Be's (#48 country). Album #3 Ain't It the Truth (Feb. 24, 19980 (#44 country) (#160 in the U.S.) features The Note (#28 country) (#90 in the U.S.), My Baby's Lovin' (#44 country) (#88 in the U.S.), and That's Where You're Wrong (#49 country). Album #4 Now and Again (June 11, 2000) (Audium/Koch Records) features I Knew I Loved You (#55 country). Album #5 That's Why I Sing This Way (Apr. 23, 2002) (#65 country) features That's Why I Sing This Way (#47 country), and I'd Love to Lay You Down (#43 country). Album #6 Straight from the Heart (Feb. 27, 2007) (Shanachie Records) (#74 country) features I Still Sing This Way, and Jesus & Bartenders.

Jack Ingram (1970-)

On Sept. 30, 1995 The Woodlands, Tex.-born country singer Jack Owen Ingram (1970-) releases his debut album Jack Ingram (Crystal Clear Records), which is a non-charter, along with album #2 (1995). Album #3 Livin' or Dyin' (Mar. 25, 1997) (Rising Tide Records) features his first charter Flutter (#51 country). Album #5 Electric (June 4, 2002) (#34 country) (Lucky Dog Records) features One Thing. His live album Live: Wherever You Are (Jan. 10, 2006) (#33 country) (#9 in the U.S.) (Big Machine Records) features Wherever You Are (#1) (#63 in the U.S.), and Love You (#12 country) (#87 in the U.S.). Album #6 This Is It (Mar. 27, 2007) (#4 country) (Big Machine Records) features Lips of an Angel (by Hinder) (#16 country) (#77 in the U.S.), Measure of a Man (co-written by Radney Foster) (#18 country) (#108 in the U.S.), and Maybe She'll Get Lonely (#24 country). On May 19, 2008 he wins the Academy of Country Music Award for best new male vocalist. Album #7 Big Dreams & High Hopes (Aug. 25, 2009) (#21 country) features Big Dreams & High Hopes (co-written by Gary Burr), That's a Man (#18 country) (#104 in the U.S.), Barefoot and Crazy (#10 country) (#64 in the U.S.), Free (#42 country), Seeing Stars (co-written by Chris Tompkins) (w/Patty Griffin) (#54 country), Barbie Doll (co-written by Todd Snider) (#56 country). On Aug. 26, 2009 he sets a Guinness world record for most radio interviews in one day (215).

Pat Green (1972-)

On Dec. 10, 1995 San Antonio, Tex.-born country singer Patrick Craven "Pat" Green (1972-) releases his debut album Dancehall Dreamer, which is a non-charter, as are the next two albums (1997, 2000). Album #4 Three Days (Oct. 16, 2001) (#7 country) (#86 in the U.S.) features Three Days (#36 country), Texas on My Mind (w/Cory Morrow) (#60 country), and Carry On (#35 country). Album #5 Wave on Wave (July 15, 2003) (#2 country) (#10 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Wave on Wave (#3 country) (#39 in the U.S.), and Guy Like Me (#31 country). Album #6 Lucky Ones (Oct. 19, 2004) (#6 country) (#28 in the U.S.) features Don't Break My Heart Again (#21 country) (#116 in the U.S.), Baby Doll (#21 country) (#124 in the U.S.), and Somewhere Between Texas Mexico (#42 country). Album #7 Cannonball (Aug. 22, 2006) (#2 country) (#20 in the U.S.) features Feels Just Like It Should (#13 country) (#80 in the U.S.), Dixie Lullaby (#24 country), and Way Back Texas (#28 country). Album #8 What I'm For (Jan. 27, 2009) (#2 country) (#18 in the U.S.) features What I'm For (#28 country), Let Me (#12 country) (#81 in the U.S.), and Country Star (#32 country). Album #9 Songs We Wish We'd Written II (May 8, 2012) (#15 country) (#59 in the U.S.) features Austin, and Even the Losers. In 2014 he releases Girls from Texas (w/Lyle Lovett).

Jo Dee Messina (1970-)

On Mar. 26, 1996 Holliston, Mass.-born country singer Jo Dee Marie Messina (1970-) releases her debut album Jo Dee Messina (#22 country) (#146 in the U.S.) (500K copies), which features Heads Carolina, Tails California (#2 country) (#111 in the U.S.), You're Not in Kansas Anymore (#7 country), Do You Wanna Make Something of It? (#53 country), and He'd Never Seen Julie Cry (#64 country). Album #2 I'm Alright (Mar. 17, 1998) (#5 country) (#61 in the U.S.) (2M copies) features I'm Alright (#1 country) (#43 in the U.S.), Bye, Bye (#1 country) (#43 in the U.S.), Stand Beside Me (#1 country) (#34 in the U.S.), Lesson in Leavin' (#2 country) (#28 in the U.S.), and Because You Love Me (#8 country) (#53 in the U.S.). Album #3 Burn (Aug. 1, 2000) (#1 country) (#19 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features Burn (#2 country) (#42 in the U.S.), That's the Way (#1 country) (#25 in the U.S.), Bring On the Rain (w/Tim McGraw) (#1 country) (#36 in the U.S.), Downtime (#5 country) (#46 in the U.S.), and Dare to Dream (#23 country). Album #4 Delicious Surprise (Apr. 26, 2005) (#1 country) (#7 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Delicious Surprise (I Believe It) (#23 country), My Give a Damn's Busted (#1 country) (#63 in the U.S.), Not Going Down (#28 country), and It's Too Late to Worry (#33 country). Album #5 Me (Mar. 18, 2014) (#19 country) (#156 in the U.S.) features Peace Sign, A Woman's Rant, and He's Messed Up. She goes on to release five studio albums and 24 singles incl. six #1s.

Gillian Welch (1967-) Gillian Welch (1967-) and David Rawlings

On Apr. 9, 1996 New York City-born folk-Appalachian bluegrass singer-songwriter Gillian Howard Welch (1967-) releases her debut album Revival (Almo Sounds), the first with musical partner David Todd Rawlings, which features Acony Bell, and Annabelle. Album #2 Hell Among the Yearlings (July 28, 1998) (#181 in the U.S.) features Caleb Meyer, Good Til Now, and The Devil Had a Hold of Me. Album #3 Time (The Revelator) (July 31, 2001) (#157 in the U.S.) (Acony Records) features Revelator, and I Want to Sing that Rock and Roll. Album #4 Soul Journey (June 3, 2007) (#107 in the U.S.) features Make Me a Pallet on Your Floor, and No One Knows My Name. Album #5 The Harrow & The Harvest (June 28, 2011) (#20 in the U.S.) (#25 in the U.K.) features Scarlet Town, Dark Turn of Mind, Down Along the Dixie Line, and Six White Horses. She goes on to release five studio albums.

Mindy McCready (1975-2013)

On Apr. 30, 1996 Fort Myers, Fla.-born country singer (Nashville Broncos fan) Malinda Gayle "Mindy" McCready (1975-2013) releases her debut album Ten Thousand Angels (#5 country) (#40 in the U.S.) (2M copies), which features Ten Thousand Angels (#6 country), Guys Do It All the Time (#1 country), A Girl's Gotta Do (What a Girl's Gotta Do) (#4 country), and Maybe He'll Notice Her Now (w/Richie McDonald) (#18 country). Album #2 If I Don't Stay the Night (Nov. 4, 1997) (#12 country) (#83 in the U.S.) (#41 in the U.K.) (800K copies) features What If I Do, The Other Side of This Kiss, You'll Never Know. Album #3 I'm Not So Tough (Sept. 14, 1999) (#17 country) (#155 in the U.S.) (140K copies) features I'm Not So Tough, and All I Want Is Everything. Album #4 Mindy McCready (Mar. 26, 2002) (#29 country) features Scream, Maybe, Maybe Not, and Lips Like Yours. Album #5 I'm Still Here (Mar. 23, 2010) (#71 country) features I'm Still Here. After a series of broken love affairs with actor Dean Cain, aspiring singer William Patrick "Billy" McKnight, baseball star Roger Clemens et al., she goes on to release five studio albums and 15 singles before committing suicide on Feb. 17, 2013 on her front porch in Cleburne County, Ark. 1 mo. after her beau David Wilson did ditto; she also shoots Wilson's dog.

