CONTAINS 1969 SESSIONS
Studio Session for Bill Yates, Unknown Date Circa 1969 / Pixie Records
Studio Session for Billy Adams, Unknown Date Circa 1969 / Pixie Records
Studio Session for Bill Yates, Unknown Date Circa 1977 / Memphis Country Records
Biography of Artists (See: The Sun Biographies)
On July 20th one of mans crowning achievements occurred when American Astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the Moon and uttered the immortal words "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." . The opposition to the war continued to increase with more and more attending anti war demonstrations and demanding that the US withdrew from Vietnam. The music came from groups including the Doors, Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin and the Beatles and the most famous music festival of modern times "Woodstock" took place on a New York Farm on August 15 to August 17, 1969 with more than 400,000 avid music fans attending to see the Who, Jimi Hendrix, Crosby Stills Nash and Young and others perform live. fashions reflected the anti war sentiment with military jackets adorned with peace signs, and other trends including long unkempt wild hair and headbands showed the feelings of anti establishment felt by the youth.
Hard-rock fully emerges from the experimentation's of the past few years as Led Zeppelin
releases their first two albums.
The Who release "Tommy", the first widely successful "rock-opera".
Diana Ross leaves the Supremes, who were the most successful female and black group in
history, for a solo career.
FM radio's incursions continue with each new station playing only one or two "formats" which
has the unfortunate result of splitting music on stylistic and often racial grounds rather than
the previously all-inclusive policy of AM radio.
Elvis Presley scores his 18th of his career. He'd score 37 different number 1 hits on all
American charts combined, a record for rock performers.
The Doors lead singer Jim Morrison is arrested for indecent exposure during a concert in
"Kick Out The Jams" by The MC5 introduces the prototype for punk rock.
The Isley Brothers, who's ten year career to date has resulted in only three large hits, start
their own label, T-Neck, and score a major smash with the single "It's Your Thing", their first
funk record as that style replaces soul music as the predominant force on the rhythm and
Two highly publicized rock concerts mark the end of the decade as first the music festival
Woodstock in upstate New York marks the spiritual conclusion to the sixties and then in
December, a concert at the Altamont Speedway in California headlined by the Rolling Stones
turns disastrous as a man is killed by the Hell's Angels hired for security for the event.
Wynonie Harris, who in 1948 may have been the first true rock singer, dies at the age of 53.
Elvis Presley poses for a photo at American Sound Studio with his Memphis Boys, an acclaimed studio band that worked with Elvis on two albums in 1969, in Memphis, Tennessee. >
Elvis has been doing all of his recording work in Nashville or Hollywood since signing with
RCA. But, now he records in Memphis again for the first time since 1955. He has all-night
marathon sessions at American Sound Studio.
His work here will become regarded as some of
the finest music of his career, his best work since the innovative days at Sun and the exciting
early days at RCA before he went into the army.
Inspired and invigorated by the success of his television special, Elvis walked through the
door of the tiny American Sound Studios in Memphis in January 1969 to make quality music
that would garner him hit records. Elvis had not recorded in his hometown since he left Sun
in 1955, but the musical atmosphere at RCA's Nashville studios had become stale. His friends
and associates encouraged him to record at American Sound because Nashville would yield
nothing for him at this time.
American Sound Studios, a small studio in a rundown neighborhood, was operated by Chips
Moman. With Moman as producer, Elvis worked hard to record his first significant
mainstream album in years. In retrospect, From Elvis in Memphis may be his most important
album because it brought his recording career back from soundtrack purgatory and set a
creative standard for the next few years.
Elvis has excellent material to choose from and pours his heart and soul into the sessions. He
works with a lot of top-notch Memphis musicians. The sound is fresh and gutsy. On every
track one can sense his creative excitement and energy. This is joyful work after years of
movie boredom. Two albums albums From Elvis In Memphis & Back In Memphis will result
from these sessions. The sessions will also yield four hit singles to be released starting later
this year and going into 1970: 'In the Ghetto', 'Suspicious Minds', 'Don't Cry, Daddy' and
Producer and Engineer Kenneth Herman >
After working in the Billy Adams band through the Sun era, bass player Jesse Carter started to see less of
Bill Yates. Like many of his contemporaries, he was aware Bill was around, on and off, but as Danny Ivy,
who played with Yates at the Vapors Club, said, ''Bill was in and around Memphis. I saw him on several
occasions, but I don't know a whole lot about him, other that he used to just disappear at times''. Other
musicians agreed. Carter said: ''I think Yates went to Albuquerque''.
Certainly, Yates next disc after he left Sun was titles ''Albuquerque''. It was recorded sometime in the late
1960s for Pixie Records, owned in Memphis by a consortium headed former steel guitarist, Kenneth
Kenneth Herman came to Memphis from Texas in 1941 when he was four years old. He told
Martin Hawkins, ''I was interested in music and I won the Ted Mack Amateur Hour show when I was 13
years old, in 1950, I played steel guitar. I grew up in school with Roland Smith and Reggie Young, who were
guitarists, and Jerl Ferguson who played bass. Reggie then moved schools and he was there with Ed Bruce.
We were all young but we all wanted to get involved with music somehow. We would play with anyone and
everyone who needed a band. We played with a singer named Tommy Smith and made records in Nashville
when I was just a teenager. I knew Billy Adams from way back. We lived 3 blocks away from each other''.
By the late 1960s Kenny Herman was involved in music production when he bought the Sonic Recording
Studio from Roland Janes: ''That was when I started producing records. I ran Sonic for 7 years or so before I
sold it to Robby Turner in 1976. I would just let people come in and rent time, and I'd engineer their sessions,
and it they wanted a record out then sometimes we would do that. Ronald Smith and Jerl Ferguson were the
musicians there. Billy Adams played sessions at my studio sometimes. He just loved rhythm and blues music
and everyone in town knew him by the name ''Bo Diddley''. If a musician needed a drummer they'd say, 'let's
call Bo', never did use his real name, but we all knew who was meant. He and Bill Yates had a band at
Hernando's Hide-A-Way, and one day they asked about making some records. So we formed Pixie then.
Walter Buford, who was a lawyer, put up the money and we used his office at 12 South Main, and later I
used the Sonic address on Madison Avenue. Pixie Records didn't have any big hits or anything but we were
making good money. The name was chosen by one of my children and the songs were published by Líl Imps
Music. One thing I always did was, on the first mix down, I'd make sure to play the tape back on some
ordinary small speakers. I wanted to hear the music in the same way that people would hear it if came on a
record or the radio''.
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
Session Published for Historical Reasons
STUDIO SESSION FOR BILL YATES
FOR PIXIE RECORDS 1969
SONIC RECORDING STUDIO
1692 MADISON AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE CIRCA 1969
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER - MATT FRIEMON
RECORDING ENGINEER - KENNETH HERMAN
01 - ''ALBUQUERQUE'' - B.M.I. - 3:45
Composer: - Bill Yates
Publisher: - Líl Imps Music
Matrix number: - 001A
Recorded: Unknown Date Circa 1969
First appearance: Pixie Records (S) 45rpm Pixie 001 mono
ALBUQUERQUE / SIGNS IN THE SAND
Reissued: - June 14, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17255-12 mono
BILL YATES – THE SUN YEARS PLUS
The very first record on the Pixie label was by Bill Yates, and the fifth by Billy Adams. Yates was recorded at
Sonic with most of the regular Adams band, augmented by horns and a vocal group. The nominal producer
was Matt Friemon, one of Buford's partners, but the songs were Yates' own; ''Albuquerque'', a destination
song, and ''Signs In The Sand'', another gently rocking road song. Kenny Herman remembered: ''Bill Yates
was a great singer. I put up the money for his record on Pixie. We used the Adams show band, Lee Adkins
and Jesse Carter, and so on. We had hopes for it. We took him out to Albuquerque and met the Mayor there
and they gave Bill the key to the city. But we didn't make any money. He went back to the clubs. He was a
good pianist for the clubs, but there were better ones in town and I don't remember using him in my studio.
His forte was as a singer. He played in Memphis for some years''. A fellow pianist, Jerry ''Smoochy'' Smith,
agreed about Bill's strengths, saying, ''I knew Bill Yates well because I played on several shows with him in
the late 1960s. Bill Yates always said I played better than he did and I always said, 'well you sing better than
01 – ''SINGS IN THE SAND'' - B.M.I. - 2:26
Composer: - Bill Yates
Publisher: - Líl Imps Music
Matrix number: - 001B
Recorded: Unknown Date Circa 1969
First appearance: Pixie Records (S) 45rpm Pixie 001 mono
SIGNS IN THE SAND / ALBUQUERQUE
Reissued: - June 14, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17255-11 mono
BILL YATES - THE SUN YEARS PLUS
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Bill Yates - Vocal
Lee Adkins - Guitar
Jesse Carter - Bass
Billy Adams - Drums
Jamie Isonhood - Piano
Unknown - Horns
Unknown - Vocal Group
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
Session Published for Historical Reasons
STUDIO SESSION FOR BILLY ADAMS
FOR PIXIE RECORDS 1969
SONIC RECORDING STUDIO
1692 MADISON AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE CIRCA 1969
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - KENNETH HERMAN
The first record on the Pixie label was by Bill Yates. It was soon followed by Pixie 005, ''Adam And Eve (In
The Garden)'' and ''Dudley (The Do right King)'' by Billy Adams. ''Dudley Do-Right'' was a cartoon character
who had started on ABC's Rocky and Bullwinkle show around 1960. He was a Canadian mounted policeman
whose voice,played by actor Bill Scott, became something of a cult in the 1960s. By 1969 there was a
Dudley Do Right Show on ABC television and Adams' disc may well have been issued at that time. Guitarist
Ronald Smith remembered, ''I came across Billy Adams again in the 1960s sometime, when he was recording
with Pixie Records, where I played sessions. He used his own band though. Billy also worked at a recording
studio on North Second, and he kept his drums down there''.
01 - ''ADAM AND EVE (IN THE GARDEN)'' - B.M.I. - 2:32
Composer: - Billy Adams
Publisher: - Líl Imps Music
Matrix number: - 005A
Recorded: - Unknown Date Circa 1969
Released: - 1969
First appearance: - Pixie Records (S) 45rpm Pixie 005 mono
ADAM AND EVE (IN THE GARDEN) / DUDLEY (THE DO RIGHT KING)
Reissued: - June 14, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17116-13 mono
BILLY ADAMS - THE SUN YEARS PLUS
02 – ''DUDLEY (THE DO RIGHT KING)'' - B.M.I. - 2:48
Composer: - Matt Friemon
Publisher: - Líl Imps Music
Matrix number: - 005B
Recorded: - Unknown Date Circa 1969
Released: - 1969
First appearance: - Pixie Records (S) 45rpm Pixie 005 mono
DUDLEY (THE DO RIGHT KING) / ADAM AND EVE (IN THE GARDEN)
Reissued: - June 14, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17116-14 mono
BILLY ADAMS - THE SUN YEARS PLUS
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Billy Adams - Drums
Lee Adkins - Guitar
Jesse Carter - Bass
Jamie Isonhood - Piano
Unknown - Horns
Unknown - Vocal Group
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
- Pianist and singer, Jamie Earl Isonhood was born in Benton in Yazoo County,
Mississippi, in 1944. An only child, he grew up in the Yazoo City area with his grandparents while his
mother worked in Jackson and then later in Memphis.
He learned to play the piano on his own when he was
five years old, and his first music teacher dismissed him after just two lessons after recognizing that he’d
already developed his own style. He later learned to read music, but has otherwise had very little formal
As a youngster Isonhood began playing school dances and other functions, and while in junior high began
sitting in at a rural honky tonk - his grandmother only found out about this after she discovered money he
made playing the honky tonk hidden under his mattress.
He played largely solo on piano and vocals around
Yazoo City, and performed around the region with a band based out of Kosciusko and the Greenwood-based
rockabilly group of Mack Allen Smith.
The wide range of Isonhood’s contemporary repertoire reflects his lifelong interest in a broad array of music.
As a youngster he listened intensely to country, rhythm and blues, pop and everything else over the radio,
and often visited the blues clubs on Water Street in Yazoo City. At the Silver Slipper he saw shows by artists
including Muddy Waters, Ruth Brown, Jimmy Reed and Slim Harpo. He didn’t play at these clubs while in
high school, but often sat in at blues clubs upon subsequent visits.
After graduating from high school in 1961 Isonhood joined his mother in Memphis, and was soon successful
in finding work in local clubs. Around 1963 Isonhood was hired as the pianist in the house band of Sonic
Studios, which was opened in 1962 by Roland Janes, who worked as the house guitarist at Sun Records for
many years. The other members of the band were bassist Prentiss McPhail, drummer Danny Taylor, and
guitarist Travis Wammack. The band worked five days a week, and in addition to various walk-in and demo
work, they cut singles behind by well known artists including Narvel Felts, Matt Lucas, and Wammack, who
later found success with instrumentals, including the song "Scratchy".
Isonhood left Sonic after about a year, and formed his own four-piece band, called "Jamie and the
Blackhawks" in the late 1960s and early 1970s, which worked in the broader region through the 1970s.
Locally he played at clubs including the Vapors, Hernando’s Hideaway, the American Club, and El Capitan,
but recalls that it was necessary to leave music-rich Memphis to make any real money; his booking agents
placed the band as far away as Las Vegas and Reno. The band occasionally worked behind established stars
such as Jerry Wallace and Ace Cannon, and Isonhood has warm recollections of his friend and major
influence Jerry Lee Lewis sitting in with the band in Memphis, sometimes even on drums.
Isonhood continued working occasionally as a studio musician, and appeared on records by artists including
the Box Tops, Ace Cannon, the Amazing Rhythm Aces, Tony Joe White, Bobby Wood, and Barry "Bird"
Burton, Billy Adams, and Bill Yates. In the late 1960s Isonhood recorded his first single, "Candy Man" b/w
"What You’re Doing to Me", for the MGM label under the name "Jamie & Blackhawks''. He cut a second
single, "Lonely Weekends" b/w "Man Woman and a Bottle", under his own name in the mid-to-late 1970s for
the Memphis-based Coleman label.
In the late 1970s Isonhood relocated to Portland, Oregon, and worked with bands in the northwest and
Canada as well as in recording studios for several years. Following the death of his mother in 1983 he
returned to Memphis, and shortly thereafter moved back to Yazoo City. Since then he has maintained a busy
schedule in the region, playing at various clubs and restaurants, and is particularly popular as a solo
performer at private parties. Since the early 2000s he has played regularly for the Thursday night dance
evenings at Lillo’s Restaurant in Leland. He plays both solo and with a band, usually drummer Louis
"Bubba" Hubbard, bassist Ralph Marr, saxophonist Leonard "Mac" MacIntosh, and, occasionally, guitarist
Harry "Bub" Branton.
In 1989 Isonhood appeared in the film Miss Firecracker, shot largely in Yazoo City, and also wrote the film’s
theme song, "She’s A Firecracker," which was performed by both lead actor Trey Wilson as well as in an
instrumental version by an orchestra. In 2007 Isonhood celebrated the release of his first CD, I Played My
Blues in Memphis, which features thirteen songs in a variety of styles including the self-penned title track.
Produced in Memphis by Roland Janes at Sam Phillips Recording Studio at Madison Avenue, the CD
reunites Isonhood with fellow Sonic studio band members Travis Wammack and Prentiss McPhail.
JANUARY 1, 1969 WEDNESDAY
Penn State defeats the Kansas Jayhawks, 15-14 at the Orange Bowl in Miami. Playing for the Nittany Lions, defensive tackle Mike Reid, who goes on to become a country artist and write hits for Ronnie Milsap, Conway Twitty and Tim McGraw.
JANUARY 3, 1969 FRIDAY
Nikki Nelson is born in San Diego. When Paulette Carlson leaves Highway 101 in 1991, Nelson replaces her, singing lead on what proves to be the band's last hit single, ''Bing Bang Boom''.
Bill Anderson recorded ''My Life (Throw If Away If I Want To)''.
JANUARY 4, 1969 SATURDAY
George Jones, Mel Tillis, Tammy Wynette and Dolly Parton join the Grand Ole Opry at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee. Wynette and Tillis remain members a relatively short time.
Bobbie Gentry guests on ABC's ''The Hollywood Palace'', where host Bing Crosby delivers ''Little Green Apples''.
Johnny Cash earns a number 1 single in Billboard with ''Daddy Sang Bass''. Written by Carl Perkins, it features vocal appearances by The Statler Brothers and The Carter Family.
JANUARY 5, 1969 SUNDAY
Brian Warner is born in Canton, Ohio. As an adult, he gains fame as shock rocker Marilyn Manson, getting referenced along the way in Big and Rich's 2005 country hit ''Comin' To Your City''.
JANUARY 6, 1969 MONDAY
Bobby Bare recorded ''(Margie's At) The Lincoln Park Inn'' in Nashville, Tennessee.
Dottie West loses her home to a fire.
JANUARY 8, 1969 WEDNESDAY
Buck Owens and The Buckaroos recorded ''Tall Dark Stranger'' at the Capitol Recording Studio in Hollywood, California.
JANUARY 9, 1969 THURSDAY
Johnny Cash and June Carter begin a three-week tour of the Far East, including performances for American G.I.s in Vietnam.
Barbara Fairchild holds her first Columbia recording session.
JANUARY 10, 1969 FRIDAY
Glen Campbell grabs his fourth gold album in a 12-week period with ''Hey, Little One''.
JANUARY 13, 1969 MONDAY
Capitol Records released Buck Owens' ''Who's Gonna Mow Your Grass''.
JANUARY 14, 1969 TUESDAY
Rock drummer Dave Grohl is born in Warren, Ohio. A member of Nirvana and later The Foo Fighters, he collaborates with The Zac Brown Band on the 2013 EP ''The Grohl Sessions, Volume 1''.
JANUARY 15, 1969 WEDNESDAY
Elvis Presley recorded the Mac Davis-penned ''Don't Cry Daddy'' at the American Studios in Memphis, Tennessee.
Over 300 unmarked civilians are killed during the My Lai Massacre in South Vietnam. When it is reported on TV, Mac Davis responds emotionally. His son's reaction to his tears inspires Davis to write the future Elvis Presley hit ''Don't Cry Daddy''. According to Mac Davis,
''At the time I was going through a divorce. I had my son, Scotty for the weekend and was about to take him home. I had some time to kill and I flipped on the five o'clock news. Scotty was about five or six years old. It just happened to be the broadcast where they were showing some film of the massacre in Vietnam. It was a very famous horrific incident where some of our guys shot to death some women and children villagers. They were showing some scenes of the bodies and apparently I started crying and didn't even realize it. The next thing I know Scotty was patting my back and going, "Don't cry daddy." That's where the inspiration came from for "Don't Cry Daddy." My songwriter's brain made it totally different. By the time I got Scotty home to his mother's and on the way back to my house I had the chorus written. Basically that's where the song came from. It was a combination of him telling me not to cry because of watching this m
assacre in Vietnam on TV and my own situation having gone through a divorce.
Johnny Cash, Jack Jones and Debbie Reynolds appear on the NBC-TV series ''The Kraft Music Hall'.
Fantasy Records released Creedence Clearwater Revival's ''Proud Mary''. It's referenced 40 years later in The Eli Young Band's country hit ''Always The Love Songs''.
JANUARY 16, 1969 THURSDAY
Buck Owens and The Buckaroos drop in on ''The Jonathan Winters Show'' on CBS-TV, the same network that carries ''Hee Haw''.
JANUARY 17, 1969 FRIDAY
Sonny James recorded ''Running Bear'', ''Since I Met You Baby'' and ''My Love'' at Nashville's Columbia Recording Studios.
