1991 in country music

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This is a list of notable events in country music that took place in the year 1991.

List of years in country music (table)


  • March 16 — The country music world is stunned when seven members of Reba McEntire's band and her road manager are killed in a plane crash in California. McEntire – who traveled separately – recorded her album, For My Broken Heart in their memory.
  • August 16 — Holly Dunn asks that radio stations withdraw her single "Maybe I Mean Yes" due to listener complaints that its lyrics condone date rape.[1]
  • August 30 — Country music pioneer, Dottie West is seriously injured while en route to a Grand Ole Opry performance in Nashville, Tennessee. Her fans and contemporaries are deeply saddened when she dies of her injuries September 4 at a Nashville hospital. President George H. W. Bush sends his condolences to the country music world during the CMA Awards later that year.
  • September 28 — Ropin' the Wind by Garth Brooks becomes the first album to debut at No. 1 on Billboard magazine's Top Country Albums and Billboard 200 Albums charts. The album, Brooks' third, vaults the 29-year-old singer into superstardom and goes on to sell 16 million copies worldwide. The album became the second best selling album of all genres in 1991, coming in second to Mariah Carey's debut album.
  • November 24 — Hot Country Nights begins a one-season run on NBC. The series was created to cash in on the exploding popularity of country music, and showcased several acts on each episode; featured on the premiere were Alabama, Clint Black, K.T. Oslin, Kenny Rogers and Pam Tillis. The series did not catch on in the ratings and is canceled at the end of the season.

No dates

  • Naomi Judd announces she had been diagnosed with Hepatitis C, a potentially fatal chronic liver disease, and would be retiring from touring with daughter Wynonna at the end of the year. The resulting "Farewell" tour becomes the year's top-grossing act in country music and ends with a New Year's Eve pay-per-view concert.
  • "SoundScan" is introduced, providing more accurate Billboard magazine chart ratings that are based on actual sales. Immediate evidence proved country music had a much bigger audience than previously thought.
  • Eight acts have their first Billboard No. 1 songs, including Mark Chesnutt, Mike Reid, Alan Jackson, Doug Stone, Diamond Rio, Trisha Yearwood, Brooks & Dunn and Lionel Cartwright. Three of those – Diamond Rio, Yearwood and Brooks & Dunn – turn the trick with their first national release; Reid's first solo release also hit the top of the chart, but he had hit the Top 5 as part of a duet with Ronnie Milsap (1988's "Old Folks") three years earlier.