Mark Wills (1973-)

On June 11, 1996 Cleveland, Tenn.-born Blue Ridge, Ga.-raised country singer Mark Wills (Daryl Mark Williams) (1973-) releases his debut album Mark Wills (Mercury Records) (#38 country), which features Jacob's Ladder (#6 country), Places I've Never Been (#5 country), and High Low and In Between (#33 country). Album #2 Wish You Were Here (May 5, 1998) (#8 country) (#74 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features Wish You Were Here (#1 country) (#34 in the U.S.), I Do (Cherish You) (#2 country) (#72 in the U.S.), Don't Laugh at Me (#2 country) (#73 in the U.S.), and She's in Love (#7 country) (#60 in the U.S.). Album #3 Permanently (Jan. 11, 2000) (#3 country) (#23 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Back at One (#2 country) (#36 in the U.S.), Almost Doesn't Count (#19 country) (#106 in the U.S.), and I Want to Know (Everything There Is to Know About You) (#33 country). Album #4 Loving Every Minute (Aug. 21, 2001) (#10 country) (#93 in the U.S.) features Loving Every Minute (#18 country) (#107 in the U.S.), and I'm Not Gonna Do Anything Without You (w/Jamie O'Neal) (#31 country). His compilation album Greatest Hits (Nov. 5, 2002) (#16 country) (#140 in the U.S.) features 19 Somethin' (#1 country) (#23 in the U.S.), and When You Think of Me (#28 country). Album #5 And the Crowd Goes Wild (Oct. 21, 2003) (#5 country) (#68 in the U.S.) features And the Crowd Goes Wild (#29 country), That's a Woman (#40 country), and What Hurts the Most. Album #6 Familiar Stranger (Nov. 4, 2008) (Tenacity Records) features Take It All Out on Me (#47 country), and Days of Thunder (#50 country). Album #7 Looking for America (June 21, 2011) (Gracie Productions) (#55 country) features Looking for America, and Crazy Being Home.

Trace Adkins (1962-)

On June 25, 1996 Sarepta, La.-born country singer Tracy Darrell "Trace" Adkins (1962-) releases his debut album Dreamin' Out Loud (#6 country) (#53 in the U.S.), which features There's a Girl in Texas (#20 country), (This Ain't) No Thinkin' Thing (#1 country), Every Light in the House (#3 country) (#78 country), and I Left Something Turned On At Home (#2 country). Album #2 Big Time (Oct. 21, 1997) (#7 country) (#50 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features The Rest of Mine (#4 country) (#70 in the U.S.), and Lonely Won't Leave Me Alone (#11 country) (#112 in the U.S.). Album #3 Chrome (Oct. 9, 2001) (#4 country) (#59 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features I'm Tryin' (#6 country) (#44 in the U.S.). Album #4 Comin' On Strong (Dec. 2, 2003) (#3 country) (#31 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Hot Mama (#5 country) (#51 in the U.S.), and Rough and Ready (#13 country) (#75 in the U.S.). Album #5 Songs About Me (Mar. 22, 2005) (#1 country) (#11 in the U.S.) (1.5M copies) features Songs About Me (#2 country) (#59 in the U.S.), and Honky Tonk Badonkadonk (by Jamey Johnson, Dallas Davidson, and Randy Houser) (#2 country) (#30 in the U.S.). Album #6 Dangerous Man (Aug. 15, 2006) (#1 country) (#3 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Ladies Love Country Boys (co-written by Jamey Johnson) (#1 country) (#61 in the U.S.). Album #7 American Man: Greatest Hits Volume II (Dec. 4, 2007) (#3 country) (#22 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features You're Gonna Miss This (#1 country) (#12 in the U.S.), and I Got My Game On (written by Lee Thomas Miller and Ashley Gorley) (#34 country). Album #8 X (Nov. 25, 2008) (#7 country) (#32 in the U.S.) features Marry for Money (#14 country) (#98 in the U.S.), All I Ask for Anymore (#14 country) (#95 in the U.S.), and Muddy Water (#22 country) (#109 in the U.S.). Album #9 Cowboy's Back in Town (Aug. 17, 2010) (#1 country) (#5 in the U.S.) features This Ain't No Love Song (#15 country). Album #10 Proud to Be Here (Aug. 2, 2011) (#2 country) (#3 in the U.S.) features Just Fishin' (by Casey Beathard, Monty Criswell, and Ed Hill) (#6 country) (#61 in the U.S.), and Million Dollar View (#38 country).

LeAnn Rimes (1982-)

On July 9, 1996 after a slew of failed self-published albums, Jackson, Miss.-born country-pop singer (Patsy Cline wannabe) Margaret LeAnn Rimes (1982-) releases her debut major label studio album Blue (Curb Records) (#1 country) (#3 in the U.S.) (6M copies), whose success helps stop country music's decline, making her the successor of Patsy Cline, and the youngest country music star since Tanya Tucker in 1972; it features Blue (#10 country), One Way Ticket (Because I Can) (#1 country), The Light in Your Eyes (#10 country), and Hurt Me. Album #3 Sittin' On Top of the World (May 5, 1998) (#2 country) (#3 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features Insensitive (by Jann Arden), and Purple Rain (by Prince). Album #4 LeAnn Rimes (Oct. 26, 1999) (#1 country) (#8 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features Big Deal (#6 country). Album #5 Twisted Angel (Oct. 1, 2002) (#3 country) (#12 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Life Goes On (#60 country) (#38 in the U.S.), and Suddenly (#43 country). Album #7 This Woman (Jan. 25, 2005) (#2 country) (#3 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Something's Gotta Give (#2 country), Probably Wouldn't Be This Way (#3 country), and Nothing 'bout Love Makes Sense (#5 country). She goes on to release 10+ albums and 40 singles, and sell 37M records worldwide.

Gary Allan (1967-)

On Sept. 24, 1996 La Mirada, Calif.-born Bakersfield Sound country singer Gary Allan (Herzberg) (1967-) releases his debut album Used Heart for Sale (Decca Records) (#20 country) (#136 in the U.S.) (500K copies), which features Used Heart for Sale, Her Man (#7 country), Forever and a Day (#44 country), From Where I'm Sitting (#43 country), and Living in a House Full of Love (#43 country). Album #2 It Would Be You (May 19, 1998) (#21 country) (#132 in the U.S.) features It Would Be You (#7 country) (#101 in the U.S.), No Man in His Wrong Heart (#43 country), and I'll Take Today (#47 country). Album #3 Smoke Rings in the Dark (Oct. 26, 1999) (MCA Records) (#9 country) (#84 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features Smoke Rings in the Dark (#12 country) (#5 in the U.S.), Lovin' You Against My Will (#34 country), and Right Where I Need to Be (#5 country) (#42 in the U.S.). Album #4 Alright Guy (Oct. 2, 2001) (#4 country) (#39 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features Man to Man (#1 country) (#25 in the U.S.), The One (#3 country) (#37 in the U.S.), and Man of Me (#18 country) (#107 in the U.S.). Album #5 See If I Care (Sept. 30, 2003) (#2 country) (#17 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features See If I Care, Tough Little Boys (#1 country) (#32 in the U.S.), Nothing On But the Radio (by Byron Hill, Brice Long, and Odie Blackmon) (#1 country) (#32 in the U.S.), and Songs About Rain (#12 country) (#71 in the U.S.). Album #6 Tough All Over (Oct. 11, 2005) (#1 country) (#3 in the U.S.) (500K copies), recorded after his wife's suicide features Best I Ever Had (#7 country) (#51 in the U.S.) (500K copies), Life Ain't Always Beautiful (#4 country) (#61 in the U.S.). His compilation album Greatest Hits (Mar. 26, 2007) (#1 country) (#5 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features A Feelin' Like That (#12 country) (#94 in the U.S.), and As the Crow Flies. Album #7 Living Hard (Oct. 23, 2007) (#3 country) (#3 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Watching Airplanes (#2 country) (#43 in the U.S.), Learning How to Bend (#13 country) (#96 in the U.S.), and She's So California (#24 country). Album #8 Get Off on the Pain (Mar. 9, 2010) (#2 country) (#5 in the U.S.) (200K copies) features Get Off on the Pain (#18 country) (#101 in the U.S.), Today (#18 country) (#106 in the U.S.), and Kiss Me When I'm Down (#38 country). Album #9 Set You Free (Jan. 22, 2013) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) (200K copies) features Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain) (#1 country) (#26 country) (1M copies), Pieces (#29 country) (#105 in the U.S.), and It Ain't the Whiskey (#40 country). He goes on to release nine studio albums and 26 singles incl. four #1s.

Joe Nichols (1976-)

On Aug. 27, 1996 Rogers, Ark.-born country singer Joseph Edward "Joe" Nichols (1976-) releases his debut album Joe Nichols (Intersound Records), which features Six of One, Half a Dozen of the Other, flopping so bad that he starts selling steaks door-to-door. Album #2 Man With A Memory (July 23, 2002) (Universal South Records) (#9 country) (#72 in the U.S.) (1M copies), which features Brokenheartsville (#1 country) (#27 in the U.S.), The Impossible (by Lee Thomas Miller and Kelley Lovelace) (#3 country) (#29 in the U.S.), She Only Smokes When She Drinks (#17 country) (#72 in the U.S.), and Cool to Be A Fool (#18 country) (#106 in the U.S.). Album #3 Revelation (June 29, 2004) (#3 country) (#23 in the U.S.) features What's A Guy Gotta Do (#4 country) (#64 in the U.S.), and If Nobody Believed in You (#10 country) (#68 in the U.S.). Album #4 III (Oct. 25, 2005) (#2 country) (#7 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off (#1 country) (#32 in the U.S.), I'll Wait for You (#7 country) (#71 in the U.S.), and Size Matters (Someday) (#9 country) (#73 in the U.S.). Album #5 Real Things (Aug. 21, 2007) (#2 country) (#23 in the U.S.) features Another Side of You (co-written by Jamey Johnson) (#17 country) (#99 in the U.S.), and It Ain't No Crime (#16 country) (#105 in the U.S.). Album #6 Old Things New (Oct. 27, 2009) (#15 country) (#71 in the U.S.) features Gimmie That Girl (#1 country) (#34 in the U.S.), and The Shape I'm In (#17 country) (#91 in the U.S.). Album #7 It's All Good (Nov. 8, 2011) (#19 country) (#78 in the U.S.) features Take It Off (#25 country) (#122 in the U.S.). Album #8 Crickets (Oct. 8, 2013) (#3 country) (#17 in the U.S.) features Sunny and 75 (#4 country) (#39 in the U.S.), and Yeah (#7 country) (#41 in the U.S.).