JANUARY 18, 1969 SATURDAY
''The Hollywood Palace'' takes on a country sheen. Roy Rogers and Dale Evans sing ''Little Green Apples'' and ''Nashville Cats'' while hosting the ABC variety show. Also on the episode are Sonny James, Burl Ives, George Gobel, Jeannie C. Riley, The Stoney Mountain Cloggers and ''Beverly Hillbillies'' star Irene Ryan.
JANUARY 20, 1969 MONDAY
Elvis Presley recorded the Mac Davis-penned ''In The Ghetto'' at Memphis' American Studios, as well as the soundtrack song ''Rubberneckin'''. ''[In The Ghetto'' was first released in 1969 as a 45 rpm single with "Any Day Now" as the flip-side.
It is a narrative of generational poverty: a boy is born to a mother who already has more children than she can feed in the ghetto of Chicago. The boy grows up hungry, steals and fights, purchases a gun and steals a car, attempts to run, but is shot and killed just as his own child is born. The song implies that the newborn will meet the same fate, continuing the cycle of poverty and violence. The feeling of an inescapable circle is created by the structure of the song, with its simple, stark phrasing; by the repetition of the phrase "in the ghetto" as the close of every fourth line; and finally by the repetition of the first verse's "and his mama cries" just before the beginning and as the close of the last verse.
The song was Presley's first Top 10 hit in the United States in four years, peaking at number 3, and his first United Kingdom Top 10 hit in three years, peaking at number 2. It hit number 1 on Cash Box. It was a number-one hit in West Germany, Ireland, Norway, Australia and New Zealand.
As a major international hit, Presley included it in his setlist during his return to live performances at the International Hotel in Las Vegas in 1969. It was a staple of his shows in the first two seasons, however in his third (August/September 1970), he included it only once, at the dinner show on 13 August, for the benefit of the MGM cameras who were filming ''Elvis: That's The Way It Is'' (1970).
Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs perform at inaugural ceremonies for Richard Nixon.
JANUARY 21, 1969 MONDAY
Brenda Lee and husband Ronnie Shaklett have their second daughter, Jolie Lenee Shacklett, at Vanderbilt University Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee.
Ray Price, Charley Pride and Buck Owens perform during inauguration parties for new Texas governor Preston Smith in Austin, Texas.
JANUARY 22, 1969 WEDNESDAY
Roy Clark makes a guest appearance on ''The Beverly Hillbillies'' as Cousin Roy.
Glen Campbell nets the first gold single of his career, for ''Wichita Lineman''.
Bobby Darin sings a portion of his lone country hit, ''Splish Splash'', while hosting ''The Kraft Music Hall'' on NBC-TV. Darin also collaborates with Stevie Wonder on ''If I Were A Carpenter'' and with Judy Collins on ''I'll Be Your Baby Tonight''.
JANUARY 23, 1969 THURSDAY
Elvis Presley recorded ''Suspicious Minds'' at the American Studios in Memphis.
Dean Martin covers Bobby Goldsboro's ''Honey'' and Jimmy Dean's ''Bumming Around'' on his NBC variety series.
JANUARY 24, 1969 FRIDAY
Johnny Cash, June Carter and The Tennessee Three appear on an episode of ABC's ''Operation: Entertainment'' shot at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita.
JANUARY 27, 1969 MONDAY
Decca Records released Loretta Lynn's ''Woman Of The World (Leave My World Alone)''.
JANUARY 28, 1969 TUESDAY
Country/pop singer Jimmie Rodgers performs at the Cocoanut Grove in Los Angeles, his first live appearance since his skull was fractured 14 months prior.
Columbia released Ray Price's ''Sweetheart Of The Year''.
JANUARY 29, 1969 WEDNESDAY
Eddy Arnold recorded ''Please Don't Go'' at RCA Studio B in Nashville, Tennessee.
''The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour'' debuts on CBS-TV. Guests for the first episode, Bobbie Gentry, ''Gentle On My Mind'' songwriter John Hartford, The Smothers Brothers and comedian Pat Paulsen.
Roy Clark shows up as Cousin Roy in a guest slot on CBS-TVs ''The Beverly Hillbillies''. He performs ''Orange Blossom Special'', ''Under The Double Eagle'' and ''The Great Pretender''.
The ''Bobbie Gentry and Glen Campbell'' project becomes the first gold album by a duet in country music history.
Johnny cash and June Carter conclude a three-week tour of the far East where they performed for American soldiers in Japan, The Philippines and Vietnam.
Eddy Arnold, Polly Bergen and The Cowsills appear on NBC's ''The Kraft Music Hall''.
JANUARY 29, 1969 WEDNESDAY
The Beatles perform in public for the final time as a group in an impromptu rooftop jam
session in England. They record their final sides together in August of that year.
JANUARY 30, 1969 THURSDAY
Kenny Rogers and The First Edition are featured guests on ''The Jonathan Winters Show'' on CBS-TV, along with Barbara Feldon, Paul Lynde and O.C. Smith.
The Beatles, with Billy Preston, gave their final live performance on the roof of the Apple building in London, England, the live performance was an impromptu event that ran for 42 minutes featuring ''Get Back'', ''I Want You (She's So Heavy)'', ''Don't Let Me Down'', ''I've Got A Feeling, One After 909'', ''Danny Boy'', ''Dig A Pony'', ''God Save The Queen'' and ''A Pretty Girl Is Like A Melody'' later featured as the climax of their ''Let It Be'' film.
FEBRUARY 1, 1969 SATURDAY
Two years after George Hamilton IV earned a country hit with her song ''Urge For Going'', singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell makes her Carnegie Hall debut.
FEBRUARY 2, 1969 SUNDAY
Jackson, Tennessee, declares Carl Perkins Day. Among the 500 who attend a celebratory banquet are Johnny Cash, Sonny James, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chet Atkins, Eddy Arnold and Marty Robbins.
FEBRUARY 3, 1969 MONDAY
Decca Records released Bill Anderson's ''My Life (Throw It Away If I Want To)''.
FEBRUARY 5, 1969 WEDNESDAY
Jeannie C. Riley sings ''Harper Valley P.T.A'' and The Monkees perform ''Last Train To Clarksville'' on CBS-TVs ''The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour''.
Carl Smith recorded the Leon Payne classic ''I Love You Because''.
FEBRUARY 7, 1969 FRIDAY
''This Is Tom Jones'' debuts on ABC-TV, where it remains for two years. Jones goes on to make several country hits, his set list for his first installment includes ''Danny Boy'', ''Johnny B. Goode'' and ''Green, Green Grass Of Home''.
Freddy Weller recorded ''Games People Play'' in Hollywood, California.
FEBRUARY 8, 1969 SATURDAY
The Beatles' George Harrison undergoes a tonsillectomy in a London hospital, just two months before the band recorded ''Something'', with Harrison singing lead. Johnny Rodriguez later turns the song into a country hit.
FEBRUARY 9, 1969 SUNDAY
When their pickup goes out of control on the icy Kickapoo Creek bridge in Illinois, Waylon Jennings band member Chuck Conway is thrown into the creek. Two hour later, he's pronounced dead.
Three country singles are named Grammy finalists for Record of the Year, Jeannie C. Riley's ''Harper Valley P.T.A'', Bobby Goldsboro's ''Honey'' and Glen Campbell's ''Wichita Lineman''. They compete against The Beatles and Simon and Garfunkel.
FEBRUARY 12, 1969 WEDNESDAY
The CBS-TV show ''The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour'' welcomes guests Jose Feliciano and The Clingers.
Glen and Billie Jean Campbell have a son, Wesley Kane Campbell, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California.
FEBRUARY 13, 1969 THURSDAY
Tammy Wynette recorded ''Singing My Song'' at Columbia's Nashville Studios.
Bob Dylan holds the first session for the album ''Nashville Skyline'' at the Columbia Recording Studios on Music Row with local musicians Pete Drake, Charlie McCoy and Kenny Buttrey.
FEBRUARY 16, 1969 SUNDAY
George Jones marries Tammy Wynette in Ringgold, Georgia, six months after they announced the marriage.
Former life insurance executive Edwin Craig is hospitalized with a heart ailment at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville. Craig had a hand in bringing country music to Nashville, establishing WSM Radio and approving the start of the Grand Ole Opry.
FEBRUARY 17, 1969 MONDAY
Jon Randall is born in Dallas, Texas. After playing with Emmylou Harris' Nash Ramblers, he joins Lorrie Morgan on the 1996 hit ''By My Side''. He also writes Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss' ''Whiskey Lullaby'', Dierks Bentley's ''Am I The Only One'' and Blake Shelton's ''Drink On It''.
Bob Dylan recorded ''Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You'' at the Columbia Studio in Nashville, Tennessee. It's hailed among country's 500 greatest singles of all-time in the Country Music Foundation book ''Heartaches By The Number''.
''Don't The Girls All Get Prettier At Closing Time'' songwriter Baker Knight has a daughter, actress Tuesday Knight, born on a Monday.
Decca Recorded released Jack Greene's album ''Until My Dreams Come True''.
FEBRUARY 18, 1969 TUESDAY
Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan recorded ''Girl From The North Country'' at the Columbia Studio in Nashville for Dylan's album ''Nashville Skyline''. Among the unreleased performances are ''T For Texas'', ''That's All Right'' and ''You Are My Sunshine''.
Sax player Homar Boots Randolph scores a gold album for ''Boots With Strings''.
The Bee Gees' Maurice Gibb marries ''To Sir With Love'' singer Lulu at St. James Church in Gerrard's Cross, England. He goes on to co-write several Kenny Rogers hits including ''Island In The Stream'' and ''Buried Treasure''.
Marty Robbins recorded ''I Can't Say Goodbye''.
Jerry Lee Lewis and Linda Gail Lewis recorded ''Don't Let Me Cross Over'' at the Columbia Studios in Nashville, Tennessee.
FEBRUARY 19, 1969 WEDNESDAY
Elvis Presley recorded Eddie Rabbitt's ''Kentucky Rain'' at Memphis' American Studios, with Ronnie Milsap on backing vocals.
Glen Campbell and Roger Miller deliver a joint version of ''King Of The Road'' during CBS-TV's ''The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour''. The episode also features John Wayne, John Hartford, Steve Allen and Stevie Wonder.
Johnny Cash hears songwriter Shel Silverstein's ''A Boy Named Sue'' for the first time during a songwriters party in Tennessee, also attended by Graham Nash, Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson and Joni Mitchell. Cash recorded the song five days later.
FEBRUARY 20, 1969 THURSDAY
Elvis Presley recorded ''Any day Now'' at the American Studios in Memphis, Tennessee.
Bill Anderson and Jan Howard recorded ''If It's All The Same To You''.
Bobby Darin guests on ''The Dean Martin Show''. The NBC series host covers ''Little Green Apples'' and ''Green, Green Grass Of Home''.
Jerry Lee Lewis recorded ''One Has My Name (The Other Has My Heart)'' at the Columbia Studios in Nashville, Tennessee.
FEBRUARY 21, 1969 FRIDAY
Show host Tom Jones performs ''Honey'' and ''(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay'' on ABC's ''This Is Tom Jones''. Also featured are Lulu and The Bee Gees.
FEBRUARY 22, 1969 SATURDAY
Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs make their final public appearance on the Grand Old Opry before a nasty split.
FEBRUARY 24, 1969 MONDAY
Johnny Cash recorded the album ''Johnny Cash At San Quentin'', including ''A Boy Named Sue''. The concert features his entire touring ensemble, including June Carter, Carl Perkins, The Carter Family and The Statler Brothers. The album itself reach number 1 in August and stay on the charts for seventy weeks.
Future country star B.J. Thomas grabs a gold single for ''Hooked On A Feeling''.
Decca Records released Loretta Lynn's album ''Your Squaw Id On The Warpath''.
FEBRUARY 25, 1969 TUESDAY
RCA Victor released Elvis Presley's pop hit ''Memories''.
FEBRUARY 26, 1969 WEDNESDAY
Elvis Presley flies to Las Vegas to stage the signing of his contract to perform at the under-construction International Hotel, a gig that marks his return to live concerts after a seven-year layof. The actual signing doesn't occur until April.
Tom T. Hall recorded ''A Week In A Country Jail'' at Nashville's Columbia Recording Studios.
Folk singer/songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie appears on CBS' ''The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour''.
FEBRUARY 27, 1969 THURSDAY
Dean Martin and guest performer Bobbi Martin duet on Hank Williams' ''Hey Goos Lookin'''and the old Eddy Arnold hit ''Just A Little Lovin' (Will Go A Long, Long Way)'' on the NBC variety series ''The Dean Martin Show''. Also guesting, George Gobel.
FEBRUARY 28, 1969 FRIDAY
Roni Stoneman undergoes surgery at Nashville's Vanderbilt Hospital to remove a tumor on her neck.
Tom Jones covers the Jimmy Webb-written country hit ''By The Time I Get To Phoenix'' on his ABC show ''This Is Tom Jones''.
Pop vocalist Pat Monahan is born in Erie, Pennsylvania. As the lead singer of Train, he co-writes ''Drops Of Jupiter (Tell Me)'', a 2001 pop hit that gets referenced along with the band in Sam Hunt's 2014 country hit ''Leave The Night On''.
MARCH 1, 1969 SATURDAY
Barbara Mandrell signs her first recording contract with Columbia Records.
Former cast member Lynn Anderson is a featured guest on ABC's telecast of ''The Lawrence Welk Show''.
MARCH 5, 1969 WEDNESDAY
Waylon Jennings tapes an appearance on ABC-TV's late-night offering ''The Joey Bishop Show'', his first national talk show. Jennings detests the experience and generally avoids talk shows during much of his career.
Bobby Goldsboro performs ''Honey'' on CBS-TV's ''The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour''. Also in the line-up for the week is singer/songwriter Joe South.
MARCH 6, 1969 THURSDAY
NBC's ''The Dean Martin Show'' welcomes special guest Minnie Pearl.
MARCH 9, 1969 SUNDAY
Buck Owens recorded ''Johnny B. Goode'' live at London's Palladium.
Jeannie C. Riley sings ''Harper Valley P.T.A'' on ''The Ed Sullivan Show''. The CBS program also features Creedence Clearwater Revival, including future Southern Pacific member Stu Cook.
MARCH 10, 1969 MONDAY
Tennessee Ernie Ford is a special guest on CBS-TV's ''Here's Lucy''.
MARCH 11, 1969 TUESDAY
After 25 years as a bluegrass duo, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs split up.
Keyboard player Rami Jaffee is born in Los Angeles. Best known for his work as a member of The Wallflowers, he plays on country hits by Keith Urban and Tim McGraw.
MARCH 12, 1969 WEDNESDAY
Johnny Cash wins twice during the 11th Grammy awards. He collects the trophy for Best Album Notes, for ''Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison'', and Best Country Vocal Performance, Male, for ''Folsom Prison Blues''.
The Beatles' Paul McCartney marries Linda Eastman at the Marylebone Registry Office in London. McCartney songs remade by country acts include ''I Feel Fine'', by Sweethearts of the Rodeo, and ''I Don't Want To Spoil The Party'' by Rosanne Cash.
Filming begins in Los Angeles for Elvis Presley's final dramatic role, opposite Mary Tyler Moore in ''Change Of Habit''.
Merle Haggard and Glen Campbell join forces in a performance of ''The Legend Of Bonnie And Clyde'' on ''The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour''. Also appearing on the CBS show, Leslie Uggams and regulars Pat Paulsen and John Hartford.
The Everly Brothers drop in on the NBC series ''The Kraft Music Hall'', with Eddy Arnold, Ray Charles, Johnny Mercer and The Stoney Mountain Cloggers.
MARCH 13, 1969 THURSDAY
The Elvis Presley movie ''Charro!'' debuts at theaters. Shots on location at Apacheland Movie Ranch and Old Tucson Studios in Arizona. It was his only role that did not feature him singing on-screen, and is the only Presley film to feature no songs at all except for the main title theme. It also features a bearded Presley for the first and last time in any of his films. The film co-starred Ina Balin, Victor French, Barbara Werle, and Solomon Sturges and was the final for director Charles Marquis warren. It was also the only Presley film released to theaters by National General Pictures. The film made a profit but was not a runaway success, and remains one of Presley's least-seen films despite it being among his best in terms of a 'straight' (non-musical) acting performance.
The role of Jess Wade was originally turned down by Clint Eastwood. The budget for the movie was estimated at $1.5 million. Working titles for the film included''Jack Valentine'', ''Johnny Hang'', and ''Come Hell'' or ''Come Sundown''. Presley signed up to the project with high hopes after reading the serious, song-free script, but was left disappointed when he arrived for his first day of shooting on July 22, 1968 to find that the script he had originally signed up for had been changed beyond the point of recognition.
The original opening scene, which was to feature female nudity, was dropped in favor of a more gentle bar scene. Many of the more violent scenes were dropped from the film altogether. A scene which featured Ina Balin nude climbing from a bath was also removed.
The film, although a hit, was not received as well as Presley's previous films. Fans were put off by the lack of songs, and critics were generally unimpressed with the film as a whole. Despite this, the film made a good profit and Presley received $850,000 for his work.
In June 1968, Presley had already completed the sequences and recorded the songs for what would be his 68' Comeback Special and its attendant album, ''Elvis'', that put his musical talents back on display after the long slog of the soundtrack years. During the special, Presley erroneously states that he had made twenty nine '"pictures" up to that time. The actual tally was twenty eight at taping. Charro would be the twenty ninth. At the time the special was aired in December, Presley had completed his thirtieth film, ''The Trouble With Girls (and How To Get Into It)''.
His confidence and enthusiasm restored, Presley turned to his musical obligations for Charro! Appropriately for a Western, the studio hired Hugo Montenegro to produce the film's two songs, the recording session taking place at Sanuel Goldwyn Studio in Hollywood, California on October 15, 1968. The title song appeared in the movie during the opening credits, released commercially on February 25, 1969, as the b-side to RCA 47-9731 "Memories," which had also appeared on the TV special and album. A second song recorded for but not used in the film, "Let's Forget About the Stars" appeared on the budged album ''Let's Be Friends'' in 1970. This song is erroneously referred to in some sources as an outtake from the soundtrack of the later Presley film ''Change Of Habit''.
George Harrison and his wife, Patti, are arrested for marijuana possession after 120 joints are found in their London Apartment. A month later, The Beatles begin recording ''Something'', a Harrison song that becomes a country hit for Johnny Redriguez.
Glen Campbell recorded ''True Grit'', the title song for the John Wayne movie, at the RCA Studio in Hollywood.
Bobbie Gentry has a guest slot CBS' ''The Jonathan Winters Show''.
MARCH 16, 1969 SUNDAY
Gordy Tapp is the first cast member hired for ''Hee Haw''
CBS-TV's ''The Ed Sullivan Show'' highlights a small group of Nashville-based musicians, Chet Atkins, Boots Randolph and Floyd Cramer. Also on the show, Ed Ames and Janis Joplin.
MARCH 17, 1969 MONDAY
Capitol Records released Glen Campbell's ''Galveston'', the single and the album.
MARCH 19, 1969 WEDNESDAY
Glen Campbell and Bobbie Gentry perform ''Let It Be Me'' and Campbell teams with Jim Nabors for a version of ''Act Naturally'' on CBS-TV's ''The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour'', also featuring Pat Paulsen and John Hartford.
MARCH 20, 1969 THURSDAY
The Beatles' John Lennon marries Yoko Ono in Gibraltar, Spain. Several Beatles songs will become country hits, Sweethearts Of The Rodeo's ''I Feel Fine'', Rosanne Cash's ''I Don't Want To Spoil The Party'' and Johnny Rodriguez' ''Something''.
