2007 – When Troy Gentry signs autographs in downtown Nashville, he draws a crowd of 400, blocking traffic. Police ask him to move off the street; Gentry threatens to cage and shoot them.
2007 – Sony BMG sends a letter to country radio stations ordering them to stop playing the version of Tracy Lawrence’s “Find Out Who Your Friends Are” that features Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw, showing a clear prejudice against friendship. Or AutoTune.
2005 – Miranda Lambert collapses after singing “You’re the Reason God Made Oklahoma” with (not-yet-boyfriend) Blake Shelton on “CMT 100 Greatest Duets.” She’s taken to a local hospital, suffering from dehydration and mullet poisoning.
2005 – “Grand ___ Opry” is the clue for 6-down in the “TV Guide” crossword puzzle. Chuck Wicks very cleverly squeezes “country” into three boxes.
2004 – In an ongoing grudge match with Mindy McCready for the title of Most Troubled ’90s Country Star, Doug Supernaw is arrested for the third time in a week and returned to the Potter County jail in Texas.
2002 – Ladies’ man Kenny Rogers makes his Grand Ole Opry debut. Audience response goes sour when he concludes the sweet “Buy Me a Rose” by remarking that he’d also accept a Daisy, Esmeralda, or Faith.
2000 – Lyric Street releases Rascal Flatts’ self-titled debut album. No joke necessary.
1999 – Tim McGraw cuts short a Michigan concert after a woman in the crowd accidentally hits him with pepper spray. For the next three years, he performs in full riot gear.
1996 – Kenny Chesney makes his Grand Ole Opry debut. He’s misidentified by the announcer as “Larry Chesney,” the alias he uses when frequenting certain gentlemen’s clubs about town.
1996 – A fan discovers the hotel where Billy Ray Cyrus is staying in Georgia. When he checks out, she requests his room before the maids can clean it, then steals his sheets. That fan? Holly in East Tennessee.
1993 – The U.S. Postal Service unveils a commemorative Hank Williams stamp at Fan Fair. Hank III is unimpressed, demanding that his grandfather be named as Postmaster General.
1992 – Martina McBride begins her first major concert tour, opening for Ozzy Osbourne in Colorado.
1982 – Conway Twitty opens Twitty City to the general public. The cost of admission is $5, though most entrants take advantage of the offer to watch Conway give himself a perm for $10 more.
1981 – John Denver’s Greatest Hits, Volume 2 is certified platinum. A disheveled Charlie Rich appears out of nowhere to set it afire.
1979 – Jimmy James ends a Fan Fair performance he hopes will get him into “The Guinness Book Of World Records,” playing country music for more than 25 hours straight. His concert includes 336 songs, yet still somehow feels shorter than an abbreviated set by Love & Theft 30 years later.
1974 – Singer-songwriter Matthew Shafer born in Mount Clemens, Michigan. Using the stage name Uncle Kracker, he saves country music in 2010.
1965 – Former rocker Conway Twitty records “Guess My Eyes Were Bigger Than My Hair” in an afternoon session at the Columbia Studios in Nashville. It becomes his first song to appear on the country chart.
1957 – Don Gibson writes two country classics, “I Can’t Stop Loving You” and “Oh Lonesome Me,” in one afternoon at his home in an East Tennessee trailer park. By himself. Without sixty cowriters.
1941 – Bob Wills is divorced for the fifth time, from teenage Mary Louise Wills, who accuses him of being “non-communicative, sullen, and irritable.” In other words, a musician.
1896 – Guglielmo Marconi receives a U.S. patent for his invention, the radio, a charming technology put to nefarious ends with Uncle Kracker’s 2010 entry into country music.