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This is a list of notable events in country music that took place in the year 1988.

List of years in country music (Table)
1978197919801981198219831984 •   
198519861987 1988 198919901991
   1992199319941995199619971998
Related time period or subjects
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Contents

Events

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  • Time-Life Records releases the first volume of its "Country USA" series. The series, which would eventually include 23 volumes, each chronicles one year per volume - 1950 through 1972. Each volume - offered on two record albums, or one cassette or compact disc - contains liner notes from some of country music's most respected historians. In many cases, the songs offered on each volume represented the first time they had ever been re-released on compact disc. "Country USA" was offered through television and magazine advertisements.
  • The Country Music Association Awards introduced a new award, Vocal Event of the Year, awarding collaborative efforts by two or more artists who normally don't work together. (Previously such efforts had to be included with Best Duo or Group nominations.) The first recipient was the group of Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton, and Linda Ronstadt for their Trio album.

Top hits of the year

Number one hits

United States

(as certified by Billboard)

Date Single Name Artist Wks. No.1 CAN peak Spec. Note
January 9 I Can't Get Close Enough Exile 1 [B]
January 16 One Friend Dan Seals 1
January 23 Where Do the Nights Go Ronnie Milsap 1
January 30 Goin' Gone Kathy Mattea 1 3 [A]
February 6 Wheels Restless Heart 1
February 13 Tennessee Flat Top Box Rosanne Cash 1
  • A cover of a song her legendary father Johnny Cash made famous in 1962.
February 20 Twinkle, Twinkle Lucky Star Merle Haggard 1 [B]
February 27 I Won't Take Less Than Your Love Tanya Tucker, Paul Davis and Paul Overstreet 1 10 [A] - Paul Overstreet
[B] - Paul Davis
March 5 Face to Face Alabama 1
March 12 Too Gone Too Long Randy Travis 1
March 19 Life Turned Her That Way Ricky Van Shelton 1
March 26 Turn It Loose The Judds 1 5
April 2 Love Will Find Its Way to You Reba McEntire 1
April 9 Famous Last Words of a Fool George Strait 1
April 16 I Wanna Dance With You Eddie Rabbitt 1
April 23 I'll Always Come Back K. T. Oslin 1
April 30 It's Such a Small World Rodney Crowell with Rosanne Cash 1 [A] - Rodney Crowell
  • This was the lead-off single to Crowell's Diamonds & Dirt album, which sprouted five No. 1 hits in 1988-1989, and represented the peak of this alternative country singer's mainstream popularity.
May 7 Cry, Cry, Cry Highway 101 1
May 14 I'm Gonna Get You Eddy Raven 1
May 21 Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses Kathy Mattea 2
June 4 What She is (is a Woman in Love) Earl Thomas Conley 1 2
June 11 I Told You So Randy Travis 2
June 25 He's Back and I'm Blue The Desert Rose Band 1 [A]
July 2 If It Don't Come Easy Tanya Tucker 1
July 9 Fallin' Again Alabama 1
July 16 If You Change Your Mind Rosanne Cash 1
July 23 Set 'Em Up Joe Vern Gosdin 1 2
July 30 Don't We All Have the Right Ricky Van Shelton 1
August 6 Baby Blue George Strait 1 3
August 13 Don't Close Your Eyes Keith Whitley 1 2 [1], [A]
August 20 Bluest Eyes in Texas Restless Heart 1 2
August 27 The Wanderer Eddie Rabbitt 1
  • A cover of the classic Dion pop standard.
September 3 I Couldn't Leave You If I Tried Rodney Crowell 1
September 10 (Do You Love Me) Just Say Yes Highway 101 1
September 17 Joe Knows How to Live Eddy Raven 1
September 24 Addicted Dan Seals 1
October 1 We Believe in Happy Endings Earl Thomas Conley with Emmylou Harris 1 [B] - Emmylou Harris
October 8 Honky Tonk Moon Randy Travis 1 ?
October 15 Streets of Bakersfield Dwight Yoakam with Buck Owens 1 ? [A] - Dwight Yoakam
[B] - Buck Owens
  • This song represented a (temporary, as it turned out) resurgence in groundbreaking artist Buck Owens' mainstream popularity, after hitting his peak in the 1960s and early 1970s.
October 22 Strong Enough to Bend Tanya Tucker 1 ? [B]
October 29 Gonna Take a Lot of River (Mississippi, Monongahela, Ohio) The Oak Ridge Boys 1 ?
  • The first No. 1 Oak Ridge Boys song to feature new member Steve Sanders, who had replaced William Lee Golden a year earlier.
November 5 Darlene T. Graham Brown 1 ? [B]
November 12 Runaway Train Rosanne Cash 1 ?
November 19 I'll Leave This World Loving You Ricky Van Shelton 2 ?
December 3 I Know How He Feels Reba McEntire 1 ?
December 10 If You Ain't Lovin' (You Ain't Livin') George Strait 1 ?
December 17 A Tender Lie Restless Heart 1 ? [B]
December 24 When You Say Nothing at All Keith Whitley 2 ?
Notes
  • 1^ No. 1 song of the year, as determined by Billboard.
  • A^ First Billboard No. 1 hit for that artist.
  • B^ Last Billboard No. 1 hit for that artist.

