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  • May 15, 2021 CDT

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  • Jan 29, 1861
    Kansas becomes the 34th state added to the union. The Sunflower State provides a birthplace for Martina McBride, Rascal Flatts guitarist Joe Don Rooney, Jerrod Niemann, Kenny Starr, songwriter Nicolle Galyon and producers Brent Maher and Garth Fundis, among others
    Aug 4, 1890
    Carson Robison is born in Oswego, Kansas. He becomes a significant singer and songwriter, specializing in songs that build on topics from the news. He scores two novelty hits in the 1940s: "Hitler's Letter To Hirohito" and "Life Gits Tee-Jus Don't It"
    Aug 4, 1899
    Frank Luther is born in Lakin, Kansas. An early country recording artist, he makes a number of singles in the 1920s and '30s with Carson Robison
    Mar 12, 1900
    Zora Layman is born in Hutchinson, Kansas. She becomes the first woman to have a western hit, "Seven Years With The Wrong Man," pre-dating Patsy Montana. She also marries fellow artist Frank Luther
    Nov 16, 1901
    Songwriter Jesse Stone is born in Atchison, Kansas. Sometimes operating under the pseudonym Charles Calhoun, he authors Elvis Presley's "Shake, Rattle And Roll" and "Don't Let Go," a Roy Hamilton R&B hit that's covered as a country duet by Mel Tillis & Sherry Bryce
    Mar 23, 1903
    Songwriter Jay Johnson is born in Ellis, Kansas. He authors the holiday classic "Blue Christmas," which becomes a seasonal hit for both Ernest Tubb and Elvis Presley
    Jun 30, 1917
    Wilbert Lee "Pappy" O'Daniel marries Merle Estella Butcher in Hutchinson, Kansas. He assembles western swing's Light Crust Doughboys in Fort Worth several years later while working as a sales executive for Burrus Mills
    Aug 9, 1924
    Alma Crist is born in Kansas. At age 16, she marries country singer Slim Whitman
    Jul 2, 1925
    Marvin Rainwater is born in Wichita, Kansas. One-quarter Cherokee, he veers stylistically between rock and country, gaining one Top 10 country single in 1957: "Gonna Find Me A Bluebird"
    Jan 19, 1927
    Eugene Innis is born in Meade, Kansas. His son, keyboard player Dave Innis, will become a founding member of Restless Heart

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