MARCH 24, 1969 MONDAY
Porter Wagoner signs a contract with RCA Records making him a co-producer on all Dolly Parton sessions.
Decca Records released Warner Mack's ''Leave My Dream Alone''.
MARCH 25, 1969 TUESDAY
Roy Orbison marries Barbara Wellhonen in Nashville, Tennessee.
Pop act Gary Puckett and The Union Gap realizes its first gold album, with ''Young Girl''. The band's bass player, Kerry Chater, is a future songwriter, destined to write hits for Ed Bruce, George Strait and Lee Greenwood, among others.
MARCH 26, 1969 WEDNESDAY
The Beatles' John Lennon begins a one-week ''bed-in'' for peace with new bride Yoko Ono at the Amsterdam Hilton, inviting the world's press into their hotel room every day between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.
More than 15 years later, he lands on the country charts as a songwriter, with ''I Don't Want To Spoil The Party'' and ''I Feel Fine''.
The Allman Brothers Band is formed in Jacksonville, Florida. Two members, Gregg Allman and Dickey Betts, will go on to earn country hits as songwriters.
MARCH 28, 1969 FRIDAY
Charlie Rich recorded ''Life's Little Ups And Downs'' in Nashville. It later becomes a hit for Ricky Van Shelton.
It's not unusual, Chet Atkins and Jerry Lee Lewis appear on ABC-TV's variety show ''This Is Tom Jones''. The Killer's set list includes ''Great Balls Of Fire'' and ''Whole Lot Of Shakin' Going On''.
Rodney Atkins is born in Knoxville, Tennessee. He hits his stride with the 2006 album ''If You're Going Through Hell'', which notches four hits, including the title track and ''Watching You''. His later successes include, ''It's America'' and ''Take A Back Road''.
MARCH 29, 1969 SATURDAY
Keyboard player Brady Seals is born in Hamilton, Ohio. As a member of Little Texas, he contributes to such hits as ''What Might Have Been'', ''God Blessed Texas'' and ''Kick A Little'' before leaving in 1994 for a solo career.
U.S. troops in Vietnam peak at 550,000.
APRIL 1, 1969 TUESDAY
Rick Nelson makes a historic appearance at The Troubadour in West Hollywood with his group, The Stone Canyon Band, eschewing his rockabilly past for country-rock.
The Burt Reynolds western ''Sam Whiskey'' debuts in movie theaters with an appearance by Del Reeves.
APRIL 2, 1969 WEDNESDAY
Roy Rogers performs ''Blue Shadows On The Trail'' during a CBS airing of ''The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour''. Also appearing, dale Evans, The Vogues, John Hartford and Pat Paulsen.
Jeannie C. Riley on NBC's weekly series ''The Kraft Music Hall'', which also features Lena Horne singing ''Softly As I Leave You''.
APRIL 3, 1969 THURSDAY
Tom T. Hall recorded ''(Margie's At) The Lincoln Park Inn'' at the Columbia Recording Studio in Nashville, Tennessee. Bobby Bare already has released his version of the song, which becomes a Top 10 hit.
Bill Owens sells his shares in Owepar Music publishing to his niece and co-owner, Dolly Parton, who eventually gives those shares to Porter Wagoner.
APRIL 5, 1969 SATURDAY
Wembley, England, hosts the first international country music festival, featuring Bill Anderson, George Hamilton IV, Charlie Walker, Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn. During the festival, Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn to recorded some duets.
Charley Pride guests on ABC-TV's ''The Lawrence Welk Show''.
APRIL 7, 1969 MONDAY
Decca Records released Conway Twitty's album ''Darling, You Know I Wouldn't Lie''.
APRIL 8, 1969 TUESDAY
Waylon Jennings recorded ''MacArthur Park'' with The Kimberlys at RCA Studio B in Nashville, Tennessee. The performance earns a Grammy award.
APRIL 9, 1969 WEDNESDAY
Porter Wagoner becomes the first person to recorded Dolly Parton ''Coat Of Many Colors'', two years before she has a hit with it.
Columbia released Bob Dylan's ''Nashville Skyline'', the third in a trio albums he recorded in Nashville during the late 1960s.
Elvis Presley's ''His Hand In Mine'' is blessed with a gold album, his second gospel package to attain that recognition.
Ray Charles performs ''Born To Lose'' on CBS-TV's ''The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour''. Charles also joins Campbell and John Hartford on a version of Hank Snow's ''I'm Moving On''.
APRIL 10, 1969 THURSDAY
Ray Stevens is a guest on the NBC variety series ''The Dean Martin Show''.
Johnny cash is given honorary life sentence by governor Winthrop Rockefeller when he performs for 900 inmates at Cummins Prison in Grady, Arkansas.
APRIL 11, 1969 FRIDAY
Bobby Goldsboro makes a guest appearance on ABC-TV's ''This Is Tom Jones''.
Chalee Tennison is born in Freeport, Texas. After her third divorce in 1998, she moves to Nashville, where she signs with Asylum Records, releasing her debut album one year later. It brings her an award nomination for Top New Female Vocalist from the Academy of Country Music.
APRIL 14, 1969 MONDAY
RCA Victor released Elvis Presley's ''In The Ghetto''.
The song was Presley's first Top 10 hit in the US in four years, peaking at number 3, and his first UK Top 10 hit in three years, peaking at number 2. It hit number 1 on Cash Box. It was a number-one hit in West Germany, Ireland, Norway, Australia and New Zealand.
Jerry Lee Lewis performs' ''Whole Lot Of Shakin' Going On'' on The Monkees' NBC-TV special ''33-1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee''.
Decca Records released Conway Twitty's ''I Love You More Today''.
APRIL 15, 1969 TUESDAY
Charley Pride recorded ''All I Have To Offer You (Is Me)''.
Porter Wagoner recorded ''Big Wind''.
Elvis Presley sign a one-month contract with Las Vegas International Hotel, setting the stage for his first live performance in seven years.
APRIL 16, 1969 WEDNESDAY
''Hello... I'm Johnny Cash''. Cash tapes the first of his ABC-TV weekly shows at the Ryman Auditorium, kicking off with ''Folsom Prison Blues''. The show, which features guests Glen Campbell, Jeannie C. Riley and Joe Tex, becomes the fifth episode aired.
The Beatles begin recording ''Something'' at Abbey Road in London. Johnny Rodriguez' version later becomes a country hit.
Glen Campbell's ''Galveston'' earns a gold album.
Freddy Weller recorded ''These Are Not My People'' in Hollywood, California.
Glen Campbell delivers ''Green, Green Grass Of Home'' in an installment of his CBS variety series ''The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour''. The episode also features John Hartford, Pat Paulsen, Al Martino and Nancy Sinatra.
Johnny Cash performs ''Folsom Prison Blues'' on NBC-TV's ''The Kraft Music Hall''. Other guests included The Statler Brothers, who sing ''Flowers On The Wall'' and Carl Perkins, who does ''Restless'', plus Paul Lynde and Kate Smith.
APRIL 19, 1969 SATURDAY
Band leader Lawrence Welk, who appeared two dozen years earlier on a pair of Red Foley hits, rides the cover of TV Guide.
Former cast member Lynn Anderson has a return engagement on ABC-TV's ''The Lawrence Welk Show''.
Glen Campbell ascends to number 1 on the Billboard country singles chart with the Jimmy Webb song ''Galveston''.
APRIL 20, 1969 SUNDAY
Singer and guitarist Wade Hayes is born in Bethel Acres, Oklahoma. Traditionally influenced, he scores several hits in the mid-1990s, including ''Old Enough To Know Better'', ''On A Good Night'' and ''What I Meant To Say''.
APRIL 21, 1969 MONDAY
Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton recorded ''Just Someone I Used To Know''.
APRIL 22, 1969 TUESDAY
The Beatles' John Winston Lennon legally changes his name to John Ono Lennon. Several of his songs are destined to become country hits.
A&M Records signs the brother-and-sister act The Carpenters to a recording contract. During their tenure with the label, the pop duo earns one country hit, with the Juice Newton-penned ''Sweet, Sweet Smile''.
APRIL 23, 1969 WEDNESDAY
Johnny Cash and June Carter sings ''Jackson'' on CBS-TV's ''The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour''. They're joined on the CBS show by John Hartford, Vikki Carr and comedian Bob Newhart.
The Ash Grove suffers the first of three devastating fires, this one requiring four months of repair before re-opening. The Los Angeles venue has hosted such acts as Bill Monroe, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Flatt and Scruggs and Maybelle Carter.
Roy Drusky recorded ''Such A Fool'' and ''My Grass Is Green'' at the Columbia Recording Studios in Nashville, Tennessee.
APRIL 24, 1969 THURSDAY
Bob Dylan begins recording his album ''Self Portrait'' at the Columbia Recording Studios in Nashville, with Charlie Daniels among the session players. Other musicians include Charlie McCoy, Fred Carter Jr., Pete Drake and Kenny Buttrey.
Dean Martin performs a medley of recent country hits, ''Gentle On My Mind'', ''By The Time I Get To Phoenix'' and ''Little Green Apples'' on his NBC television series ''The Dean Martin Show''.
Barbara Mandrell holds her first recording session for Columbia Records.
Dave Dudley recorded ''George (And The North Woods)'' at the Columbia Recording Studios in Nashville, Tennessee.
APRIL 25, 1969 FRIDAY
Actress Renee Zellweger is born in Katy, Texas. Noted for her role in ''Jerry Maguire'', ''Bridget Jones' Diary'' and ''Nurse Betty'', she weds country singer Kenny Chesney in 2005, though the marriage is annulled within a few months.
APRIL 26, 1969 SATURDAY
Lynn Anderson is a guest on ABC-TV's weekly champagne-music series ''The Lawrence Welk Show''.
APRIL 28, 1969 MONDAY
Decca Records released Jack Greene's ''Statue Of A Fool''.
Glen Campbell wins three times in the fourth Academy of Country and Western Music awards at the Palladium in Hollywood. He takes Top Male Vocalist and Television Personality, and shares Album of the Year, for ''Bobbie Gentry and Glen Campbell''.
APRIL 30, 1969 WEDNESDAY
Glen Campbell sings ''Bye Bye Love'' with The Righteous Brothers on CBS-TV's ''The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour;;. Also joinings him are Liza Minnelli, Waylon Jennings and Glen's parents, Wes and Carrie.
Pop singer Mel Torme reprises the country hit ''Little Green Apples'' during ''The Kraft Music Hall'' on NBC-TV.
MAY 1, 1969 THURSDAY
Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan tape the first installment of ''The Johnny Cash Show'' at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. In the audience, future singer/songwriter John Hiatt.
Nashville's Columbia Recording Studios restrict sessions to acts on the Columbia and Epic labels. The company thus has more time for Tammy Wynette, David Houston and Johnny cash dates, though Sonny James books Capitol sessions in February.
Capitol Records released Merle Haggard's Jimmie Rodgers tribute album ''same Train, A Different Time''.
MAY 4, 1969 SUNDAY
Lynn Anderson marries songwriter/producer Glenn Sutton.
Johnny cash and Hank Williams Jr. gross $93,000, drawing 23,000 tickets-buyers for two shows at Detroit's Cobo Arena. It is recognized as the highest gross in history for a country show in one day at the time.
Roger Miller sings ''King Of The Road'' with the host of the TV special ''The Andy Williams Magic Lantern Company''. Miller also turns in a version of ''Little Green Apple'' on the show, which features Aretha Franklin performing ''Gentle On My Mind''.
MAY 5, 1969 MONDAY
Capitol Records released Buck Owens' remake of Chuck Berry's ''Johnny B. Goodel''.
MAY 6, 1969 TUESDAY
Bobby Goldsboro guests on the pilot for the ABC variety series ''Jimmy Durante Presents The Lennon Sisters Hour''.
MAY 7, 1969 WEDNESDAY
Bob Dylan's album ''Nashville Skyline'' is certified gold. It contains ''Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You'', cited in the Country Music Foundation's ''Heartaches By The Number'' among country's 500 all-time greatest singles.
Roy Clark sings ''Yesterday, When I Was Young'' on ''The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour'', also featuring Jerry Inman, The Association, John Hartford and Goldie Hawn.
MAY 8, 1969 THURSDAY
Elvis Presley tells Colonel Tom Parker he's no longer interest in doing movies, because the roles are so bad.
MAY 10, 1969 SATURDAY
Merle Haggard is seen at number 1 on the Billboard country chart with ''Hungry Eyes''.
Stonewall Jackson rejoins the Grand Ole Opry more than four years after he was fired for not meeting the radio show's appearance minimum.
MAY 12, 1969 MONDAY
Wilbert Lee ''Pappy'' O'Daniel dies. The former Texas governor and senator founded The Light Crust Doughboys to advertise the Burrus Mill in the 1930s, when he was a sales manager for the firm. It proved a seminal act in the growth of western swing.
MAY 14, 1969 WEDNESDAY
Mel Tilles Recorded ''These Lonely Hands Of Mine''.
''The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour'' welcomes Merrilee Rush, who performs the future Juice Newton hit ''Angel Of The Morning''. Also in the CBS-TV show's line-up are Bill Medley, John Hartford and comedian George ''Goober'' Lindsey.
MAY 16, 1969 FRIDAY
Merle Haggard recorded ''Workin' Man Blues'' at the Capitol tower in Hollywood.
Roger Miller recorded Kris Krisofferson's ''Me And Bobby McGee'' in Nashville, Tennessee.
MAY 17, 1969 SATURDAY
The Father of the Blues, W.C. Handy, is honored with a six-cent postage stamp. Fourteen years later, he is inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
MAY 19, 1969 MONDAY
Roger Miller recorded ''Where Have All The Average People Gone'' in Nashville, Tennessee.
MAY 20, 1969 TUESDAY
Elvis Presley sells his Mississippi cattle ranch for $440,100.
Elvis’ former ranch “The Circle G Ranch” 10 minutes from his beloved Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tennessee is located in Horn Lake, Mississippi on Highway 301 at Goodman Road, where Elvis lived a normal and laid-back life like a cowboy. In 1972, Elvis had sold the property and is now in serious dilapidated condition.
MAY 21, 1969 WEDNESDAY
''The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour'' is no longer a replacement show. With its promotion to regular weekly series, Campbell's salary rises to $15,000-a-week.
MAY 22, 1969 THURSDAY
Pop songwriter Jimmy McHugh dies in Beverly Hills. He earned country hits as a writer of Ella Fitzgerald's ''When My Sugar Walks Down The Street'' and Jimmy Wakely's duet with Margaret Whiting, ''When You And I Were Young Maggie Blues''.
MAY 24, 1969 SATURDAY
Two months after his split with longtime partner Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs debuts The Earl Scruggs Revue, sons Gary and Randy Scruggs, Boomer Castleman and Travis Murphy, in Gatlinburg.
Plainview, Texas, declares Jimmy Dean Day as the singer arrives to open a sausage factory in the city.
MAY 25, 1969 SUNDAY
The movie ''Midnight Cowboy'' debuts. Starring Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight, the film includes Nilson's ''Everybody's Talkin''', ranked among the 500 greatest country singles of all-time in the Country Music Foundation's ''Heartaches By The Number''.
Jimmy Dean opens a sausage plant in his hometown, Plainview, Texas.
MAY 26, 1969 MONDAY
Country legend Gene Autry fires a baseball manager for the first time, giving Bill Rigney the boot after eight years as the skipper for Autry's California Angels.
MAY 27, 1969 TUESDAY
Bill Anderson recorded ''But You Know I Love You''.
MAY 28, 1969 WEDNESDAY
Loretta Lynn recorded ''To Make A Man (Feel Like A Man)''.
London police book Mick Jagger on charges of narcotics possession when they find him at his home with marijuana. Within days, The Rolling Stones recorded ''Honky Tonk Women'', cited among country's greatest singles in a Country Music Foundation book.
MAY 30, 1969 FRIDAY
The State of Texas honors Bob Wills and Tex Ritter with a special resolution, celebrating them as outstanding Texans. It's Will's last public appearance before suffering a stroke.
The Rolling Stones recorded ''Honky Tonk Women'' overnight in London, with Mick Taylor making his debut as the new guitarist. The song is named among country's 500 greatest singles in the Country Music Foundation's ''Heartaches By The Number''.
MAY 31, 1969 SATURDAY
Bob Wills is paralyzed by a stroke at his home in Forth Worth, Texas.
JUNE 2, 1969 MONDAY
''Peyton Place'' airs for the last time after five years in ABC's prime-time lineup. The small-town drama had been referenced the previous summer in Jeannie C. Riley's Tom T. Hall-penned hit ''Harper Valley P.T.A''.
Columbia Records released Marty Robbins' ''I Can't Say Goodbye''.
Capitol released ''Buck Owens In London''.
JUNE 5, 1969 THURSDAY
Vrian McKnight is born in Buffalo, New York. The rhythm and blues balladeer realizes a country hit as a songwriter when Mark Wills re-recorded his song ''Back At One''.
JUNE 7, 1969 SATURDAY
The Who's ''Tommy'', a double-album rock opera, debuts on the U.S. charts.
ABC-TV airs the first episode of ''The Johnny Cash Show'', with guest Bob Dylan joining the Man In Black on ''Girl From The North Country''. Also appearing, Doug Kershaw and Joni Mitchell, who duets with Cash on ''I Still Miss Someone''.
JUNE 9, 1969 MONDAY
The Rolling Stones fire guitarist Brian Jones in Great Britain, just days after recording ''Honky Tonk Women'' without him. The record is eventually named in the Country Music Foundation's ''Heartaches By The Number'' among country's greatest singles.
Columbia released ''Johnny Cash At San Quentin''.
JUNE 10, 1969 TUESDAY
Two members of Waylon Jennings' band, Jimmy Gray and Richie Albright, are jailed in Niagara Falls for marijuana possession.
JUNE 11, 1969 WEDNESDAY
''True Grit'' debuts in theaters, with Glen Campbell in his first movie role, alongside John Wayne and Kim Darby.
Bass player ''Smilin'' Jay McDowell is born in Bedford, Indiana. He joins BR549, an energetic, traditionally influenced band that emerges from Nashville's lower Broadway to become a critical favorite in the late-1990s, gaining several Grammy nominations.
''Hank William's Greatest Hits'' is certified gold.
Hank Williams Jr. gains his first gold album, for the soundtrack to the Hank Williams biopic ''Your Cheatin' Heart''.
JUNE 14, 1969 SATURDAY
Dan Blocker and Joe Scarborough sing ''Folsom Prison Blues'' with the Man In Black during the second episode of ABC-TV's ''The Johnny Cash Show''. Also appearing are The Carter Family, The Statler Brothers and Gordon Lightfoot, who duets with Cash on ''For Lovin' Me''.
Glen Campbell makes the cover of TV Guide.
Blues singer Wynomie Harris dies from throat cancer in Los Angeles, California. One of the colorful figures of early rhythm and blues, he was the lead singer for Lucky Millinders's 1944 single ''Hurry, Hurry'', a hit on an early version of Billboard's country chart.
JUNE 15, 1969 SUNDAY
''Hee Haw'' makes its prime-time debut on CBS-TV, replacing the controversial ''Smothers Brothers'' show. The cast includes, Buck Owens, Roy Clark, Minnie Pearl and Grandpa Jones, among others. The first guests, Charley Pride and Loretta Lynn.
The Everly Brothers appear on ''The Ed Sullivan Show'' singing ''Walk Right Back'' and ''Bye Bye Love''.
JUNE 16, 1969 MONDAY
Decca Records released Loretta Lynn's ''To Make A Man (Feel Like A Man)''.
Ray Stevens collects his first gold single, for the pop hit ''Gitarzan''.
The summer replacement series ''Carol Burnett Presents The Jimmy Rodgers Show'' begins on CBS-TV. Guests for the first week include Vickei Lawrence and Wayne Newton.
