- 1992, “Honeymoon In Vegas,” starring Nicolas Cage and parachuting Elvis impersonators, premieres. The film’s soundtrack features Presley remakes by Vince Gill, Travis Tritt, Dwight Yoakam, Ricky Van Shelton, Billy Joel, Willie Nelson, Trisha Yearwood and Amy Grant, among others
- 1989, Cassadee Pope is born in West Palm Beach, Florida. As a member of Blake Shelton’s team, she wins the third season of NBC’s “The Voice,” leading to a recording deal with Republic Nashville and her 2013 debut album
- 1982, LeAnn Rimes is born in Jackson, Mississippi. After releasing her first hit, “Blue,” at age 13, she wins a Grammy for Best New Artist, becoming one of country’s most powerful vocalists. Other hits include “How Do I Live,” “Big Deal” and “I Need You”
- 1973, Tanya Tucker records “Would You Lay With Me (In A Field Of Stone)” in Nashville. While songwriter David Allan Coe attends the session, his car is stolen from the Columbia Studio parking lot
- 2005, Merle Haggard’s classic “Okie From Muskogee” ranks #1 when CMT presents “20 Greatest City Songs”
- 1977, Crystal Gayle begins a four-week stay at #1 on the Billboard country singles chart with “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue”
- 1957, Bill Anderson writes “City Lights” on the roof of the Hotel Andrew Jackson in Commerce, Georgia
- 1949, Guitarist/vocalist Jeff Cook is born in Fort Payne, Alabama. He founds the band Alabama with two cousins, grabbing multiple Entertainer of the Year awards on their way to the Country Music Hall of Fame
The boy, Riley, has Asperger’s syndrome. And according to his mom, he seems to be at his best when he is listening to Bryan’s music. So after seeing one of Bryan’s concerts at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in New York on Aug. 17, Riley and his mom visited country station WGNA in Schenectady to talk about it.
Bryan was listening over the phone the whole time. When he finally spoke up, he told Riley he’d seen his shirt but hadn’t known what it meant.
“So listen, I remember reading that shirt from stage, and I just had never known that ‘You’re the piece to my puzzle’ was an autism statement,” Bryan explained. “I just remember reading it and thinking, ‘Well that’s an interesting thing to put on a shirt.'”
He went on to admit how moved he was by Riley’s story.
“I’m kind of having some tears on the bus here. I’m very blessed in this business to have so much fun, and then when you know that things go to a whole ‘nother level of helping people, it just makes life even more special,” Bryan said. “I’m glad I got to finally talk to Riley.”
When Bryan asked Riley what his favorite song was, he quietly said it was “Play It Again.” So Bryan sang a little bit of that for him before thanking his mother for writing the letter to the radio station that eventually got in touch with Bryan.
“Thank you for reaching out the way you did. It was inspiring,” he said. “We just pray for the fact that my music can make some stuff easier for you. It’s what it’s all about, and we love hearing it.”