Top hits of the year

Singles released by American artists

US CAN Single Artist Reference
1 1 Anymore Travis Tritt
3 3 Are You Lovin' Me Like I'm Lovin' You Ronnie Milsap
14 11 As Simple as That Mike Reid
5 5 Ball and Chain Paul Overstreet
14 27 Bing Bang Boom Highway 101
5 4 Blame It on Texas Mark Chesnutt
22 20 Blue Memories Patty Loveless
1 1 Brand New Man Brooks & Dunn
1 1 Brother Jukebox Mark Chesnutt
2 6 Brotherly Love Keith Whitley & Earl Thomas Conley
31 19 Calloused Hands Mark Collie
15 9 Can I Count on You McBride & the Ride
3 2 The Chill of an Early Fall George Strait
3 2 Come On Back Carlene Carter
1 2 Daddy's Come Around Paul Overstreet
1 1 Don't Rock the Jukebox Alan Jackson
5 18 Don't Tell Me What to Do Pam Tillis
2 7 Down at the Twist and Shout Mary Chapin Carpenter
1 1 Down Home Alabama
2 1 Down to My Last Teardrop Tanya Tucker
3 1 Drift Off to Dream Travis Tritt
22 20 The Eagle Waylon Jennings
33 9 Eagle When She Flies Dolly Parton
16 10 Even Now Exile
2 1 Fallin' Out of Love Reba McEntire
8 8 Fancy Reba McEntire
15 12 Feed Jake Pirates of the Mississippi
9 7 A Few Good Things Remain Kathy Mattea
13 21 For Crying Out Loud Davis Daniel
1 1 For My Broken Heart Reba McEntire
1 1 Forever Together Randy Travis
1 3 Forever's as Far as I'll Go Alabama
27 18 Get Rhythm Martin Delray
19 12 Heart of Full Love Holly Dunn
2 3 Here We Are Alabama
2 2 Here's a Quarter (Call Someone Who Cares) Travis Tritt
4 6 Heroes Paul Overstreet
3 1 Heroes and Friends Randy Travis
12 10 Hopelessly Yours Lee Greenwood & Suzy Bogguss
3 6 Hurt Me Bad (In a Real Good Way) Patty Loveless
1 1 I Am a Simple Man Ricky Van Shelton
3 3 I Couldn't See You Leavin' Conway Twitty
7 4 I Got You Shenandoah
4 1 I Thought It Was You Doug Stone
40 14 I Wonder How Far It Is Over You Aaron Tippin
1 1 I'd Love You All Over Again Alan Jackson
5 48 I'm That Kind of Girl Patty Loveless
48 18 If I Built You a Fire Neal McCoy
1 1 If I Know Me George Strait
1 4 If the Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets) Joe Diffie
2 1 If You Want Me To Joe Diffie
1 1 In a Different Light Doug Stone
10 8 Is It Raining at Your House Vern Gosdin
6 6 It Won't Be Me Tanya Tucker
1 1 Keep It Between the Lines Ricky Van Shelton
1 3 Leap of Faith Lionel Cartwright
18 15 Let Her Go Mark Collie
4 9 Life's Little Ups and Downs Ricky Van Shelton
37 15 Life's Too Long (To Live Like This) Ricky Skaggs
4 7 Like We Never Had a Broken Heart Trisha Yearwood
8 3 Little Things Marty Stuart
7 3 Liza Jane Vince Gill
16 6 Long Lost Friend Restless Heart
7 17 Lord Have Mercy on a Country Boy Don Williams
5 6 Love Can Build a Bridge The Judds
12 10 Love Will Bring Her Around Rob Crosby
1 1 Loving Blind Clint Black
6 2 Lucky Moon The Oak Ridge Boys
28 20 Mary and Willie K. T. Oslin
1 1 Meet in the Middle Diamond Rio
8 14 Men The Forester Sisters
3 4 Mirror, Mirror Diamond Rio
9 11 The Moon Over Georgia Shenandoah
1 3 My Next Broken Heart Brooks & Dunn
2 2 New Way (To Light Up an Old Flame) Joe Diffie
15 2 Nothing's Changed Here Dwight Yoakam
17 13 Now That We're Alone Rodney Crowell
12 21 Oh What It Did to Me Tanya Tucker
6 5 One Hundred and Two The Judds
33 17 One Love Carlene Carter
7 7 One More Payment Clint Black
6 5 One of Those Things Pam Tillis
3 2 Only Here for a Little While Billy Dean
9 6 A Picture of Me (Without You) Lorrie Morgan
7 11 Pocket Full of Gold Vince Gill
3 1 Point of Light Randy Travis
11 8 Put Yourself in My Place Pam Tillis
25 19 Restless Mark O'Connor with Vince Gill,
Steve Wariner and Ricky Skaggs
15 14 Right Now Mary Chapin Carpenter
1 1 Rockin' Years Dolly Parton
with Ricky Van Shelton
3 1 Rodeo Garth Brooks
3 1 Rumor Has It Reba McEntire
28 16 Same Old Star McBride & the Ride
8 4 Shadow of a Doubt Earl Thomas Conley
1 1 Shameless Garth Brooks
15 10 She's a Natural Rob Crosby
1 1 She's in Love with the Boy Trisha Yearwood
15 7 Silver and Gold Dolly Parton
6 7 Since I Don't Have You Ronnie Milsap
2 Small Town Saturday Night Hal Ketchum
8 11 Some Guys Have All the Love Little Texas
1 2 Someday Alan Jackson
12 16 Someday Soon Suzy Bogguss
3 2 Somewhere in My Broken Heart Billy Dean
29 20 Speak of the Devil Pirates of the Mississippi
20 25 Still Burnin' for You Rob Crosby
25 8 The Sweetest Thing Carlene Carter
5 4 Tempted Marty Stuart
4 6 Then Again Alabama
17 16 There for Awhile Steve Wariner
5 2 These Lips Don't Know How to Say Goodbye Doug Stone
23 19 Things Are Tough All Over Shelby Lynne
1 1 The Thunder Rolls Garth Brooks
12 11 Till I Found You Marty Stuart
17 8 Till You Were Gone Mike Reid
7 7 Time Passes By Kathy Mattea
18 16 Treat Me Like a Stranger Baillie & the Boys
4 5 True Love Don Williams
11 5 Turn It On, Turn It Up, Turn Me Loose Dwight Yoakam
1 1 Two of a Kind, Workin' on a Full House Garth Brooks
1 1 Unanswered Prayers Garth Brooks
2 5 The Walk Sawyer Brown
1 1 Walk on Faith Mike Reid
3 3 We Both Walk Lorrie Morgan
14 15 We've Got It Made Lee Greenwood
10 8 What a Way to Go Ray Kennedy
1 1 Where Are You Now Clint Black
18 12 Whole Lotta Holes Kathy Mattea
4 3 You Don't Count the Cost Billy Dean
1 1 You Know Me Better Than That George Strait
16 6 You Win Again Mary Chapin Carpenter
5 4 You're the One Dwight Yoakam
6 13 You've Got to Stand for Something Aaron Tippin
3 2 Your Love Is a Miracle Mark Chesnutt