JUNE 17, 1969 TUESDAY
The Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus brings the greatest show on earth to Nashville's Municipal Auditorium. Honorary ringleader, ''Hee Haw'' star Minnie Pearl.
Jimmy Buffett signs his first significant music business contract, a production deal with Nashville's Buzz Cason.
Ray Price recorded ''Raining In My Heart''.
Roger Miller takes an ''upper'' for the last time, endings his relationship with narcotics.
JUNE 18, 1969 WEDNESDAY
The Byrds, including Roger McGuinn and Clarence White, recorded ''Ballad Of Easy Rider'' for the ''Easy Rider'' soundtrack.
JUNE 19, 1969 THURSDAY
Shelby Singleton buys Billy Riley's master recording of ''Kay'' b/w ''Lookin' For My Baby''. Riley's single is scheduled as the first on Singleton's Sun International label a week later.
JUNE 21, 1969 SATURDAY
''The Johnny Cash Show'' welcomes Linda Ronstadt, who performs ''I Never Will marry'' with Johnny Cash. Jerry Reed, The Statler Brothers and The Carter Family also appear and Cash joins Eddie Elbert for ''Detroit City''.
JUNE 22, 1969 SUNDAY
Singer and actress Judy Garland dies of a drug overdose in London. She is best remembered for her portrayal of Dorothy in ''The Wizard Of Oz'', singing ''Over The Rainbow''. Jerry Lee Lewis revives the song in the country audience in 1980.
Sonny James performs ''Running Bear'' and ''A World Of Our Own'' as CBS telecasts the 1,000th episode of ''The Ed Sullivan Show'' from New York.
Roy Clark performs ''Yesterday, When I Was Young'' on the second edition of the CBS series ''Hee Haw'', which also features Grandpa Jones singing ''Mountain Dew'' and guest Merle Haggard on ''Mama Tried'' and ''Branded Man''.
JUNE 23, 1969 MONDAY
Host Jimmie Rodgers covers the Ray Price hit ''Danny Boy'' on the CBS telecast of ''Carol Burnett Presents The Jimmy Rodgers Show''.
JUNE 24, 1969 TUESDAY
Tammy Wynette recorded ''The Ways To Love A Man'' in the Columbia Recording Studios in Nashville.
Conway Twitty recorded ''To See My Angel Cry'' and ''That's When She Started To Stop Loving You'' in a late-night session at Bradley's Barn Mount Juliet, Tennessee.
Bobby Goldsboro recorded ''Muddy Mississippi Line;; at Nashville's Monument Studio.
JUNE 25, 1969 WEDNESDAY
''In The Ghetto'' becomes Elvis Presley's first gold single in more than seven years.
JUNE 26, 1969 THURSDAY
Former National Life and Accident chairman Edwin Craig dies of a heart ailment at Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville. Craig was the executive who gave final approval to the debut of the Grand Ole Opry.
Bobby Lord recorded ''You And Me Against The World''.
JUNE 27, 1969 FRIDAY
A police raid on a Greenwich Village gay bar results in the Stonewall riots, bringing the cause of homosexual rights to national attention.
JUNE 28, 1969 SATURDAY
Nudie Cohn, the Hollywood tailor who makes rhinestone stagewear for Porter Wagoner, Webb Pierce, Elvis Presley and The Byrds, is celebrated on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.
JUNE 29, 1969 SUNDAY
The Jimi Hendrix Experience plays its final concert in Denver before splitting up.
Faron Young performs ''Wine Me Up'' and George Jones sings ''White Lightning'' on CBS-TV's ''Hee Haw''. Tammy Wynette also appears with co-host Roy Clark and Buck Owens, who does ''It takes People Like You (To Make People Like Me)''.
Rhythm and blues artist Frederick ''Shorty'' Long dies in a boating accident in the Detroit River. A co-writer of ''Devil With The Blue Dress On'', he played piano on several Elvis Presley sessions, including the date in which Presley cut ''Hound Dog'' and ''Don't Be Cruel''.
JUNE 30, 1969 MONDAY
Decca released the Bill Anderson album ''My Life, But You Know I Love You'', the Conway Twitty's album ''I Love You More Today'', and Loretta Lynn's album ''Woman Of The World, To Make A Man''.
- SUN INTERNATIONAL -
With the obligatory Cadillac parked out back, an address book chock full of household
names, and a thin cigar between his lips, Shelby Singleton looks like the prototypical record
czar. Born in Waskom, Texas, twenty miles from Shreveport, Louisiana, in 1931, Singleton
became involved in the comings and going of the Louisiana Hayride after his first wife,
Margie, became a featured performer.
Sam Phillips and his sons Knox and Jerry shortly before the sale of Sun Records. ^
Margie recorded for Starday Records in Beaumont,
Texas, and after Starday entered into a short and unhappy marriage with Mercury Records in
1957. Singleton came on board as a field promo man for Mercury-Starday.
When the Mercury-Starday pact dissolved in 1958, Singleton stayed with Mercury as a field
promo rep, moving to Nashville to head up their country music operation in January 1961.
Keeping his ear close to the ground, he was able to pick up masters such as Bruce Channel's
''Hey Baby'' and Matt Lucas's ''I'm Movin' On'' from small independent southern labels. I''I'm
Movin' On'' was leased from Sun sessionman Roland Janes). Singleton also had success when
he produced his own masters. By late 1961 he was heading the Mercury A&R department in
New York, inheriting such artists as Clyde McPhatter (for whom he found ''Lover Please''),
Brook Benton, and Dinah Washington. In 1966 Singleton decided to trade upon his
distinguished track record and launch his own company.
After some initial success in the rhythm and blues market, Singleton branched into country
music and struck platinum immediately with Jeannie C. Riley's ''Harper Valley PTA''. For a
while, Singleton's empire grew in quantum leaps and embraced a dozen labels; but it was
probably the profit from the Riley record that gave him the resources he needed to
approach Sam Phillips, whom he had originally approached on behalf of Mercury. ''The only
way I could buy the company'', he recalls, ''was to promise that everything would come out
on Sun. That was the key factor''.
The exact term of the deal by which Sun Records was sold in July 1969 were not made
public. Phillips appears to have retained a percentage of the newly formed Sun International
Corporation, and 100 percent of his music publishing interests (which would, of course,
benefit enormously from any reissue program). He would also retain the studio, and his sons,
Knox and Jerry, would act as independent producers for Sun International.
Sam Phillips' son, Knox got all the tapes together and labeled the boxes and
Shelby Singleton brought a truck to the door of the Madison Avenue studio and loaded out all
of the Sun masters and outtakes after a preliminary effort had been made at cataloging
Understandable, Singleton was most interested in the Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee
Lewis masters: Cash had just started his own television series, and Jerry Lee had emerged
from a decade in the wilderness with a career reborn in country music.
Orbison was still a big draw, and Charlie Rich had been seen a few minor hits that presaged
his enormous success a few years later.
Singleton had albums by all of those artists on the market before the ink was dry on the
contract. He also recycled much of the same repertoire to a budget company, Pickwick
Records. He took a good listen to the last Jerry Lee Lewis session for Sun, and found three
potential top 10 country singles in the three unissued masters. In fact, those singles took
Sun Records back into the carts before the year was out.
But Sun International was designed to be more than a vehicle for recycling vintage
repertoire. Knox and Jerry Phillips supplied new masters by Jerry Dyke, the Gentrys, and
others, and Singleton also placed some of his signings on the label. The first was none other
than Billy Lee Riley, who had kept more or less abreast of the music scene since his days at
Sun. His first Sun International single was recorded in Memphis with a backing group led by
Jim Dickinson and the Dixie Flyers. ''Kay'' was the bitter lament of a taxi driver whose exgirlfriend
had become a singer and could be heard on the radio every fifteen minutes. It
moved Sam Phillips to pronounce it ''the best record Riley ever made''. Riley version was
probably too close to rock and roll for the country market, and too close to country music
for the rock market, so he lost the hit to John Wesley Ryles. But in its way ''Kay'' was a good
as anything Riley had ever done.
At the same time, Shelby Singleton tried launching a black music label called Midnight Sun
with product from Memphis. But the first and only artist was Cliff Jackson, who recorded
two singles before the venture was folded. The relationship between Singleton and the
Phillips family soured not long into the new decade. At roughly the same time, Singleton's
bubble burts: he had overextended himself, and he trimmed down his operation,
concentrating on recycling what he had, both in terms of repertoire and non-Sun publishing
JULY 1, 1969 TUESDAY
Sam Phillips announced his departure from Holiday Inn Records, waiving claims to any stock in the company but keeping the publishing. Under other circumstances one might have surmised that he had simply grown tired of a bad business, but in fact the reason was much more surprising. Sam Phillips sold
Sun Records to Shelby Singleton. It was for $1 million, with Sam retaining 20 percent of the company. In Sam's mind this may well have meant that he would retain 20 percent of the influence as well as 20 percent of the profits.
Sam Phillips (left) signs over his Sun Records empire to new principal Shelby Singleton (center), Nobel Bell (right) Singleton's corporation executive. Standing unidentified. >
When word got out that Sun Records was up for sale, Sam Phillips found himself courted first
by Goddard Lieberson from Columbia, then by Jerry Wexler from Atlanta. The most serious
development though came when Memphis promotion man, Eddie Braddock, brought Marshall
Chess down from Chicago, a move that inevitably narrowed the field.
figures being touted from each of the interested parties, it was the structure of the offer
made by Shelby Singleton that proved to be conclusive.
Shelby Singleton had been the regional promotion man for Pappy
Daily's Starday and 'D' labels in the late fifties, a nexus that took him to Mercury where he
graduated to producing Brook Benton, Clyde McPhatter and Leroy Van Dyke. When the
company opened its Smash subsidiary in 1961, he proved his worth by singing Bruce
Channel, Joe Dowell and Roger Miller, followed soon after by the acquisition of three ex-Sun
stars, Dickey Lee, Jerry Lee Lewis and Charlie Rich. The funding which enabled him to pitch
for the Sun transaction, came in the wake of Jeannie C. Riley's Harper Valley PTA - a major
international success in 1968 that was a product of his recently launched Plantation label.
The initial deal called for Sun to be maintained as a going concern, bringing new acts on
board and keeping the legend intact. This homespun idyll however, was put on the back
burner when Sun International was formed, specifically to concentrate on repackaging the
prodigious back catalogue. Singleton's strategy paid off immediately and within six weeks of
the contract ink drying, Jerry Lee was riding high in the country Top-ten with "Invitation To
Your Party". New signings did come eventually but they were administered in a low key
fashion, an indication that the new owners realized that Sun in the seventies could never
seriously compete with Sun in the 1950s. They were very much correct. There could only
ever be one Elvis Presley, one Johnny Cash, one Carl Perkins and for that matter, one Sam C.
Phillips. It was all a question of a time, a place and a situation, because in the great game
plan of things, the big wheel only ever rolls once.
Stuart Colman, 2002
Shelby Singleton (who as a Mercury employee had taken the initiative to sign Jerry Lee
Lewis away from Sun) bought the Sun catalgue. In 1968 Lewis had just started a winning
streak in the country market which would last well into the next decade. When Singleton
listened to the tapes he had purchased from Sun, he must have thought it was his birthday
when he came to the final session. The three unreleased songs were a blueprint for Jerry's
country success on Mercury. Singleton had ''Invitation To Your Party'' on the market before
the ink was dry on his deal with Sam Phillips. It eventually rose to the sixth slot on the
JULY 1, 1969 TUESDAY
Elektra released The Doors' rock album ''The Soft Parade''. The album includes work by mandolin player Jesse McReynolds, of bluegrass music's Jim and Jesse.
Columbia Records released Ray Price's ''raining In My Heart''.
JULY 2, 1969 WEDNESDAY
Lula Maddox, the mother and manager of The Maddox Brothers and Rose, dies in Rose's arms in the middle of a conversation.
Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones is found dead in his swimming pool in England, just three weeks after the band fired him. Officially he drowned, although many believe he was accidentally killed in a fight.
Bill Phillips recorded ''Little Boy sad''.
Don Ho sings the old Jim Reeves hit ''Welcome To My World'' on an installment of NBC's ''The Kraft Music Hall'' that orinates in Hawaii.
Columbia Records released Johnny Cash's ''A Boy Named Sue''.
JULY 3, 1969 THURSDAY
Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones is found dead in his swimming pool, Cotchford Farm, Hartfield.
A Smithsonian concert on the Mall in Washington, D.C., honors Bill Monroe. He performs with Charlie Monroe and Birch Monroe. The show also features J.E. Mainer and Wade Mainer.
Barbara Mandrell recorded her first charted single, a cover of Otis Reddin's ''I've Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)''.
JULY 4, 1969 FRIDAY
Red, white and gingham. Minnie Pearl fried chicken is served to servicemen end their wives at Dam Neck Naval Base in Virginia Beach.
Glen Campbell recorded ''Glen Campbell Live'' at the Garden State Performing Artis Center in Holmdel, New Jersey.
Atlanta International Pop Festival attracted an audience of approximately 100,000 to watch 16 performers including Janis Joplin, Johnny Rivers, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Canned Heat, Joe Cocker, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Sweetwater and Led Zeppelin.
JULY 5, 1969 SATURDAY
If Woodstock marked the apex of the hippie movement in America, the Rolling Stones's free concert in Hyde Park did the same for England. The show drew a crowd of 300,000 people to the London park. Two days earlier, original Stones guitarist Brian Jones had drowned in the swimming pool at his home, Cotchford Farm, in Hartfield. As a result, the Stones dedicated the show to him. ''Brian would have wanted it to go on'', said Mick Jagger. ''We will now do the concert for him''. At the concert, Jagger read, ''Adonais'', a poem by Shelley; as its conclusion, thousands of butterflies were released into the air. Filmed for British television, the concert marked the debut of Jones's replacement in the Stones, Mick Taylor. Also appearing on the bill were King Crimson, Family, the Third Ear Band, Screw, and Battered Ornaments.
Johnny Cash is joined by Buffy Sainte-Marie, Minnie Pearl, Doug McClure, The Statler Brothers and The Cowsills on his ABC-TV program ''The Johnny cash Show''. Cash's in-laws, The Carter Family, sing ''Keep On The Sunny Side'' with their host.
The Rolling Stones do a free concert in London Hyde Park. It marks the live debut of new guitarist Mick Taylor and the first live performance of ''Honky Tonk Women'', named by a Country Music Foundation publication among country's greatest singles.
Jack Greene stands tall at number 1 on the Billboard country chart with ''Statue Of A Fool''.
JULY 6, 1969 SUNDAY
''I Feel Fine'' songwriter John Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, are released from a Scotland hospital following a car accident.
Weeks after The Rolling Stones recorded ''Honky Tonk Women'', Mick Jagger flies to Australia to begin filming ''Ned Kelly''. The movie will feature music by Shel Silverstein, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson.
Sonny James performs ''Running Bear'' and Waylon Jennings sings ''Only Daddy That'll Walk The Line'' on the CBS-TV music series ''Hee Haw''. Connie Smith also guest on the show, hosted by Buck Owens and Roy Clark.
JULY 7, 1969 MONDAY
Tom T. Hall recorded ''Homecoming'' and ''Shoeshine Man'' at the Monument Recording Studio in Nashville.
JULY 8, 1969 TUESDAY
The federal government places a lien on Johnny Cash's Tennessee home. The house serves as collateral at Cash pays off an $82,000 debt, the result of a 1965 forest fire at Los Padres National Park caused by the exhaust system on Cash's camper.
''From Nashville With Music'' debuts in Atlanta. The movie stars Bill Anderson, Don Gibson, Merle Haggard, Bonnie Owens, George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Buck Owens, Buddy Alan, Charley Pride, Marty Robbins, Carl Smith, Cousin Jody, Wynn Stewart and Susan Raye.
JULY 9, 1969 WEDNESDAY
Warner Mack recorded ''I'll Still Be Missing You''.
JULY 10, 1969 THURSDAY
Kapp released Mel Tillis' ''These Lonely Hands Of Mine''.
JULY 11, 1969 FRIDAY
Sonny James performs prior to a Houston baseball game, recording the live album ''The Astrodome Presents In Concert Sonny James'', as well as the hit ''Since I Met You Baby''. The Astros win the subsequent game, defeating the Cincinnati Reds, 13-2.
JULY 12, 1969 SATURDAY
Elvis Presley is featured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.
Jeannie C. Riley appears on the fifth episode of ABC-TV's ''The Johnny Cash Show'', singing ''Bas News'' with Cash. Glen Campbell joins him for a medley that includes ''I've Been Everywhere'', ''Galveston'', ''Abilene'' and ''By The Time I Get To Phoenix''.
JULY 13, 1969 SUNDAY
Ferlin Husky covers ''San Antonio Rose'' and Jerry Lee Lewis performs ''Another Place Another Time'' as musical guests on the CBS series ''Hee Haw'', with Buck Owens, Roy Clark, Shep Wooley, The Hagers and others.
JULY 14, 1969 MONDAY
''Easy Rider'', starring Dennis Hopper, Peter Fonda, and Jack Nicholson, is released.
The biker movie ''Easy Rider'' debuts in New York, featuring The Byrds' title track, The Band's ''The Weight'' and Steppenwolf's Hoyt Axton-penned ''The Pusher''. Starring Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda, it also has a role for producer Phil Spector.
Ralph Stanley holds his final recording session for King Records in Nashville.
JULY 15, 1969 TUESDAY
Columbia Records released Carl Smith's ''I Love You Because''.
JULY 16, 1969 WEDNESDAY
Merle Haggard recorded the original version of ''The Seashores of Old Mexico'' at the Capitol Recording Studios in Hollywood, California.
Launched from the Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39 in Merritt Island, Florida carrying Neil A. Armstrong (Commander) Michael Collins (Command Module Pilot) and Edwin "Buzz" E. Aldrin, Jr. (Lunar Module Pilot).
JULY 17, 1969 THURSDAY
Merle Haggard recorded the studio version of ''Okie From Muskogee'' at capitol Recording Studios in Hollywood.
During an appearance at the Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island, Johnny cash brings an unknown Kris Kristofferson out of the audience to perform ''Me And Bobby McGee''. The next day, the local paper identifies the newcomer as ''Chris Tofferson''.
JULY 18, 1969 FRIDAY
Elvis Presley begins rehearsals with his band for a run of Las Vegas dates that mark his return to the live stage after a seven-year hiatus.
United Artists released Bobby Goldsboro's ''Muddy Mississippi Line''.
JULY 19, 1969 SATURDAY
Jimmy Buffett marries Margie Washichek at the St. Joseph Chapel in Spring Hill, Tennessee.
Joni Michell makes her second appearance on ''The Johnny Cash Show'', singing ''The Long Black Veil'' with Cash. Other guests on the ABC-TV series include The Monkees, Roy Clark and Ed Ames.
Apollo 11 passed behind the Moon and fired its service propulsion engine to enter lunar orbit.
JULY 20, 1969 SUNDAY
Lunar module (LM) Eagle (Neil A. Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" E. Aldrin, Jr.) separated from the command module Columbia (Michael Collins). Lunar module (LM) Eagle lands on the moons surface in the Sea of Tranquillity.
Rhythm and blues singer Roy Hamilton dies in New Rochelle, New York, after a stroke. He recorded an early version of ''Unchained Melody'', which will become a country hit for LeAnn Rimes and for Elvis Presley. Hamilton also cut ''You Can Have Her'', covered by Waylon Jennings.
Neil Armstrong becomes the first man to walk on the moon. The historical moment provides a reference point for Diamond Rio's conspiracy-theory theme in the 1996 hit ''It's All In Your Head''.
