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COUNTRY DATEBOOK: APRIL 1

• 1967: The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum opened in Nashville.

• 1981: SAWYER BROWN officially became a group.

• 1993: After a 25 year run, the producers of Hee Haw announced the show would leave the air.

• 2008: TAYLOR SWIFT joined CARRIE UNDERWOOD and GRETCHEN WILSON as the only female country artists to have four Top Ten singles from a debut album. Taylor accomplished the feat with Picture To Burn, following Our Song, Teardrops On My Guitar and Tim McGraw.

• 2009: DARIUS RUCKER became the first male country artist to have his first two singles top the charts in 15 years.

• 2010: ANNE MURRAY announced her intentions to retire after 41 years of recording and touring.

• 2017: HILLARY SCOTT launched a fashion line called LaBellum.

• 2020: DOLLY PARTON announced she was donating $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center for coronavirus research.

KIP MOORE is 43. Kip has released four studio albums and charted 12 songs.

LADY A member Hillary Scott is 38 (in 2024).

COUNTRY DATEBOOK: APRIL 2

• 1992: GARTH BROOKS’ album No Fences was certified triple platinum. Hits included Friends In Low Places, Unanswered Prayers and Two Of A Kind (Workin’ On A Full House).

• 1994: TIM MCGRAW’s first top ten, Indian Outlaw, peaked at No. 15 on the pop charts.

• 1994: LITTLE TEXAS scored its first number one with My Love.

• 2002: MARTY STUART was arrested for DUI in Hendersonville, Tennessee, while on his way to Walmart

• 2010: Astronaut Tracy Dyson sang GARTH BROOKS’ song The River to her husband before heading to the launching pad for her trip on Space Shuttle Discovery.

• 2013: THE BAND PERRY’s album Pioneer was released. Hits included Better Dig Two, Done and Chainsaw.

• 2016: LEE BRICE surprised a military widow with the 1992 Chevy Silverado pickup her late husband formerly owned.

• 2021: DOLLY PARTON received her second COVID-19 vaccination dose.

EMMYLOU HARRIS is 77 (in 2024).

BUDDY JEWELL is 63 (in 2024). He was the first winner on the USA Network talent show Nashville Star.

BILLY DEAN is 62 (in 2024). He first gained national attention after appearing on the television talent competition Star Search. His studio albums have accounted for more than 20 hit singles.

CHRIS JANSON is 38 (in 2024).

COUNTRY DATEBOOK: APRIL 3

• 1964: THE STATLER BROTHERS made their recording debut with The Wreck Of The Old ’97.

• 1987: President Ronald Reagan presented MINNIE PEARL the American Cancer Society’s Courage Award for her personal fight against the disease.

• 1992: DOLLY PARTON’s movie Straight Talk hit theaters. It co-starred James Woods.

• 2009: REBA McENTIRE and HEIDI NEWFIELD were featured in a country edition of The Price Is Right.

• 2011: MIRANDA LAMBERT won four trophies during the 46th annual Academy of Country Music Awards.

• 2011: JOHN RICH racked up the largest single donation to date on NBC’s The Celebrity Apprentice — $470,000 for a guitar autographed by contestants.

• 2017: RONNIE DUNN purchased a six-acre piece of land in Nashville for $2.25 million.

• 2020: Because of the pandemic the CMT Music Awards were pushed back from their original June 3 air date to October 14.

• 2021: KELSEA BALLERINI received a COVID-19 vaccination.

COUNTRY DATEBOOK: APRIL 4

• 1959: BILL ANDERSON made his debut on the Grand Ole Opry.

• 2000: The DIXIE CHICKS’ album Wide Open Spaces was certified multi-platinum for sales of 9 million copies.

• 2006: RASCAL FLATTS’ CD Me & My Gang was released. It would go on to sell over 720,000 copies its first week out and be the best-selling album of the year across all genres.

• 2006: Quintine Cornelius Harper was arrested and charged with kidnapping and weapons offenses in connection with forcing GARTH BROOKS’ ex-wife, Sandy, to drive several miles before she was able to flee into a convenience store.

• 2008: CHARLIE DANIELS posted a note on his website telling fans he did not approve of the use of The Devil Went Down To Georgia in the video game Guitar Hero. He noted that Satan can actually win in the game, adding he was “disgusted with the result”

• 2013: CARRIE UNDERWOOD performed See You Again on American Idol.

• 2016: Retired NFL quarterback Peyton Manning showed up at Winners Bar & Grill in Nashville and sang Rocky Top with LEE BRICE and Shay Mooney of DAN + SHAY.

• 2018: FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE performed in downtown Nashville as the city’s NFL team, the Tennessee Titans, unveiled new uniforms.

• 2021: CARRIE UNDERWOOD livestreamed an Easter Day concert from Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, raising more than $112,000 for a children’s charity.

Steve Gatlin of THE GATLIN BROTHERS is 73 (in 2024).

CLAY DAVIDSON is 53 (in 2024). His song Unconditional reached the top five in 2000.

