August 16th: On this day
Born on this day in Corsicana, Texas, was Billy Joe Shaver, country music singer and songwriter. Shaver's 1973 album Old Five and Dimers Like Me is a classic in the outlaw country genre. Shaver's 2007 album country gospel style Everybody's Brother was Grammy nominated. Many of the songs are duets with artists such as Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson and Tanya Tucker.
Patsy Cline recorded "Crazy". The ballad composed by Willie Nelson became one of her signature tunes and gave Cline a #2 country hit in 1962. Nelson originally wrote the song for country singer Billy Walker, but Walker turned it down. The song's eventual success helped launch Nelson as a performer as well as a songwriter.
Merle Haggard's "Workin' Man Blues" was at #1 on the Billboard country singles chart. The song is Haggard's tribute to a core group of his fans: The American blue-collared working man.
Special guests on this week's Johnny Cash ABC television music variety show included, O.C. Smith, (who performed “Son Of A Hickory Holler's Tramp” with Cash), Kenny Rogers and The First Edition, (who performed “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town”), Melanie and Grandpa Jones.
Born on this day in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, was Emily Robinson, singer-songwriter, with the Dixie Chicks. Of the Dixie Chicks' twenty-five singles, six have reached #1 on the Billboard country singles chart: "There's Your Trouble", "Wide Open Spaces", "You Were Mine", "Cowboy Take Me Away", "Without You", and "Travelin' Soldier".
Elvis Presley was found dead lying on the floor in his bathroom by his girlfriend Ginger Alden; he had been seated on the toilet reading The Scientific Search For Jesus. He died of heart failure at the age of 42. The most significant pop artist of the 20th century, the beginning and end of his career are grounded in country. He entered the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1998.
Born on this day in Coffeeville, Alabama, was Ashton Shepherd, country music singer-songwriter. Her 2008 debut album Sounds So Good produced two top 40 hits on the Hot Country Songs charts: "Takin' Off This Pain" and the title track.