Elvis Presley died (heart failure), 1977 (was 42)
Kathie Lee Gifford born in Paris, France, 1953 (now 55). Gifford began her career as one of the "Hee Haw honeys."
Billy Joe Shaver born in Corsica, Texas, 1939 (now 69)
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 69). Preston is best known for "Running Bear," the 1959 hit which 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 64)
Clay Walker born in Beaumont, Texas, 1969 (now 39)
Lee Ann Womack born in Jacksonville, Texas, 1966 (now 42)
Rudy Gatlin born in Olney, Texas, 1952 (now 56)
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 69)
Sam McGee died (tractor accident on his farm), 1975 (was 81)
Holly Dunn born in San Antonio, Texas, 1957 (now 51)
Collin Raye born in DeQueen, Arkansas, 1959 (now 49)
Rod Brasfield born in Smithville, Arkansas, 1910 (died 1958)
Connie B. Gay born in Lizard Lick, North Carolina, 1914 (died 1989)
Horace "Aytchie" Burns died (heart attack), 1974 (was 56). Aytchie was a bass player at Knoxville's WNOX. He was also the older brother of Jethro Burns of Homer and Jethro.
Elizabeth Coleman Haynes died (kidney disease), 1976 (was 56). The one-time bass player for Angelina's Yodeling Cowgirls on the Renfro Valley Barn Dance was the wife of Homer Haynes of Homer & Jethro.
Floyd Tillman died (leukemia), 2003 (was 88)
Rex Allen, Jr. born in Chicago, Illinois, 1947 (now 61)
Woody Paul born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1949 (now 59)
Tex Williams born in Anvil, Illinois, 1917 (died 1985)
"It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels" hit #1 on the Billboard charts, 1952. The song, the first #1 hit for a female singer, was very controversial in its day, with many country stations refusing to play the song and the Grand Ole Opry management prohibiting Kitty Wells from performing the tune on the Opry.
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 54). 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 47)
Jo Dee Messina born in Holliston, Massachusetts, 1970 (now 38)
Cliff Bruner died (cancer), 2000 (was 85)
Don Bowman born in Lubbock, Texas, 1937 (now 71)
Wilma Burgess died (heart attack), 2003 (was 64)
J.D. Crowe born in Lexington, Kentucky, 1937 (now 71)
Jimmy C. Newman born in Big Mamou, Louisiana, 1927 (now 81)
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 83)
LeAnn Rimes born in Jackson, Mississippi, 1982 (now 26)
Shawn Camp born in Perryville, Arkansas, 1966 (now 42)
Archie Campbell died (heart attack), 1987 (was 67)
Kitty Wells born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1919 (now 89)
Jon Hagar born in Chicago, Illinois, 1946 (now 62)
Jim Hagar born in Chicago, Illinois, 1946 (died 2008)