2008 – Carrie Underwood is unveiled at Madame Tussauds in New York while a wax figure in her likeness approaches the end of its 2008 concert tour. Or was it the other way around?
2007 – Rounder releases Raising Sand under the given names of Alison Krauss and Robert Plant, having finally decided against the somewhat awkward duo name of Led Kraussplant (rhymes with dead houseplant).
2006 – Big Machine releases Taylor Swift’s self-titled debut album. It does pretty well.
2002 – Ralph Stanley’s music video for “Girl From Greenbriar Shore” debuts on CMT, but is pulled three days later due to viewer complaints over excessive nudity.
2000 – Virgin releases Play It Loud, the debut album from Chris Cagle, then wisely shuts down its Nashville branch the following year. But not before inflicting Clay Davidson on the world.
1999 – The Dixie Chicks’ Wide Open Spaces is certified for shipment of 8 million units. To put that number in perspective, if you stacked all the jewel cases, you’d end up with a pile over 49 miles high. And if you put Natalie Maines atop the pile, you’d barely be able to hear her shrill voice from ground level.
1996 – Time Marches On goes platinum for Tracy Lawrence. Then, in a remarkable instance of life imitating art, time marches on: it proves to be his last platinum album.
1992 – Pure Country premieres in Nashville with Strait, Garth Brooks, Joe Diffie and Randy Travis in attendance. Halfway into the movie, Strait stops the show to confront Diffie, who has been chatting with his neighbor through the whole thing. The altercation ends with Strait telling Diffie, “Go on, get your ass outta here.” Diffie leaves the show early and goes home to write a novelty song about the incident.
1990 – Tim McGraw
makes a pact signs a deal with Curb Records.
1980 – Josh Gracin born in Michigan. Rising to prominence on American Idol, he goes on to score country hits like “Nothin’ to Lose (Ann Marie),” “We Weren’t Crazy (Ann Marie)” and “Stay With Me (Brass Bed/Ann Marie).”
1980 – Don Williams’ “I Believe In You” settles into the top spot on Billboard’s country singles chart, while also claiming the top spot on Billboard’s short-lived Gentle Beardyness chart.
1972 – Jimmy Wayne Barber born in Cleveland County, North Carolina. He goes on to score a number of hits in the 2000s under the name Chuck Wicks.
1965 – In a ceremony at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium, Ernest Tubb is named to the Country Music Hall Of Fame. In a brief speech, he thanks them… a lot. (Sorry about this one.)
1958 – Brenda Lee records “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” at the Bradley Film & Recording Studio in Nashville. Also recorded that day was the much less popular “Schleppin’ Around the Menorah.”
1958 – Alan Jackson born in Newnan, Georgia. The delivery is by most accounts an extraordinarily majestic one, though Jackson himself modestly remarks that it “weren’t nothing.”
1956 – Dwight Yoakam born in Pikeville, Kentucky. He shows an early affinity for tight pants and baldness.
1941 – Earl Thomas Conley allegedly born in Portsmouth, Ohio. Seems like a chicken and egg deal to me. How could anyone have conceived before the music of Earl Thomas Conley?
1939 – Bill Monroe auditions for the Grand Ole Opry at the WSM Radio studios in downtown Nashville, performing “Foggy Mountain Top,” “Mule Skinner Blues” and “I Got My Game On.”