BR5-49

On Sept. 16, 1996 Nashville, Tenn.-based retro country band BR5-49, incl. Gary Bennett (vocals, guitar), Don Herron (steel guitar), "Smilin'" Jay McDowell (bass), Chuck Mead (vocals, guitar), and "Hawk" Shaw Wilson (drums) releases their debut album BR5-49, which features Cherokee Boogie (#44 country), Even If It's Wrong (#68 country), and Little Ramona (Gone Hillbilly Nuts) (#61 country). Album #2 Big Backyard Beat Show (July 28, 1998) (#33 country) features Wild One, and Seven Nights to Rock. Album #3 Coast to Coast (Apr. 4, 2000) (#46 country) features Better Than This, and Waitin' for the Axe. Album #4 This is BR549 (June 26, 2001) (#54 country) features Fool of the Century, and Too Lazy to Work, Too Nervous to Steal. In 2001 Bennett and McDowell are replaced by Chris Scruggs and Geoff Firebaugh, who later leave and are replaced by bassist Mark Miller. Album #5 Tangled in the Pines (Mar. 9, 2004) (#58 country) features Tangled in the Pines, and That's What I Get. Album #6 (last) Dog Days (Jan. 10, 2006) features The Devil & Me (w/The Jordanaires).

Lee Ann Womack (1966-)

On May 13, 1997 Jacksonville, Tex.-born country singer-songwriter Lee Ann Womack (1966-) releases her debut album Lee Ann Womack (#9 country) (#106 in the U.S.) (1M copies), which features The Fool (#2 country), You've Got to Talk to Me (#2 country), Buckaroo (#27 country), and Never Again, Again (#23 country). Album #2 Some Things I Know (Sept. 22, 1998) (#20 country) (#136 in the U.S.) features A Little Past Little Rock (#2 country), and I'll Think of a Reason Later (#2 country). Album #3 I Hope You Dance (May 23, 2000) (#1 country) (#16 in the U.S.) features I Hope You Dance (#1 country), Ashes by Now, Why They Call It Falling, and Does My Ring Burn Your Finger. Album #4 Something Worth Leaving Behind (Aug. 20, 2002) (#2 country) (#16 in the U.S.) is dissed by Brian Mansfield of USA Today, with the soundbyte: "Womack's ill-advised crossover ploy and a makeover that made her look like Britney Spears' mother made one of Nashville's most respected singers the butt of jokes"; it features Something Worth Leaving Behind (#20 country), and Forever Everyday. Album #5 There's More Where That Came From (Feb. 8, 2005) (#3 country) (#12 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features I May Hate Myself in the Morning (w/Jason Sellers) (#10 country), He Oughta Know That by Now (#22 country), and Twenty Years and Two Husbands Ago (#32 country). Album #6 Call Me Crazy (Oct. 21, 2008) (#4 country) (#23 in the U.S.) features Last Call (#14 country) (#77 in the U.S.), and Solitary Thinkin' (#39 country).

Sara Evans (1971-) Harlan Howard (1927-2002)

On July 1, 1997 Boonville, Mo.-born country singer-songwriter Sara Lynn Evans (1971-) releases Three Chords and the Truth (#56 country), a famous quote about what a great country song is by "I Fall to Pieces" songwriter Harlan Perry Howard (1927-2002), which features Three Chords and the Truth (#44 country), True Lies (#59 country), and Shame About That (#48 country). Album #2 No Place That Far (Sept. 15, 1998) (#11 country) (#116 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features No Place That Far (#1 country) (#37 in the U.S.), Fool I'm a Woman (#32 country), and Cryin' Game (#56 country). Album #3 Born to Fly (Oct. 10, 2000) (#6 country) (#55 in the U.S.) (2M copies) features Born to Fly (#1 country) (#34 in the U.S.), I Could Not Ask for More (#2 country) (#35 in the U.S.), I Keep Looking (#5 country) (#35 in the U.S.), and Saints & Angels (#16 country) (#103 in the U.S.). Album #4 Restless (Aug. 19, 2003) (#3 country) (#20 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features Backseat of a Greyhound Bus (#16 country) (#103 in the U.S.), Perfect (#2 country) (#46 in the U.S.), Suds in the Bucket (#1 country) (#33 in the U.S.) (500K copies), and Tonight (#41 country). Album #5 Real Fine Place (Oct. 4, 2005) (#1 country) (#3 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features A Real Fine Place to Start (#1 country) (#38 in the U.S.) (500K copies), Cheatin' (#9 country) (#69 in the U.S.), You'll Always Be My Baby (#13 country) (#105 in the U.S.), and Coalmine (#37 country). Her first Greatest Hits album (Oct. 9, 2007) (#3 country) (#8 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features As If (#11 country) (#62 in the U.S.), Some Things Never Change (#26 country), and Love You With All My Heart. Album #6 Stronger (Mar. 8, 2011) (#1 country) (#6 in the U.S.) features A Little Bit Stronger (#1 country) (#34 in the U.S.) (1M copies), My Heart Can't Tell You No (#21 country) (#105 in the U.S.), and Anywhere (#53 country). Album #7 Slow Me Down (Mar. 11, 2014) (#2 country) (#9 in the U.S.) features Slow Me Down (#19 country) (#89 in the U.S.), and Put My Heart Down. She goes on to release seven studio albums and 29 singles.

Dixie Chicks

On June 27, 1998 the Dallas, Tex.-based alternative country music band Dixie Chicks (formed in 1989), incl. Natalie Maines (Natalie Louise Maines Pasdar) (1974-), Emily Robinson (Emily Burns Erwin) (1972-), and Martie Erwin Maguire (Martha Elenor Erwin) (1969-) (violin) release their breakthrough album #4 Wide Open Spaces, (#1 country) (#4 in the U.S.) (14M copies), which features Wide Open Spaces (#1 country) (#41 in the U.S.), There's Trouble (#1 country) (#36 in the U.S.), You Were Mine (#1 country) (#34 in the U.S.), Tonight the Heartache's on Me (#6 country) (#46 in the U.S.), and I Can Love You Better (#7 country) (#77 in the U.S.). On Mar. 10, 2013 9 days before the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, Maines tells an audience in London: "We don't want this war, this violence, and we're ashamed that the president of the United States is from Texas", pissing-off Americans, who boycott them for years even though Maines apologizes on Mar. 14. They go on to sell 30M+ albums worldwide.

Brad Paisley (1972-)