Guitarist Josh McSwain of PARMALEE is 49 (in 2024).

COUNTRY DATEBOOK: APRIL 5

• 1997: TRACE ADKINS scored his first number one hit with (This Ain’t No) Thinkin’ Thing.

• 2001: BRENDA LEE received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rockabilly Music Foundation at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.

• 2009: During the 44th Academy of Country Music Awards Corona debuted a new commercial, featuring KENNY CHESNEY singing an acoustic version of Beer In Mexico.

• 2011: KEITH URBAN was named Country’s Hottest Guy by People magazine.

• 2014: CRAIG CAMPBELL performed at the Las Vegas reception for a couple two days after sitting next to the groom, Tony Ramos, on a flight.

• 2017: JANA KRAMER received a Voice of Empowerment Award from Safe Horizon in New York for speaking out publicly about domestic violence.

• 2019: Columbia Records released a remixed version of Old Town Road by Lil Nas X featuring BILLY RAY CYRUS.

PAT GREEN is 52 (in 2024). He has recorded a total of seven studio albums. Wave on Wave was a top five song.

Mike Eli of THE ELI YOUNG BAND is 43 (in 2024).

COUNTRY DATEBOOK: APRIL 6

• 1937: MERLE HAGGARD was born.

• 1968: In the wake of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis, the Grand Ole Opry canceled its show because of a citywide curfew.

• 1987: HANK WILLIAMS JR. was named Entertainer of the Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards.

• 1987: Singing cowboy Gene Autry became the first person honored with five stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

• 1998: TAMMY WYNETTE, the First Lady of Country Music, died at her home in Nashville of a blood clot to her lungs.

• 2009: GEORGE STRAIT received the Academy of Country Music’s Artist of the Decade Award during a CBS television special that included performances by BROOKS & DUNN, MIRANDA LAMBERT, GARTH BROOKS and others.

• 2011: TAMMY WYNETTE’s Stand By Your Man and The Sons Of The Pioneers’ Tumbling Tumbleweeds were added to the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry.

• 2016: MERLE HAGGARD died at the age of 79. He passed away on his birthday.

• 2020: THOMAS RHETT shaved off his beard for the first time in five years.

COUNTRY DATEBOOK: APRIL 7

• 1959: MARTY ROBBINS recorded the song El Paso.

• 1990: WILLIE NELSON joined John Mellencamp, Neil Young and Elton John as performers for Farm Aid IV at the Hoosier Dome. More than 45,000 fans attended the event which raised $1 million.

• 1999: SHANIA TWAIN’s album Come On Over was certified Diamond for sales of 10 million copies.

• 2009: JASON ALDEAN’s album Wide Open was released. It included the hits The Truth and Big Green Tractor.

• 2016: On the final edition of the show CARRIE UNDERWOOD performed Something In The Water at the close of American Idol..

• 2017: The Patsy Cline Museum opened in downtown Nashville.

• 2020: Singer/songwriter John Prine died of complications from COVID-19 at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville.

BOBBY BARE is 89 (in 2024). In addition to a string of hits that include Detroit City and Marie Levoux, he recorded with The Old Dogs, comprised of JERRY REED, JOHNNY CASH and WAYLON JENNINGS.

COUNTRY DATEBOOK: APRIL 8

• 1988: RANDY TRAVIS’ album Storms Of Life was certified platinum.

• 2001: BLACKHAWK member Van Stephenson died at age 47 of skin cancer.

• 2008: TRISHA YEARWOOD’s cookbook Georgia Cooking In An Oklahoma Kitchen was released. She wrote the book with her mom and sister and shared many family recipes.

• 2009: Pop singer Jessica Simpson was dropped from the Sony Nashville record label. But the singer’s rep said that Jessica had only been “on loan to Sony Nashville for her country album.”

• 2011: CARRIE UNDERWOOD made her movie acting debut, playing a church counselor for a youth group in Soul Surfer.

• 2016: EMMYLOU HARRIS, CHELY WRIGHT, TY HERNDON, Miley Cyrus and CMT came out in Nashville against a Tennessee “bathroom” bill that would make the lives of transgender teens more difficult.

• 2019: Perryville, Missouri, unveiled a new sign at the city limits: “Welcome to Perryville: home of Grand Ole Opry member Chris Janson”.

• 2020: LADY A covered Islands In The Stream (link) to kick off CMT Giants Kenny Rogers: A Benefit For MusiCares.

JOHN SCHNEIDER is 64 (in 2024). His hits include What’s A Memory Like You Doing In A Love Like This, Country Girls and At The Sound Of The Tone.

COUNTRY DATEBOOK: APRIL 9

• 1961: PATSY CLINE’s I Fall To Pieces began its climb up the charts.

• 1984: Actor Robert Duvall won an Academy Award for his portrayal of a country singer in the movie Tender Mercies.