Merle Haggard performs ''Today I Started Loving You Again'' on CBS-TV's ''Hee Haw''. The series is hosted by Roy Clark and Buck Owens, who serves up ''Act Naturally''.
JULY 21, 1969 MONDAY
Capitol released Buck Owens '''Tall Dark Stranger''.
Roy Clark appears with Rich Little in ''Pioneer Spirit'', an NBC comedy about three couples who uproot themselves for a new life in Alaska.
Neil Armstrong stepped off Eagle's footpad and uttered his famous line "That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind " Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin joined him, describing the view as "Magnificent desolation''. Lunar module (LM) Eagle leaves the moons surface to rendezvous with Columbia.
JULY 22, 1969 TUESDAY
Elvis Presley earns a gold album with the soundtrack to the ''Elvis'' TV Special''. The soundtrack is the thirty-fourth album by Elvis Presley, released by RCA Victor in mono, LPM 4088, in November 1968. The recording sessions took place in Burbank, California at Western Recorders on June 20, 21, 22 and 23, 1968, and at the NBC Studios in Burbank on June 27 and 29, 1968. It peaked at number 8 on the Billboard 200. It was certified Gold on July 22, 1969 and Platinum on July 15, 1999 by the RIAA..
Prior to the videotaping of the Singer Christmas Special, a soundtrack album to be released before the December 3 broadcast was recorded. Several initial contract stipulations were obviated by Presley and program producer Steve Binder, notably the one against having a live audience present, but album producer Bones Howe was unable to requisition proper recording equipment, getting the sound feed from the single-channel microphones on the video cameras. Hence, the album was released in mono only, at a time when the recording industry was switching over to stereophonic records exclusively for both albums and singles.
Unlike the drudgery of the feature film soundtrack recordings, Presley was genuinely excited by the project. For the album, the musical format presented Presley in three different settings: production numbers featuring medleys of his material; an informal small band featuring medleys in front of a live audience; and the two original numbers with Presley backed by an orchestra in front of a live audience. The two ballad tracks from this album were issued as singles. ''If I Can Dream'' being released earlier in the month, backed on the B-side with a song from his movie in theaters at the time, ''Live A Little, Love A Little'', making it a double promotion on one record. It peaked at number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100, his highest charting single since 1965. ''Memories'' was released over two months after the broadcast, backed with the title song to his next film, ''Charro''. By making it to the top ten on the album chart after his previous album had charted at a dismal #82, this LP resuscitated his recording career at a time when it seemed practically moribund.
Several hours of additional music were recorded for the special, and this material has been reissued in many different formats over the years. On August 27, 1991, RCA released an expanded version for compact disc, including unedited versions of the medleys in several cases. Two extensive compact disc releases appeared in 1998, ''Memories: The '68 Comeback Special'' featuring more comprehensive versions of the production and orchestral numbers, along with the complete first informal small band show of June 27, and ''Tiger Man'' featuring the complete evening show of the two informal small band concerts of June 27, 1968. On August 5, 2008, Sony Legacy released a 4-CD compilation of the complete recording sessions for the special.
JULY 22, 1969 TUESDAY
The band recorded ''Up On Cripple Creek'' at the Hit Factory in New York. The song is judged one of country's 500 greatest all-time singles in the 2003 Country Music Foundation book ''Heartaches By The Number''.
Columbia released Barbara Mandrell's first charted single, ''I've Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)''.
JULY 24, 1969 THURSDAY
''Johnny Cash Greatest Hits'' becomes the Man In Black's second best-of package certified gold by the RIAA.
The command module Columbia carrying the 3 astronauts splashed down in the Pacific Ocean. Estimates put the number who watched or listened to the Moon landing between 1/2 and 1 billion people around the world.
JULY 25, 1969 FRIDAY
Neil Young performs for the first time with Crosby, Still and Nash at New York's Fillmore East. Two of his songs become country hits, ''Are You Ready For The Country'' by Waylon Jennings and ''Love Is A Rose'' by Linda Ronstadt.
Led Zeppelin performs in Milwaukee. The show is witnessed by Eric Clapton, whose future include the country hit ''Lay Down Sally''.
Chappaquiddick Affair Senator Edward Kennedy driving a car plunges into a pond and a body of a woman passenger is later found in the car.
JULY 26, 1969 SATURDAY
Johnny Cash and June carter announce they're expecting a son in the spring. Asked if they'll name him after his new single, Johnny replies, ''I'll name him Bill or George... anything but Sue''. At birth, he's named John Carter.
''The Johnny Cash Show'' brings guests Marty Robbins and Dale Robertson to the ABC-TV airwaves along with regular cast members The Statler Brothers and The Carter Family. Robbins and Cash team up on ''Streets Of Laredo''.
Songwriters Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart receive keys to the city at Woodrow Wilson Park in Birmingham. Their songs ''Come A Little Bit Closer'' is destined to become a country hit for Johnny Duncan and Janie Frickle.
JULY 27, 1969 SUNDAY
Charley Pride sings ''All I Have To Offer You (Is Me)'' and ''Hee Haw'', which also features George Jones performing ''I'll Share My World With You'' and Tammy Wynette doing ''I Don't Wanna Play House''. Regulars on the CBS series include Buck Owens, Roy Clark and Grandpa Jones.
JULY 28, 1969 MONDAY
Elvis Presley attends Babra Streisand's show at the International Hotel in Las Vegas, where he is set for his concert comeback three days later.
RCA signs The Stoneman Family to a recording contract.
Epic Records released Tammy Wynette's first best-of package, ''Tammy's Greatest Hits''.
Broadway composer Frank Loeser dies of lung cancer in New York City. His successes include several songs remade for the country charts, ''Baby, It's Cold Outside'', ''Wave To Me, My Lady'' and ''Jingle Jangle Jingle''.
JULY 31, 1969 THURSDAY
Elvis Presley begins a historic four-week run at Las Vegas' International Hotel in first live show since 1961. In the audience are Liberace, Herb Alpert, Dick Clark, Cary Grant, Fats Domino, Burt Bacharach, Pat Boone and Paul Anka. In a few minutes, he would march out into what was then the largest showroom in Las Vegas, holding 2.000 people.
Marty Robbins suffers a heart attack following a performance in Warren, Ohio. Initially, he thinks it's merely a severe case of indigestion.
AUGUST 1, 1969 FRIDAY
Johnny Cash attends the second night of Elvis Presley's month-long return to performing at Las Vegas' International Hotel.
Marty Robbins suffers chest pains on the road to Greenville, Ohio. Doctors discover three of the four arteries to his heart are blocked.
AUGUST 2, 1969 SATURDAY
Merle Haggard, Merrilee Rush and O.C. Smith join Johnny Cash on his ABC-TV series ''The Johnny Cash Show''. Cash performs ''Sing Me Back Home'' with Haggard and sings ''Long Legged Guitar Pickin' Home'' with wife June Carter Cash.
''You Ain't Going Nowhere'' songwriter Bob Dylan attends his 10-year high school reunion in Hibbing, Minnesota. He leaves early, however, after a drunken guest tries to start a fight with him.
AUGUST 3, 1969 SUNDAY
Elvis Presley's performance at the International Hotel in Las Vegas is witnessed by some significant fans in the audience, The Beach Boys.
Merle Haggard makes his second appearance on CBS-TV's ''Hee Haw'' with wife and duet partner Bonnie Owens.
AUGUST 1-3, 1969 FRIDAY-SUNDAY
The Atlantic City Pop Festival was the first major festival in the New York/Philadelphia area. Held in Atlantic City, New Jersey, it occurred only two weeks before Woodstock and featured many of the same artists like Jefferson Airplane, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Janis Joplin, Joe Cocker, and Canned Head.
AUGUST 4, 1969 MONDAY
The Everly Brothers pop up on the CBS summer replacement series ;;Carol Burnett Presents The Jimmy Rodgers Show''. In the episode, Rodgers sings ''Without A Song'' and regular cast member Vicki Lawrence does ''Son Of A Preacher Man''.
Jerry Lee Lewis recorded ''She Even Woke Me Up To Say Goodbye'' at the Monument Studios in Nashville, Tennessee.
Jeannie C. Riley appears on the TV game show ''Hollywood Squares'' with Paul Lynde, Wally Cox and Harvey Korman.
AUGUST 5, 1969 TUESDAY
Charley Pride recorded ''(I'm So) Afraid Of Losing You Again''.
AUGUST 9, 1969 SATURDAY
Sharon Tate and four others, including Jay Sebring, are sadistically murdered in Los Angeles. Charles Manson and several others are later convicted for the crime. Sebring had introduced Elvis Presley to his barber and spiritual adviser, Larry Geller.
On ABC-TV's ''The Johnny cash Show'' Cash sings ''(There'll Be) Peace In The Valley (For Me)'' with Pat Boone and does ''The Last Thing On My Mind'' with Diana Trask. Cash also joins series regulars The Carter Family for ''Worried Man Blues''.
AUGUST 9-10, 1969 SATURDAY-SUNDAY
Charles Manson and his ''family'' murder seven people, including actress Sharon Tate
AUGUST 10, 1969 SUNDAY
The Rolling Stones' Keith Richards and Anita Pallenberg have a son, Marlon Richards.
Loretta Lynn performs ''Wine Women And Song'' and ''You Ain't Woman Enough'' on CBS's ''Hee Haw''. Waylon Jennings also guests with regulars Buck Owens, Junior Samples, Stringbean, Archie Campbell and Roy Clark, who does ''White Lightning''.
AUGUST 12, 1969 TUESDAY
''Johnny Cash At San Quentin'' becomes Johnny Cash's second live prison album certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America.
AUGUST 14, 1969 THURSDAY
Johnny Cash scores a gold singe for ''A Boy Named Sue''.
AUGUST 15, 1969 FRIDAY
Tim Hardin sings ''It I Were A Carpenter'' on the opening night of the Woodstock rock festival in Bethel, New York. The first evening's performers also include Arlo Guthrie, Joan Baez and Ravi Shankar. The festival will be referenced in The Bellamy Brothers' 1985 single ''Old Hippie''.
AUGUST 15-17, 1969 FRIDAY-SUNDAY
The Woodstock Music and Art Fair did not take place in Woodstock at all; instead, it was held on dairy farmer Max Yasgur's nearby property, on White Lake in the town of Bethel, New York. The counter-culture's crowning event - afterward, they would be dubbed the ''Woodstock Nation - Woodstock drew about 400,000 people over the course of three days. Despite drenching rainstorms, massive traffic jams, and a crowd that was vastly larger than anticipated, the gathering was mostly peaceful. An area police chief called the audience the ''most courteous, considerate, and well-behaved group of kids'' he had ever dealt with. A reporter for Life magazine wrote, ''Many minds seized upon the metaphor of religion that day: the people were the seekers, the rock stars their prophets, and drugs pretty nearly their staff of life''. The festival highlights have been well-documented, both on record and on film: Jimi Hendrix playing ''The Star-Spangled Banner'', Joe Cocker singing ''With A Little Help From My Friends'', Country Joe McDonald leading the crowd in ''The Fish Cheer'', Sly and the Family Stone doing ''I Wants To Take You Higher'', the Who performing songs from ''Tommy'', Santana playing ''Soul Sacrifice''. The success of Woodstock proved to be a double-edged sword: on the one hand, it was a show of solidarity for the hundreds of thousands of kids who had embraced the values and life-style of a new generation; on the other hand, it opened Madison Avenue's eyes to a potential new marked and, soon, many of the ideals would be exploited by big business, which began to market products like Screaming Yellow Zonkers, a snack food packaged in a psychedelic box.
AUGUST 16, 1969 SATURDAY
Creedence Clearwater Revival, including future Southern Pacific bass player Stu Cook, performs at the landmark Woodstock rock festival in Bethel, New York. The day's lineup also includes Janis Joplin and The Grateful Dead.
ABC-TV's ''The Johnny Cash Show'' features O.C. Smith Jr. and folk singer Melanie, who teams with Cash on ''Silver Threads And Golden Needles''. Also aboard regulars Carl Perkins, The Statler Brothers and The Carter Family.
Bobby Bare joins Dick Clark on TV's ''American Bandstand''.
Merle Haggard's blue-collar anthem ''Workin' Man Blues'' goes to number 1 on the Billboard country singles chart.
AUGUST 17, 1969 SUNDAY
Roy Acuff begins his third tour of South Vietnam with the USO.
The Band performs ''The Weight'' and the country classic ''The Long Black Veil'' on the third day of the Woodstock festival in Bethel, New York. Other acts on the bill include Joe Cocker, The Who and Jefferson Airplane.
Jerry Lee Lewis performs ''What's Made Milwaukee Famous (Has Made A Loser Out Of Me)'' and Conway Twitty contributes ''I Love You More Today'' on CBS-TV's ''Hee Haw'' with Buck Owens, Roy Clark, Stringbean, Junior Samples, Lulu Roman, Gordie Tapp and Grandpa Jones.
AUGUST 18, 1969 MONDAY
Oldies group Sha Na Na, including Henry Gross, serves up Elvis Presley's ''Jailhouse Rock'' during the final moments of Woodstock. The morning's performers also include Blood Sweet and Tears, Crosby Stills Nash and Young and Jimi Hendrix.
Decca Records released Conway Twitty's ''To See My Angel Cry''.
AUGUST 19, 1969 TUESDAY
Cley Walker is born in Beaumont, Texas. A dynamic live act with a growl he uses judiciously, Walker nets more than 10 years of hits, including ''What's It To You'', ''Who Needs You Baby'', ''The Chain Of Love'' and ''She Won't Be Lonely Long''.
Buck Owens recorded ''Big In Vegas'' at the Capitol Tower in Hollywood, California.
R.B. Greaves recorded the pop hit ''Take A Letter Maria'' at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Alabama. Anthony Armstrong Jones will score a country hit with a cover of the song the following year.
AUGUST 20, 1969 WEDNESDAY
Johnny Cash and June Carter recorded ''If I Were A Carpenter'' in Nashville at the Columbia Recording Studios. Cash also cuts ''See Ruby Fall''.
Bobby Goldsboro sings ''Little Green Apples'' on a Hawaii-based episode of NBC's ''The Kraft Music Hall''. Host Don Ho contributes ''Gentle On My Mind'' and ''My Way''.
AUGUST 21, 1969 THURSDAY
London released The Rolling Stones' ''Through The Past, Darkly (Big Hits Volume 2)''. The album includes ''Honky Tonk Women'', judged in a Country Music Foundation publication among country's 500 greatest singles.
AUGUST 22, 1969 FRIDAY
Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs recorded together for the last time, five months after they broke up the duo.
Colonel To Parker fires off a note to Elvis Presley that his jokes on stage in Las Vegas are becoming too risque.
AUGUST 23, 1969 SATURDAY
Billboard declares rhythm and blues officially dead by renaming its chart for that market
"Best-Selling Soul Singles." Ironically, there was every sign that the new euphemism for
"black"--which had been widely used during most of the 1960s would soon be musically
outdated, and its successor defied prophesy.
Bass player Ira dean is born in Raleigh, North Carolina. He joins Trick Pony, a band that nebs two hits from its 2001 debut album, winning an American Music Award before the trio breaks up in 2008. He also co-writes Montgomery Gentry's 2009 single ''One In Every Crowd''.
Upright bass player Barry Bales is born in Kingsport, Tennessee. He becomes a member of Alison Krauss' bluegrass band, Union Station, performing on ''When You Say Nothing At All'' and The Soggy Bottom Boys' ''I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow''.
Lulu guests on ''The Johnny Cash Show'' singing ''Games People Play'' with the ABC host. Guests also include Chet Atkins and John Hartford, while Cash taps regulars The Statler Brothers for a romp on ''Rollin' In My Sweet Baby's Arms''.
Johnny Cash climbs to number 1 on the Billboard country chart with ''A Boy Named Sue''.
Wendy Steiner marries Ken Waldman. She uses her new name, Wendy Waldman, as she becomes a noteworthy producer and songwriter, penning The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's ''Fishin' In The Dark''.
AUGUST 24, 1969 SUNDAY
Merle Haggard performs ''Hungry Eyes'' on CBS' weekly broadcast of ''Hee Haw'', hosted by fellow Bakersfield figure Buck Owens and Roy Clark. Bonnie Owens also has a guest slot.
AUGUST 25, 1969 MONDAY
Decca released Warner Mack's ''I'll Still Be Missing You''.
Jimmie Rodgers performs his hit ''Oh-Oh, I'm Falling In Love Again'' and ''Honeycomb'' on CBS-TV's ''Carol Burnett Presents The Jimmie Rodgers Show''. The program also features ''Honey'' songwriter Bobby Russell, whose wife Vicki Lawrence is a regular.
AUGUST 26, 1969 TUESDAY
Charley Pride recorded ''Is Anybody Goin' To San Antone''.
RCA Victor released Elvis Presley's ''Suspicious Minds''. The songs is written and first recorded by American songwriter Mark James. After James' recording failed commercially, the song was handed to Elvis Presley by producer Chips Moman, becoming a number one song in 1969, and one of the most notable hits of Presley's career. "Suspicious Minds" was widely regarded as the single that returned Presley's career success, following his '68 Comeback Special. It was his eighteenth and last number 1 single in the United States. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked it number 91 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs Of All-time. Session guitarist Reggie Young played on both the James and Presley versions.
The song is about a mistrusting and dysfunctional relationship, and the need of the characters to overcome their issues in order to maintain it. Written in 1968 by Mark James, who was also co-writer of "Always On My Mind" (which Presley would later record), the song was first recorded and released by James on Scepter Records in 1968. Chips Moman had asked James to come to Memphis to write songs for American Sound Studio. At the time, James was residing in Houston. James had written three songs that became number one hits in the Southern United States. American Sound Studio was gaining a reputation in the industry as the Box Tops had just recorded "The Letter" there so James relocated to Memphis.
James said that late one night, he was fooling around on his Fender guitar and using his Hammond organ pedals for a bass line and came up with what he thought was a catchy melody. James at the time was married to his first wife, but still had feelings for his childhood sweetheart, who was married back in Houston. James's wife had suspicions of his feelings. James felt it was a confusing time for him and that all three were caught in this trap that they could not walk out of. At the recording session, James sang the lead vocals, and the studio band backed him with Moman producing. The horns, strings and vocals of the Holladay Sisters were later overdubbed. After the tape was mixed, James and Moman flew to New York, where James's manager had contacts with Scepter Records. The label loved the song and put it out, but Scepter did not have the money to promote new artists, and the song did not make the charts.
Later that year, Don Cruise, Moman's partner, told James that Presley had booked their studio to record what would become the ''From Elvis In Memphis'' album. Cruise kept asking James if he had any songs that would be right for Presley. James felt Presley needed a mature rock 'n' roll song to bring him back as Tom Jones was a hot artist at the time. Cruise and James thought of "Suspicious Minds" and James began urging others to get Presley to hear it. Even though James's recording had not been commercially successful, upon reviewing the song Presley decided he could turn it into a hit.
"Suspicious Minds" was a product of a January 23, 1969 session, that took place between 4 am and 7 am. It took eight takes to produce the final song, in which the lead vocal track was later overdubbed by Presley himself that same night. James was in Memphis, but he was not at the recording session. James had walked into the recording studio control room a few days earlier during a session and sensed that Elvis was uncomfortable with his presence. James did not want to jinx the song so he stayed away. When James heard the track the day after it was recorded, he initially thought it sounded too slow. When he later heard the embellished version, he said he was blown away. In later years, whenever Elvis saw James he would cross the room to say hello.