On June 1, 1999 Glen Dale, W. Va.-born country singer-songwriter Brad Douglas Paisley (1972-) releases his debut album Who Needs Pictures (#13 country) (#102 in the U.S.) (Arista Records), which features Who Needs Pictures (#12 country) (#65 in the U.S.), We Danced (#1 country) (#29 in the U.S.), He Didn't Have to Be (co-written by Kelley Lovelace) (#1 country) (#30 in the U.S.), and Me Neither (#18 country) (#85 in the U.S.). In 1999 Brad Paisley, songwriter Frank Rogers, and producer/songwriter Chris DuBois found Sea Gayle Music in Nashville, Tenn., which wins ASCAP country publisher of the year in 2010-11. Album #2 Part II (May 29, 2001) (#3 country) (#31 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features I'm Gonna Miss Her (The Fishin' Song) (#1 country) (#29 in the U.S.), Wrapped Around (#2 country) (#35 in the U.S.), Two People Fell in Love (#4 country) (#51 in the U.S.), I Wish You'd Stay (#7 country) (#57 in the U.S.), and Too Country (w/Buck Owens, Bill Anderson, and George Jones) (by Bill Anderson and Chuck Cannon). Album #3 Mud on the Tires (July 22, 2003) (Arista Records) (#1 country) (#8 in the U.S.) (2M copies) features Mud on the Tires (#1 country) (#30 in the U.S.), Little Moments (#2 country) (#35 in the U.S.), Celebrity (#3 country) (#31 in the U.S.), and Whiskey Lullaby (w/Alison Krauss) (#3 country) (#41 in the U.S.). Album #4 Time Well Wasted (Aug. 16, 2005) (#1 country) (#2 in the U.S.) (2M copies) features The World (co-written by Lee Thomas Miller) (#1 country) (#45 in the U.S.), She's Everything (#1 country) (#35 in the U.S.), When I Get Where I'm Going (w/Dolly Parton) (#1 country) (#39 in the U.S.), and Alcohol (#4 country) (#28 in the U.S.). Album #5 5th Gear (June 19, 2007) (#1 country) (#3 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features Ticks (co-written by Kelley Lovelace) (#1 country) (#40 in the U.S.), Online (co-written by Kelley Lovelace and Chris Dubois) (#1 country) (#39 in the U.S.), Letter to Me (#1 country) (#40 in the U.S.), I'm Still a Guy (co-written by Lee Thomas Miller) (#1 country) (#33 in the U.S.), and Waitin' on a Woman (w/Andy Griffith) (#1 country) (#44 in the U.S.). Album #6 Play: The Guitar album (Nov. 4, 2008) (#1 country) (#9 in the U.S.) features Start a Band (w/Keith Urban) (by Dallas Davidson, Kelley Lovelace, and Ashley Gorley) (#1 country) (#55 in the U.S.). Album #7 American Saturday Night (by Ashley Gorley and Kelley Lovelace) (June 30, 2009) (#1 country) (#2 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features American Saturday Night (#2 country) (#67 in the U.S.), Then (co-written by Ashley Gorley and Chris DuBois) (#1 country) (#28 in the U.S.), Water (co-written by Kelley Lovelace and Chris Dubois) (#1 country) (#42 in the U.S.), and Welcome to the Future (#2 country) (#42 in the U.S.). Album #8 This Is Country Music (May 23, 2011) (#1 country) (#2 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features This Is Country Music (#2 country) (#58 in the U.S.), Old Alabama (w/Alabama) (#1 country) (#38 in the U.S.), Remind Me (w/Carrie Underwood) (co-written by Kelley Lovelace and Chris DuBois) (#1 country) (#17 in the U.S.), and Camouflage (#15 country) (#87 in the U.S.). Album #9 Wheelhouse (Apr. 9, 2013) (#1 country) (#2 in the U.S.) (200K copies) features Southern Comfort Zone (#10 country) (#54 in the U.S.), Beat This Summer (#9 country) (#46 in the U.S.), I Can't Change the World (#33 country) (#122 in the U.S.), and The Mona Lisa (#24 country) (#105 in the U.S.). Album #10 Moonshine in the Trunk (Aug. 26, 2014) (#1 country) (#2 in the U.S.) features River Bank (#2 country) (#54 in the U.S.), and Perfect Storm (#17 country) (#85 in the U.S.). He goes on to release 10 studio albums selling 12M copies, and score 32 top-10 and 18 #1 country singles incl. a record 10 consecutive #1s.

Broken Bow Records Logo

In July 1999 Broken Bow Records is founded in Nashville, Tenn. by Benny Brown to produce country music; its first #1 country hit is "That's What I Love About Sunday" by Craig Morgan (2005), followed by "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not" by Thompson Square (2011), and 10+ by Jason Aldean; in 2009 it launches sister label Stoney Creek Records, followed in 2012 by Red Bow Records.

Keith Urban (1967-)

On Oct. 19, 1999 Whangarei, Northland, New Zealand-born country singer-songwriter Keith Lionel Urban (1967-) releases his breakthrough album Keith Urban (#17 country) (#145 in the U.S.), which features But for the Grace of God (#1 country) (#37 in the U.S.), Where the Blacktop Ends (#3 country) (#35 in the U.S.), Your Everything (#4 country) (#51 in the U.S.), and It's a Love Thing (#18 country) (#105 in the U.S.). In 2006 he marries actress Nicole Kidman. He goes on to release nine studio albums and 31 charting singles incl. 16 #1s.

Sixth Generation of Country Music (2000-)

'Songcatcher', 2000

On Jan. 25, 2000 Maggie Greenwald's Songcatcher (Lionsgate Pictures) debuts, starring Janet McTeer as early 1900s Am. musicologist Lily Penleric (based on folklorist Olive Dame Campbell), who visits the Appalachians to collect folk songs, hooking up with stud musician Tom Bledsoe (Aidan Quinn); Steve Sutherland plays English folklorist Cecil Sharp; soundtrack features Fair and Tender Ladies by Rosanne Cash, Pretty Saro by Iris DeMent, Barbara Allen by Emmy Rossum, Barbara Allen by Emmylou Harris, Mary of the Wild Moor by Sara Evans, Wind and Rain by Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, and The Cuckoo Bird by Deana Carter, and Conversation with Death by Hazel Dickens; does $3M box office on a $1.8M budget.

Rascal Flatts

On June 6, 2000 Columbus, Ohio-based country pop/rock music band Rascal Flatts, incl. Gary LeVox (Gary Wayne Vernon Jr.) (1970-) (vocals), Jay DeMarcus (Stanley Wayne DeMarcus Jr.) (1971-) (bass, keyboards), and Joe Don Rooney (1975-) (guitar) releases their debut album Rascal Flatts (#3 country) (#43 in the U.S.) (2M copies), which features Prayin' for Daylight (Feb. 21) (#3 country) (#38 in the U.S.), and I'm Movin' On (Oct. 8, 2001) (#4 country) (#41 in the U.S.). Album #2 Melt (Oct. 29, 2002) (#1 country) (#5 in the U.S.) features These Days (#1 country) (#23 in the U.S.), Mayberry (#1 country) (#21 in the U.S.), I Melt (#2 country) (#34 in the U.S.), and Love You Out Loud (#3 country) (#30 in the U.S.). Album #3 Feels Like Today (Sept. 28, 2004) #1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) (5M copies) features Feels Like Today (#9 country) (#56 in the U.S.), Bless the Broken Road (#1 country) (#29 in the U.S.), Fast Cars and Freedom (#1 country) (#38 in the U.S.), and Skin (Sarabeth) (#2 country) (#42 in the U.S.). Album #4 Me and My Gang (Apr. 4, 2006) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) (5M copies) features Me and My Gang (#6 country) (#50 in the U.S.), What Hurts Most (#1 country) (#6 in the U.S.), My Wish (#1 country) (#28 in the U.S.), Stand (by Danny Orton) (#1 country) (#46 in the U.S.), Life Is a Highway (#18 country) (#7 in the U.S.), and Backwards ("When you play a country song backwards/ You get your house back/ You get your dog back/ You get your best friend Jack back/ You get your truck back/ You get your hair back/ Ya get your first and second wives back/ Your front porch swing/ Your pretty little thing/ Your bling bling bling and a diamond ring/ Your get your farm and the barn and the boat and the Harley/ First night in jail with Charlie/ It sounds a little crazy, a little scattered and absurd/ But that's what you get when you play a country song backwards.") Album #5 Still Feels Good (Sept. 25, 2007) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) (2M copies) features Take Me There (#1 country) (#19 in the U.S.), Here (#1 country) (#50 in the U.S.), Winner at a Losing Game (#2 country) (#52 in the U.S.), Every Day (#2 country) (#45 in the U.S.), and Bob That Head (#15 country) (#102 in the U.S.).

Billy Gilman (1988-)

On June 20, 2000 Westerly, R.I.-born cute preteenie country singer William Wendell "Billy" Gilman III (1988-) releases his debut album One Voice (Epic Records) (#2 country) (#22 in the U.S.) (2M copies), which features One Voice (#20 country) (#38 in the U.S.), and Oklahoma (#33 country) (#63 in the U.S.). Album #2 Dare to Dream (May 8, 2001) (#6 country) (#45 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features She's My Girl (#50 country), and Elisabeth (#56 country). Album #3 Music Through Heartsongs: Songs Based on the Poems of Mattie J.T. Stepanek (Apr. 15, 2003) (#15 country) (#109 in the U.S.) features For Our World. Album #4 Everything and More (May 3, 2005) (#39 country) (Image Entertainment) features Everything and More. Album #5 Billy Gilman (Sept. 6, 2006) (#55 country) features Gonna Find Love, and Southern Star. On Nov. 20, 2014 he comes out as gay, hours after country star Ty Herndon (1962-), expressing concerns about his career future.

Darryl Worley (1964-)

On July 18, 2000 Memphis, Tenn.-born country singer Darryl Wade Worley (1964-) releases his debut album Hard Rain Don't Last (#33 country) (DreamWorks Records), which features When You Need My Love (#20 country), A Good Day to Run (#12 country) (#76 in the U.S.), Second Wind (#20 country), and Sideways (#41 country). Album #2 I Miss My Friend (July 16, 2002) (#1 country) (#21 in the U.S.) features I Miss My Friend (#1 country). Album #3 Have You Forgotten? (#1 country) (#4 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features I Will Hold My Ground (#1 country), and Tennessee River Run. Album #4 Darryl Worley (Nov. 2, 2004) (#12 country) (#72 in the U.S.) features Awful, Beautiful Life (#1 country), If Something Should Happen (#10 country), and I Love Her, She Hates Me (#59 country). Album #5 Here and Now (Nov. 21, 2006) (903 Music) (#35 country) (#187 in the U.S.) features Nothing' but a Love Thang (#36 country), I Just Came Back from a War (#18 country), and Living in the Here and Now (#54 country). Album #6 Sounds Like Life (June 9, 2009) (Stroudavarous Records) (#26 country) (#172 in the U.S.) features Sounds Like Life to Me (#11 country) (#84 in the U.S.), Tequila on Ice (#44 country), and Best of Both Worlds (#43 country).