• 1997: Songwriter MAE AXTON, who wrote Elvis Presley’s Heartbreak Hotel and helped launch the career of BLAKE SHELTON, died at age 82.

• 2001: A guitar autographed by VINCE GILL, partially crafted from the pews of the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, brought in $4,000 for the Grand Ole Opry Trust fund in an eBay auction.

• 2009: KEITH URBAN scored his first number one album on the Top 200 all formats chart with Defying Gravity after it sold 171,000 copies its first week of release.

• 2012: The KEITH URBAN song For You, from the motion picture Act Of Valor, was released.

• 2017: MERLE HAGGARD’s widow, Theresa Haggard, was on hand as his childhood home, built from a converted boxcar, opened for public viewing in Bakersfield, California.

• 2020: THE BELLAMY BROTHERS announced they had partnered with the Trulieve cannabis company for Old Hippie Stash, including two strains named after Bellamy songs: Reggae Cowboy and Big Love.

MARGO SMITH is 82 (in 2024). In the 1970s Margo had two No. 1 hits, Don’t Break the Heart That Loves You and It Only Hurts for a Little While.

COUNTRY DATEBOOK: APRIL 10

• 1956: BRENDA LEE made her debut on the Ozark Jubilee.

• 1982: The WAYLON JENNINGS-WILLIE NELSON album Waylon & Willie was certified platinum. Hits included The Worlitzer Prize and Mama’s Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys.

• 2001: REBA McENTIRE left the Broadway cast of Annie, Get Your Gun for one week to shoot a TV pilot for the WB.

• 2009: GEORGE STRAIT’s older brother, Buddy, was found dead at a hotel in San Antonio.

• 2010: SHENANDOAH reunited for its first concert in more than 12 years during a benefit in Boaz, Alabama, for a domestic violence center.

• 2013: LEE BRICE’s I Drive Your Truck topped the Country Singles (downloads + streaming) chart. The song was awarded Song of the Year honors at the 47th annual Country Music Association Awards, as well as Song of the Year at the 49th annual Academy of Country Music Awards.

• 2016: Three members of LUKE BRYAN’s lighting crew were injured in a car accident in upstate New York.

• 2018: LITTLE BIG TOWN performed Rocket Man during the CBS special Elton John: I’m Still Standing – A Grammy Salute.

• 2021: GABBY BARRETT earned a No. 1 country single (Billboard) with The Good Ones.

LAURA BELL BUNDY is 43 (in 2024). In 2010 she signed to Mercury Records Nashville and released her first two country music singles, Giddy On Up and Drop on By.

MAREN MORRIS is 34 (in 2024).

COUNTRY DATEBOOK: APRIL 11

• 1983: Recording began on KENNY ROGERS and DOLLY PARTON’s number one hit Islands In The Stream.

• 1992: WYNONNA scored her first number one hit as a solo artist with She Is His Only Need.

• 2001: A public funeral was held for BLACKHAWK member Van Stephenson, who’d lost his battle with skin cancer.

• 2006: WYNONNA JUDD opened USA Network’s Nashville Star with No One Else On Earth. Co-hosting with Cowboy Troy, she welcomed judges PHIL VASSAR and Anastasia Brown plus guest judge David Foster. Among the competitors: future winner CHRIS YOUNG.

• 2007: Craig Schelske filed a $20 million suit against the divorce attorney for his wife, SARA EVANS, in Nashville. He said the lawyer made false and defamatory statements when telling the media he had evidence that Schelske had an affair with their nanny.

• 2016: BILLY RAY CYRUS and actor Chris Carmack (Nashville) publicly opposed a Tennessee bill that would negatively impact transgendered students.

• 2020: WILLIE NELSON, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews raised $500,000 with an online version of Farm Aid called At Home With Farm Aid.

• 2020: SHANIA TWAIN announced that her Las Vegas residency shows were cancelled for May and June in the midst of the pandemic

STEVE AZAR is 60 (in 2024). Steve has charted nine times, most successfully with his late 2001-early 2002 hit I Don’t Have to Be Me (’til Monday).

COUNTRY DATEBOOK: APRIL 12

• 1961: MARTY ROBBINS won a Grammy for his tune El Paso.

• 1972: The first Fan Fair was held in Nashville. LORETTA LYNN, PORTER WAGONER, MINNIE PEARL, ROY ACUFF, ERNEST TUBB and BILL MONROE were among those at the event. In 2004 the CMA renamed the event to the CMA Music Festival.

• 1989: GARTH BROOKS’ self-titled debut album was released. It would go on to be one of the best selling debuts in country music history and included the hits If Tomorrow Never Comes, Not Counting You and The Dance.

• 1999: SHANIA TWAIN became the first female artist in music history to score diamond status with two albums when her CD Come On Over hit the 10 million mark in sales. Her other diamond seller was The Woman In Me.

• 2008: BILLY RAY CYRUS sang Some Gave All on the deck of the U.S.S. Iwo Jima in Norfolk, Virginia, as dozens of soldiers competed for a slot among the contestants on Nashville Star.