Production of the song was nearly scuttled over a copyright dispute. Elvis's business people said they wanted half of Moman's publishing rights. Moman accused them of stealing, and Elvis' people threatened to halt the recording session. Harry Jenkins of RCA agreed with Elvis's people because he sensed that the song would be a big hit and there would be plenty to go around. The songs "I'll Hold You In My Heart (Till I Can Hold You In My Arms)", "Without Love (There Is Nothing)", and "I'll Be There" were recorded in the same session. On August 7, the song was again overdubbed to stereo and mono in Las Vegas, where the final master was produced. The song is noted for its change of time signature, in the bridge section, from 4/4 to a slower 6/8 and back again to the faster 4/4 rhythm. The instrumental arrangement uses an electric guitar, bass guitar, organ, strings, trumpets, trombones, and drums.
Elvis' primary producer Felton Jarvis made the unusual decision to add a premature fade-out to the song starting at 3:36 and lasting for 15 seconds before fading back in. The first verse then continues repeatedly until it completely fades out. In a 2012 interview with Marc Myers of The Wall Street Journal, Moman disclosed that Jarvis was never happy with Elvis recording at American Sound Studio, saying "it was a control thing." Moman added, "So when Jarvis took the tape of 'Suspicious Minds,' he added this crazy 15-second fade toward the end, like the song was ending, and brought it back by overdubbing to extend it. I have no idea why he did that, but he messed it up. It was like a scar. None of which mattered. Soon after the song was released, Elvis was back on top of the charts."
Future Grateful Dead vocalist Donna Jean Godchaux sang backing vocals on the track. The song was later included on the Sony legacy edition of "From Elvis In Memphis" and the follow that dream reissue of ''Back In Memphis''.
Presley first performed the song at the Las Vegas International Hotel (later renamed the Hilton) on July 31, 1969, and the 45 rpm single was released 26 days later. It reached number one in the United States in the week of November 1 and stayed there for that week. It would be Presley's final number-one single in the U.S. before his death ("The Wonder Of You" in 1970, "Way Down" in 1977 and a posthumous remixed release of "A Little Less Conversation" in 2002 all hit number one on the British charts, followed by re-issues of several previous chart toppers in 2005).
AUGUST 26, 1969 TUESDAY
The Rolling Stones' ''Honky Tonk Women'' is certified gold. In 2003, the release is listed among country's 500 greatest all-time singles in ''Heartaches By The Number'', a book published by the Country Music Foundation.
AUGUST 27, 1969 WEDNESDAY
Jason Brown is born in Athens, Georgia. Using the stage name Colt Ford, he combines hip-hop based raps with country instrumentation, landing a number 1 country album in 2012 with ''Declaration Of Independence'' and a 2011 hit as a songwriter on Jason Aldean's ''Dirt Road Anthem''.
AUGUST 28, 1969 THURSDAY
''I Feel Fine'' co-writer Paul McCartney and his wife, Linda have a daughter, Mary McCartney, in London, England. The youngster grows up to be a fashion designer.
AUGUST 29, 1969 FRIDAY
Elvis and Priscilla Presley are in attendance for Nancy Sinatra's performance at the International Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.
AUGUST 30, 1969 SATURDAY
Roger Miller and folk singer Odetta dot the ABC-TV lineup as gusts on ''The Johnny Cash Show''. Cash joins Miller for ''King Of The Road'' and closes the show with The Carter Family and The Statler Brothers, singing ''How Great Thou Art''.
Johnny Cash appears on the cover of TV Guide.
Isle of Wight Festival attracted an audience of approximately 150,000 to watch 26 performers including Bob Dylan, The Who, Blonde On Blonde, Joe Cocker, The Moody Blues and Free at Wootton, Isle Of Wight, England.
AUGUST 31, 1969 SUNDAY
Bob Dylan performs the second day at the Isle of Wight Festival in the United Kingdom, his first concert appearance since a motorcycle accident three years prior. During his recuperation, he wrote the 1989 country hit ''You Ain't Nowhere''.
''Gloom, despair and agony on me...'', Sonny James sings ''I'll Never Find Another You'' and Tammy Wynette offers ''Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad'' on the CBS series ''Hee Haw'', hosted by Buck Owens and Roy Clark.
The first Sun International LP releases scheduled for September 1, 1969. Paul Vernon publishes the first attempt at a Sun discography, ''The Sun Legend''.
SEPTEMBER 1, 1969 MONDAY
The summer replacement series ''Carol Burnett Presents The Jimmy Rodgers Show'' airs for the final time on CBS-TV. Burnett sidekicks Vicki Lawrence and Lyle Waggoner were part of the weekly cast.
SEPTEMBER 2, 1969 TUESDAY
Capitol Records released the album ''A Portrait Of Merle Haggard''.
SEPTEMBER 3, 1969 WEDNESDAY
MGM released Elvis Presley's movie ''The Trouble With Girls''.
It was one of his final acting roles, along with the same year's ''Change Of Habit''. It is based on the 1960 novel Chautauqua by Day Keene and Dwight Vincent Babcock.
Roy Acuff returns from his third USO-sponsored tour of American military bases in South Vietnam.
Minnie Pearl delivers a comedy skit about tourist apparel in Hawaii on NBC-s ''The Kraft Music Hall''.
Ray Price recorded ''April's Fool''.
SEPTEMBER 4, 1969 THURSDAY
Ray Price recorded ''You Wouldn't Know Lone''
SEPTEMBER 6, 1969 SATURDAY
ABC-TV's ''The Johnny Cash Show'' features musical guest Charley Pride, who joins Cash on a medley of Hank Williams songs, ''I Can't Help It (If I'm Still In Love With You)'', ''Your Cheatin' Heart'' and ''Kaw-Liga''. Also appearing Ian and Sylvia.
SEPTEMBER 7, 1969 SUNDAY
Charley Pride sings ''Kaw-Liga'', Jerry Lee Lewis performs ''To Make Love Sweeter For You'' and Loretta Lynn does ''Woman Of The World'' on the final episode in the first run of ''Hee Haw'' on CBS. The Series is hosted by Buck Owens and Ray Clark.
Tommy Cash recorded ''Six White Horses'' at the Columbia Recording Studios in Nashville, Tennessee. The song laments three of the decade's
, Martin Luther King, John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy.
''Angel In Your Arms'' songwriter Clayton Ivey has a son, Herbert Clayton Ivey Jr. in Sheffield, Alabama.
SEPTEMBER 8, 1969 MONDAY
Decca released Jack Greene's ''Back In The Arms Of Love''.
Roy Rogers and Dale Evans host the NBC-TV special ''A Country Happening'' with guests Jody Miller and Bobby Goldsboro.
SEPTEMBER 9, 1969 TUESDAY
The Rolling Stones ''Through The Past, Darkly - 'Big Hits Volume 2'' goes gold. The album contains ''Honky Tonk Women'' named among country's 500 greatest singles in the Country Music Foundation's ''Heartaches By The Number''.
SEPTEMBER 10, 1969 WEDNESDAY
Connie Smith recorded ''You And Your Sweet Love''.
Johnny Cash recorded ''Blistered'' in Nashville at the Columbia Recording Studios.
The Everly Brothers guest alongside Don Ho on NBC's ''The Kraft Music Hall''.
''The King Family Show'' airs for the final time on ABC-TV. The program starred The King Sisters, who delivered a country hit in 1946 with their version of Merle Travis' ''Divorce Me C.O.D.''.
SEPTEMBER 11, 1969 THURSDAY
Songwriter Leon Payne dies in San Antonio, Texas. His credits include Hank Williams' ''Lost Highway'', Jim Reeves' ''Blue Side Of Lonesome'' and his own recording of ''I Love You Because''.
SEPTEMBER 13, 1969 SATURDAY
Earl Scruggs makes his first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium since splitting with longtime partner Lester Flatt. He plays ''Foggy Mountain Breakdown'' with his sons, Gary and Randy Scruggs.
Toronto Rock and Roll Revival attracted an audience of approximately 20,000 to watch 20 performers including Chicago, Alice Cooper, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Gene Vincent, Little Richard, Doug Kershaw and The Doors, Screaming Lord Sutch and John Lennon, Yoko Ono and The Plastic Ono Band at at Varsity Stadium, of the University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
The Saturday morning TV cartoon ''Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?'' debuts on CBS. It's referenced in 2006 on the Rodney Atkins country hit ''Watching You''.
SEPTEMBER 14, 1969 SUNDAY
A television critic for The Los Angeles Times calls ''Hee Haw'' ''the most irrelevant, stupid and ghastly program in recent history''. Hosted by Roy Clark and Buck Owens, it's destined to remain on the air for more than two decades.
SEPTEMBER 15, 1969 MONDAY
Abram Miller, the father of former Marty Robbins producer Mitch Miller, dies of a heart attack at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, New York.
SEPTEMBER 17, 1969 WEDNESDAY
Roy Acuff's mother, Ida Acuff, dies at the Hendersonville Nursing Home in Tennessee.
CBS airs pop star Dionne Warwick's first network special. Her guests include songwriter Burt Bacharach, comedian George Kirby, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Glen Campbell.
SEPTEMBER 18, 1969 THURSDAY
California observes Country and Western Week under the proclamation of governor Ronald Reagan.
Roger Miller guests as Johnny Appleseed in the NBC-TV series ''Daniel Boone''.
SEPTEMBER 19, 1969 FRIDAY
The album ''Glen Campbell - Live'' goes gold.
Fantasy released Creedence Clearwater Revival's pop hit ''Down On The Corner''. In 1983, the song is revived as a country hit by Jerry Reed.
Jimmy Rodgers collapses on stage at the New Mexico State Fair in Albuquerque.
SEPTEMBER 20, 1969 SATURDAY
The Tex Ritter Chuckwagon opens at 21st and West End Avenue in Nashville, Tennessee.
Penn State defeats Navy, 45-22, at Annapolis, Maryland. It's the first game of the final college season for Nittany Lion defensive tackle Mike Reid, who goes on to become a country singer and write hits for Ronnie Milsap, Conway Twitty and Lorrie Morgan.
Tommy Cash guests on his brother's ABC-TV program ''The Johnny Cash Show''. Also appearing, Ramblin' Jack Elliot, The Staple Singers and Mama Cash Elliot, who duets with Cash on ''Honey'', ''Gentle On My Mind'', ''Born To Lose'' and ''Release Me''.
The Saturday music show ''Happening'' airs for the last time on ABC-TV. Originally titled ''Happening '68'', it features Paul Revere and The Raiders, including bass player Freddy Weller, enjoying a concurrent career as a country singer.
SEPTEMBER 21, 1969 SUNDAY
Seven years after he scored a country hit, Burl Ives makes his first appearance as attorney Walter Nichols on NBC-TV's ''The Bold Ones''. He maintains the role for the next three years.
SEPTEMBER 22, 1969 MONDAY
Capitol Records released the album ''The Band''. It includes ''Up On Cripple Creek'', named by the Country Music Foundation in the 2003 book ''Heartaches By The Number'' among country's 500 all-time greatest singles.
Buck Owens and The Buckaroos perform ''Tall Dark Stranger'' on the premiere episode of ''The Music Scene'' on ABC-TV. Also in the line-up, Tom Jones, James Brown and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.
SEPTEMBER 23, 1969 TUESDAY
The ''Paul McCartney is dead'' rumor begins with a story in Illinois University's Northern Star. Several Beatles songs go on to achieve success in country, including remakes by Johnny Rodriguez, Rosanne Cash and Sweethearts Of The Rodeo.
ABC-TV announces that the summer replacement series ''The Johnny Cash Show'', will be picked up as a winter replacement. Taped at the Ryman Auditorium, the program is the first Nashville-based regular series to air on Network TV.
SEPTEMBER 24, 1969 WEDNESDAY
Drummer Marty Mitchell is born in Trenton, New Jersey. He joins Ricochet in the 21st century, replacing Tim Chewning.
Eddy Arnold and Bobbie Gentry make return appearances on the NBC series ''The Kraft Music Hall''. Arnold performs his hits ''That's How Much I Love You'', ''I'll Hold You In My Heart (Till I Can Hold You In My Arms)'' and ''Make The World Go Away''.
SEPTEMBER 25, 1969 THURSDAY
Dean Martin performs the country hits ''Here Comes My Baby'' and ''By The Time I Get To Phoenix'' on his weekly NBC series ''The Dean Martin Show''.
Tom Jones performs a former Ray Price country hit, ''Danny Boy'', on ABC-TV's ''This Is Tom Jones''.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony is held at Hank Williams Jr's Barbecue Pit at 115 Opry Place in downtown Nashville. It's Bocephus' second Pit, following on the heels of a restaurant at 990 Murfreesboro Road.
SEPTEMBER 26, 1969 FRIDAY
Jimmy Dean makes a guest appearance on the first regular installment of ABC-TV's ''Jimmy Durante Presents The Lennon Sisters Hour''.
SEPTEMBER 27, 1969 SATURDAY
''The Johnny Cash Show'' features Cash's Tennessee neighbor Roy Orbison, plus Creedence Clearwater Revival and Phil Harris, who performs ''Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette)''. Cash and his wife, June Carter, do their hit ''Jackson''.
Roy Rogers and Dale Evans are guests on ''The Andy Williams Show''. Also appearing on the NBC program, comedian Arte Johnson and singer/songwriter Tony Joe White.
Johnny Cash sells out a show at Los Angeles' heralded Hollywood Bowl. The event features his usual support troop, The Carter Family, The Statler Brothers, Carl Perkins and June Carter, making her final live appearance before delivering a child in March.
Songwriter Joe West is born in Sewickley, Pennsylvania. He authors Jimmy Wayne's 2008 hit ''Do You Believe Me Now'' and Toby Keith's 2009 single ''American Ride''.
SEPTEMBER 29, 1969 MONDAY
Capitol released Buck Owens' album ''Tall Dark Stranger'', and Merle Haggard's single ''Okie From Muskogee''.
SEPTEMBER 30, 1969 TUESDAY
Former Byrd David Crosby's girlfriend, Christine Gail Hinton, dies in a car accident north of San Francisco.
OCTOBER 1, 1969 WEDNESDAY
Skeeter Davis recorded ''I'm A Lover (Not A Fighter)'' in Nashville, Tennessee.
Loretta Lynn recorded ''Coal Miner's Daughter'' and two additional hits, ''You Wanna Give Me A Lift'' and ''Wings Upon Your Horns'', during a productive evening at Bradley's Barn in Mount Juliet, Tennessee.
Glen Campbell performs ''True Grit'' as he launches the new season of CBS-TV's ''The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour''. His guests include Sarah Vaughan, Bill Medley and comedian George Burns.
OCTOBER 3, 1969 FRIDAY
Glen Campbell, the host of his own TV show, guests on ABC-s ''Jimmy Durante Presents The Lennon Sisters Hour''.
OCTOBER 4, 1969 SATURDAY
''Hee Haw'' star Junior Samples has a heart attack in Greenville, South Carolina.
Johnny Cash and Kenny Rogers and The First Edition are featured in NBC;s guest line-up on ''The Andy Williams Show''
Stoney Cooper checks in at Nashville's Baptist Hospital with pneumonia.
OCTOBER 5, 1969 SUNDAY
In his postseason appearance for the ''Miracle Mets'', Tug McGraw picks up a save while pitching three scoreless innings in an 11-6 win against the Atlanta Braves in the National League playoffs. McGraw is the father of Tim McGraw.
OCTOBER 6, 1969 MONDAY
Capitol released The Beatles' ''Something'' as the flip side of ''Come Together''. Johnny Rodriguez turns ''Something'' into a country hit in 1974.
Roger Miller appears on ABC's ''The Music Scene'' performing ''King Of The Road'' and ''Where Have All The Average People Gone''. The show also features The Dells, Bobby Sherman and Smokey Robinson and The Miracles.
Johnny Cash arrives in Atlanta to begin filming ''The Trail Of Tears'', a PBS special about the treatment of Georgia's Cherokee nation. Cash has Cherokee heritage.
OCTOBER 7, 1969 TUESDAY
Columbia Records released Bob Dylan's ''Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You''. The song makes the list of country's 500 all-time greatest singles in the Country Music Foundation's 2003 book ''Heartaches By The Number''.
OCTOBER 8, 1969 WEDNESDAY
Glen Campbell teams with Jackie DeShannon on ''My Elusive Dreams'' in the week's installment of his CBS variety show, ''The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour''. Fellow star Tom Jones is also in the line-up.
OCTOBER 9, 1969 THURSDAY
Dottie West and Don Gibson recorded ''There's A Story (Goin''Round)'' in Nashville, Tennessee.
Dean Martin covers Ted Daffan's ''Born To Lose'' on his weekly NBC-TV series ''The Dean Martin Show''.
Yoko Ono, wife of The Beatles' John Lennon, suffers a miscarriage at King's Hospital in London. Lennon's ''I Feel Fine'' is destined to become a country hit for Sweethearts Of The Rodeo 20 years later.
OCTOBER 10, 1969 FRIDAY
Roy Rogers and Dale Evans appear on the ABC series ''Jimmy Durante Presents The Lennon Sisters Hour'' with O.C. Smith and Joey Bishop.
OCTOBER 11, 1969 SATURDAY
Ray Stevens joins Danny Thomas as guests on NBC-TV's ''The Andy William Show''.
Bobbie Gentry sings ''Put A Little Love In Your Heart'' with host Bing Crosby on the ABC-TV series ''The Hollywood Palace''.
OCTOBER 12, 1969 SUNDAY
Dixie Chicks fiddler Martie Maguire is born in York, Pennsylvania. The fashionable, harmony-driven female trio earns numerous awards between 1998 and 2003 before an offhand political remark damages its standing in mainstream country.
Johnny Cash is pegged six times and Glen Campbell is nominated five as the finalists are announced in Nashville for the Country Music Association awards. Charley Pride's name appears on the list four times.
OCTOBER 13, 1969 MONDAY
Rhett Akins is born in Valdosta, Georgia. After three hits as an artist in the 1990s, he transition into songwriting, composing Luke Bryan's ''I Don't Want This Night To End'', Jason Aldean's ''When She Says Baby'', Thomas Rhett's ''It Goes Like This'' and Blake Shelton's ''Honey Bee'', among others.
Decca released Bill Anderson's duet with Jan Howard, ''If It's All The Same To You''.
''I'm so glad we had this time together...'' Bobbie Gentry is a return visitor on the CBS variety series ''The Carol Burnett Show''.
Sonny James performs ''Since I Met You Baby'' as a guest on the ABC series ''The Music Scene''. Other guests include Judy Collins, Jerry Butler and Tony Bennett.
OCTOBER 14, 1969 TUESDAY
RCA released Charley Pride's ''(I'm So) Afraid Of Losing You Again''.
''Galveston'' makes waves for Glen Campbell, becoming his second gold single.
OCTOBER 15, 1969 WEDNESDAY
''Pain Your Wagon'', starring Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood, opens at movie theaters. On the soundtrack, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band''.
Gene Autry joins the Country Music Hall Of Fame during the NBC telecast of the Country Music Association's third annual awards from Nashville's Ryman Auditorium on ''The Kraft Music Hall''.
A half-million protesters sings John Lennon's ''Give Peace A Chance'' during a Vietnam Moratorium demonstration at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The Earl Scruggs Revue, including Gary Scruggs, Randy Scruggs and Charlie Daniels, plays ''Foggy Mountain Breakdown''.
Kimberly Schlapman is born in Toccoa, Georgia. She is destined for membership in Little Big Town, a harmony-based group known for ''Boondocks'', ''Tornado'', ''Pontoon'' and ''Girl Crush''.
Glen Campbell and songwriter Casey Anderson perform The Lovin' Spoonful's ''Nashville Cats'' on ''The Glen Campbell Goodtime Show''. The CBS telecast also features Cher and Larry McNeeley.
