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June 2

Why today? Knoxville, Tenn., native Carl Butler — whose biggest hit was this first of many duet records with his wife, Pearl — entered the world on this date 86 years ago.

About the record: Columbia 4-42593, recorded on Feb. 26, 1962, at the studios the label had recently acquired from Owen Bradley in Nashville. Released seven months later, reaching No. 1 on Billboard‘s country chart. First album appearance was on 1963’s Don’t Let Me Cross Over, Columbia CS-8802.

Considered a country standard now, “Don’t Let Me Cross Over” rocketed up the charts in the fall of 1962. It’s definitely an example of the Nashville Sound, but with some good ‘n’ country touches — tasty but understated steel guitar work and, more importantly, Carl Butler’s East Tennessee voice combined in close harmony with his wife’s. I grew up listening to this mid-tempo waltz, courtesy of the album with the stark red, black and white cover that was part of my father’s record collection.

About the artist: There’s a good chance that many of you have never heard of the Butlers. I can take care of that — here’s a link to a bio.

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