1963 in country music

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This is a list of notable events in country music that took place in 1963.

List of years in country music (table)


  • March — The month marks a dark time for country music, as it lost no less than five people in a seemingly endless string of tragedies.
* On March 5, three of the genre's top stars – Patsy Cline, Hawkshaw Hawkins and Cowboy Copas – are killed in a small plane crash near Camden, Tennessee, while on their way to Nashville from Kansas City, Kansas. The pilot, Cline's manager and Copas' son-in-law, Randy Hughes, is also killed.
* En route to Cline's funeral, Jack Anglin – one half of the duo Johnnie & Jack – is killed in a car accident.
* On March 29, Texas Ruby, of the duo Curly Fox and Texas Ruby, is killed in a trailer fire while Fox was performing on the Grand Ole Opry.
  • July — The first issue of the Music City News is published. Its publisher is country music star Faron Young.
  • August – Bradley Kincaid, a pioneer of the genre who had been popular on records and radio from the late 1920s until his retirement in 1950, made new recordings of 168 of his favourite songs – more than half of his known repertoire – at a five-day session for Bluebonnet Records in Fort Worth, Texas. 86 of these songs would be issued on seven LP's between 1963 and 1987, the remainder were issued on six Cassette Tapes in 1988.
  • September 19 — The Jimmy Dean Show begins a three-year primetime run on ABC. The show — Dean's second go-around on television, following his 1950s series on CBS — is widely hailed by critics for its class treatment of top country stars of the day, many of whom were getting their first true national exposure.

No dates[edit]

  • The Wilburn Brothers' TV show debuts in syndication, and features Loretta Lynn as regular vocalist. The show will air first-run episodes, primarily in rural and southern U.S. markets, through 1974 and, riding the heels of Porter Wagoner's weekly TV show, will spark a wave of successful (and a few not-so-successful) syndicated TV shows featuring top-name country stars of the day through the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Top hits of the year[edit]

Number-one hits[edit]

United States[edit]

(as certified by Billboard)

Date Single name Artist Wks. No.1 Notes
January 5 Ruby Ann Marty Robbins 1
January 19 The Ballad of Jed Clampett Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs 3 [2]
April 13 Still Bill Anderson 7 [1], [2]
  • Returns to Number One on May 11, and then on July 6.
May 4 Lonesome 7-7203 Hawkshaw Hawkins 4 [2], [B]
  • Returns to Number One on June 1, and then on June 22.
  • After this song first appeared on the Billboard charts on March 2, it remained absent for 2 weeks, following his death March 5. The song reappeared March 23 and spent 25 weeks on the chart before reaching Number One.
June 15 Act Naturally Buck Owens 4 [2], [A]
  • Returns to Number One on June 29, and then on July 13.
July 27 Ring of Fire Johnny Cash 7
  • Cash's first Billboard Number One since "Don't Take Your Guns to Town" in 1959.
September 14 Abilene George Hamilton IV 4 [A]
October 12 Talk Back Trembling Lips Ernest Ashworth 1 [B]
October 19 Love's Gonna Live Here Buck Owens 16
  • 1^ No. 1 song of the year, as determined by Billboard.
  • 2^ Song dropped from No. 1 and later returned to top spot.
  • A^ First Billboard No. 1 hit for that artist.
  • B^ Only Billboard No. 1 hit for that artist to date.

Other major hits[edit]