• 2008: More than 40 members of RASCAL FLATTS’ road crew were kicked off a flight at Mineta International San Jose Airport for drunken and rowdy behavior.

• 2016: NAOMI JUDD joined local residents opposing a new golf course at a town meeting in Thompson’s Station, Tennessee.

• 2016: After eight years as an online station, KENNY CHESNEY’s No Shoes Radio became part of the SiriusXM satellite lineup.

• 2021: LUKE BRYAN revealed he had tested positive for COVID-19. He was forced to miss that night’s live episode of ABC’s American Idol; Paula Abdul took his place.

VINCE GILL is 67 (in 2024). He has recorded more than 20 studio albums and charted over 40 singles.

EASTON CORBIN is 42 (in 2024). His 2010 self-titled debut album featured the two number-ones A Little More Country Than That and Roll with It.

COUNTRY DATEBOOK: APRIL 13

• 1963: BUCK OWENS’ first number one, Act Naturally, entered the country charts.

• 1974: RAY STEVENS’ comedy classic The Streak charted.

• 1985: The Grand Ole Opry was broadcast on The Nashville Network for the first time.

• 2006: TIM McGRAW and FAITH HILL were forced to cancel an April 23 show at Knoxville’s Thompson-Poling Arena when venue managers discovered the production would suspend too much gear from the arena roof to guarantee patrons’ safety.

• 2008: THE DIXIE CHICKS contributed voices to the FOX animated series The Simpsons. They sang in front of an American flag: “We pledge allegiance to Fox News/Let’s take away our right to choose.”

• 2010: The Alabama legislature passed a resolution renaming a portion of State Highway 35 in DeKalb County as the Randy Owen Highway.

• 2014: TAYLOR SWIFT showed up at a bridal shower for fan Gena Gabrielle in Columbus, Ohio.

• 2017: TRISHA YEARWOOD helped reveal her wax figure as Madame Tussauds at its new Nashville location.

• 2020: MARGO PRICE revealed that her husband, guitarist Jeremy Ivey, was experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. She quarantined with her family while he recovered.

• 2021: MORGAN WALLEN wrote a letter to fans, announcing he was dropping out of the upcoming LUKE BRYAN tour as he continued to work out personal issues.

COUNTRY DATEBOOK: APRIL 14

• 1987: MICKEY GILLEY sued to dissolve the Pasadena, Texas, nightclub bearing his name.

• 1992: BILLY RAY CYRUS’ hit song Achy Breaky Heart was released.

• 1999: The body of TAMMY WYNETTE was exhumed and an autopsy performed in Nashville at the request of her husband, George Richey.

• 2009: RASCAL FLATTS scored their tenth number one with Here Comes Goodbye.

• 2010: LADY ANTEBELLUM’s American Honey was tops on the Country Singles chart while their hit Need You Now was spending its third straight week at the top of the Adult Contemporary chart.

• 2015: Pulaski Furniture announced it agreed to distribute Highway To Home, a line of residential pieces designed by ERIC CHURCH, whose father made his living in furniture.

• 2019: HAL KETCHUM’s wife revealed the singer was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. He died November 23, 2020.

• 2020: LUKE COMBS wrote Six Feet Apart with songwriters Brent Cobb and Rob Snyder over Zoom.

COUNTRY DATEBOOK: APRIL 15

• 1989: KEITH WHITLEY topped the charts with I’m No Stranger To The Rain.

• 1998: FAITH HILL became the first artist to premiere an album live on Country Music Television when she performed songs from her album Faith.

• 2005: CRAIG MORGAN’s That’s What I Like About Sunday achieved a fifth straight week at the top of the Radio & Records chart, a best for an independent artist.

• 2008: LADY ANTEBELLUM’s self-titled debut album was released.

• 2017: SAM HUNT married Hannah Lee Fowler.

• 2018: CHRIS STAPLETON and Morgane Stapleton welcomed twins.

• 2021: Chris Janson and his family woke up to discover a fire in his basement studio in Williamson County, Tennessee. First responders were able to extinguish it before the blaze spread.

CHRIS STAPLETON is 46 (in 2024). In 2001, Chris moved to Nashville to pursue an engineering degree from Vanderbilt University but dropped out to pursue his career in music. He has amassed credits for writing and co-writing over 170 songs.

MARGO PRICE is 41 (in 2024).

COUNTRY DATEBOOK: APRIL 16

• 1940: BOB WILLS recorded his classic San Antonio Rose with lyrics for the first time and released it as New San Antonio Rose.

• 1977: WAYLON JENNINGS’ number one hit Luckenback, Texas, charted.

• 1982: THE OAK RIDGE BOYS album The Oak Ridge Boys Greatest Hits was certified platinum.

• 1999: TIM MCGRAW’s album A Place In The Sun was released. Hits included Please Remember Me, Something Like That and My Best Friend.

• 2002: DIAMOND RIO’s Greatest Hits album was certified platinum.