'O Brother, Where Art Thou?', 2000

On Dec. 22, 2000 Joel Coen's and Ethan Coen's O Brother, Where Art Thou? (Touchstone Pictures) debuts, based on Homer's poem "The Odyssey", set in 1937 Mississippi and satirizing the 1941 Preston Sturges flick "Sullivan's Travels", starring George Clooney, John Turturro, and Tim Blake Nelson as escaped chained cons Everett Ulysses McGill, Pete Hogwallop, and Delmar O'Donnell, who are looking for a buried $1.2M bank heist loot before a flood washes it away, while singing with the Soggy Bottom Boys; John Goodman plays 1-eyed Bible salesman Daniel "Big Dan" Teague (Polyphemus), and Holly Hunter plays Penny (Penelope); the hillbilly music soundtrack O Brother, Where Art Thou? Soundtrack (Dec. 5) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) (7.8M copies), produced by T-Bone Burnett features Harry McClintock, Norman Blake, Emmylou Harris, John Hartford, the Stanley Brothers, the Fairfield Four, Alison Krauss et al., rekindling interest in bluegrass and winning 2001 Grammy album of the years; it features O Death by Dr. Ralph Stanley, I'll Fly Away by Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch, and Man of Constant Sorrow and Keep on the Sunny Side by The Whites.

On Jan. 3, 2001 the weekly Top 20 Countdown debuts on CMT (until Nov. 30, 2012); on May 28 the daily CMT Most Wanted Live debuts on CMT (until Apr. 3, 2004), broadcasting live from the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tenn.

Blake Shelton (1976-) Blake Shelton (1976-)

On July 31, 2001 Ada, Okla.-born country singer Blake Tollison Shelton (1976-) releases his debut album Blake Shelton (#3 country) (#45 in the U.S.), featuring Austin (#1 country) (#18 in the U.S.). Album #2 The Dreamer (Feb. 4, 2003) (#2 country) (#8 in the U.S.) features The Baby (#1 country) (#28 in the U.S.), and Playboys of the Southwestern World (#24 country). Album #3 Blake Shelton's Barn & Grill (Oct. 26, 2004) (#3 country) (#20 in the U.S.) features Some Beach (#1 country) (#28 in the U.S.), and Nobody But Me (#4 country) (#60 in the U.S.). Album #4 Pure BS (May 1, 2007) (#2 country) (#8 in the U.S.) features Home (#1 country) (#41 in the U.S.), and Don't Make Me (#12 country) (#79 in the U.S.). Album #5 Startin' Fires (Nov. 18, 2008) (#7 country) (#34 in the U.S.) features She Wouldn't Be Gone (#1 country) (#43 in the U.S.), and I'll Just Hold On (#8 country) (#76 in the U.S.). On May 14, 2011 Shelton marries Miranda Lambert; they anounce their divorce on July 20, 2015, after which he begins dating No Doubt singer Gwen Stefani. On Aug. 18, 2014 he releases album #9 Bringing Back the Sunshine (#1 in the U.S., #1 country), which features Neon Light (#43 in the U.S.) (#1 country)), and Sangria (#38 in the U.S.) (#1 country).

Emerson Drive

On May 21, 2002 after releasing two albums under the name 12 Gauge, Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada-based country music band Emerson Drive, incl. Brad Mates (vocals), Danick Dupelle (vocals, guitar), Dale Wallace (vocals, keyboards), and Mike Melancon (drums) releases its debut album (album #3) Emerson Drive (#13 country) (#108 in the U.S.) (Dreamworks), which features I Should Be Sleeping (#4 country) (#35 in the U.S.), Fall into Me (#3 country) (#34 in the U.S.), and Only God (Could Stop Me Loving You) (#23 country) (#124 in the U.S.). Album #2 What If? (June 29, 2004) (#12 country) (#107 in the U.S.) features Last One Standing (#21 country) (#89 in the U.S.), November (#41 country), and Waitin' on Me. Album #3 Countrified (Aug. 29, 2006) (#30 country) (#141 in the U.S.) (Midas Records) features Moments (#1 country) (#56 in the U.S.), and You Still Own Me (#22 country). Album #4 Believe (May 5, 2009) features Belongs to You (#32 country). Album #5 Roll (Oct. 30, 2012) (#62 country) features Let It Roll (w/Doc Walker), She's My Kind of Crazy , With You, and She Always Gets What She Wants.

Little Big Town

On May 21, 2002 Homewood, Ala.-based country music vocal group Little Big Town, incl. Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Jimi Westbrook, and Phillip Sweet release their debut album Little Big Town (Monument Records) (#40 country), which features Don't Waste My Time (#33 country), and Everything Changes (#42 country). Album #2 The Road to Here (Oct. 4, 2005) (#12 country) (#51 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features Boondocks (#9 country) (#46 in the U.S.), Bring It On Home (#4 country) (#58 in the U.S.), Good As Gone (#18 country), and A Little More You (#20 country) (#101 in the U.S.). Album #3 A Place to Land (Nov. 6, 2007) (#10 country) (#24 in the U.S.) features Fine Line (#31 country), I'm With the Band (#32 country). Album #4 The Reason Why (Aug. 24, 2010) (#1 country) (#5 in the U.S.) features Little White Church (#6 country) (#59 in the U.S.). Album #5 Tornado (Sept. 11, 2012) (#1 country) (#2 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features Pontoon (#1 country) (#22 in the U.S.), and Tornado (#6 country) (#51 in the U.S.). Album #6 Pain Killer (Oct. 21, 2014) features Day Drinking (#17 country) (#73 in the U.S.).

Parmalee

On Dec. 3, 2002 the Parmele, N.C.-based country music band Parmalee, incl. Matt Thomas (vocals, guitar), Josh McSwain (guitar), Barry Knox (bass), and Scott Thomas (drums) releases its debut album Daylight (Deep South Records), which is a non-charter. Album #4 Feels Like Carolina (Dec. 10, 2013) (Stoney Creek Records) (#10 country) (#46 in the U.S.) features Carolina (#2 country) (#36 in the U.S.) (500K copies), Close Your Eyes (#20 country) (#36 in the U.S.), and Musta Had a Good Time (#42 country).

David Nail (1979-)

In 2002 Kennett, Mo.-born country singer David Bent Nail, er, David Brent Nail (1979-) releases his debut album David Nail (Mercury Records), which features Memphis (#52 country). Album #2 I'm About to Come Alive (Aug. 18, 2009) (MCA Records)(#19 country) (#71 in the U.S.) features I'm About to Come Alive (by Train) (#47 country), Red Light (#7 country) (#54 in the U.S.), and Turning Home (by Kenny Chesney and Scooter Carusoe) (#20 country) (#117 in the U.S.). Album #3 The Sound of a Million Dreams (Nov. 15, 2011) (#8 country) (#50 in the U.S.) features The Sound of Million Dreams (#38 country), and Let It Rain (#1 country) (#51 in the U.S.). Album #4 I'm a Fire (Mar. 4, 2014) (#3 country) (#13 in the U.S.) features Whatever She's Got (#2 country) (#35 in the U.S.), and Kiss You Tonight (#25 country) (#111 in the U.S.).

The Eli Young Band

In 2002 the Denton, Tex. (U. of North Tex.)-based band Eli Young Band, incl. Mike Eli (vocals, guitar), James Young (guitar), Jon Jones (bass), and Chris Thompson (drums) release their debut album Eli Young Band (Carnival Records), which doesn't chart. Album #2 Level (Apr. 5, 2005) is another non-charter; it features So Close Now. Album #3 Jet Black & Jealous (Sept. 16, 2008) (#5 country) (#30 in the U.S.) features Always the Love Songs (#11 country) (#69 in the U.S.) (500K copies), Radio Waves (#35 country), Guinevere (#45 country). Their first EP Crazy Girl (May 3, 2011) (#24 country) (#128 in the U.S.) features Crazy Girl (#1 country) (#30 in the U.S.) (2M copies). Album #4 Life at Best (Aug. 16, 2011) (#3 country) (#6 in the U.S.) features Even If It Breaks Your Heart (co-written by Eric Paslay) (#1 country) (#29 in the U.S.) (1M copies), and Say Goodnight (#31 country) (#110 in the U.S.). Album #5 10,000 Towns (Mar. 4, 2014) (#1 country) (#5 in the U.S.) features Drunk Last Night (#3 country) (#41 in the U.S.) (500K copies), and Dust (#19 country) (#79 in the U.S.).

