Coming up this week on WIDE OPEN COUNTRY…

The year is 1955 and “The Texas Troubadour”, ERNEST TUBB, is introducing a new singer on ABC TVs Grand Ole Opry show.  Miss PATSY CLINE debuts on the Opry performing “A Church, A Courtroom and Then Goodbye”.

CLAUDE KING climbs to the summit of the Country Music world with a song about a real-life Arkansas mountain man named Clifton Clowers.  The 1962 hit “Wolverton Mountain” becomes King’s signature song.

2015 Stagecoach California's Country Music Festival - Day 1
Credit: Frazer Harrison, Getty Images

On this date in 1968, Capitol Records Nashville releases MERLE HAGGARD’s semi-autobiographical “Mama Tried”.  A truly classic American song, it is selected in 2016 for preservation in the National Recording Registry due to its cultural and historic significance.


Sometimes it takes a few weeks...or even months for a song to reach #1 on the charts. However, WAYLON JENNINGS once waited five years for an album track to top the charts!  From the 1974 album Ramblin Man, “Amanda” finally reached the top spot on this date in 1979.

July 1st, 1980, Warner Brothers released JOHN ANDERSON’s self-titled debut album featuring the top 20 hit “She Just Started Liking Cheating Songs”, which was later covered by Anderson fan ALAN JACKSON on his CD Under The Influence.

KATHY MATTEA reaches #1 on the Billboard charts for the third time on this date in 1989 with her version of “Come From The Heart”...originally recorded by DON WILLIAMS in 1987.

“Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident)” by JOHN MICHAEL MONTGOMERY is the #1 song in the country on this date in 1995.  The hit is one of Montgomery’s most recognizable and dominates the airwaves for months, earning the top spot on Billboard’s year-end charts!

Two very unique stars in the country music galaxy share a July 1st birthday…

-Sandy Hook, Kentucky, 1955, KEITH WHITLEY is born and finds fame at age 19, joining RALPH STANLEY’s Bluegrass Band with fellow musician and close friend RICKY SKAGGS.  Whitley later finds solo success signing with RCA Records in 1983 and rattles off a string of hits including “Don’t Close Your Eyes”, “When You Say Nothing At All”, “I’m No Stranger To The Rain”, and many more.  Suffering from a life-long addiction to alcohol, Whitley was found dead due to alcohol poisoning at the age of 33 in May of 1989.

-MICHELLE WRIGHT was born on this date in 1961.  The Ontario native ruled the Canadian Country music scene in the 1990’s and was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 2011.  Her biggest hit in the USA was the 1992 Top Ten Single “Take it Like a Man”.

Don’t miss WIDE OPEN COUNTRY, brought to you by JOE BASIL COMMERCIAL TRUCKS in Depew, Saturday mornings from 6-9AM on Country 106.5 WYRK!

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