• 2009: RASCAL FLATTS’ Unstoppable debuted at the top of both the Top 200 all-formats album chart and the Top Country Albums chart with sales of 351,000 copies. It marked the trio’s fourth consecutive album to do so.

• 2013: LADY ANTEBELLUM scored its seventh number one with Downtown.

• 2017: KANE BROWN got engaged to Katelyn Jae.

• 2020: LITTLE BIG TOWN and THOMAS RHETT appeared on the ABC special The Disney Family Singalong.

COUNTRY DATEBOOK: APRIL 17

• 1960: Rockabilly singer EDDIE COCHRAN was killed at the age of 21 after an auto accident while on a ten week tour of England. He originally recorded Summertime Blues, which was a hit for ALAN JACKSON in the ’90s.

• 1970: JOHNNY CASH performed at the White House for President Nixon. He did three songs but declined Nixon’s request to perform MERLE HAGGARD’s Okie From Muskogee.

• 1998: The movie Major League 3: Back To The Minors opened in theaters and included the 1994 ALABAMA hit Cheap Seats.

• 2006: JO DEE MESSINA ran in the Boston Marathon after doing much of her training in the hills of Tennessee.

• 2009: BRAD PAISLEY and Kimberly Williams-Paisley welcomed their second son, Jasper Warren Paisley, at a Nashville hospital.

• 2012: BLAKE SHELTON scored his eleventh No. 1 with Drink On It.

• 2017: Cassidy Bentley ran the Boston Marathon in three hours, 26 minutes, with husband DIERKS BENTLEY and their three kids cheering her on. She raises more than $23,000 in the process.

• 2018: The autobiography Let Your Love Flow: The Life And Times Of The Bellamy Brothers was published.

• 2021: BRANTLEY GILBERT hosted a trail ride in Huntsville, Alabama, with proceeds benefiting the Academy of Country Music’s COVID-19 relief efforts.

COUNTRY DATEBOOK: APRIL 18

• 1939: Gene Autry recorded Back In The Saddle Again.

• 1998: DIAMOND RIO became members of the Grand Ole Opry.

• 1998: JO DEE MESSINA scored her first number one with Bye, Bye.

• 2001: BROOKS & DUNN scored their 15th number one with There Ain’t Nothin’ ‘Bout You. That broke THE JUDDS’ record for most number one hits by a country duo.

• 2003: DIERKS BENTLEY made his Grand Ole Opry debut.

• 2006: LEE GREENWOOD, RESTLESS HEART and members of the New England Patriots cheerleading squad returned from a two-week overseas trip where they performed for American GIs in the Pacific, Europe and the Middle East.

• 2010: TRACE ADKINS returned to The Celebrity Apprentice on NBC to evaluate contestants’ work on the week’s assignment: retool the images of EMILY WEST and LUKE BRYAN. Luke performs Rain Is A Good Thing.

• 2013: GEORGE JONES was hospitalized in Nashville with a fever and irregular blood pressure. As a result, concerts were cancelled in Atlanta and Salem, Virginia.

• 2016: Flooding forced CARRIE UNDERWOOD to postpone a Houston concert one week.

• 2020: MADDIE & TAE appeared on TLC’s Say Yes To The Dress: Atlanta in an episode shot prior to Maddie Marlow’s 2019 wedding.

• 2021: FAITH HILL was a guest in a one-hour NBC special called Roll Up Your Sleeves, that educated viewers about the value of COVID-19 vaccinations.

COUNTRY DATEBOOK: APRIL 19

• 1975: EMMYLOU HARRIS debuted on the country chart with If I Could Win Your Love. It would go on to peak at #4 in August of that same year.

• 1980: For the first time in history, women took the top five spots on the Billboard Country Singles chart: #1: CRYSTAL GAYLE – It’s Like We Never Said Goodbye; 2: DOTTIE WEST – Lesson In Leavin’; 3: DEBBIE BOONE – Are You On The Road To Lovin’; 4: TAMMY WYNETTE with GEORGE JONES – Two Story House; 5: EMMYLOU HARRIS – Beneath Still Waters.

• 2002: With his CD Drive, ALAN JACKSON became the first country artist to have two albums spend at least ten weeks inside the Top 10 on the Billboard Top 200 all formats album chart. His other was the Greatest Hits Collection in 1996.

• 2008: ALISON KRAUSS kicked off a concert tour with Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant in Louisville, Kentucky.

• 2008: MIRANDA LAMBERT and BLAKE SHELTON attended a party at Bootlegger’s in Tyler, Texas. In the aftermath, a party-goer filed an assault charge against Miranda, though the woman was later jailed for filing a false report.

• 2011: TOBY KEITH performed American Soldier and Should’ve Been A Cowboy on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars.

• 2016: BROTHERS OSBORNE performed Stay A Little Longer during their Grand Ole Opry debut in Nashville.

• 2021: BRAD PAISLEY and Kimberly Williams-Paisley were featured on the cover of People magazine.