Will Hoge (1972-)

On Mar. 4, 2003 after two self-released non-charter albums (1997, 2001), Franklin (near Nashville), Tenn.-raised rock-country-Southern R&B-Americana singer-songwriter (failed h.s. history teacher) Will Hoge (1972-) releases his debut major label album Blackbird on a Lonely Wire (Atlantic Records), which features Not That Cool, Be the One, and Secondhand Heart. Album #6 (his first charter) Never Give In (Oct. 15, 2013) (Cumberland Records) (#23 country) (#129 in the U.S.) features Strong (#42 country) (featured in Chevrolet Silverado ads), and Middle of America.

On Mar. 8, 2003 Nashville Star, a clone of "American Idol" for country singers debuts on USA Network (until Aug. 4, 2008); the 2003 season sees Miranda Lambert come in #3 then sign a contract with Epic Records.

Buddy Jewel (1961-)

On July 1, 2003 after winning the first Nashville Star, Lepanto, Ark.-born black hat-loving country singer Buddy Jewell Jr. (1961-) releases his debut major label album (album #3) Buddy Jewell (Columbia Records) (#1 country) (#13 in the U.S.) (500K copies), which features Lacey's Song (Help Pour Out the Rain) (#3 country) (#29 in the U.S.), and Sweet Southern Comfort (#3 country) (#40 in the U.S.). Album #4 Times Like These (Apr. 26, 2005) (#5 country) (#31 in the U.S.) features If She Were Any Other Woman (#27 country). He then slides off the charts.

Dierks Bentley (1975-)

On Aug. 19, 2003 Phoenix, Ariz.-born country singer-songwriter Dierks Bentley (1975-) releases his debut album Dierks Bentley (#4 country) (#26 in the U.S.) (1M copies), which features What Was I Thinkin' (#1 country) (#22 in the U.S.), How Am I Doin' (#4 country) (#49 in the U.S.), and My Last Name (#17 country) (#102 in the U.S.). Album #2 Modern Day Drifter (May 10, 2005) (#1 country) (#6 in the U.S.) (1.5M copies) features Come a Little Closer (#1 country) (#31 in the U.S.), Settle for a Slowdown (#1 country) (#42 in the U.S.), and Lot of Leavin' Left to Do (#3 country) (#47 in the U.S.). Album #3 Long Trip Alone (Oct. 17, 2006) (#1 country) (#5 in the U.S.) features Every Mile a Memory (#1 country) (#48 in the U.S.), Free and Easy (Down the Road I Go) (#1 country) (#46 in the U.S.), Trying to Stop Your Leaving (#5 country) (#73 in the U.S.), and Long Trip Alone (#10 country) (#66 in the U.S.). Album #4 Feel That Fire (Feb. 3, 2009) (#1 country) (#3 in the U.S.) features Feel That Fire (#1 country) (#32 in the U.S.), Sideways (#1 country) (#35 in the U.S.), and I Wanna Make You Close Your Eyes (#2 country) (#52 in the U.S.). Album #5 Up on the Ridge (June 8, 2010) (#2 country) (#9 in the U.S.) features Up on the Ridge (#21 country) (#99 in the U.S.), and Draw Me a Map (#33 country) (#108 in the U.S.). Album #6 Home (Feb. 7, 2012) (#7 country) (#7 in the U.S.) features Home (#1 country) (#44 in the U.S.), Am I the Only One (#1 country) (#39 in the U.S.), 5-1-5-0 (#1 country) (#33 in the U.S.), and Tip It On Back (#1 country) (#66 in the U.S.). Album #7 Riser (Feb. 25, 2014) (#1 country) (#6 in the U.S.) features I Hold On (#3 country) (#40 in the U.S.), Drunk on a Plane (#3 country) (#27 in the U.S.), and Bourbon in Kentucky (#40 country). He goes on to release seven albums and 18 singles incl. 12 #1s.

Billy Currington (1973-)

On Sept. 30, 2003 Savannah, Ga.-born country singer William Matthew "Billy" Currington (1973-) releases his debut album Billy Currington (Mercury Records) (#17 country) (#107 in the U.S.), which features Walk A Little Straighter (co-written by Casey Beathard and Carson Chamberlain) (#8 country) (#67 in the U.S.), and I Got A Feeling (#5 country) (#50 in the U.S.). Album #2 Doin' Somethin' Right (Oct. 18, 2005) (#2 country) (#11 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features Must Be Doin' Somethin' Right (#1 country) (#39 in the U.S.), Good Directions (#1 country) (#42 in the U.S.), and Why, Why, Why (#13 country) (#99 in the U.S.). Album #3 Little Bit of Everything (Oct. 14, 2008) (#2 country) (#9 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features People Are Crazy (#1 country) (#27 in the U.S.), That's How Country Boys Roll (#1 country) (#57 in the U.S.), and Don't (#2 country) (#52 in the U.S.). Album #4 Enjoy Yourself (Sept. 21, 2010) (#2 country) (#9 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Pretty Good at Drinkin' Beer (#1 country) (#41 in the U.S.), Let Me Down Easy (#1 country) (#46 in the U.S.), Love Done Gone (#11 country) (#58 in the U.S.), and Like My Dog (#24 in the U.S.) (#102 in the U.S.). Album #5 We Are Tonight (by Sam Hunt) (Sept. 17, 2013) (#5 country) (#10 in the U.S.) features We Are Tonight (#12 country) (#60 in the U.S.), and Hey Girl (#5 country) (#39 in the U.S.).

Rodney Atkins (1969-)

On Oct. 14, 2003 after his 1997 single In a Heartbeat (#74 country) flops, Knoxville, Tenn.-born country singer Rodney Allan Atkins (1969-) releases his debut album Honesty (Curb Records) (#50 country), which features Honesty (Write Me a List) (#4 country) (#57 in the U.S.), Sing Along (#37 country), My Old Man (#36 country), and Someone to Share It With (#41 country). Album #2 If You're Going Through Hell (July 18, 2006) (#1 country) (#3 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features If You're Going Through Hell (Before the Devil Even Knows) (#1 country) (#33 in the U.S.) (500K copies), Watching You (#1 country) (#36 in the U.S.) (1M copies), These Are My People (#1 country) (#42 in the U.S.) (500K copies), Cleaning This Gun (Come On In Boy) (#1 country) (#40 in the U.S.) (500K copies), and Invisibly Shaken (#41 country). Album #3 It's America (Mar. 31, 2009) (#3 country) (#5 in the U.S.) features It's America (#1 country) (#44 in the U.S.), 15 Minutes (#20 country) (#115 in the U.S.), Chasin' Girls (#48 country), and Farmer's Daughter (#5 country) (#47 in the U.S.) (1M copies). Album #4 Take a Back Road (Oct. 4, 2011) (#3 country) (#8 in the U.S.) features Take a Back Road (#1 country) (#23 in the U.S.) (1M copies), He's Mine (#23 country) (#103 in the U.S.), Just Wanna Rock N' Roll (#31 country), and Doin' It Right (#53 country).

Josh Turner (1977-)

On Oct. 14, 2003 Nashville, Tenn.-born country singer Joshua Otis "Josh" Turner (1977-) releases his debut album Long Black Train (#4 country) (#29 in the U.S.), which features Long Black Train (#13 country) (#72 in the U.S.). Album #2 Your Man (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) features Your Man (#1 country) (#38 in the U.S.), Would You Go With Me (#1 country) (#43 in the U.S.), and Me and God (#16 country) (#98 in the U.S.). Album #3 Everything Is Fine (Oct. 30, 2007) (#3 country) (#5 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Everything Is Fine (#20 country) (#120 in the U.S.), Firecracker (#2 country) (#50 in the U.S.), and Another Try (w/Trisha Yearwood) (#15 country) (#96 in the U.S.). Album #4 Haywire (Feb. 9, 2010) (#2 country) (#5 in the U.S.) features Why Don't We Just Dance (#1 country) (#35 in the U.S.), All Over Me (#1 country) (#59 in the U.S.), and I Wouldn't Be a Man (#18 country) (#92 in the U.S.). Album #5 Punching Bag (June 12, 2012) (#1 country) (#4 in the U.S.) features Time Is Love (#2 country).

James Otto (1973-)

On Mar. 9, 2004 Fort Lewis, Wash.-born country singer James Allen Otto (1973-), brother-in-law of Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts releases his debut album Days of Our Lives (#61 country) (Mercury Records), which features Days of Our Lives (#33 country), The Ball (#45 country), and Sunday Morning and Saturday Night (#58 country). Album #2 Sunset Man (Apr. 8, 2008) (#2 country) (#3 in the U.S.) features Just Got Started Lovin' You (#1 country) (#27 in the U.S.), These Are the Good Ole Days (#36 country), and For You (#39 country). Album #3 Shake What God Gave Ya (Sept. 14, 2010) (#10 country) (#63 in the U.S.) features Groovy Little Summer Song (#26 country),and Soldiers & Jesus (#34 country).