Johnny Cash wins a record-setting five times during the third annual Country Music Association awards at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. He takes home Entertainer and Male Vocalist, Album, for ''San Quentin'', Single, for ''A Boy Named Sue'', and Vocal Group, with June Carter.
OCTOBER 16, 1969 THURSDAY
Record producer and Chess label executive Leonard Chess dies when he has a heart attack and crashes his car in Chicago. He produced Chuck Berry's ''Maybelline'', ranked among country's greatest singles in a Country Music Foundation book.
Future country singer George Burns guests on ''The Dean Martin Show''. The host of the NBC variety series turns in a version of the Marty Robbins hit ''Singing The Blues''.
OCTOBER 17, 1969 FRIDAY
Bobby Goldsboro guests with Buddy Ebsen and Martha Raye on ABC's ''Jimmy Durante Presents The Lennon Sisters Hour''.
Columbia Records released Johnny Cash's double-sided single ''Blistered'' backed with ''See Ruby Fall''.
OCTOBER 18, 1969 SATURDAY
Peter Yarrow, of Peter, Paul and Mary, weds Mary Beth McCarthy, who he met while campaigning for her uncle Eugene McCarthy, in 1968, in Willmar, Minnesota. Yarrow writes and produces the 1976 pop and country hit ''Torn Between Two Lovers''.
OCTOBER 19, 1969 SUNDAY
Kris Kristofferson and Shel Silverstein write ''Once More With Feeling'' with the help of a little wine in Nashville. Jerry Lee Lewis recorded the song next day.
OCTOBER 20, 1969 MONDAY
Jerry Lee Lewis recorded ''Once More With Feeling'' in a late night session at the Monument Studio in Nashville, Tennessee.
Capitol Records released Buck Owens' ''Big In Vegas''.
Merle Haggard sings ''Okie From Muskogee'' during ''The Music Scene'' on ABC. Also featured are Steve Lawrence, Sly and The Family Stone and The Temptations.
OCTOBER 21, 1969 TUESDAY
Columbia released Marty Robbins ''Camelia'', and Ray Price's ''April's Fool''.
Bill Anderson recorded the Jan Howard-penned ''Love Is A Sometimes Thing''.
OCTOBER 22, 1969 WEDNESDAY
The Flying Burrito Brothers, including Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman, perform at The Corral in Los Angeles. In the audience, The Rolling Stones.
Rhythm and blues vocalist Tommy Edwards dies in Henrico County, Virginia. His biggest hit, ''It's All In The game'', is translated as a country single in 1977 by Tom T. Hall.
Roy Clark and Dionne Warwick guests on CBS-TV's ''The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour''. Clark performs ''Yesterday, When I Was Young'', Warwick sing ''My Way''
''I Don't Want To Spoil The Party'' songwriter Paul McCartney issues a statement insisting that, contrary to a popular rumor, he is very much alive.
OCTOBER 23, 1969 THURSDAY
Dean Martin sings the Buck Owens-penned ''Cryin' Time'' on his NBC offering ''The Dean Martin Show''. Also appearing, Carol Channing and Walter Brennan.
OCTOBER 24, 1969 FRIDAY
Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young recorded ''Teach Your Children'' in San Francisco at Wally Heider's Studio C. The song earns a country Grammy nomination in 1995 after it's remade by Crosby, Stills and Nash with Suzy Bogguss and Kathy Mattea.
OCTOBER 25, 1969 SATURDAY
Kenny Rogers and The First Edition have a repeat engagement on the NBC variety series ''The Andy Williams Show''.
John McEuen marries Kae Taylor in Garden Grove, California. The groom plays mandolin as a member of The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
OCTOBER 26, 1969 SUNDAY
Jessi Colter marries Waylon Jennings in Mesa, Arizona.
OCTOBER 27, 1969 MONDAY
Willie and Connie Nelson have a daughter, Paula Nelson, in Houston, Texas.
Decca Records released Loretta Lynn's ''Wings Upon Your Horns''.
Jerry Lee Lewis performs ''Great Balls Of Fire'' and ''She Even Woke Me Up To Say Goodbye'' on ABC's ''The Music Scene''. Elsewhere on the show are Janis Joplin, Richie Havens and Isaac Hayes.
OCTOBER 28, 1969 TUESDAY
Elvis Presley registers a gold single with ''Suspicious Minds''.
Bill Monroe recorded the original version of ''Walk Softly On This Heart Of Mine'' in Mount Juliet, Tennessee. Twenty years later, a suped-up version becomes the first single for The Kentucky Head Hunters.
Waylon Jennings recorded ''Singer Of Sad Songs'' at RCA Studio B in Nashville, Tennessee.
OCTOBER 29, 1969 WEDNESDAY
Johnny Cash performs ''See Ruby Fall'' on CBS-TV's prime-time show ''The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour''. The episode also has Linda Ronstadt covering Bob Dylan's ''I'll Be Your Baby Tonight''.
Computers communicate for the first time, transmitting two letters before crashing. The event marks the birth of the Internet, the subject of Alan Jackson ''www.memory'' and Brad Paisley's ''Online''.
This first communications are sent through the ARPANET. ARPA (Advance Research Projects Agency) was created in 1958. In 1966 the creation of the ARPA computer network, or ARPANET, began. The first point of the ARPANET was installed at a computer in UCLA in September of 1969. In October, the second point was installed at a computer in the Stanford Research Institute. The first communication between the two is sent and received across the new network on October 29th, 1969. After that, it is installed at several other universities across the United States. ARPANET, the predecessor to the Internet, was not demonstrated to the public until 1972. By 1989 the ARPANET had become somewhat obsolete and was shut down.
OCTOBER 31, 1969 FRIDAY
Jimmie Rodgers performs on the ABC variety show ''Jimmy Durante Presents The Lennon Sisters Hour''.
NOVEMBER 1, 1969 SATURDAY
RCA released the Elvis Presley double-album ''From Memphis To Vegas/From Vegas To Memphis'', and is the 36th studio album by Elvis Presley, released in October 1969 by RCA Victor, catalogue LSP 6020. Recording sessions took place at American Sound Studio in Memphis, on January 13–15 and 21–22, and February 17–18, 1969, and at the International Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada on August 24–26, 1969. It peaked at number 12 on the Billboard 200, and has been certified Gold on December 13, 1969, by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
Keyboard player Dale Wallace is born in Vancouver, British Columbia. He replaces Chris Hartman in Emerson Drive in March 2003, just in time to join the band on stage in May to accept an Academy of Country Music award as Top New Vocal Group.
NOVEMBER 2, 1969 SUNDAY
Buck Owens, the co-host of CBS' ''Hee Haw'', performs ''Tall Dark Stranger'' on the network's variety offering ''The Ed Sullivan Show''. The line-up also features Petula Clark, Rodney Dangerfield and The Band, who deliver ''Up On Cripple Creek''.
NOVEMBER 3, 1969 MONDAY
Johnny cash sings ''Blistered'' and ''See Ruby Fall'' on the ABC-TV show ''The Music Scene''. Among the episode's other performances, Della Reese doing ''MacArthur Park'', Bobby Sherman singing ''I'll Be Your Baby Tonight'' and R.B. Greaves with ''Take A Letter Maria''.
NOVEMBER 4, 1969 TUESDAY
Rapper Sean ''P. Diddy'' Combs is born in Harlem. A successful artist and record company executive who reaches prominence in the 1990s, he's referenced in Brooks and Dunn 2005 country hit ''Play Something Country''.
NOVEMBER 5, 1969 WEDNESDAY
Jerry Reed recorded his million-selling ''Amos Moses''.
Waylon Jennings performs ''MacArthur Park'' on the CBS telecast of ''Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour''. Campbell also offers ''Waterloo', ''If I Were A Carpenter'' and Stevie Wonder's ''For Once In My Life''.
Eddy Arnold, host of ''The Kraft Music Hall'', welcomes pitcher Tom Seaver, of baseball's world champion New York Mets, to the NBC program.
Brook Benton recorded ''Rainy Night In Georgia'' at the Criteria Studios in Miami, Florida. The song becomes a country hit after it's remade by Hank Williams Jr.
Sonny James recorded ''It's Just A Matter Of Time'' at the Columbia Recording Studios in Nashville, Tennessee.
NOVEMBER 8, 1969 SATURDAY
Simon and Garfunkel recorded ''The Boxer''. The song is destined to become a country hit after being re-recorded by Emmylou Harris.
The Everly Brothers perform Merle Haggard's ''Mama Tried'' on ''The Hollywood Palace''. Roy Rogers and Dale Evans guest-host the ABC variety show, with appearances by The Sons Of The Pioneers and ''Hee Haw'' stars Roy Clark, Minnie Pearl and Junior Samples.
NOVEMBER 9, 1969 SUNDAY
Simon and Garfunkel recorded the pop hit ''Bridge Over Troubled Water''. Buck Owens remakes it for the country charts in December 1970.
NOVEMBER 10, 1969 MONDAY
NBC-Universal released ''Change Of Habit'' is a American musical drama film directed by William A. Graham and starring Elvis Presley and Mary Tylor Moore. Written by James Lee, S.S. Schweitzer, and Eric Bercovici, based on a story by John Joseph and Richard Morris, the film is about three Catholic nuns, preparing for their final vows, who are sent to a rough innercity neighborhood dressed as lay missionaries to work at a clinic run by a young doctor. Their lives become complicated by the realities they face in the inner city, and by the doctor who falls in love with one of the nuns.
The film was produced by Joe Connelly for NBC Productions and distributed by Universal Pictures. Filmed on location in the Los Angeles area and at the Universal Studios during March and April 1969, ''Change Of Habit'' was released in the United States on November 10, 1969. It spent four weeks on the Variety Box Office Survey, peaking at number 17.
''Change Of Habit'' was Presley's 31st and final film acting role; his remaining film appearances were in concert documentaries. The film was Moore's fourth and final film under her brief Universal Pictures contract; she would not appear in another theatrical movie until ''Ordinary People'' in 1980. Moore and Edward Asner, who also appears in the film, would go on to star in ''The Mary Tyler Moore Show, one of the most popular television shows in the 1970s.
NOVEMBER 10, 1969 MONDAY
Merle Haggard recorded his live album ''Okie From Muskogee'' in an appropriate location, Muskogee, Oklahoma.
Gene Autry receives a gold single from the Recording Industry Association of America for the first time, honoring his Christmas hit ''Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer''.
The Everly Brothers appear on ABC-s ''The Music Scene'' with a medley of former hits, ''Cathy's Clown'', ''All I Have To Do Is Dream'', ''Wake Up Little Susie'', ''Bird Dog'' and ''Bye Bye Love''. Also featured are Dusty Springfield, James Brown and Joe Cocker.
NOVEMBER 11, 1969 TUESDAY
RCA Victor released Elvis Presley's ''Don't Cry Daddy'' (See: January 15, 1969).
NOVEMBER 12, 1969 WEDNESDAY
Willie Nelson appears on CBS' ''The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour'', joining the show's host on a rendition of ''Hello Walls''. Campbell also performs a medley of Nelson-penned songs, ''Crazy'', ''Night Life'' and ''Funny How Time Slips Away''.
NOVEMBER 13, 1969 THURSDAY
Dean Martin runs through the Robert Mitchum country hit ''Little Ole Wine Drinker Me'' on his weekly NBC variety series ''The Dean Martin Show''.
NOVEMBER 14, 1969 FRIDAY
Apollo 12, the second manned moon mission, launched carrying astronauts Charles Conrad Jr., Alan Bean, and Richard Gordon Jr. The mission successfully landed on the Moon on November 19th about 950 miles away from where the Apollo 11 mission had landed. The mission’s objectives included seismic experiments, examining the Surveyor III spacecraft, studying possible future landing sites, and human ability to work on the moon, among many other things. The crew tried to broadcast parts the mission but the television camera was damaged by sun exposure soon after landing. The crew left on November 20th and got to Earth on November 24th, after having spent about 31 hours on the surface of the moon.
Astronaut Charles Conrad Jr., takes a 90-minute tape of Jerry Lee Lewis music with him as Apollo 12 launches.
Sonny James and George Burns are gusts on ABC's ''Jimmy Durante Presents The Lennon Sisters Hour''.
NOVEMBER 15, 1969 SATURDAY
Jimmy Buffett is credited for the first time as a member of the Nashville journalism team in the masthead for Billboard magazine, a music industry trade publication.
''We don't burn our draft down on Main Street, Merle Haggard hits number 1 in Billboard with ''Okie From Muskogee''.
NOVEMBER 16, 1969 SUNDAY
Jerry Lee Lewis performs ''She Even Woke Me Up To Say Goodbye'' on ''The Ed Sullivan Show'', along with ''Great Balls Of Fire'' and ''Whole Lot Of Shakin' Going On''. Also guesting, Creedence Clearwater Revival.
Janis Joplin is arrested in Tampa for using vulgar language on stage. Within a year, she recorded ''Me And Bobby McGee'', hailed in the Country Music Foundation's \\Heartaches By The Number''.
NOVEMBER 17, 1969 MONDAY
Paul Anka performs the future Elvis Presley hit ''My Way'' during ABC's ''The Music Scene''. Also aboard, The Cowsills with ''Silver Threads And Golden Needles'', R.B. Greaves, with ''Take A Letter Maris, and B.B. King.
NOVEMBER 18, 1969 TUESDAY
Conway Twitty recorded ''Hello Darlin''' during an afternoon session at Bradley's Barn in Mount Juliet, Tennessee.
Jimmy Dean appears in the ABC-TV movie ''The Ballad Of Andy Crocker''. Starring Lee Majors and Joe Heatherton, the Vietnam War-themed picture, produced by Aaron Spelling, also features pop musicians Bobby Harfield and Marvin Gaye.
NOVEMBER 19, 1969 WEDNESDAY
Mel Tillis recorded ''She'll Be Hanging 'Round Somewhere''.
Glen Campbell performs ''Mystery Train'' on an episode of ''The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour'', which also features Neil Diamond, Cher and comedian Bob Newhart.
NOVEMBER 20, 1969 THURSDAY
Johnny cash performs ''A Boy Named Sue'' on ABC-TV's ''This Is Tom Jones''. The line-up also includes June carter, Minnie Pearl and Jeannie C. Rile
Dean Martin performs a pair country hits, ''Gentle Of My Mind'' and ''Release Me'', in his role as the host of NBC's ''The Dean Martin Show''.
NOVEMBER 21, 1969 FRIDAY
Johnny Cash makes the cover of Life magazine.
NOVEMBER 22, 1969 SATURDAY
A week of production begins at NBC's Burbank studio for the special ''Bing And Carol Together Again For The First Time''. Roy Clark is among the guests in the Bing Crosby/Carol Burnett broadcast.
NOVEMBER 23, 1969 SUNDAY
Singer/songwriter Spade Cooley dies of a heart attack after a benefit concert for the Alameda County Sheriff's Association. His three-song set included ''San Antonio Rose''. After serving eight years in prison for killing his wife, he was set for parole on February 22, 1970.
With Little Richard in the Los Angeles audience, The Rolling Stones perform ''Honky Tonk Women'' on ''The Ed Sullivan Show''. The song is hailed among the 500 greatest country singles of all-time in a Country Music Foundation book ''Heartaches By The Number''.
NOVEMBER 24, 1969 MONDAY
Tennessee Ernie Ford is a surprise guest on ''Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In''.
Glen Campbell recorded the basic tracks for ''Honey Come Back'' at the Capitol Recording Studios in Hollywood, California. The single is built over three separate sessions.
Tennessee Ernie Ford hosts the NBC-TV special ''The Peapicker in Piccadilly'' with British guests Davy Jones, of The Monkees, and comedian Terry Thomas.
The Los Angeles Times reports MGM has named 24-year-old Mike Curb president of the label. During his tenure, the company will find success with Marie Osmond and Hank Williams Jr.
NOVEMBER 25, 1969 TUESDAY
Tammy Wynette recorded ''Kids Say The Darndest Things''.
Penn State defensive tackle Mike Reid places fifth in voting college football's Heisman trophy and is named first team All-American by UPI. He goes on to write country hits for Ronnie Milsap, Tanya Tucker and Barbara Mandrell, among others.
The Beatles' John Lennon returns his Membership of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire to the queen in protest of the nation's international policies. Some 20 years later, he's listed as a co-writer on the country hit ''I Feel Fine''.
Neil Diamond, whose pop song ''Solitary Man'' will become a country hit, is divorced from the former Jayne Posner.
NOVEMBER 26, 1969 WEDNESDAY
The Band receives a gold album for the first time, for its self-titled second release. It includes ''Up On Cripple Creek'', cited by the Country Music Foundation among country's 500 greatest singles in the 2003 book ''Heartaches By The Number''.
The CBS variety show ''The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour'' welcomes guests Jackie DeShannon and Flip Wilson. Campbell sings ''Try A Little Kindness''.
NOVEMBER 27, 1969 THURSDAY
Penn State defensive lineman Mike Reid is named to the American Football Coaches Association all-star team. Two decades later, he become a successful country singer and songwriter.
NOVEMBER 29, 1969 SATURDAY
Penn State beats North Carolina State, 33-8, in the final regular season game for Nittany Lion defensive tackle Mike Reid. He goes on to score a country hit with ''Walk On Faith'', and write songs for Conway Twitty, Ronnie Milsap and Tanya Tucker.
Ray Stevens performs on NBC's ''The Andy Williams Show''. Also appearing, Bob Hope, The Osmonds and Dusty Springfield.
NOVEMBER 30, 1969 SUNDAY
Penn State's Mike Reid is named a first team All-American and honored with the Outland Trophy as the best college line-man by the Football Writers Association. Reid will write such country hits as ''Inside'', ''Love Without Mercy'' and ''Walk On Faith''.
DECEMBER 1, 1969 MONDAY
Delaney and Bonnie perform at the Royal Albert Hall in London. The audience includes future country hitmaker Eric Clapton, plus George Harrison and Ringo Starr.
Sergio Mendes and Brasill ''66 put a Latin spin on the Glen Campbell hit ''Wichita Lineman'' on ABC's ''The Music Scene''. Creedence Clearwater Revival performs ''Down On The Corner'', with the show filled out by Cass Elliott and Neil Diamond.
DECEMBER 2, 1969 TUESDAY
Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton recorded ''Tomorrow Is Forever''.
DECEMBER 3, 1969 WEDNESDAY
Glen Campbell and Tony Bennett sings a medley of Hank Williams hits on ''The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour'', ''Cold, Cold Heart'', ''Your Cheatin' Heart'', ''I Can't Help It (If I'm Still In Love With You'')'', ''Hey, Good Lookin''' and ''Jambalaya (On The Bayou)''.
DECEMBER 4, 1969 THURSDAY
''Sunflower'' songwriter Neil Diamond marries Marcia Murphey in Los Angeles, California.
Bobbie Gentry appears on the CBS variety show ''The Jim Nabors Hour''.
Glen Campbell songs ''Someday Soon'' in the spotlight on the ABC show ''This Is Tom Jones''. Also performing is Janis Joplin.
DECEMBER 5, 1969 FRIDAY
The Johnny Cash Show sets a record for New York's Madison Square Garden, attracting 21,000 people. The concert is issued as a live album in 2002 with appearance by June Carter, The Carter Family, Carl Perkins, The Statler Brothers and Tommy Cash.
Singer/songwriter Ray Scott is born. He releases his debut album in 2005, but not before writing Clay Walker's hit ''A Few Questions''.
