February 16th: On this day
Born on this day in Howard County, Arkansas, was Jimmy Wakely, actor and country Western music vocalist, and one of the last singing cowboys. During the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, he released records, appeared in several B-Western movies, appeared on radio and television and even had his own series of comic books. His duet singles with Margaret Whiting from 1949–51 produced a string of hits, including 1949's #1 hit on the US country charts and pop music charts, "Slippin' Around." Wakely died on September 23, 1982.
Born on this day in Nashville, Tennessee, was Paul Worley, American record producer and session guitarist, known primarily for his work in country music. Formerly a vice president at Sony BMG Worley has worked for Big & Rich, and is most widely known as the co- producer (with Victoria Shaw) of the self-titled debut album of Lady Antebellum (2008), as the co-writer (with Lady Antebellum) of their global hit, "Need You Now." He also discovered the Dixie Chicks and, with Blake Chancey, co-produced their first two albums.
American country music performer Smiley Burnette (Lester Alvin Burnett ), died from leukemia aged 55. He also appeared as a comedic actor in Western films and on radio and TV, playing sidekick to Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, and other B-movie cowboys. He was a prolific singer-songwriter who wrote more than 400 songs. His Western classic, ‘Ridin' Down the Canyon (To Watch the Sun Go Down)’, was later recorded by Willie Nelson, Riders in the Sky, and Johnnie Lee Wills. His career, beginning in 1934, spanned four decades, including a regular role on CBS-TV's Petticoat Junction in the Sixties.
George Jones and Tammy Wynette married in Ringgold, Georgia, after telling others that their marriage was in August 1968. They quickly earnt the titles such as "The First Couple of Country Music," "Country's Sweethearts," and "The President and First Lady."
Lynn Anderson was at #1 on the country music album chart with Rose Garden. The title track went on to top the country charts, where it stayed at the #1 position for five weeks, and reached #3 on the pop charts in 1971. Anderson received a Grammy Award for the song for Best Female Country Vocal Performance.
Hank Williams Jr. made his first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry in more than 20 years, joining Travis Tritt and Marty Stuart to pay tribute to the late Waylon Jennings (who had died a few days earlier on February 13), for more than an hour at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium.
John Michael Montgomery was arrested at an intersection in Lexington, Kentucky for driving under the influence and possession of a controlled substance. Police also found two loaded handguns in Montgomery's vehicle. Montgomery was charged with a count of a prescription drug not in its proper container, and two counts of carrying a concealed deadly weapon.