Big & Rich

On May 4, 2004 after founding the MuzikMafia in Oct. 2001 in Nashville, Tenn. along with Jon Nicholson and Cory Gierman (later James Otto), Nashville, Tenn.-based country music duo Big & Rich, incl. Big Kenny and John Rich (of Lonestar) release their debut album Horse of a Different Color (#1 country) (#6 in the U.S.) (3M copies), which features Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy) (#11 country) (#56 in the U.S.), Holy Water (#15 country) (#75 in the U.S.), Big Time (#20 country) (#103 in the U.S.), and Wild West Show (#21 country) (#85 in the U.S.). Album #2 Comin' to Your City (Nov. 15, 2005) (#3 country) (#7 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features Comin' to Your City (#21 country) (#72 in the U.S.), and 8th of November (#18 country) (#94 in the U.S.). Album #3 Between Raising Hell and Amazing Grace (June 5, 2007) (#1 country) (#6 in the U.S.) (500K copies) features Between Raising Hell and Amazing Grace (#37 country), and Lost in This Moment (#1 country) (#36 in the U.S.). Album #4 Hilbilly Jedi (Sept. 18, 2012) (#4 country) (#25 in the U.S.) features That's Why I Pray (co-written by Danelle Leverett) (#16 country), and Party Like Cowboyz. Album #5 Gravity (Sept. 23, 2014) features Look at You (#20 country) (#92 in the U.S.).

Gretchen Wilson (1973-)

On May 11, 2004 Pocahontas, Ill.-born country singer Gretchen Frances Wilson (1973-) releases her debut album Here for the Party (#1 country) (#2 in the U.S.), which features Here for the Party (#3 country) (#39 in the U.S.), Redneck Woman (#1 country) (#22 in the U.S.), and Homewrecker (#2 country) (#56 in the U.S.). Album #2 All Jacked Up (Sept. 27, 2005) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) features All Jacked Up (#8 country) (#42 in the U.S.). Album #3 One of the Boys (May 15, 2007) (#1 country) (#5 in the U.S.) features One of the Boys (#35 country), and Come to Bed (w/John Rich) (#32 country). She goes on to sell 8M+ records worldwide.

Julie Roberts (1979-)

On May 25, 2004 Lancaster, S.C.-born country singer Julie Roberts (1979-) releases her debut album Julie Roberts (Mercury Records) (#9 country) (#51 in the U.S.) (500K copies), which features Break Down Here (#18 country) (#81 in the U.S.), The Chance (#47 country), and Wake Up Older (#46 country). Album #2 Men & Mascara (June 27, 2006) (#4 country) (#25 in the U.S.) features Men & Mascara, and Girl Next Door. Album #3 Alive (June 7, 2011) features Alive, Stronger, NASCAR Party, and Whiskey and You. In 2011 she is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). Album #4 Good Wine & Bad Decisions (Oct. 29, 2013) (#36 country) features Good Wine & Bad Decisions, and He Made a Woman Out of Me.

Josh Gracin (1980-)

On June 15, 2004 Westland, Mich.-born ex-U.S. Marine (4th on Am. Idol season #2) Joshua Mario "Josh" Gracin (1980-) releases his debut album Josh Gracin (Lyric Street Records) (#2 country) (#11 in the U.S.) (500K copies), which features Nothin' to Lose (#1 country) (#39 in the U.S.) (500K copies), I Want to Live (#4 country) (#45 in the U.S.), and Stay with Me (Brass Bed) (#5 country) (#47 in the U.S.). Album #2 We Weren't Crazy (Apr. 1, 2008) (#4 country) (#33 in the U.S.) features We Weren't Crazy (#10 country) (#82 in the U.S.), Favorite State of Mind (#19 country) (#119 in the U.S.), I Keep Coming Back (#28 country), Unbelievable (Ann Marie) (#36 country), and Telluride (#34 country). Album #3 Redemption (Nov. 8, 2011) (#39 country) features Cover Girl (#57 country), and Long Way to Go.

Brad Cotter (1970-)

On July 6, 2004 Opelika, Ala.-born 2004 Nashville Star winner Thomas Bradley "Brad" Brad Cotter (1970-) releases his debut album Patient Man (Epic Records) (#4 country) (#27 in the U.S.), which features I Meant To (#35 country), Can't Tell Me Nothin' (#59 country), and I Miss Me (#59 country). Too bad, he soon misses himself on the charts, fading out of sight.

Katrina Elam (1983-)

On Oct. 5, 2004 Bray, Okla.-born country singer Katrina Ruth Elam (1983-) releases her debut album Katrina Elam (#42 country) (Universal South Records), which features No End in Sight (#29 country), and I Want a Cowboy (#59 country). Album #2 Turn Me Up (unreleased) features Love Is (#47 country), and Flat on the Floor (#52 country). Album #3 Pure Country 2: The Gift Soundtrack (Feb. 26, 2011) (#55 country) features Dream Big.

Sugarland

On Oct. 26, 2004 Atlanta, Ga.-based music trio Sugarland, incl. Kristen Hall, Kristian Merrill Bush (1970-), and Jennifer Odessa Nettles (1974-) releases its debut album Twice the Speed of Life (#3 country) (#16 in the U.S.) (3M copies), which features Baby Girl (#2 country) (#38 in the U.S.), Something More (#2 country) (#35 in the U.S.), Just Might (Make Me Believe) (#7 country) (#60 in the U.S.), and Down in Mississippi (Up to No Good) (#17 country) (#101 in the U.S.). On Jan. 30, 2006 Jennifer Nettles and Bon Jovi release Who Says You Can't Go Home (#1 country) (#23 in the U.S.) (#5 in the U.K.) On Nov, 7, 2006 after Kristen Hall exits, the country duo releases album #2 Enjoy the Ride (#2 country) (#4 in the U.S.) (3M copies), which features Want To (#1 country) (#32 in the U.S.), Settlin' (#1 country) (#54 in the U.S.), Stay (#2 country) (#32 in the U.S.), and Everyday America (#9 country) (#68 in the U.S.). Album #3 Love on the Inside (July 22, 2008) (#1 country0 (#1 in the U.S.) (2M copies) features All I Want to Do (#1 country) (#18 in the U.S.), Already Gone (#1 country) (#41 in the U.S.), It Happens (#1 country) (#33 in the U.S.), and Joey (#17 country) (#89 in the U.S.). Album #4 The Incredible Machine (Oct. 19, 2010) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features Stuck Like Glue (#2 country) (#17 in the U.S.), and Little Miss (#11 country) (#71 in the U.S.). They go on to sell 14M+ records.

Shooter Jennings (1979-)

On Mar. 1, 2005 outlaw country singer Waylon Albright "Shooter" Jennings (1979-), son of Waylon Jennings (1937-2002) and Jessi Colter (1943-) releases his debut album Put the "O" Back in Country (Universal South Records) (#22 country) (#124 in the U.S.), which features 4th of July (w/George Jones) (#26 country), Steady at the Wheel, and Aviators. Album #2 Electric Rodeo (Apr. 4, 2006) (#12 country) (#64 in the U.S.) features Gone to Carolina, Some Rowdy Women, and It Ain't Easy. Album #3 The Wolf (Oct. 23, 2007) (#12 country) (#52 in the U.S.) features Walk of Life, and This Ol' Wheel. His compilation album Bad Magick: The Best of Shooter Jennings and the .357's (Mar. 24, 2009) (#45 country) features Living Proof (by Hank Williams Jr.). Album #4 Black Ribbons (w/his band psychedelic rock band Hierophant) (Mar. 2, 2010) (#133 country) features Wake Up! Album #5 Family Man (Mar. 13, 2012) (#10 country) (#53 in the U.S.) features The Deed and the Dollar, and The Real Me. Album #6 The Other Life (Mar. 12, 2013) (#19 country) (#130 in the U.S.) features Outlaw You. His first EP Don't Wait Up (For George) (Aug. 5, 2014) (#23 country) features Don't Wait Up (I'm Playin' Possum), and If Drinkin' Don't Kill Me (by George Jones) (w/Jessi Colter). He goes on to release nine studio albums.

