Today In Country

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At the 5th Annual Grammy Awards held Chicago, Los Angeles and New York, Burl Ives won Best Country & Western Recording for “Funny Way of Laughin’.”

Jim Reeves was at #1 on the country charts with “Distant Drums.” The track provided the US singer with his only UK #1 hit – albeit posthumously – in 1966, some two years after his death in a plane crash on 31 July 1964. The song remained in the UK charts for 45 weeks.

Born on this day in Springfield, Massachusetts, was Ashley Gearing, country music artist who made her chart debut in 2003 with the song “Can You Hear Me When I Talk to You?”, which peaked at #36 on the US Billboard Hot Country Singles charts. Eleven years old at the time, she became the youngest solo artist to enter the country charts, breaking a record held by Brenda Lee.

Country singer June Carter Cash, the second wife of Johnny Cash, died in Nashville, Tennessee, of complications following heart valve replacement surgery, aged 73. As a member of the Carter Family, she had hits with Johnny Cash, including Grammy Award winning song, “Jackson”, “Ring Of Fire”, (which she co-wrote about their courtship), and “If I Were A Carpenter.”

Jay DeMarcus from Rascal Flatts married Allison Alderson, a former beauty queen who has held the titles Miss Tennessee 1999 and Miss Tennessee USA 2002. DeMarcus met her on the set while filming the video for the Rascal Flatts song, “These Days”.

Winners at the 42nd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards hosted by Reba McEntire included: Top Female Vocalist – Carrie Underwood, Top Vocal Duo – Brooks & Dunn, Top Vocal Group – Rascal Flatts, Top Male Vocalist – Brad Paisley, Top New Female Vocalist – Miranda Lambert and Album of the Year went to Carrie Underwood for Some Hearts.

People Magazine reported Canadian singer Shania Twain and her husband, music producer Robert John “Mutt” Lange, had separated after 14 years of marriage. The couple were married on December 28, 1993, after Twain met Lange at Nashville’s Fan Fair earlier in the year.

Lyle Lovett was conferred the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters by the University of Houston at its general commencement ceremony.