May 18th: On this day in Country Music
Born on this day in Covington, Georgia was Leon Ashley who is known mainly for his #1 hit “Laura (What’s He Got That I Ain’t Got)”, which topped the country singles charts in September 1967. Ashley made chart history as the first country artist to have a #1 hit with a song he wrote, published and sang. Ashley died on Oct 20th 2013.
Born on this day in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was Joseph Bonsall, Jr., singer with The Oak Ridge Boys who scored the 1978 US Country #1 “I’ll Be True To You.”
Born on this day in Poteet, Texas, was George Strait, country music singer, actor, and producer. Strait who is referred to as the “King of Country,” is known for his unique style of western swing music, bar-room ballads, honky-tonk style. Strait holds the world record for more #1 hit singles than any other artist in the history of music on any chart or in any genre, having recorded 60 #1 hit singles.
Five times married country singer, Tammy Wynette was at #1 on the UK singles chart with “Stand By Your Man.” Originally recorded and released as a single in 1968 in the USA, it proved to be the most successful record of Wynette’s career and is one of the most covered songs in the history of country music.
Born on this day in Kennett, Missouri, was David Nail country music singer, songwriter. His 2009 album release I’m About to Come Alive produced three singles: the title track, “Red Light”, and “Turning Home”; the latter two reached Top 20. His second studio album, The Sound of a Million Dreams, was released in November 2011; “Let It Rain” hit #1 in January 2012.
Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and Waylon Jennings appeared in a CBS-TV remake of the western movie Stagecoach along with June Carter, John Carter Cash, John Schneider, Jessi Colter, David Allan Coe and Billy Swan
American country music artist Elbert West died aged 47. Initially a session songwriter in Nashville, West saw his first chart success in the 1990s as a co-writer on singles for country singer Tracy Lawrence, including the #1’s “Sticks and Stones” and “Can’t Break It to My Heart”. West co-wrote album tracks for other artists, including tracks for Tim McGraw and John Michael Montgomery.