Canada

(as certified by RPM). Note: Charts from October 1988-April 1989 are missing from the RPM archives.

Date Single Name Artist Wks. No.1 U.S. peak Spec. Note
January 16 Somewhere Tonight Highway 101 1
January 23 I Can't Get Close Enough Exile 1 [B]
January 30 One Friend Dan Seals 1
February 6 Where Do the Nights Go Ronnie Milsap 1
February 13 Wheels Restless Heart 1
February 20 Tennessee Flat Top Box Rosanne Cash 1
February 27 Twinkle, Twinkle Lucky Star Merle Haggard 1 [B]
March 5 Face to Face Alabama 1
March 12 Too Gone Too Long Randy Travis 1
March 19 This Missin' You Heart of Mine Sawyer Brown 2 2
April 2 Life Turned Her That Way Ricky Van Shelton 1 [A]
April 9 Love Will Find Its Way to You Reba McEntire 1
April 16 Famous Last Words of a Fool George Strait 1
April 23 I Wanna Dance With You Eddie Rabbitt 1
April 30 I'll Always Come Back K. T. Oslin 1 [A]
May 7 It's Such a Small World Rodney Crowell with Rosanne Cash 1 [A] - Rodney Crowell
May 14 I'm Gonna Get You Eddy Raven 1
May 21 Cry, Cry, Cry Highway 101 1
May 28 Baby I'm Yours Steve Wariner 1 2
June 4 Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses Kathy Mattea 1 [A]
June 11 I Told You So Randy Travis 3
July 2 If You Change Your Mind Rosanne Cash 1
July 9 He's Back and I'm Blue The Desert Rose Band 1 [A]
July 16 Fallin' Again Alabama 1
July 23 Til I Find My Love Family Brown 1
July 30 Talkin' to the Wrong Man Michael Martin Murphey with Ryan Murphey 1 4 [B] - Michael Martin Murphey
[C] - Ryan Murphey
August 6 Don't We All Have the Right Ricky Van Shelton 1
August 13 The Wanderer Eddie Rabbitt 2
August 27 Give a Little Love The Judds 1 2
September 3 Addicted Dan Seals 2
September 17 I Couldn't Leave You If I Tried Rodney Crowell 1
September 24 (Do You Love Me) Just Say Yes Highway 101 1
October 1 Joe Knows How to Live Eddy Raven 1
October 8 I Should Be with You Steve Wariner 1 2
October 15 We Believe in Happy Endings Earl Thomas Conley with Emmylou Harris 1 [B] - Emmylou Harris
Notes
  • A^ First RPM No. 1 hit for that artist.
  • B^ Last RPM No. 1 hit for that artist.
  • C^ Only RPM No. 1 hit for that artist.