- 2011, Luke Bryan earns a platinum single with “Country Girl (Shake It For Me)”
- 2003, Toby Keith collects seven nominations for the 37th annual Country Music Association Awards, making him the frontrunner. Brooks & Dunn, Johnny Cash and Brad Paisley each nab four
- 1992, Alan Jackson goes double-platinum for the first time, with his “Don’t Rock The Jukebox” album
- 1974, John Denver records “Thank God I’m A Country Boy” at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles during the first night of a concert run that will become the album “An Evening With John Denver”
- 2007, Chuck Wicks sings “Stealing Cinderella” in his Grand Ole Opry debut
- 1984, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band tops the Billboard country chart for the first time with “Long Hard Road (The Sharecropper’s Dream)”
- 1979, “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” brings The Charlie Daniels Band a #1 country single in Billboard
- 1970, Jo Dee Messina is born in Holliston, Massachusetts. After releasing her first album in 1996, she becomes a significant performer by mining strong, survivor themes, taking the Country Music Association’s Horizon Award in 1999
- 1985, Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers share the #1 position in Billboard with “Real Love”
- 1977, Waylon Jennings is arrested during a recording session, along with his secretary, Lori Evans, on charges of conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine. The event inspires his song “Don’t You Think This Outlaw Bit’s Done Got Out Of Hand”
- 1963, Bobby Bare records “500 Miles Away From Home” in a morning session at Nashville’s RCA Studio B
- 2004, The Pocahontas Village Board in Illinois votes to rename the town’s Pocahontas Community Park as Gretchen Wilson Park
- 1980, Eddie Rabbitt parks himself at #1 on the Billboard country singles chart with “Drivin’ My Life Away”
- 1969, Johnny Cash climbs to #1 on the Billboard country chart with “A Boy Named Sue”
- 1969, Stand-up bass player Barry Bales is born in Kingsport, Tennessee. He becomes a member of Alison Krauss’ bluegrass band, Union Station, performing on “When You Say Nothing At All” and The Soggy Bottom Boys’ “I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow”
- 2011, Broken Bow releases Jason Aldean’s “Tattoos On This Town” to radio
- 1994, The Mavericks grab their first gold album, for “What A Crying Shame”
- 1979, Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson and Charlie Daniels each secure four nominations as finalists for the Country Music Association awards are announced in Nashville
- 1957, Holly Dunn is born in San Antonio, Texas. The 1987 winner of the Country Music Association’s Horizon Award, the singer/songwriter emerges on MTM Records for a short run as a hitmaker, earning membership in the Grand Ole Opry in 1989
- 2003, Johnny Cash holds his final session, recording “Engine One-Forty-Three” at the Cash Cabin Studio in Hendersonville, Tennessee
- 1988, Kacey Musgraves is born in Sulphur Springs, Texas. She wins New Artist of the Year at the Country Music Association awards in 2013 following her debut single, “Merry Go ‘Round.” She also co-writes Miranda Lambert’s hit “Mama’s Broken Heart”
- 1979, “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” brings The Charlie Daniels Band a gold single
- 1938, Kenny Rogers is born in St. Joseph’s Infirmary in Houston. His pop-laced ballads and story songs in the 1970s and ’80s make him one of country’s best all-time sellers, with more than 25 gold albums. He expands his reach with a lengthy acting career, entering the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2013
As much as I’ve always loved Lee Brice’s “Parking Lot Party” and, frankly, his ability to go seamlessly from that song into “I Don’t Dance,” party anthems are not the songs that come naturally to him.
In a new story in Redbook magazine, Brice admits that those lighthearted tunes don’t come quite as easily as the big ol’ ballads.
“Look, I’m a party animal. I love to rock out onstage. But love songs are what come naturally to me. I have to work a lot harder at writing big-tempo, rocking songs,” Brice admitted when he spent the day at the magazine’s offices.
You’d think partying would be job No. 1 for Brice since he’s spending his summer touring with Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley. But it sounds like the ideal party for Brice now is just hanging out at home with his wife and their two sons.
“Our date is just being at home,” he said. “I’m on the road a lot, and it makes us appreciate our time together. I think a lot of people lose that in everyday life — when you come home from work every day, maybe you take for granted the time you have with your family. We don’t.”
And even though Brice was with his wife for 13 years before they wed, he says that he should’ve married her when he was 18.
“I was ready to marry her for a while,” he said. “Looking back, I beat around the bush. I’ve never in my life come close to the joy that I have now — being married and having our two boys. I wish I had gotten married when I was 18.”
“A lot of guys are — and, truthfully, I was — afraid that marriage will take away their freedom. But life is about sharing it. When I was younger, I dreamed about getting married. Then, after I got on the (music) scene and spent time on the road, I didn’t care about coming home. I didn’t picture myself rolling around with my little boys. I wasn’t ready.
“But then Takoda came along, and Sara and I worked things back out. I didn’t dance before, but I’m telling you, I’m dancing now.”