October 24th: On this day
Born on this day was American country singer, guitarist Ray Downs, best known for his appearances on the syndicated Porter Wagoner television show. He also played with Country Music legend Marty Robbins and recorded under the names Ray Stark as well as Jason Williams. Ray is now a novelist with three novels and hundreds of short stories to his credit.
Born on this day in Vicksburg, Mississippi was Mark Gray, singer, songwriter and a member of Exile between 1979 and 1982. Gray's solo career includes three albums and eight Top 40 hits, of which the highest-peaking is the #6 Tammy Wynette duet "Sometimes When We Touch". Gray also co-wrote "Take Me Down" and "The Closer You Get", both of which became #1 hits for Alabama. He died on December 2, 2016.
Jim Reeves was at #1 on the Country music album chart with “Up Through The Years”. Reeves was killed in a plane crash the previous year on July 31, 1964 after they encountered a violent thunderstorm en route to Nashville in a single-engine Beechcraft Debonair aircraft, with Reeves at the controls.
“Run Woman Run" by Tammy Wynette was at #1 on the Country charts. Written by Ann Booth, Duke Goff, and Dan Hoffman, it spent two weeks at the top and a total of thirteen weeks on the country charts and became the 8th chart topper for Wynette.
Willie Nelson was at #1 on the Country music album chart with City Of New Orleans. The album spent 12 weeks at the top of the charts. The title track is a folk song written by Steve Goodman (and first recorded for Goodman's self-titled 1971 album), describing a train ride from Chicago to New Orleans on the Illinois Central Railroad's City of New Orleans in bittersweet and nostalgic terms.
Garth Brooks' No Fences became the first country album certified for shipments of more than 5 million copies. The album stayed in the top 40 for 126 weeks and to date has sold over 17 million copies.
Taylor Swift released her eponymous debut studio album which went on to top the Country Albums Chart for twenty-four non-consecutive weeks and has now sold over 5.5 million copies worldwide.
Both Don Williams and Jimmy Dean were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.