1937 – Born on this day in Oildale, California, was country music songwriter, singer, and guitarist Merle Haggard. Along with Buck Owens, Haggard and his band The Strangers helped create the Bakersfield sound, which is characterized by the unique twang of Fender Telecaster guitar and the unique mix with the traditional country steel guitar sound. Haggard who was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in 1994 has scored 38 #1 Country hits.
1949 – Hank Williams’ first publicity photos were taken in Shreveport. The photo which was later used for the Hank Williams stamp issued in 1993 as part of the Legends of American Music was taken on this day.
1998 – Country icon Tammy Wynette died aged 55. She scored 12 hit singles including “Stand By Your Man”, is one of the biggest selling hit singles by a woman in the history of the country music genre. Wynette has sold over 30 million records world-wide, was married five times and once filed for bankruptcy. Known as the ‘first lady of country music’, Wynette had the 1991 hit “Justified and Ancient” with The KLF which became a #1 hit in eighteen countries.
2009 – George Strait is hailed as the Academy of Country Music’s Artist of the Decade during a taping for a CBS-TV special at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Strait closes the night with the rest of the cast backing him on “Troubadour.”