Randy Travis Surprises Carrie Underwood with Grand Ole Opry Offer

March 15 in Country Music History

1927: Carl “Mister Country” Smith is born in Maynardville. Smith was the husband of June Carter (later June Carter Cash) and the father of Carlene Carter.

1970: Merle Haggard is #1 on the Country Chart with “The Fightin’ Side of Me.”

1982: Alabama are at #1 on the Country Album Chart with Mountain Music, their award-winning third studio album.

2008: Randy Travis surprises Carrie Underwood on stage of the Grand Ole Opry with an invitation to become the newest member.

2011: Lady Antebellum sit at #1 on the Country Chart with Need You Now, their second studio album.

Songwriter Richard Dobson Dead at 75

Richard Dobson — a singer and songwriter who penned songs for Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash, Guy Clark, Carlene Carter and David Allan Coe, among others — died on Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017, at a hospital in Switzerland. He was 75.

While he’s well known for his famous cuts by legendary country artists, Dobson also released more than twenty albums himself. Both Carlene Carter and Dave Edmunds, as well as Johnny and June Carter Cash, recorded his song “Baby Ride Easy.” Other successes included his song “Forever, For Always, For Certain,” which Clark recorded.

Dobson frequently collaborated with Clark as well as Clark’s wife, Susanna, in the writing room. One of their songwriting partnerships included “Old Friends,” which became the title of Clark’s 1988 Grammy-nominated album.

The late songwriter split his time between Nashville and his wife’s home country of Switzerland. He’d often return to Music City to record music of his own, working with producer Thomm Jutz.

“He was extremely generous and kind, meticulous in everything he did,” Jutz tells the Tennessean. “He taught me to look at the world in a different way in many different respects, and one of them was to observe nature. He wrote all the time, working on songs, books, newsletters. He always said as long as there’s some writing to do, he’s happy wherever he is.”

A Texas native, Dobson wrote on his website that he “became seriously addicted to songwriting and put everything else on the back burner.” This passion eventually convinced him to move to Nashville in the 1970s.

“Inspired by the example of Kris Kristofferson and the records Bob Dylan had made there I moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 1971, beginning a series of peregrinations back and forth to Texas that continued for almost three decades,” he wrote. “Occasionally people ask me if I’ve been able to make a living at this business, and I’ve always answered that while you couldn’t call it a living, I wouldn’t trade the life. Music has enriched my existence immeasurably and brought so much joy, I would be a fool to complain about the hard times. A privileged and ancient profession, music can open doors and take you to places where the rewards are not counted in money. It is a window on the world like no other. Looking back I can truthfully say I have few regrets.”

RIP to another legendary great in 2017. You will be truly missed, but your influence will continue to live on in country music and beyond.

‘Walk The Line’ Soundtrack to be Released on Vinyl

“Walk The Line,” the soundtrack to the 2005 Johnny Cash biopic by the same name, will be released on vinyl on July 21. The best-selling soundtrack features music by Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon, along with performances by Waylon Payne, Tyler Hilton, Jonathan Rice and Shooter Jennings.

The Academy Award-winning film was about the life of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, portrayed by Phoenix and Witherspoon, respectively. T Bone Burnett produced the soundtrack, which was number one on the “Billboard” soundtrack chart, number three on the Country Albums chart and number 9 on the “Billboard” Top 200 chart.


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