A Broke Of Genius – Today In Country Music History [VIDEO]
January 1st, 2003
Big Kenny Alpin, already $140,000 in debt, loses most of his last $200 playing black jack in a Las Vegas casino. He gives the dealer a $20 tip, leaving himself with just one buck. The event inspires him to write a future Tim McGraw hit, "Last Dollar (Fly Away)".
Soon after, Alpin would begin writing with former Lonestar bassist/vocalist John Rich. The pair would found the MuzikMafia (an abbreviation for Musically Artistic Friends in Alliance),a roundtable aggregation of singer-songwriters including Cowboy Troy, James Otto, Gretchen Wilson and Shannon Lawson. This group held its first official show at a Nashville, Tennessee nightclub in 2001.
Among Big Kenny and John Rich's first outside cuts as songwriters was "Amarillo Sky", which was the title track to McBride & the Ride's 2002 album Amarillo Sky and later a top 5 hit for Jason Aldean in 2007.The two also wrote and sang backing vocals on "She's a Butterfly", which was recorded by Martina McBride on her album Martina.
After McBride cut this song, manager Marc Oswald suggested that Rich and Big Kenny begin recording as a duo. Rich was apprehensive at first, as he had been told by BNA staff that he was "too rock for country" and was unsure of what major labels would think of Big Kenny's rock influences.
The two began recording songs together at a songwriting seminar. After they recorded a demo of "Holy Water", Rich was convinced that the duo would be successful. They then met with Paul Worley, a record producer who was then the head of creative affairs at Warner Bros. Records Nashville, and Worley helped sign Big & Rich to a recording contract in late 2003.
Eight years after their last show together, The Judds usher in the new millennium with a reunion show at the America West Arena in Phoenix, with Ashley Judd hosting. First song in the set: "Love Can Build A Bridge"
Singer Rick Nelson dies in a plane crash outside of DeKalb, Texas. A TV star on "The Adventures Of Ozzie & Harriet," he crossed between pop and country.
2011 – Reba McEntire – “Turn On The Radio”
2005 – Blake Shelton – “Some Beach”
2000 – Faith Hill – “Breathe”
1994 – Faith Hill – “Wild One”
1983 – John Anderson – “Wild And Blue”
1977 – Emmylou Harris – “Sweet Dreams”
1972 – Charley Pride – “Kiss An Angel Good Morning”
1966 – Buck Owens & The Buckaroos – “Buckaroo”
1955 – Webb Pierce – “More And More”
1949 – Eddy Arnold – “A Heart Full Of Love (For A Handful Of Kisses)
2011 – Taylor Swift – Speak Now
2005 – Shania Twain – Greatest Hits
2000 – Shania Twain – Come On Over
1994 – Common Thread: The Songs Of The Eagles
1982 – Alabama – Mountain Music
1977 – Waylon Jennings – Are You Ready For The Country
1972 – Charley Pride – Heart Songs
1966 – Connie Smith – Cute ‘n’ Country
Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr. is born in Roswell, New Mexico on this date in 1944. As John Denver, he straddles pop and country music in the mid-1970s, making him a controversial winner of the Country Music Association's Entertainer of the Year award for 1975. Denver would pass away October 12, 1997, when the experimental aircraft he was piloting crashed into the ocean off of the central California coast. Denver was 53.