Saturday, March 17, 2018

Today in Country Music History...March 17, 2018


March 17th: On this day

Born on this day in Fort Fairfield, Maine, was Dick Curless country-music singer, a pioneer of the trucking music genre, commonly known as the "Baron of Country Music." He was easily distinguished because of the patch he usually wore over his right eye. In 1965, Curless recorded one of the biggest hits of his career, "A Tombstone Every Mile," which cracked the top-5 on the Billboard country charts and propelled him to national fame. He died on May 25th 1995.

Born on this day in Minneapolis, Minnesota, was Susie Allanson, American country music singer and actress who scored the 1978 hit "We Belong Together."

Born on this day in Newton, Mississippi, was Paul Overstreet country music singer and songwriter who has charted two #1 hits. He has also written singles for several other country acts, including #1 hits for Randy Travis, Blake Shelton, and Keith Whitley, as well as hits for The Judds and Kenny Chesney.

Glen Campbell was at #1 on the US country album chart with his 12th album Wichita Lineman, which went on to spend a total of 46 weeks on the chart. The Jimmy Webb penned title track came while driving through Washita County in rural southwestern Oklahoma. Heading westward on a straight road into the setting sun, Webb drove past a seemingly endless line of telephone poles, each looking exactly the same as the last. Then, in the distance, he noticed the silhouette of a solitary lineman atop a pole.

Eric Weissberg was at #1 on the country album chart with Dueling Banjos. The song “Dueling Banjos” was composed in 1955 by Arthur "Guitar Boogie" Smith as a banjo instrumental called "Feudin' Banjos", which contained riffs from "Yankee Doodle". The version by Eric Weissberg and Steve Mandell went to #2 for four weeks on the Hot 100 in 1973. The song was made famous by the 1972 film Deliverance, which also led to a successful lawsuit by the song's composer, as it was used in the film without his permission.

Taylor Swift was at #1 on the country chart with Fearless. The album won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year and Best Country Album. Swift's Album of the Year win made her the youngest person ever at the age of 20 to receive that award. Fearless was also the first album in history to win the American Music Award, Academy of Country Music Award, Country Music Association Award, and Grammy Award for Album of The Year in the same year making it the most awarded album in the history of country music.

Ferlin Husky, who reached the Billboard Top 40 twice with "Gone" (#4 in 1957) and "Wings of a Dove" (#12 in 1960), died of heart related problems at the age of 85. He scored two dozen Top 20 hits in the Billboard country charts between 1953 and 1975.

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