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This Day in Country Music: March 14

March 15, 2018

A look back into country music >>>

1945 - Born on this day, was Michael Martin Murphey, singer-songwriter and multiple Grammy nominee, Murphey has six gold albums, including Cowboy Songs, the first album of cowboy music to achieve gold status since Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs by Marty Robbins in 1959. Known for the hit singles “Wildfire”, “Carolina in the Pines”, “What’s Forever For”, “A Long Line of Love”, “What She Wants”, and “Don’t Count the Rainy Days”. Murphey is also the author of New Mexico’s state ballad, “The Land of Enchantment”

1970 - Born on this day in Knoxville, Tennessee, was Kristian Bush, folk rock and country musician. From 1990 to 2001, Kristian was a member of the folk rock duo Billy Pilgrim along with Andrew Hyra. After leaving Billy Pilgrim, Bush joined Kristen Hall in the group Sugarland

1972 - “Help Me Make It Through the Night” won two Grammys, including a Best Country Song honor for writer Kris Kristofferson and another for the singer, Sammi Smith

1972 - California Governor Ronald Reagan pardoned Merle Haggard for a 1957 attempted robbery that landed him in prison

1981 - The final showing of Live From The Grand Ole Opry on the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) was aired. The show actually went beyond the televised segment, but the show was ended with a clip of Marty Robbins singing “El Paso” (a song he used to close out his Opry segment at midnight) from the year before

1992 – Farm Aid V took place in Irving, Texas. Bonnie Raitt, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Paul Simon, Neil Young, Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp were among the performers

1992 - John Anderson returned to number one on the country chart with “Straight Tequila Night”

1998 - Jo Dee Messina made her Grand Ole Opry debut

1998 - Johnny Cash’s famous middle-finger salute full-page ad appeared in Billboard, sarcastically thanking “the Nashville music establishment and country radio for [their] support.” The previous week, Cash’s Unchained won the Best Country Album Grammy, with no support from either. Willie Nelson famously hung the ad in his tour bus

2000 - Shania Twain’s Come on Over surpassed Garth Brooks’ No Fences as the bestselling country album ever, with 17 million copies sold

2003 - Dixie Chick Natalie Maines issued an apology after she made a comment about United States President George W. Bush regarding the current situation in Iraq: “As a concerned American citizen, I apologize to President Bush because my remark was disrespectful. I feel that whoever holds that office should be treated with the utmost respect. We are currently in Europe and witnessing a huge anti-American sentiment as a result of the perceived rush to war. While war may remain a viable option, as a mother, I just want to see every possible alternative exhausted before children and American soldiers’ lives are lost. I love my country. I am a proud American”

2013 – Grammy-nominated country music singer Jack Greene passed away. A longtime member of the Grand Ole Opry, Greene was 83

2015 - Eric Church was granted a temporary restraining order that allowed for the seizure of counterfeit merchandise on sale outside his shows. These included any bootleg T-shirts and other Church-related memorabilia. The specifics of the restraining order targeted fake merch sold within a five-mile radius of the tour’s venues within a 24-hour period of the performance