Singles released by Canadian artists

US CAN Single Artist Reference
73 9 All You Really Wanna Do Michelle Wright
39 3 Bluebird Anne Murray
15 Cry in the Wilderness Gary Fjellgaard
13 Dance with This Old Cowboy Gary Fjellgaard
7 Did You Fall in Love with Me Prairie Oyster
10 Fell in Love and I Can't Get Out George Fox
19 A Fishing Day Roch Voisine
16 For Crying Out Loud Kelita
20 I Know Where You Go George Fox
9 I Never Met a Liar (I Didn't Like) Joan Kennedy
16 I Should Have Put a Hold on Love Carroll Baker
10 Leah J. K. Gulley
20 The Little Old House Out Back Michael Peters
15 Lonely You, Lonely Me Prairie Oyster
14 No Pain, No Gain Colleen Peterson
20 Not Enough Love to Go 'Round Michelle Wright
5 Something to Remember You By Prairie Oyster
9 Springtime in Alberta Ian Tyson
8 Take Me with You Patricia Conroy
1 Til I Am Myself Again Blue Rodeo
9 Watch Love Grow Strong Rita MacNeil
10 We Don't Always See Eye to Eye The Good Brothers
19 While You Just Pretend Tim Taylor
20 Why Baby Why The Good Brothers
14 Wild Horses Dick Damron
5 With All My Might George Fox

Top new album releases

US Album Artist Record Label
15 Aces Suzy Bogguss Liberty
7 All I Can Be Collin Raye Epic
22 And Along Came Jones George Jones MCA Nashville
24 Back to the Grindstone Ronnie Milsap RCA Nashville
3 Backroads Ricky Van Shelton Columbia
25 The Best of Restless Heart Restless Heart RCA Nashville
22 Billy Dean Billy Dean SBK/Liberty
3 Brand New Man Brooks & Dunn Arista Nashville
23 Buick Sawyer Brown Capitol/Curb
4 Chill of an Early Fall George Strait MCA Nashville
13 Diamond Rio Diamond Rio Arista Nashville
17 Don't Go Near the Water Sammy Kershaw Mercury/PolyGram
2 Don't Rock the Jukebox Alan Jackson Arista Nashville
1 Eagle When She Flies Dolly Parton Columbia
3 Electric Barnyard The Kentucky Headhunters Mercury/PolyGram
3 For My Broken Heart Reba McEntire MCA Nashville
10 Greatest Hits Vol. II Alabama RCA Nashville
7 Greatest Hits Volume Two The Judds RCA/Curb
17 Heroes Paul Overstreet RCA Nashville
3 High Lonesome Randy Travis Warner Bros.
12 I Thought It Was You Doug Stone Epic
2 It's All About to Change Travis Tritt Warner Bros.
25 Milestones: Greatest Hits Holly Dunn Warner Bros.
6 Past the Point of Rescue Hal Ketchum Curb
5 Pocket Full of Gold Vince Gill MCA Nashville
8 Pure Hank Hank Williams, Jr. Curb/Warner Bros.
10 Put Yourself in My Place Pam Tillis Arista Nashville
25 Renegade Charlie Daniels Epic
1 Ropin' the Wind Garth Brooks Liberty
8 Something in Red Lorrie Morgan RCA Nashville
10 Sticks and Stones Tracy Lawrence Atlantic
16 Talkin' 'Bout Men The Forester Sisters Warner Bros.
20 Tempted Marty Stuart MCA Nashville
7 Ten Strait Hits George Strait MCA Nashville
9 Time Passes By Kathy Mattea Mercury/PolyGram
17 Tribute Roy Rogers RCA Nashville
2 Trisha Yearwood Trisha Yearwood MCA Nashville
22 Turning for Home Mike Reid Columbia
6 What Do I Do with Me Tanya Tucker Capitol Nashville
23 You've Got to Stand for Something Aaron Tippin RCA Nashville