US Single Artist
12 Bayou Talk Jimmy C. Newman
20 Better Times a Comin' Ray Godfrey
12 Building a Bridge Claude King
13 Busted Johnny Cash with Carter Family
9 Call Me Mr. Brown Skeets McDonald
11 Can't Hang Up the Phone Stonewall Jackson
14 Cigarettes and Coffee Blues Marty Robbins
13 Cold and Lonely (Is the Forecast for Tonight) Kitty Wells
3 Cowboy Boots Dave Dudley
18 Crazy Arms Marion Worth
6 Detroit City Bobby Bare
5 Does He Mean That Much to You Eddy Arnold
13 Don't Call Me From a Honky Tonk Johnny & Jonie Mosby
9 Down by the River Faron Young
18 Down to the River Rose Maddox
2 Eight by Ten Bill Anderson
2 End of the World Skeeter Davis
7 Faded Love Patsy Cline
14 Fool Me Once Connie Hall
2 From a Jack to a King Ned Miller
17 Going Through the Motions (Of Living) Sonny James
12 Goodbye Kisses Cowboy Copas
3 Guilty Jim Reeves
3 Happy Birthday Loretta Lynn
11 Happy to Be Unhappy Gary Buck
12 Head Over Heels in Love with You Don Gibson
5 Hello Trouble Orville Couch
13 Hey Lucille! Claude King
14 I Can't Stay Mad at You Skeeter Davis
7 I Take the Chance Ernest Ashworth
18 I Wanna Go Home Billy Grammer
9 I'm Saving My Love Skeeter Davis
7 I've Enjoyed as Much of This as I Can Stand Porter Wagoner
11 I've Got the World by the Tail Claude King
17 In the Back Room Tonight Carl Smith
3 Is This Me Jim Reeves
18 Knock Again, True Love Claude Gray
8 Leavin' on Your Mind Patsy Cline
17 Let's Invite Them Over George Jones and Melba Montgomery
11 Little Ole You Jim Reeves
18 Lonely Teardops Rose Maddox
14 Loving Arms Carl Butler and Pearl
2 Make the World Go Away Ray Price
9 The Man Who Robbed the Bank at Santa Fe Hank Snow
12 Mary Ann Regrets Burl Ives
2 The Matador Johnny Cash
13 A Million Years or So Eddy Arnold
9 The Minute You're Gone Sonny James
2 Mountain of Love David Houston
8 Mr. Heartache, Move On Coleman O'Neal
20 My Baby's Not Here (In Town Tonight) Porter Wagoner
16 My Father's Voice Judy Lynn
14 Nightmare Faron Young
2 Ninety Miles an Hour (Down a Dead End Street) Hank Snow
13 Not So Long Ago Marty Robbins
7 Not What I Had in Mind George Jones
8 Old Showboat Stonewall Jackson
13 The Only Girl I Can't Forget Del Reeves
13 The Other Woman Loretta Lynn
8 Pearl Pearl Pearl Flatt & Scruggs
14 Please Talk to My Heart Johnny "Country" Mathis
15 Robert E. Lee Ott Stephens
4 Roll Muddy River The Wilburn Brothers
7 Sands of Gold Webb Pierce
15 Sawmill Webb Pierce
3 Second Hand Rose Roy Drusky
14 Shake Me I Rattle (Squeeze Me I Cry) Marion Worth
12 Sheepskin Valley Claude King
17 Shoes of a Fool Bill Goodwin
3 Sing a Little Song of Heartache Rose Maddox
2 Six Days on the Road Dave Dudley
18 Somebody Told Somebody Rose Maddox
17 A Stranger Was Here Darrell McCall
5 Sweet Dreams Patsy Cline
19 Sweethearts in Heaven Buck Owens and Rose Maddox
5 T for Texas Grandpa Jones
6 Take a Letter, Miss Gray Justin Tubb
10 Tell Her So The Wilburn Brothers
3 Thanks a Lot Ernest Tubb
9 Those Wonderful Years Webb Pierce
10 The Tip of My Fingers Roy Clark
18 Unkind Words Kathy Dee
7 Walk Me to the Door Ray Price
17 The Way It Feels to Die Vernon Stewart
3 We Must Have Been Out of Our Minds George Jones and Melba Montgomery
15 We're the Talk of the Town Buck Owens and Rose Maddox
13 We've Got Something in Common Faron Young
20 What's in Our Heart George Jones and Melba Montgomery
15 Wild Wild Wind Stonewall Jackson
4 The Yellow Bandana Faron Young
11 Yesterday's Memories Eddy Arnold
5 You Comb Her Hair George Jones
11 You Took Her Off My Hands (Now Please Take Her Off My Mind) Ray Price
10 You're for Me Buck Owens
12 Your Best Friend and Me Mac Wiseman

Top new album releases[edit]

Single Artist Record Label
Blood, Sweat and Tears Johnny Cash Columbia
The Patsy Cline Story Patsy Cline Decca
Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash Johnny Cash Columbia
Still Bill Anderson Decca

Other top albums[edit]

Single Artist Record Label
Buck Owens Sings Tommy Collins Buck Owens Capitol
Cattle Call Eddy Arnold RCA
Country Music Hootenanny Various Artists Capitol
Detroit City and Other Hits by Bobby Bare Bobby Bare RCA
End of the World Skeeter Davis RCA
Great Gospel Songs Tennessee Ernie Ford Capitol
The Guitar Genius Chet Atkins RCA
Our Man in Nashville Chet Atkins RCA
On the Bandstand Buck Owens Capitol
Songs I Love to Sing Eddy Arnold Capitol
Songs That Made Him Famous Johnny Bond Starday
Teen Scene Chet Atkins RCA
Tips of My Fingers Roy Clark Capitol
Travelin' Chet Atkins RCA
Yodeling Hits Grandpa Jones Monument



  • March 5 — Patsy Cline, 30, premier female country vocalist who became even more legendary after her death (plane crash).
  • March 5 — Cowboy Copas, 49, country singer from the 1940s through 1960s, best known for his 1960 hit, "Alabam" (plane crash).
  • March 5 — Hawkshaw Hawkins, 41, country singer since the 1940s, best known for his posthumous No. 1 hit, "Lonesome 7-7203" (plane crash).
  • March 8 — Jack Anglin, 47, country entertainer since the 1930s, late of the duo Johnnie and Jack (with Johnnie Wright) (car accident).
  • March 29 — Texas Ruby, 52, half of the comedy-old-time country duo Curly Fox and Texas Ruby (mobile home fire).
  • August 27 – Jim Denny, 52, music executive.

Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees[edit]

There were no inductees in 1963.

Major awards[edit]

Grammy Awards[edit]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Kingsbury, Paul, "The Grand Ole Opry: History of Country Music. 70 Years of the Songs, the Stars and the Stories," Villard Books, Random House; Opryland USA, 1995
  • Kingsbury, Paul, "Vinyl Hayride: Country Music Album Covers 1947–1989," Country Music Foundation, 2003 (ISBN 0-8118-3572-3)
  • Millard, Bob, "Country Music: 70 Years of America's Favorite Music," HarperCollins, New York, 1993 (ISBN 0-06-273244-7)
  • Whitburn, Joel, "Top Country Songs 1944–2005 – 6th Edition." 2005.

External links[edit]