Miranda Lambert (1983-)

On Mar. 15, 2005 after coming in 3rd in the 2003 Nashville Star, Longview, Tex.-born country singer Miranda Leigh Lambert (Lambert-Shelton) (1983-) releases her debut album Kerosene (#1 country) (#18 in the U.S.) (1M copies), featuring Kerosene (#15 country) (#61 in the U.S.), Me and Charlie Talking (#27 country), Bring Me Down (#32 country), and New Strings (#25 country). Album #2 Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (May 1, 2007) (#1 country) (#6 in the U.S.) features Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (#50 country), and Gunpowder & Lead (#7 country) (#52 in the U.S.). Album #3 Revolution (Sept. 29, 2009) (#1 country) (#8 in the U.S.) features The House That Built Me (#1 country) (#28 in the U.S.), Heart Like Mine (#1 country) (#44 in the U.S.), and White Liar (#2 country) (#38 in the U.S.). Album #4 Four the Record (Nov. 1, 2011) (#1 country) (#3 U.S.) features Over You (#1 country) (#35 in the U.S.), Mama's Broken Heart (by Brandy clark, Shane McAnally, and Kacey Musgraves) (#2 country) (#20 in the U.S.), Baggage Claim (#3 country) (#33 in the U.S.), and Fastest Girl in Town (#7 country) (#47 in the U.S.). Album #5 Platinum (June 3, 2014) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) features Somethin' Bad (w/Carrie Underwood) (#1 country) (#19 in the U.S.), and Automatic (#4 country) (#35 in the U.S.).

Carrie Underwood (1983-)

On June 14, 2005 after winning Season 4 of American Idol on May 25, Muskogee, Okla.-born country singer Carrie Marie Underwood (1983-) releases her debut single Inside Your Heaven (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) (1M copies), becoming the first country music artist to debut at #1 on the Hot 100, and only single by a solo country artist in the 2000 decade to do it. On Nov. 15, 2005 she releases her debut album Some Hearts (#1 country) (#2 in the U.S.) (9M copies) (best-selling solo female debut album in country music history) features Jesus, Take the Wheel (#1 country) (#20 in the U.S.), Before He Cheats (#1 country) (#8 in the U.S.), Wasted (#1 country) (#37 in the U.S.), and Don't Forget to Remember Me (by Ashley Gorley, Kelley Lovelace, and Morgane Hayes) (#2 country) (#49 in the U.S.). Album #2 Carnival Ride (Oct. 23, 2007) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) (3M copies) features So Small (#1 country) (#17 in the U.S.), All-American Girl (by Kelley Lovelace and Ashley Gorley) (#1 country) (#27 in the U.S.), Last Name (#1 country) (#19 in the U.S.), Just a Dream (#1 country) (#29 in the U.S.), and I Told You So (#2 country) (#9 in the U.S.). Album #3 Play On (Nov. 2, 2009) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) (2M copies) features Cowboy Casanova (#1 country) (#11 in the U.S.), Temporary Home (#1 country) (#41 in the U.S.), Undo It (#1 country) (#23 in the U.S.), and Mama's Song (#2 country) (#56 in the U.S.). Album #4 Blown Away (May 1, 2012) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) (1.4M copies) features Blown Away (#2 country) (#1 in the U.S.), Good Girl (co-written by Ashley Gorley and Chris DeStefano) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.), Two Black Cadillacs (#4 country) (#2 in the U.S.), and See You Again (#7 country) (#2 in the U.S.).

Jason Aldean (1977-)

On July 26, 2005 Macon, Ga.-born country singer Jason Aldean (Jason Aldine Williams) (1977-) releases his debut album Jason Aldean (#6 country) (#37 in the U.S.), which features Why (#1 country) (#43 in the U.S.), Amarillo Sky (#4 country) (#59 in the U.S.), and Hicktown (#10 country) (#68 in the U.S.). Album #2 Relentless (May 29, 2007) (#1 country) (#4 in the U.S.) features Relentless (#15 country) (#103 in the U.S.), Johnny Cash (#6 country) (#68 in the U.S.), and Laughed Until We Cried (by Kelley Lovelace and Ashley Gorley) (#6 country) (#61 in the U.S.). Album #3 Wide Open (Apr. 7, 2009) (#8 country) (#41 in the U.S.) features She's Country (#1 country) (#29 in the U.S.), Big Green Tractor (#1 country) (#18 in the U.S.), The Truth (#1 country) (#40 in the U.S.), and Crazy Town (#2 country) (#51 in the U.S.). Album #4 My Kinda Party (Nov. 2, 1010) (#1 country) (#2 in the U.S.) (3M copies) features My Kinda Party (co-written by Brantley Gilbert) (#2 country) (#39 in the U.S.), Don't You Wanna Stay (w/Kelly Clarkson) (#1 country) (#31 in the U.S.), Dirt Road Anthem (co-written by Brantley Gilbert) (#1 country) (#7 in the U.S.), Fly Over States (#1 country) (#32 in the U.S.), and Tattoos on This Town (#2 country) (#38 in the U.S.). Album #5 Night Train (Oct. 16, 2012) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) (1.5M copies) features Night Train (#2 country) (#26 in the U.S.), Take a Little Ride (#1 country) (#12 in the U.S.), The Only Way I Know (#5 country) (#40 in the U.S.), When She Says Baby (#2 country) (#38 in the U.S.), and 1994 (#10 country) (#52 in the U.S.). Album #6 Old Boots, New Dirt (Oct. 7, 2004) features Burning' It Down (#1 country).

Zac Brown Band

On Dec. 16, 2005 the Atlanta, Ga.-based country-folk group Zac Brown Band, incl. Dahlonega, Ga.-born Zac Brown (1978-) (vocals, guitar), Jimmy De Martini (vocals, fiddle), John Driskell Hopkins (bass, vocals), Coy Bowles (keyboards), (since 2009) Clay Cook (steel guitar), Matt Mangano (bass), Chris Fryar (drums), and (since 2012) Daniel de los Reyes (drums) release their debut album Home Grown, which is a non-charter. Album #2 The Foundation (Atlantic Records) (Nov. 18, 2008) (#2 country) (#9 in the U.S.) (3M copies) features Chicken Fried (#1 country) (#20 in the U.S.) (4M copies), Whatever It Is (#2 country) (#26 in the U.S.) (500K copies), Toes (#1 country) (#25 in the U.S.) (2.8M copies), Highway 20 Ride (#1 country) (#40 in the U.S.), and Free (#1 country) (#34 in the U.S.). Album #3 You Get What You Give (Sept. 21, 2010) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) (1.8M copies) features As She's Walking Away (w/Alan Jackson) (#1 country) (#32 in the U.S.), Colder Weather (#1 country) (#29 in the U.S.) (1M copies), Knee Deep (w/Jimmy Buffett) (#1 country) (#18 in the U.S.) (2M copies), and Keep Me in Mind (#1 country) (#35 in the U.S.). Album #4 Uncaged (July 10, 2012) (#1 country) (#1 in the U.S.) (1M copies) features Goodbye in Her Eyes (#5 country) (#48 in the U.S.), The Wind (#11 country), Jump Right In (#13 country) (#53 in the U.S.) (300K copies), and Sweet Annie (#6 country) (#47 in the U.S.) (400K copies). The EP The Grohl Sessions, Vol. 1 (Dec. 10, 2013) (#5 country) (#25 in the U.S.) features All Alright (#24 country) (#105 in the U.S.). On Nov. 10, 2014 they release the compilation album Greatest Hits So Far.... They go on to release four studio albums and 15 singles incl. 10 #1s.

Jamey Johnson (1975-)

On Jan. 31, 2006 after his self-released 2002 album They Call Me Country doesn't chart and he turns to songwriting, Enterprise, Ala.-born country singer-songwriter Jamey Johnson (1975-) releases his major label debut album (album #2) The Dollar (BNA Records) (#20 country) (#87 in the U.S.), which features The Dollar (#14 country) (#101 in the U.S.), and Rebelicious. Album #3 That Lonesome Song (Aug. 5, 2008) (Mercury Records) (#6 country) (#28 in the U.S.) (1M copies), which features In Color (co-written by Lee Thomas Miller and James Otto) (#9 country) (#52 in the U.S.), and High Cost of Living (#34 country). Album #4 The Guitar Song (Sept. 14, 2010) (#1 country) (#4 in the U.S.) (500K copies), which features Playing the Part (#39 country), Heartache (#51 country), and My Way to You (#52 country). Album #4 Living for a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran (Oct. 6, 2012) (#3 country) (#5 in the U.S.) features Make the World Go Away (w/Alison Krauss), I Fall to Pieces (by Hank Cochran and Harlan Howard) (w/Merle Haggard), and Don't Touch Me (w/Emmylou Harris).

The Wreckers

On May 23, 2006 the country music duo The Wreckers (formerly The Cass County Homewreckers), incl. "Everywhere" pop singer Michelle Jacquet DeSevren Branch (1983-) (Sedona, Ariz.) and her former backing singer Jessica Leigh Harp (1982-) (Kansas City, Mo.) release their debut album Stand Still, Look Pretty (Maverick Records) (#4 country) (#14 in the U.S.) (500K copies), which features Leave the Pieces (#1 country) (#34 in the U.S.) (500K copies), My, Oh My (#9 country) (#87 in the U.S.), and Tennessee (#33 country). They then break up and return to solo careers. On Mar. 16, 2009 Harp releases her debut solo album A Woman Needs (Warner Bros. Records) (#31 country), which features Boy Like Me (#30 country).

Eric Church (1977-)

On July 18, 2006 Granite Falls, N.C.-born country singer-songwriter Kenneth Eric Church (1977-), known for wea