Other top albums

US Album Artist Record Label
60 #1 with a Bullet Ray Stevens Capitol/Curb
67 All American Country The Statler Brothers Mercury/PolyGram
74 At Last Gene Watson Warner Bros.
42 Back Home Again Kenny Rogers Reprise
64 Best of Bill Anderson Bill Anderson Curb
36 Bing Bang Boom Highway 101 Warner Bros.
67 Brenda Lee Brenda Lee Warner Bros.
27 Burnin' Up the Road McBride & the Ride MCA Nashville
27 Chasin' the Sun Lionel Cartwright MCA Nashville
28 Clean Shirt Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson Epic
44 A Dozen Roses – Greatest Hits Desert Rose Band Curb/MCA Nashville
54 Fighting Fire with Fire Davis Daniel Mercury/PolyGram
72 Friends in High Places George Jones Epic
57 Get Rhythm Martin Delray Atlantic
32 Greatest Hits Billy Joe Royal Atlantic
44 High & Dry Marty Brown MCA Nashville
28 I Am Ready Steve Wariner Arista Nashville
61 I've Got That Old Feeling Alison Krauss Rounder
66 Justice Exile Arista Nashville
45 Kentucky Bluebird Keith Whitley RCA Nashville
62 Key's in the Mailbox Barbara Mandrell Capitol Nashville
50 Live Two Five Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Liberty
68 My Father's Son Ricky Skaggs Epic
66 My Heroes Have Always
Been Cowboys Soundtrack
Various Artists RCA
70 The Mystery of Life Johnny Cash Mercury/PolyGram
59 Navajo Rug Jerry Jeff Walker Rykodisc
44 The New Nashville Cats Mark O'Connor Warner Bros.
41 Out of My Heart Vern Gosdin Columbia
58 Out of Your Ever Lovin' Mind Dean Dillon Atlantic
67 Patriot Johnny Cash Columbia
29 The Patsy Cline Collection Patsy Cline MCA Nashville
38 A Perfect 10 Lee Greenwood Liberty
55 Soft Talk Shelby Lynne Epic
74 Solid Ground Rob Crosby Arista Nashville
32 Unchained Melody Ronnie McDowell Curb
41 Unstoppable The Oak Ridge Boys RCA Nashville
27 Up Against My Heart Patty Loveless MCA Nashville
39 Walk the Plank Pirates of the Mississippi Capitol Nashville
59 Wanted Recorded or Alive Jimmy Collins Platinum Edge
36 Western Underground Chris LeDoux Liberty
72 Your Precious Love Ronnie McDowell Curb
53 Yours Truly Earl Thomas Conley RCA Nashville
50 Zone of Our Own Texas Tornados Reprise

On television

Regular series



  • September 9 – Hunter Hayes, country-pop singer/multi-instrumentalist of the early 2010s best known for his crossover hit "Wanted"
  • December 29 – Shay Mooney, member of Dan + Shay, a rising duo of the 2010s.


  • February 24 — Webb Pierce, 69, honky tonk stylist and pioneer (pancreatic cancer).
  • March 16 — Chris Austin, 27, member of Reba McEntire's road band (plane crash).
  • September 4 — Dottie West, 58, legendary and pioneering female vocalist for over three decades (injuries from a car accident).
  • October 17 — Tennessee Ernie Ford, 72, "The Old Pea Picker;" pop-country singer and TV host best known for "Sixteen Tons" (liver failure).

Hall of Fame inductees

Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame inductees

Country Music Hall of Fame inductees

Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame inductees

Major awards

Grammy Awards

Juno Awards

Academy of Country Music

Canadian Country Music Association

Country Music Association

Further reading

  • 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
  • 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.


  1. ^ Meyers, Kate (16 August 1991). "Dunn's Deal Holly Dunn's controversial single – The country star asks stations to remove Maybe I Mean Yes from rotation". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 17 January 2015.

Other links

External links

  • Country Music Hall of Fame
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