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  • Dec 3, 1818
    Illinois becomes the 21st state to join the union. It provides the birthplace for such figures as Alison Krauss, David Lee Murphy, Brett Eldredge, Rex Allen Jr., Tex Williams, Gretchen Wilson and The Everly Brothers' Phil Everly, among others
    Mar 19, 1848
    Frontier figure Wyatt Earp is born in Monmouth, Illinois. He's referenced in Ed Bruce's 1980 hit "The Last Cowboy Song"
    Aug 15, 1881
    Broadway composer Ted Snyder is born in Freeport, Illinois. His credits include Milton Brown & His Brownies' "Who's Sorry Now?," hailed among country's 500 greatest singles in the Country Music Foundation book "Heartaches By The Number"
    Apr 23, 1886
    Isabelle Donahue is born in Illinois. The vaudeville actress, who goes by the stage name Belle Montrose, is the mother of comedian Steve Allen, who writes Margaret Whiting & Jimmy Wakely's 1950 hit "Let's Go To Church (Next Sunday Morning)"
    Nov 12, 1891
    Songwriter Richard Whiting is born in Peoria, Illinois. In addition to "Hooray For Hollywood," "On The Good Ship Lollipop" and "Ain't We Got Fun," he pens The Hoosier Hot Shots' "Breezin' Along With The Breeze"
    Jun 24, 1893
    Roy O. Disney is born in Chicago. With brother Walt, he founds the Disney company, which eventually establishes Lyric Street Records as a country label, providing a recording home for Rascal Flatts, Aaron Tippin and SHeDAISY, among others
    Sep 26, 1896
    Leonore Vonderleath is born in Mount Pleasant, Illinois. She has a pop hit with the 1927 single "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" It's destined to become a signature song for Elvis Presley
    Jul 21, 1899
    Author Ernest Hemingway is born in Oak Park, Illinois. A Nobel Prize winner for literature in 1954, he's referenced in Brad Paisley's 2005 hit "Alcohol" and Keith Urban's 2015 single "John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16"
    Dec 25, 1900
    Songwriter, bandleader and cowboy-movie musician Al Trace is born in Chicago. He writes "Brush Those Tears From Your Eyes," a 1949 country hit for Foy Willing And His Riders Of The Purple Sage
    Feb 18, 1901
    Wayne King, often called the Waltz King, is born in Savannah, Illinois. The pop singer writes a pair of country hits: The Hoosier Hot Shots' "Annabelle" and Ferlin Husky's "The Waltz You Saved For Me"

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