Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Today in Country Music History...April 24

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April 24th: On this day

Born on this day in Camden, New Jersey, was Richard Anthony Sterban, singer with The Oak Ridge Boys who scored the 1978 US Country #1 “I’ll Be True To You.”

Born on this day was American songwriter and musician Richard Fagan who had six top ten singles and 18 charted singles on the Billboard Country charts. His songs have been recorded by Neil Diamond, George Strait, John Michael Montgomery, Clay Walker, Ricochet, Hank Williams, Jr., George Jones, Shania Twain, Patty Loveless, Collin Raye, Shenandoah, The Crickets, and many others. He wrote two of John Michael Montgomery's singles: "Be My Baby Tonight" and "Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident)". Fagan died aged 69 on August 5, 2016.

Born on this day in Salyersville, Kentucky, was Rebecca Lynn Howard, country music artist. Her highest-charting single, "Forgive", peaked at #12 on the country music charts in 2002.

Ray Charles' "Georgia On My Mind" was proclaimed the state song of Georgia. The music to the song was written in 1930 by Hoagy Carmichael, who also recorded a version of the song in New York in the same year. Ray Charles, a native of Georgia, recorded it in 1960 on the album The Genius Hits the Road.

Born on this day, was American country music singer Danny Gokey who was the third place finalist on the eighth season of American Idol. His debut single "My Best Days Are Ahead of Me” lifted from his debut album, My Best Days, debuted on the Billboard charts at #4, and was the highest debut of digital downloads sold by any new country artist ever.

The Survivors, featuring Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins, entered the Country chart. The live recording was from a Johnny Cash concert in Stuttgart, West Germany the revious year, when Lewis and Perkins (also on-tour in Germany at the same time), showed up unexpectedly and were asked to perform on the second half of the show with Cash. The live tapes were edited and mixed by co-producer Rodney Crowell.

Garth Brooks won a record six times at the 26th annual Academy Of Country Music awards on NBC. The Country singer won: Entertainer of the Year and Top Male Vocalist; Best Album for No Fences, Single Record, "Friends In Low Places", and Song and Video for "The Dance".

The sixth Farm Aid benefit concert took place at the Jack Trice Stadium, Ames, Iowa. Held to raise money for family farmers in the US, the concerts were organized by Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Neil Young. Artists who appeared included: Arlo Guthrie, The Jayhawks, Jann Arden, Lyle Lovett, Johnny Cash, Neil Young, Ricky Van Shelton, Willie Nelson, Kentucky Headhunters, Marty Stuart, Charlie Daniels Band, Martina McBride, Bruce Hornsby, Bryan Adams, Ringo Starr, Black 47, The Highwaymen and Dwight Yoakam.

Curb Records released Set This Circus Down, the sixth studio album by Tim McGraw. The four singles from the album, "The Cowboy in Me", "Unbroken", "Angry All the Time" and "Grown Men Don't Cry" all reached #1 on the Country chart.

Dixie Chicks launched a publicity campaign to explain their position after the controversy of Natalie Maines statement regading the Iraq war. During a prime-time interview with TV personality Diane Sawyer, Maines said she remained proud of her original statement. The band also appeared naked (with private parts strategically covered) on the current cover of Entertainment Weekly magazine, with slogans such as "Traitors", "Saddam's Angels", "Dixie Sluts", "Proud Americans", "Hero", "Free Speech", and "Brave" printed on their bodies. The slogans represented the labels (both positive and negative) that had been placed on them in the aftermath of Maines' statement.

Toby Keith had a performance at a base in Kandahar, Afghanistan, interrupted by mortar fire as he was performing for over 2,500 troops.

The Chatham County, Georgia Grand Jury indicted Billy Currington on felony criminal charges of "abuse of an elder person by inflicting mental anguish" and "making terroristic threats". Both criminal charges stemed from an incident involving boat captain Charles Harvey Ferrelle on April 15, 2013. Currington was later released from a Georgia jail after posting $27,700 bond. On September 25, 2013, Currington pleaded no contest to the abuse charge; the terroristic threats charge was dropped. Currington was sentenced to 5 years' probation and a $1000 fine and was ordered to attend anger management counseling.

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