Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Today in Country Music History...March 20, 2018


March 20th: On this day

Born on this day in Atlanta, Georgia, was Jerry Reed, country music singer, guitarist, songwriter, and actor who appeared in more than a dozen films. His signature songs included "Guitar Man,", "A Thing Called Love," (both of which were covered by Elvis Presely), "When You're Hot, You're Hot" "Ko-Ko Joe", "East Bound and Down" (the theme song for the 1977 blockbuster Smokey and the Bandit, in which Reed co-starred), and "She Got the Goldmine (I Got the Shaft)". Reed died on Aug 31st 2008.

Born on this day in London, Ontario, was Tommy Hunter, Canadian country music performer, known as "Canada's Country Gentleman". Hunter was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 1984 and in 1986, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada.

Janis Joplin started a two week run at #1 on the US singles chart with her version of the Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster song “Me And Bobby McGee.” Joplin, who was a lover and a friend of Kristofferson's from the beginning of her career to her death, changed the sex and a few of the lyrics in her cover. Kristofferson states he did not write this song for her, but the song is associated with her - especially, he has said, in the line "Somewhere near Salinas, Lord, I let her slip away." Joplin died of a drug overdose the year before on 4th October aged 27.

Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson had "Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys" at #1 on the country charts. The song was first recorded by Ed Bruce, written by him and wife Patsy Bruce. Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson won the 1979 Grammy Award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for the song.

Ricky Van Shelton was at #1 on the Country charts with his own version of "From a Jack to a King." Shelton's version became his fifth consecutive #1 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles charts. Originally the song was a crossover hit for artist Ned Miller, first released in 1957 and was also recorded in 1962 by Jim Reeves and Elvis Presley.

At Reba McEntire’s request, Johnny Cash gave a speech during the service held for the eight band members and two pilots killed in an air crash on 16th March. He opened his speech by singing the song “Jim I Wore A Tie Today” and when it came time to say the name in the song, Cash replaced it with the name of each band member – “Jim, Chris, Kirk, Joey, Paula, Terry, Tony and Mike, I wore a tie today.” He ended his part of the service with the rendition of the Hank Williams recitation “Negro Funeral.”

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