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Jo Dee Messina Runs Boston Marathon, Cash Plays For Nixon- Today In Country History

The Music and Memories of April 17

Frank Micelotta, Getty Images Entertainment

2006- Jo Dee Messina runs the 26.2-mile course in the 110th Boston Marathon. She injures her knee halfway through, but still finishes in five hours and 47 minutes, ranking #19,681 among participants. Jo Dee, who said her goal was “just to finish,” runs the race with her brother starting near her hometown in Hopkinton, Mass.

1976- After writing the hits ‘Kentucky Rain’ for Elvis and ‘Pure Love’ for Ronnie Milsap, Eddie Rabbitt has his first No. 1 country recording with ‘Drinkin’ My Baby (Off My Mind).’

1970- Johnny Cash plays the White House for President Nixon with June Carter and The Statler Brothers. Johnny declines Nixon’s request to sing ‘Welfare Cadillac’ and Merle Haggard’s ‘Okie From Muskogee,’ a conservative based ‘middle-american’ song.  Nixon’s choices did not agree with Johnny Cash’s pro-underdog sympathies. When he expressed his reluctance, a White House aide told him that he could sing anything he wished. Johnny performs ‘Folsom Prison Blues,’ ‘Peace In The Valley’ and ‘What Is Truth.’

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