2006 – Up-and-coming act Sugarland posts a message on its website announcing that Kristen Hall is leaving the trio to concentrate on being a songwriting lesbian.
2003 – The Home album goes quadruple-platinum for The Dixie Chicks, prompting an overwhelmed Natalie Maines to start brainstorming ways of sabotaging its success.
2002 – The first episode of CMT Crossroads airs, pairing Lucinda Williams and Elvis Costello. A nationwide chorus of Toby Keith fans wonders aloud, “Who and who?!”
2001 – O Brother, Where Art Thou? hits movie theaters across the U.S., leading to a resurgence of interest in former Batmans pretending to sing like Dan Tyminski.
2001 – Featured at inaugural celebrations for George W. Bush in Washington, D.C.: Lorrie Morgan, Sammy Kershaw, Lee Ann Womack and Brooks & Dunn, who sing “Only In America” and “What Could Possibly Go Wrong?”
1999 – Alan Jackson hits the top of the charts with “Right On the Money,” his first and last recording of a Phil Vassar song. Unless this rumor I’m hearing about “Bobbi With an I” is true.
1991 – Johnny Paycheck is released from an Ohio prison after serving two years for a December 1985 shooting. Although he was originally sentenced to seven years, officials saw no harm in granting early release to the singer of innocuous ditties like “If I’m Gonna Sink (I Might As Well Go to the Bottom)” and “(Pardon Me) I’ve Got Someone to Kill.”
1976 – Glen Campbell and Rhinestone Cowboy net four Grammy nominations, including Record of the Year and Best Use of Strings That Will Seem Impossibly Kitschy Within a Few Years.
1974 – Tom T. Hall tops the Billboard country singles chart with a list song called “I Love.” A whole generation of soon-to-be Nashville songwriters takes note.
1971 – Bob Ritchie, better known as rap-rocker Kid Rock, born in Dearborn, Michigan. Upon getting him cleaned up, nurses are surprised to discover that he’s still dirty.
1968 – Johnny Cash records At Folsom Prison in California with his usual entourage of June Carter, The Carter Family, Carl Perkins, The Statler Brothers, and the entire cast of CBS’ My Three Sons.
1955 – Steve Earle born at the Army hospital in Fort Monroe, Virginia. Ironic!
1946 – Dolly Parton born in Sevier County, Tennessee. She goes on to write a few songs and stuff before finding her true calling as an inspiration to legendary singer Kellie Pickler (cf. Elvis, Celine Dion).
1939 – William Lee Golden born in Brewton, Alabama. The proud mother and father rush to take baby pictures before his beard fills out. It’s a goatee by the time they leave the hospital.
1926 – Ray Price born in Perryville, Texas, then swaddled in a Gloriana t-shirt.
1910 – A prophet predicts the arrival of Lady Antebellum’s “American Honey” one century hence.
1595 – William Shakespeare works diligently on the first draft of Taylor Swift’s “Love Story.”