DECEMBER 6, 1969 SATURDAY
Less than four months after Woodstock, a free concert at the Altamont Speedway, about forty miles southeast of San Francisco, sent an entirely different message to the world about the peace and love generation. Organized principally by the Rolling Stones, the concert attracted some 300,000 fans to a bleak, grimy racetrack, strewn with rocks, rusted bottle caps, and broken glass. For $500 worth of beer, Hell's Angels were hired to provide security. By the end of the day, four people were dead, including an eighteen-year-old black man, Meredith Hunter, who had been knifed to death by the Angels while the Stones were on stage. Another 780 people reportedly required medical treatment after experiencing ''bad trips''. The show had been marred by violence from the start. Santana, the first band on stage, had their set interrupted twice, when Angels battled with fans in front of the stage. Next up was the Jefferson Airplane: at one point during their set, singer Marty Balin was knocked unconscious when he tried to break up a fight in the audience. The Grateful Dead, who also helped organize the event, chose not to appear, due to the violent atmosphere. Many now consider Altamont to be the unofficial end of the sixties era.
The Rolling Stones' free show at Altamont, California, goes awry as one concert-goer is stabbed to death by Hell's Angels. Also on the bill, The Flying Burrito Brothers. including Chris Hillman and Gram Parsons, performing ''Six Days On The Road''.
DECEMBER 8, 1969 MONDAY
Charley Pride sings ''Louisiana Man'' on ABC's ''The Music Scene''. Others on the show include Steve Allen, Tony Bennett, Stevie Wonder and Buffy Sainte-Marie.
DECEMBER 9, 1969 TUESDAY
''You Ain't Going Nowhere'' songwriter Bob Dylan has a son, Jakop Dylan, in New York. The boy is destined to become the lead singer for Wallflowers.
DECEMBER 10, 1969 WEDNESDAY
''The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour'' welcomes Rick Nelson, Michele Lee and George ''Goober'' Lindsey to CBS prime-time. Campbell performs ''I Walk The Line''.
Johnny Cash performs ''This Land Is Your Land'' on NBC's ''The Kraft Music Hall'', which also features Peggy Lee, Carl Perkins, The Statler Brothers and The Carter Family, who sing ''Foggy Mountain Top''.
DECEMBER 11, 1969 THURSDAY
The Jack Clement Studios open for business in Nashville, Tennessee. They provide a recording site for such as Kenny Rogers' ''The Gambler'', Ray Stevens' ''Everything Is Beautiful'', Freddie Hart's ''Easy Loving'' and Merle Haggard's ''Ramblin' Fever''.
DECEMBER 12, 1969 FRIDAY
Elvis Presley picks up a gold album for ''From Memphis To Vegas''.
The Grand Ole Opry's Stoney Mountain Cloggers appear on ABC-TV's variety show ''Jimmy Durante Presents The Lennon Sisters Hour''.
DECEMBER 13, 1969 SATURDAY
After years in other venues, WWVA's ''Wheeling Jamboree'' returns to the Capitol Music Hall in West Virginia. The headliner for the evening is Bill Anderson.
DECEMBER 15, 1969 MONDAY
Charley Pride performs ''(I'm So) Afraid Of Losing You Again'' during ''The Music Scene'' on ABC. The show also features Law Rawls and Little Richard, who offers ''Lucille''.
DECEMBER 16, 1969 TUESDAY
Columbia Records released Johnny Cash and June Carter's ''If I Were A Carpenter''.
DECEMBER 17, 1969 WEDNESDAY
Jimmy Dickens recorded ''(You've Been Quite A Doll) Raggedy Ann''.
''Hee Haw'' returns to the CBS-TV line-up after a three-month hiatus. Tammy Wynette sings ''The Ways To Love A Man'' and Merle Haggard performs ''Okie From Muskogee'' on the episode, hosted by Buck Owens and Roy Clark.
Project Blue Book, the United States Air Force’s investigation into unidentified flying objects (UFOs), officially comes to an end. The investigations began in 1952 when government officials started to collect information related to UFO sightings. Between 1952 and 1969, there were over 12,000 reports compiled by officials and of those reports all but 701 cases were identified as either an atmospheric, astronomical, or man-made event. The project concluded that UFOs did not threaten national security and did not present evidence of extraterrestrial life or technology and the US government decided that it would be far to costly to continue to investigate UFO sightings.
DECEMBER 18, 1969 THURSDAY
Bobbie Gentry marries William Harrah, the owner of Harrah's gambling casinos, at St. Paul's Presbyterian Church in Reno, Nevada.
Roy Clarks joins Bing Crosby, Carl Burnett and Juliet Prowse for a rendition of ''Jingle Bells'' on the NBC Christmas special ''Bing and Carol Together Again For The First Time''. Also appearing, Bob Hope.
DECEMBER 21, 1969 SUNDAY
Diana Ross and The Supremes make their final appearance on ''The Ed Sullivan Show'', where they perform ''Someday We'll Be Together''. Bill Anderson and Jan Howard turn the song into a country hit the following summer.
Glen Campbell sings ''Jingle Bells'' with Cher on a Christmas installment of CBS-TV's ''The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour''. He also delivers ''Wichita Lineman'' and Galveston''. The show's guest list includes Andy Griffith.
DECEMBER 22, 1969 MONDAY
Frankie Lane sings Marty Robbins-penned ''You Gave Me A Mountain'' on the ABC-TV show ''The Music Scene''. Also appearing, Monkee Davy Jones, Gordon Lightfoot and Chuck Berry, who turns in ''Johnny B. Goode''.
Willie Nelson and Hank Cochran write ''What Can You Do To Me Now''. As if in answer to the question, Nelson's house burns to the ground the next day.
DECEMBER 23, 1969 TUESDAY
Loretta Lynn recorded ''I Know How'' during an evening session in Mount Juliet, Tennessee, at Bradley's Barn.
Merle Haggard recorded ''The Fightin' Side Of Me'' in Los Angeles at the Capitol Recording Studios.
Willie Nelson's home in Ridgetop, Tennessee, burns while he's in Nashville at a Christmas party. When Nelson sees the house in flames, he runs in to rescue his guitar, Trigger, and a bag of marijuana stashed inside the case.
Future country star B.J. Thomas receives a gold single for ''Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head''.
DECEMBER 24, 1969 WEDNESDAY
The album ''The Buddy Holly Story'' is certified gold. It includes ''That'll Be The Day'', tabbed by the Country Music Foundation among the 500 greatest country singles of all-time in the 2003 book ''Heartaches By The Number''.
The Cowsill cover Bobby Helms' ''Jingle Bell Rock'' on the Christmas edition of the NBC series ''The Kraft Music Hall''.
Buck Owens leads the cast of ''Hee Haw'' in ''Santa Looked A Lot Like Daddy''. The CBS telecast also features Loretta Lynn performing ''Blue Kentucky Girl'' and ''Wings Upon Your Horns''.
DECEMBER 27, 1969 SATURDAY
Stand-up bass player Darrin Vincent is born in Missouri. The brother of bluegrass singer Rhonda Vicent, he joins Jamie Dailey to establish Dailey and Vincent, winning the IBMA's Entertainer of the Year in 2008 and 2009.
DECEMBER 29, 1969 MONDAY
Capitol Records released Merle Haggard's live album ''Okie From Muskogee''.
Buck Owens and Susan Raye recorded the Freddie Hart written ''Togetherness'' at the Capitol Studios in Los Angeles, California.
Capitol released Buck Owens' album ''Big In Vegas''.
DECEMBER 30, 1969 TUESDAY
Buddy Holly receives a gold record posthumously for his hit ''That'll Be The Day''.
Peter, Paul and Mary earns a gold record with a song written by John Denver, ''Leaving On A Jet Plane''.
DECEMBER 31, 1969 WEDNESDAY
Elvis Presley's New Year's Eve party starts at Chenaults in Memphis, then moves to T.J.'s for music by Billy Riley and Ronnie Milsap. In addition, songwriter Mark James performs ''Suspicious Minds''. In 1955 Reginald “Rex” Chenault opened a roomy drive-in at 1400 South Bellevue to replace the smaller establishment next door.
Happy new year from the cornfield! ''Hee Haw'' welcomes musical guests Dottie West and Hank Williams Jr. alongside the CBS show's cast regulars Buck Owens, Stringbean, Junior Samples, Grandpa Jones and Roy Clark, who sings ''Yesterday, When I Was Young''.
Del Reeves, John Wesley Ryles and Jerry Foster perform at the re-opening of Sunnyside Gardens, a club in Queens, New York.
Studios and Offices of Shelby Singleton Enterprises (Sun Records, Plantation Records and SSS
International), 3106 Belmont Boulevard, Nashville, Tennessee, circa 1980. >
Despite the slower pace, Shelby Singleton continued to release product on the Sun label into
the 1970s. The human jukebox, rockabilly Sleepy LaBeef, was one of the keepers of the
flame who found himself on Sun, albeit twenty years after he might have wished.
Nevertheless, he made some recordings that were essentially true to the Phillips credo.
Less creditable to many ears were the recordings of Jimmy Ellis, who recorded under the
pseudonym Orion Echley Darnell some have placed the emphasis on the ''ecch'').
appeared on stage in a bejeweled mask, performing a soulless impersonation of Fat Elvis; he
scored some minor country hits between 1979 and 1982, but his following was largely
confined to those who refused to believe that Elvis Presley had actually expired on his
bathroom floor in August 1977. Orion's ultimate problem for anyone other than Elvis
necrophiliacs was that his style began and ended with affectation. The best Sun artists had a
unique slant on their music, in which exaggeration was secondary; Orion offered nothing but
But the real life of Sun was in the earlier recordings, and Singleton's European licensees kept
the vintage Sun product flowing. ''The way the material has been handled, it truly amazes
me that it hasn't been killed,'' said Phillips in 1981. ''It was not my way to repackage every
damn thing every other week or month, because the recordings had too much meaning for
the people who have were buying the product. In the long run, though, I don't think the
reissues have cheapened the image as much as I feared they would''.
On the contrary, the constant flow of Sun reissues has contributed to the beatification of
Sam Phillips. His massive achievement is on public display in those recordings, and it shows
him in an almost unerringly favorable light. The outtakes, chatter, and jive captured on the
Sun tapes, as well as the issued masters, reveal his role as the one man who understood, and
drew the best from, some of the greatest artists in American music.
After the sale to Singleton, Sam Phillips retained only a marginal involvement in the record
business. He nursed his investment portfolio, and maintained a hands-on approach to
managing his radio stations. He expressed an interest in producing Bob Dylan, and had a
meeting involvement in Knox and Jerry Phillips production of John Prine for Asylum Records
in 1978; otherwise, he has steadfastly refused any temptation he might have had to resume
record production. ''He had a creative flow, (but) never tried to get it back'' says Jim
Dickinson. ''Knox and I did a lot of work once to get him a B. B. King session. We didn't check
with him first, and, when we asked him, he said 'No'. Knox said, 'You can't just say no. Why
not? Sam said, You can't go to Picasso and ask him to paint a little pictures'. That may sound
presumptuous, but that's the way he saw it. Everything in recording is input and output, and
when you lose that signal flow, you never get it back''.
Although Phillips has periodically expressed an interest in offloading the studio on Madison
Avenue, his sons have persuaded him to retain it as a custom recording house. Despite the
recent addition of a 24-track recorder, it looks much like it did in 1960. More surprising, the
original Sun studio on Union Avenue also looks just about like it did in 1950. The property
was bought and refurbished with Phillips' help, to become both a museum and a custom
studio. The Irish superstars U2 are among the musicians who have come to set up their amps
in the spot where Sam Phillips first drew the magic from young Elvis; in 1990, Jerry Lee
Lewis returned to record two cuts for the soundtrack of Warren Beatty's Dick Tracy.
To Shelby Singleton, Sun Records is very much an ongoing entity. Trading on the cachet
attached to the trademark, he renamed his enterprise the Sun Entertainment Corporation,
and floated it on the Vancouver Stock Exchange in 1987 with a view to reentering the
production and manufacturing end of the business. To many others, though, Sun Records
ended in 1969; to musical purists, it ended a decade before that, when the old studio was
The indisputable fact is that the reputation of Sun Records is founded upon a series of
recordings made between 1952 and 1959 in Sam Phillips' little storefront studio. When
Phillips settled down to sketch out his corporate letterhead in 1952, he positioned his
rooster crowing at the dawn's early rays. To the right of the rooster he placed his first
attempt at a corporate slogan, ''Up Above Them All With Records That Sell'', which
represented more wishful thinking than achievement. Beneath the address ran the second
slogan, ''Consistently Better Records for Higher Profits''. They weren't elegant words, but
they defined both Phillips' trademark and his credo.
Under his direction, Sun was true to the slogans on that letterhead. It was no mere
coincidence that Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, and so many others gave their
finest performances in the Sun studio. The excitement they generated, along with Phillips'
almost messianic ability to bring out the rawest emotion in their art, qualifies the man as
probably the first modern record producer, and possibly the greatest. It also ensures that his
legacy is among the most important in popular music.
From 1970, The Shelby Singleton Organization out of Nashville Tennessee, owners of the legendary Sun
label from Memphis, started releasing records in Australia through Festival on its SSS International and the
Sun label. Sun was for records by Orion, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash re-issues. Shelby Singleton was
also trying to fool people with an Elvis sound-alike (Jimmy Ellis) by not putting any artist name on the label
(NK 4833 - 1972) .
In Australia, Festival had distribution rights, but EMI had the rights to the back catalogue. Elvis’ Sun
material was released on RCA. Sun material during the 1960's was released on London. During the mid
1970s Festival spent considerable time and money on prosecutions on owners of import record shops selling
overseas copies of their labels, one of them being the Sun label. However, prosecutions on the Sun label fell
through owing to the fact that the shop owners were selling legal re-issues which Festival didn’t have the
rights to. EMI allowed their sale. This cost Festival a lot of money and embarrassment and contributed to its
downfall. Nobody had any sympathy for Festival, and music import laws were changed so that imports were
allowed but only through local suppliers.
The first New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is held in Congo Square; Duke Ellington and Mahalia Jackson are the headliners. Also that year, Big Chief Bo Dollis and The Wild Magnolias cut the first Mardi Gras Indian funk single, ''Handa Wanda''. The Doors play at The Warehouse in New Orleans; after Jim Morrison melts down onstage, it turns out to be their final live show.
Eventually, Bill's absences from Memphis grew permanent. At some point, he and his brother Vance Yates
worked as the Yates Brothers on shows booked out of Nashville by the Wil-Helm Talent Agency formed by
Don Helms and the Wilburn Brothers. It is not clear how long this lasted but it is likely the Yates boys wound
up in Las Vegas. By the close of the 1970s Bill Yates had settled there. He lived at various addresses in Vegas
through the 1980s, including Ramona Circle and Karen Avenue. His nephew, Rusty confirmed: ''Bill spent a
lot of time playing music in the west, especially Las Vegas, from the late 1970s through the 1980s. He was
an actor too, and he was an extra and stuntman in the movies. I remembered seeing him in his western gear,
mainly westerns. But I remember one time when Batman was in big in the movies they hired Bill to make
personal appearances at movie theatres as Batman. He'd go in there and leap around and play the part. That
was back in the 1960s''.
When Bill Yates moved west, his sister Carolyn was also singing in lounges across the country including
venues in Vegas and Lake Tahoe. Working as Carol Lee through the 1960s and 1970s, her publicity noted
that she was from the backwoods of Georgia and her singing had ''journeyed from the church to the club to
concerts'' but that she was ''an entertainer first of all'', singing from songbooks as diverse as Sinatra and Ray
Charles. She also sang country, not least her own song ''I Won't Mention It Again'' that stayed at number 1 for
thirteen weeks when recorded by Ray Price.
They were of their time and perhaps typical of part of the Yates act of the day. Rusty Yates said: ''When we
were in Vegas, Uncle Bill would play an amazing range of music on piano. He'd play like Liberace and then
he'd play like Fats Domino and then he would play George Shearing or some ragtime. He could play it all.
He would play his own songs too, sometimes, thing like the ''M&Ms'' song and ''Big Big World'' that was
written by his friend Red West''. Al least two of Yates' later recordings were issued. A label called Memphis
Country Sights And Sound issued ''Poor But Proud'' and ''Greatest Star Of All'', one an in-vogue nostalgic
country song and the other an imaginative tribute to Hank Williams where Yates buys the car Hank took his
last journey in. It would make sense that the Elvis tribute was also issued but a copy of that disc is still to be
The Las Vegas marriage records show that Billy Vance Yates was married twice in the city of the quick
ceremony. On July 20, 1985 he married May Elizabeth Nolan and on April 14, 1989 he married Cathy Lynn
West. Rusty Yates confirmed: ''Bill didn't stay with Mary when he went away to Vegas. He married there
twice but they didn't last. He didn't talk to his first wife for years and didn't stay in touch with his children at
According to Rusty, ''Uncle Bill spent a lot of time out west. After he left Vegas, then he went to Pinedale,
Wyoming in the early 1990s. At that time in life he became a ''mountain man'' going on trips into the
wilderness and living that kind of life. He and William Golden from the Oak Ridge Boys would do that
together sometimes. They's disappear off and live in the hills and made their own leather gear and that sort of
things''. In July 2000, the Sublette County Journal carried a feature on an event called the Quick Draw, where
local artists and sculptors created works on the spot, using local people and scenes as their inspiration. Their
journalist wrote: ''As I stepped up to take a picture of one artist at work, I noticed that the lump of clay before
her looked and awful lot like the mountain man who was watching her work. The artist introduced herself as
Joyce Killebrew from Sedona, Arizona; then the mountain man spoke. Bill Yates is from Memphis,
Tennessee, and had worked with Elvis for six years as a piano player. He then playfully scolded me for
taking his picture when he didn't have his teeth in''.
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
Session Published for Historical Reasons
STUDIO SESSION FOR BILL YATES
FOR MEMPHIS COUNTRY RECORDS 1977
POSSIBLY LAS VEGAS
STUDIO SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE CIRCA 1977
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER - BILL YATES
It was from Vegas that Bill Yates contacted his nephew Rusty, a budding musician, in 1979: ''I was nearly 20
years old and working for my dad, who wanted me to go into the service. But then Uncle Bill called from La
Vegas and invited me to come out and play music with him there. In January 1980, I arrived and I was
expecting to play piano, which was my instrument. But he pointed me to the drum kit and I said I should get
on the drums. He needed a drummer. So I did that for a year at the King 8 Casino and then after that I did it a
couple years more. The King 8 had opened in 1974 on Tropicana Avenue off the southern end of Vegas' main
strip. It was a decent enough venue, if not quite the standard of the International where Elvis Presley had
held sway for many years. Bill played little of Presley music but after Presley died in 1977 Bill recorded four
songs: ''Elvis We Miss You'', ''Golden Guitar'', ''Poor But Proud'', and ''Number One Country Music Star''.
The recordings were a mix of blues, gospel, and country influences with story lyrics and an intense,
conversational vocal style.
01 - ''POOR BUT PROUD'' - B.M.I.
Composer: - Bill Yates
Publisher: Copyright Control
Matrix number: - CR 005
Recorded: - Unknown Date Circa 1977
Released: - Circa 1977
First appearance: - Memphis Country Records (S) 45rpm Memphis Country 005/6 mono
POOR PUT PROUD / GREATEST STAR OF ALL
02 - ''GREATEST STAR OF ALL'' - B.M.I.
Composer: - Bill Yates
Publisher: Copyright Control
Matrix number: - CR 006
Recorded: - Unknown Date Circa 1977
Released: - Circa 1977
First appearance: - Memphis Country Records (S) 45rpm Memphis Country 005/6 mono
GREATEST STAR OF ALL / POOR BUT PROOD
03 - ''ELVIS, WE MISS YOU'' - B.M.I.
Composer: - Bill Yates
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - No Known Issue
Recorded: - Unknown Date
04 - ''GOLDEN GUITAR'' – B.M.I.
Composer: - Bill Yates
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - No Known Issue
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Bill Yates - Vocal
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©