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March 23

Why today? “Hello Darlin’,” one of the great country records of all time, was released on this date 40 years ago.

About the record: Decca 32661, recorded Nov. 18, 1969, at Bradley’s Barn studio in Mt. Juliet, Tenn. Released March 23, 1970. Reached the top of Billboard‘s country chart. Also was the closing track on the album Hello Darlin’, Decca DL7-5209, released June 1, 1970. Reached No. 1 on Billboard‘s country album chart.

About the artist: He took his stage name from a map of the Southwest (Conway, Ark., and Twitty, Texas). Like recently featured artist Charley Pride, he gained some prominence on the baseball diamond under his birth name, Harold Jenkins. He hung out briefly at Sun Records in Memphis, became an early rock ‘n’ roll star on MGM Records, then in the mid-’60s shifted labels (to Decca) and genres (to stone country). He wrote “Hello Darlin'” and made it his signature country song. Learn more about all that, and the great career that followed, from the good folks at the Country Music Hall of Fame, where he was enshrined posthumously in 1999.