COUNTRY DATEBOOK: APRIL 20

• 1958: GEORGE JONES scored his first number one hit with White Lightnin’.

• 1959: DOLLY PARTON released her first single, Puppy Love, at the age of 13.

• 1987: EDDIE RABBITT performed at the White House Easter Egg Roll.

• 1999: SHANIA TWAIN became the first woman honored by the Nashville Songwriters Association International at its 32nd Annual event in Nashville.

• 2002: TOBY KEITH’s My List began its first of five weeks atop the country singles chart.

• 2008: TOBY KEITH began a 10-day trip with the USO to perform for American soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq

• 2015: WILLIE NELSON used 4/20 — National Weed Day — to formally announce plans to launch Willie’s Reserve, his own brand of cannabis.

• 2017: Certified pilot DIERKS BENTLEY was appointed to the board of commissioners that oversees the Nashville Airport.

• 2019: BROOKS & DUNN’s Reboot debuted at the top of the Billboard country albums chart. The project featured a dozen previous hits remade with younger country acts, including BROTHERS OSBORNE, THOMAS RHETT, KANE BROWN, BRETT YOUNG, ASHLEY MCBRYDE, LUKE COMBS and KACEY MUSGRAVES.

WADE HAYES (Old Enough To Know Better) is 55 (in 2024).

COUNTRY DATEBOOK: APRIL 21

• 1978: B.J. THOMAS topped the country chart with (Hey, Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song.

• 1987: DWIGHT YOAKAM’s album Hillbilly Deluxe was released.

• 2006: TIM MCGRAW and FAITH HILL kicked off their Soul2Soul II tour in Columbus, Ohio.

• 2012: DIERKS BENTLEY celebrated Record Store Day by performing The Rolling Stones’ Dead Flowers with Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready at Easy Street Records in Seattle.

• 2012: KEITH URBAN became a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

• 2012: SCOTTY MCCREERY attended his senior prom in North Carolina.

• 2013: LEE BRICE married Sara Reeveley in Branson, Missouri.

• 2019: MAREN  ORRIS made a surprise appearance at the Coachella music festival, performing The Middle with pop artist Zedd.

• 2020: BLAKE SHELTON pledges $150,000 to a regional food bank during Give From Home Day on KOCO-TV in Oklahoma City.

COUNTRY DATEBOOK: APRIL 22

• 1936: GLEN CAMPBELL was born. He died August 8, 2017.

• 1961: The First Annual Country Music Festival opened in Jacksonville, Florida. It featured WEBB PIERCE, FARON YOUNG, FLATT & SCRUGGS, PATSY CLINE and MEL TILLIS, among others.

• 1998: FAITH HILL and TIM MCGRAW were the big winners at the Academy of Country Music Awards, taking four trophies for their hit It’s Your Love. They won for Single, Song, Video and Top Vocal Event.

• 1999: STEVE WARINER performed Holes In The Floor Of Heaven during a vigil at Nashville’s Centennial Park in memory of the victims of the tragedy at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.

• 2000: The DIXIE CHICKS appeared on the cover of TV Guide.

• 2005: TOBY KEITH and VINCE GILL played a concert marking the 10th anniversary of the bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

• 2011: LEANN RIMES married actor Eddie Cibrian at a private home in Malibu, California.

• 2018: CRAIG MORGAN performed at Yakota Air Base in Tokyo, Japan, at the start of a USO tour.

KELLIE COFFEY is 53 (in 2024). She made her debut in 2002 with the release of her single When You Lie Next to Me.

COUNTRY DATEBOOK: APRIL 23

• 1998: TIM MCGRAW and FAITH HILL each won four awards at the 33rd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards.

• 2002: KENNY CHESNEY’s No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems was released. Hits included the title track, Big Star and The Good Stuff.

• 2004: Following the albums The Woman In Me and Come On Over, SHANIA TWAIN became the first female artist to score three consecutive diamond albums as when Up! hit 10 million in sales.

• 2006: RASCAL FLATTS guitarist Joe Don Rooney married Tiffany Fallon.

• 2010: Waco, Texas, officials shut down a CHRIS YOUNG concert at Wild West for fire code violations. One thousand fans had crammed into the club, exceeding its maximum capacity by 300.

• 2015: A VIP grand opening party was held for the George Jones Museum in downtown Nashville.

• 2020: RUSSELL DICKERSON surprised a couple on NBC’s Today by performing Yours for their first dance following their marriage via Zoom.

COUNTRY DATEBOOK: APRIL 24

• 2003: THE DIXIE CHICKS appeared with Diane Sawyer on ABC’s Prime Time Thursday, where they said that in the wake of calling President Bush “embarrassing,” they’d received death threats and had their property vandalized.

• 2006: RASCAL FLATTS member Joe Don Rooney married Tiffany Fallon in a small ceremony before friends and family on the island of Cabo San Lucas.

