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Today In Country History- Shania Beats Garth, Merle Pardoned By Reagan

The Music and Memories of March 14

The Headlines

Ethan Miller, Getty Images

2000- Shania surpasses Garth!  As the ‘Come On Over’ album is certified for shipments of 17 million copies Shania Twain replaces Garth Brooks’ “No Fences” as the best-selling country album of all-time.  To date it is reported that the album has sold over 39 million copies worldwide.

1972- The classic Sammi Smith song “Help Me Make It Through The Night” is a double-winner during Grammy Awards.  The song getsBest Country Song for Kris Kristofferson, who writes it, and Best Country Female Vocal Performance for Sammi Smith.

1972- California Governor Ronald Reagan pardons Merle Haggard for a 1957 attempted robbery that landed the singer in prison.  After a string a small criminal charges, he was arrested for robbing a Bakersfield tavern and was sent to the San Quentin state prison for three years.  Even while in prison, Merle ran a gambling and brewing racket from his cell. Merle attended three of Johnny Cash’s concerts at San Quentin.  Merle says that Seeing Cash perform inspired him to straighten up and pursue his singing.

The #1 Billboard Hits

1992- Strait Tequila Night- John Anderson

1987- Baby’s Got A New Baby- S-K-O

1981- Guitar Man- Elvis Presley

1970- The Fightin’ Side Of Me- Merle Haggard


Michael Martin Murphy, 1945.  Michael has success in pop, easy listening, country and more recently, western music.  Michael’s diverse hit list includes “Wildfire,” “What’s Forever For” and 1987’s number one “A Long Line Of Love.”  In the 90s he records western albums, and becomes the best selling western artist since Marty Robbins’ western concept albums.

Kristian Bush of Sugarland, 1970.  Kristian Bush and Jennifer Nettles give us hits like “Baby Girl,” “It Happens” and “Stuck Like Glue” as the powerhouse duo Sugarland.

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