Saturday, March 31, 2018

Today in Country Music History...March 31, 2018 Eddy Arnold's "Texarkana Baby" is the First 45-rpm disc + others)


March 31st: On this day

Born on this day in Corsicana, Texas, was Lefty Frizzell (born William Orville Frizzell). The American country music singer and songwriter of the 1950s, became an influence on later stars including Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, George Jones, John Fogerty and Roy Orbison, (who as a part of the Traveling Wilburys chose the name "Lefty Wilbury" to honor his musical hero). Frizzell died on July 19, 1975.

Born on this day in Maces Spring, Virginia, was singer Anita Carter, who played upright bass with her sisters Helen Carter and June Carter Cash as The Carter Sisters. The trio joined the Grand Ole Opry radio show in 1950 and opened shows for Elvis Presley, and joined The Johnny Cash Show in 1971. She scored two Top Ten hits in 1951 with "Down The Trail of Achin' Hearts" with Hank Snow and "Blue Bird Island" and she reached the Top Ten again in 1968 with "I Got You" with Waylon Jennings. She died on July 29th 1999 aged 66.

Born on this day in Durham, North Carolina, was songwriter John D. Loudermilk. His hits include "Indian Reservation," by Paul Revere & The Raiders; "Abilene," by George Hamilton IV; and "Tobacco Road" (a hit for The Nashville Teens in 1964). He died on September 21, 2016 aged 82.

The first 45-rpm disc, "Texarkana Baby" by country & western singer Eddy Arnold, was issued by RCA in the US. It was made of green vinyl, as part of an early attempt to color-code singles according to the genre of music they featured. Others included red for classical music and yellow for children's songs.

The final Johnny Cash television music variety show hosted by Johnny Cash was aired. The Screen Gems 58-episode series ran from June 7, 1969 to March 31, 1971 on ABC; it was taped at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee. The show featured many folk-country musicians, such as Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Linda Ronstadt, Kris Kristofferson, Mickey Newbury, Neil Young, Gordon Lightfoot, Merle Haggard, James Taylor and Tammy Wynette.

Glen Campbell was at #1 on the US country charts with "Southern Nights". Written by Allen Toussaint it was the first single released from Campbell's 1977 album, Southern Nights. The lyrics of "Southern Nights" were inspired by childhood memories Toussaint had of visiting relatives in the Louisiana backwoods which often entailed storytelling under star-filled nighttime skies.

Kenny Chesney was at #1 on the country charts with "How Forever Feels." Chesney told Billboard magazine that he almost didn't get to release the song because Tim McGraw had also cut it.

Blake Shelton's "Doin' What She Likes" became his 11th consecutive #1 hit on the Country Airplay chart, breaking the record set by Brad Paisley between 2005 and 2009 for the most consecutive #1 singles since the charts began using Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems in 1990.

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