February 25th: On this day
Born on this day in Southwest Virginia, was Ralph Stanley also known as Dr. Ralph Stanley, bluegrass artist, known for his distinctive singing and banjo playing. His work was featured in the 2000 film O Brother, Where Art Thou?, in which he sings the Appalachian dirge "O Death." That song won him a 2002 Grammy Award in the category of Best Male Country Vocal Performance. Stanley died on June 23 2016 aged 89.
Born on this day in Shreveport, Louisiana, was Faron Young, singer and songwriter from the early 1950s into the mid-1980s. The honky tonk singer scored hits including "Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young" and "If You Ain't Lovin' (You Ain't Livin')". Depressed that the music industry had turned its back on him, Young shot himself on December 9, 1996 and died in Nashville the following day.
Country music winners at the 23rd Annual Grammy Awards held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City included; Best Country Vocal Performance, Male - George Jones for "He Stopped Loving Her Today", Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Groupwent to Emmylou Harris & Roy Orbison for "That Lovin' You Feelin' Again"and Willie Nelson won (songwriter) for "On the Road Again."
Johnny Cash was awarded the Grammy Legend Award, "for ongoing contributions and influence in the recording field." The award was presented by the National Trustees at the 34th annual awards.
Johnny Cash's album, Unchained, won a Grammy Award for Best Country Album. The album had been a critical success but was largely ignored by mainstream country radio, a fact Cash and producer Rick Rubin picked up on when they purchase a full-page advertisement in Billboard magazine. The ad, which appeared in March, featured a young Cash displaying his middle finger and sarcastically "thanking" radio for supporting the album!
Loretta Lynn suffered minor burns following a fire at her home. The singer was at home watching TV when a candle burning in the sunroom toppled over, setting a chair on fire. Loretta discovered the blaze when she went to investigate a crackling sound and the singer used a pillow to beat down the flames.