Today in country music history:
2009 - Alan Jackson gave a free concert at Cadillac Ranch in Nashville to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his first record deal.
2005 - After winning American Idol, Carrie Underwood made her Grand Ole Opry debut singing Roy Orbison's "Crying."
2004 Soul music pioneer Ray Charles died at home in Beverly Hills from complications relating to liver disease. He was 73.
1998 - Steve Sanders died of an apparent suicide in Cape Coral, Florida. He replaced William Lee Golden in The Oak Ridge Boys from 1987 to 1995, singing lead on their hit "Gonna Take a Lot of River."
1997 - Harlan Howard was added to the National Songwriters Hall of Fame.
1989 - Clint Black's debut single "A Better Man" hit number one on the country chart.
1988 - Ricky Van Shelton joined the Grand Ole Opry.
1985 - Barbara Mandrell gave her first performance following her devastating car accident at the Music City News Awards show.
1978 - Willie Nelson's version of "Georgia On My Mind" went to number one on the country chart.
Lee Brice - singer-songwriter, "Love Like Crazy"
Image: Grand Ole Opry