I was raised on the music of Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings so today is a special day for me and Country music fans everywhere.  Happy Birthday Willie!  He is 79 today.

2006 - Big & Rich perform at a rally sponsored by human rights agencies in Washington, D.C., to call attention on genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan.


2000 - The third George Strait stadium festival tour becomes the first concert held at Nashville's Adelphia Coliseum. On the bill: Tim McGraw, Martina McBride, Kenny Chesney, Lee Ann Womack, Mark Chesnutt, Asleep At The Wheel and Billy Gilman.


1997 - Dwight Yoakam plays a grocery store employee in the "coming out" episode of ABC-TV's "Ellen," which also features Demi Moore, Oprah Winfrey and k.d. lang.


1994 - Faith Hill's remake of "Piece Of My Heart" grabs the #1 spot on the Billboard country chart.


1988 - Rodney Crowell & Rosanne Cash meet at #1 on the Billboard country singles chart with "It's Such A Small World".


1984 - Tyler Wilkinson born in Belleville, Ontario. The energetic youngster teams with his father, Steve, and older sister, Amanda, to form The Wilkinsons, who enter the national stage with their sentimental ode to mother, "26 Cents".


1981 - George Jones wins three times in the 16th Academy Of Country Music awards at Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium. Jones takes Top Male Vocalist, and "He Stopped Loving Her Today"--written by Bobby Braddock and Curly Putman--is Song and Single Record of the Year.


1971 - Singer-songwriter Carolyn Dawn Johnson born in Grande Prairie, Alberta. Her 2001 debut yields a hit with "Complicated." She also writes Chely Wright's "Single White Female" and Jo Dee Messina's "Downtime".


1962 - Bass player Robert Reynolds born in Kansas City, Missouri. He's a founding member of The Mavericks, who gain the Country Music Association's Vocal Group of the Year honors twice in the mid-'90s. He marries Trisha Yearwood for five years.


1933 - Willie Nelson born in Abbott, Texas, though some relatives insist the birth was April 29. After writing "Crazy" and "Hello Walls," he becomes a major figure in the '70s outlaw movement, earning a plaque in the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1993.  See how many famous friends of Willie you can identify in this video.

1925 - Johnny Horton born in Los Angeles. Married to Hank Williams' widow, Billie Jean Jones, he finds a niche in the late-1950s and 1960 with historically based singles, including "North To Alaska," "Sink The Bismarck" and "The Battle Of New Orleans".


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