• 2007: WILLIE NELSON and road manager David Anderson pleaded guilty to marijuana possession in St. Martinville, Louisiana. They were fined $1,024 apiece and given six months probation.

• 2008: GEORGE STRAIT scored his 56th number-one hit with I Saw God Today.

• 2008: TOBY KEITH’s performance at a base in Kandahar, Afghanistan, was interrupted by mortar fire as he played for 2,500 troops in his sixth USO tour.

• 2010: DIAMOND RIO guitarist Jimmy Olander and vocalist Marty Roe finished half marathons as Team Rio raised $135,000 for charity in Nashville’s Country Music Marathon.

• 2015: The George Jones Museum opened in Nashville.

• 2018: Us Weekly reported that MIRANDA LAMBERT had begun dating Evan Felker, lead singer of The Turnpike Troubadours.

• 2020: Harold Reid, the bass singer for THE STATLER BROTHERS, died from kidney failure at his home in Staunton, Virginia.

Richard Sterban of the OAK RIDGE BOYS is 81 (in 2024). He’s best known as the deep voice on hits like Elvira and Bobbie Sue.

REBECCA LYNN HOWARD is 45 (in 2024). Her highest-charting single, Forgive, peaked at No. 12 on the charts in 2002.

CARLY PEARCE is 34 (in 2024).

COUNTRY DATEBOOK: APRIL 25

• 1978: WILLIE NELSON performed at the White House for President Jimmy Carter.

• 2006: A Tennessee Tourism TV ad debuted featuring DOLLY PARTON riding in a red convertible with Elvis Presley. The ad was actually a digitally created event, with Dolly replacing the original image of Shelley Fabares from the movie Clambake.

• 2008: MIRANDA LAMBERT was cleared by Tyler, Texas, police of assault charges. Her accuser, Aisha Esbay, was jailed for filing false charges.

• 2008: TOBY KEITH arrived in Iraq to perform for soldiers at Victory Base in Baghdad during his sixth USO tour.

• 2011: CARRIE UNDERWOOD, JULIANNE HOUGH, and REBA McENTIRE were among People magazine’s Most Beautiful People in the World.

• 2017: Fire broke out in the pasture at JUSTIN MOORE’s farm in Poyen, Arkansas. No one was hurt in the blaze, extinguished by the local fire department.

• 2021: BRANDI CARLILE’s autobiography, Broken Horses, debuted at No. 1 on the New York Times non-fiction best sellers list.

Rory Feek (JOEY & RORY) is 59 (in 2024). He co-wrote the hits A Little More Country Than That (Easton Corbin) and Some Beach (Blake Shelton).

COUNTRY DATEBOOK: APRIL 26

• 1941: ERNEST TUBB recorded Walkin’ The Floor Over You in a Dallas studio.

• 1971: LYNN ANDERSON topped the U.K. pop chart with Rose Garden.

• 1980: DOTTIE WEST scored her first number one hit with Lesson In Leavin’.

• 2006: JON BON JOVI’s duet with JENNIFER NETTLES, Who Says You Can’t Go Home, topped the country charts. It was the first number one for both acts on the country chart.

• 2013: GEORGE JONES died at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville.

• 2015: ERIC PASLAY married Natalie Harker in Charlotte, Tennessee.

• 2017: JON PARDI made a surprise appearance on Decision Day at his alma mater, Dixon High School, in California.

• 2020: American Idol featured its first show with live remote performances, with judges LUKE BRYAN, Lionel Richie and Katy Perry — dressed as hand sanitizer — watching contestants from their homes.

RASCAL FLATTS member Jay DeMarcus is 53 (in 2024).

COUNTRY DATEBOOK: APRIL 27

• 1959: JOHNNY HORTON’s The Battle of New Orleans entered the country charts.

• 1971: DOLLY PARTON recorded her classic Coat Of Many Colors.

• 1974: WAYLON JENNINGS’ first number one country hit, This Time, began its chart run.

• 2001: BROOKS & DUNN’s Steers & Stripes debuted at number one on the Top Country Albums chart and #4 on the Top 200 all formats chart.

• 2001: TRISHA YEARWOOD was on hand in her hometown of Monticello, Georgia, when a section of Georgia 83 North was re-named Trisha Yearwood Parkway.

• 2007: MARY CHAPIN CARPENTER was released from a hospital in Charlottesville, Virginia, where she was treated for a blocked artery.

• 2010: SHANIA TWAIN mentored the final six contestants on American Idol.

• 2015: Volkswagen Passat introduced a commercial that used the WAYLON JENNINGS-WILLIE NELSON song Mammas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys.

• 2020: The BLAKE SHELTON-Gwen Stefani duet Nobody But You was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America.

John Osborne of BROTHERS OSBORNE is 42 (in 2024).

COUNTRY DATEBOOK: APRIL 28

• 1984: THE JUDDS entered the country chart with what would become their first number one hit, Mama He’s Crazy.

• 1986: The Crook & Chase Show debuted on TNN.

