Elvis Presley died (heart failure), 1977 (was 42)
Kathie Lee Gifford born in Paris, France, 1953 (now 54). The TV icon was once one of the "Hee Haw honeys."
Billy Joe Shaver born in Corsica, Texas, 1939 (now 68)
Vassar Clements died (lung cancer), 2005 (was 77)
Wayne Raney born in Wolf Bayou, Arkansas, 1920 (died 1993)
Johnny Preston born in Port Arthur, Texas, 1939 (now 68). The singer's biggest hit, "Running Bear," featured guitar work and backing vocals by George Jones.
Hank Penny born in Birmingham, Alabama, 1918 (died 1992)
The Louvin Brothers play their last official show as a duo (opening for Ray Price) in Watseka, Illinois, 1963. According to Charles Wolfe's biography, the duo that once commanded over $1100 per show as headliners received $250 for the performance.
Eddy Raven born in Lafayette, Louisiana, 1944 (now 63)
Clay Walker born in Beaumont, Texas, 1969 (now 38)
Lee Ann Womack born in Jacksonville, Texas, 1966 (now 41)
Rudy Gatlin born in Olney, Texas, 1952 (now 55)
Jim Reeves born in Galloway, Texas, 1923 (died 1964)
Justin Tubb born in San Antonio, Texas, 1935 (died 1998)
Harold Reid born in Staunton, Virginia, 1939 (now 68)
Sam McGee died (tractor accident on his farm), 1975 (was 81)
Holly Dunn born in San Antonio, Texas, 1957 (now 50)
Collin Raye born in DeQueen, Arkansas, 1959 (now 48)
Rod Brasfield born in Smithville, Arkansas, 1910 (died 1958)
Connie B. Gay born in Lizard Lick, North Carolina, 1914 (died 1989)
Floyd Tillman died (leukemia), 2003 (was 88)
Rex Allen, Jr. born in Chicago, Illinois, 1947 (now 60)
Woody Paul born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1949 (now 58)
Tex Williams born in Anvil, Illinois, 1917 (died 1985)
Kitty Wells became the first woman to hit #1 on the Billboard singles chart with "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels," 1952. The song was very controversial in its day, with many country stations refusing to play the song and the Grand Ole Opry management prohibiting Kitty from performing the tune.
Fred Rose born in Evansville, Indiana, 1897 (died 1954)
Jerry Clower died (complications from heart surgery), 1998 (was 71)
Nat Stuckey died (lung cancer), 1988 (was 54)
Jerry Rivers born in Miami, Florida, 1928 (died 1996)
Elvis Costello born in London, England, 1954 (now 53). The punk pioneer and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member is a die-hard country music fan who recorded an album of old country songs, Almost Blue, and has performed with numerous country legends including George Jones, Ricky Skaggs, Emmylou Harris, and Charlie Louvin. Johnny Cash recorded Costello's song "The Big Light" on Johnny Cash is Coming to Town.
Billy Ray Cyrus born in Flatwoods, Kentucky, 1961 (now 46)
Jo Dee Messina born in Holliston, Massachusetts, 1970 (now 37)
Cliff Bruner died (cancer), 2000 (was 85)
Don Bowman born in Lubbock, Texas, 1937 (now 70)
Wilma Burgess died (heart attack), 2003 (was 64)
J.D. Crowe born in Lexington, Kentucky, 1937 (now 70)
Jimmy C. Newman born in Big Mamou, Louisiana, 1927 (now 80)
Carter Stanley born in Dickenson County, Virginia, 1925 (died 1966)
Jim Denny died (cancer), 1963 (was 52). The Country Music Hall of Famer is most infamous for telling a guest arist after an appearance on the Grand Ole Opry, "You ain't goin' nowhere, son. You ought to go back to driving a truck." The person on the receiving end of Denny's criticism was Elvis Presley.
Billy Grammer born in Benton, Illinois, 1925 (now 82)
LeAnn Rimes born in Jackson, Mississippi, 1982 (now 25)
Shawn Camp born in Perryville, Arkansas, 1966 (now 41)
Archie Campbell died (heart attack), 1987 (was 67)
Kitty Wells born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1919 (now 88)
Jim and Jon Hagar born in Chicago, Illinois, 1946 (now 61)