• 1998: TRISHA YEARWOOD made her acting debut in the CBS series JAG as a forensic pathologist.

• 1998: CLINT BLACK’s TV movie Still Holdin’ On: The Legend Of Cadillac Jack aired on CBS. He played a rodeo rider wrongfully accused of murder, and starred opposite his wife, Lisa Hartman Black. Clint’s duet with MARTINA MCBRIDE, Still Holdin’ On, was the main theme from the movie.

• 2009: CHRIS YOUNG was named Country Weekly’s Sexiest Bachelor in Country Music for a second straight year.

• 2010: GARY ALLAN was named Country’s Hottest Bachelor by readers of Country Weekly.

• 2014: WILLIE NELSON was awarded a fifth-degree black belt in gong kwan yu sul, a Korean martial arts practice, at the Master Martial Arts studio in Austin.

• 2019: CHRIS STAPLETON made a cameo appearance as a warrior on Game Of Thrones.

COUNTRY DATEBOOK: APRIL 29

• 1992: DOUG STONE underwent quadruple bypass surgery in Nashville just three days after experiencing chest pains at a show in Oregon.

• 1996: KENNY ROGERS underwent gallbladder surgery in Athens, Georgia.

• 1998: LEANN RIMES kicked off a three day guest appearance on the NBC daytime series Days Of Our Lives, playing a teenage runaway.

• 2005: SARA EVANS was among those featured in People magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People issue. TIM MCGRAW and FAITH HILL appeared among the Most Beautiful Couples.

• 2011: GARTH BROOKS sang Friends In Low Places at a Las Vegas wedding party for casino owner Steve Wynn. Also attending: Clint Eastwood, Sylvester Stallone, and Steven Spielberg.

• 2011: Just before he was to go on stage to perform for American soldiers, TOBY KEITH was forced to take cover in a bunker when four mortars explode nearby.

• 2017: BLAKE SHELTON, Florida State University alum JAKE OWEN and BIG & RICH deliver the first-ever full-stadium concert at FSU’s Doak Stadium in Tallahassee.

• 2020: HUNTER HAYES was revealed as the astronaut on the the FOX series The Masked Singer.

• 2021: FedEx introduced a commercial featuring WILLIE NELSON and his recording Always On My Mind as the company touted its climate-sensitive policies.

WILLIE NELSON is 91 (in 2024). Some show Willie’s birthday as the 30th of April, which is also true. Willie’s daughter Lana tells this story: “Dad celebrated his birthday on the 29th of April until he was 18 years old and went into the Air Force. He had to finally get a birth certificate and it said he was born on the 30th. Not to argue with the government we celebrated his birthday on the 30th for about 40 years. One day while visiting with his cousin, who was there the night he was born, Mildred said no, he WAS in fact born a few minutes before midnight on the 29th and Dr. Simms didn’t record the birth until after midnight. As it turns out we get TWO days to shower Dad with love and tell him how much he means to us.”

OAK RIDGE BOYS member Duane Allen is 81 (in 2024).

MICHAEL RAY is 36 (in 2024).

COUNTRY DATEBOOK: APRIL 30

• 1994: FAITH HILL’s cover of the Janis Joplin tune Piece of My Heart topped the country chart.

• 1997: GEORGE STRAIT’s One Night At A Time went to number one. It was in the first of five consecutive weeks at number one on the country charts.

• 2009: VERN GOSDIN died at the age of 74. His hits included Chiseled In Stone, Set ‘Em Up Joe and Today My World Slipped Away, later covered by GEORGE STRAIT.

• 2013: Citing irreconcilable differences, JASON ALDEAN filed for divorce from Jessica Ussery, his wife of 12 years.

• 2017: LITTLE BIG TOWN sang the national anthem before an NHL playoff game at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, where the Predators beat the St. Louis Blues.

• 2021: KACEY MUSGRAVES took a side job, working an afternoon shift with Blue Monkey Shaved Ice in Nashville.

• 2021: TRISHA YEARWOOD received her first COVID-19 vaccine.

WILLIE NELSON is 91 (in 2024). Some show Willie’s birthday as the 29th of April, which is also true. Willie’s daughter Lana tells this story: “Dad celebrated his birthday on the 29th of April until he was 18 years old and went into the Air Force. He had to finally get a birth certificate and it said he was born on the 30th. Not to argue with the government we celebrated his birthday on the 30th for about 40 years. One day while visiting with his cousin, who was there the night he was born, Mildred said no, he WAS in fact born a few minutes before midnight on the 29th and Dr. Simms didn’t record the birth until after midnight. As it turns out we get TWO days to shower Dad with love and tell him how much he means to us.”

THE MAVERICKS co-founder Robert Reynolds is 62 (in 2024).

CAROLYN DAWN JOHNSON is 53 (in 2024). Her hits include Complicated and Simple Life. As a songwriter, she’s penned tunes for MARTINA MCBRIDE and CHELY WRIGHT.

Brandon Lancaster of LANCO is 35 (in 2024).