Other major hits

Singles released by American artists

US CAN Single Artist
9 5 Always Late with Your Kisses Dwight Yoakam
8 Americana Moe Bandy
5 Another Place, Another Time Don Williams
15 33 The Best I Know How The Statler Brothers
10 ? Blue Love The O'Kanes
5 ? Blue to the Bone Sweethearts of the Rodeo
10 ? Boogie Woogie Fiddle Country Blues Charlie Daniels
4 ? Button Off My Shirt Ronnie Milsap
9 12 Chill Factor Merle Haggard
6 ? Chiseled in Stone Vern Gosdin
4 8 Crying Shame Michael Johnson
7 ? Desperately Don Williams
4 13 Do You Believe Me Now Vern Gosdin
10 ? Don't Give Candy to a Stranger Larry Boone
11 3 Everybody's Sweetheart Vince Gill
6 3 The Factory Kenny Rogers
4 2 The Gift The McCarters
8 8 Givers and Takers S-K-B
7 11 Goodbye Time Conway Twitty
4 13 Heaven Can't Be Found Hank Williams, Jr.
14 12 High Ridin' Heroes David Lynn Jones with Waylon Jennings
12 14 I Didn't (Every Chance I Had) Johnny Rodriguez
8 ? I Don't Have Far to Fall Skip Ewing
7 44 I Have You Glen Campbell
12 18 I Still Believe Lee Greenwood
18 41 I Want a Love Like That Judy Rodman
7 19 I Will Whisper Your Name Michael Johnson
5 ? I Wish That I Could Fall in Love Today Barbara Mandrell
9 7 I Wouldn't Be a Man Don Williams
6 12 I'll Give You All My Love Tonight The Bellamy Brothers
5 17 I'll Pin a Note on Your Pillow Billy Joe Royal
13 33 I'm Gonna Love Her on the Radio Charley Pride
3 4 I'm Gonna Miss You, Girl Michael Martin Murphey
18 6 I'm Tired Ricky Skaggs
2 ? I've Been Lookin' Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
10 9 If My Heart Had Windows Patty Loveless
16 37 If Ole Hank Could Only See Us Now Waylon Jennings
8 22 If the South Woulda Won Hank Williams, Jr.
67 9 If You're Gonna Tell Me Lies Rosemary Sharp
17 ? It Keeps Right on Hurtin' Billy Joe Royal
8 5 It's Only Make Believe Ronnie McDowell with Conway Twitty
5 9 Just Lovin' You The O'Kanes
9 3 Just One Kiss Exile
4 4 The Last Resort T. Graham Brown
9 7 Letter Home The Forester Sisters
18 A Little Bit Closer Tom Wopat
2 ? A Little Bit in Love Patty Loveless
20 Louisiana Rain John Wesley Ryles
3 ? Love Helps Those Paul Overstreet
4 3 Love of a Lifetime Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers
5 5 Lyin' in His Arms Again The Forester Sisters
5 ? Mama Knows Shenandoah
14 16 Midnight Highway Southern Pacific
13 11 Money K. T. Oslin
11 ? My Baby's Gone Sawyer Brown
2 ? New Shade of Blue Southern Pacific
7 2 No More One More Time Jo-El Sonnier
5 Oh What a Love Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
2 12 Old Folks Ronnie Milsap with Mike Reid
15 2 One Step Forward The Desert Rose Band
4 5 One True Love The O'Kanes
11 18 Only Love Can Save Me Now Crystal Gayle
10 7 Out of Sight and on My Mind Billy Joe Royal
6 2 Please, Please Baby Dwight Yoakam
9 4 Real Good Feel Good Song Mel McDaniel
9 ? Rebels Without a Clue The Bellamy Brothers
5 2 Santa Fe The Bellamy Brothers
5 11 Satisfy You Sweethearts of the Rodeo
9 ? Saturday Night Special Conway Twitty
9 36 She Doesn't Cry Anymore Shenandoah
17 8 She's No Lady Lyle Lovett
5 29 Shouldn't It Be Easier Than This Charley Pride
16 32 Some Old Side Road Keith Whitley
8 ? Spanish Eyes Willie Nelson with Julio Iglesias
5 47 Still Within the Sound of My Voice Glen Campbell
7 36 Strangers Again Holly Dunn
2 ? Summer Wind The Desert Rose Band
5 9 Sunday Kind of Love Reba McEntire
8 8 Sure Thing Foster & Lloyd
16 23 Talkin' to Myself Again Tammy Wynette
9 6 Tear Stained Letter Jo-El Sonnier
8 2 Tell Me True Juice Newton
18 Texas in 1880 Foster & Lloyd
17 10 Thanks Again Ricky Skaggs
6 4 That's My Job Conway Twitty
9 ? That's That Michael Johnson
5 6 That's What Your Love Does to Me Holly Dunn
5 6 Timeless and True Love The McCarters
5 3 Touch and Go Crazy Lee Greenwood
5 21 True Heart The Oak Ridge Boys
4 ? Untold Stories Kathy Mattea
7 ? We Must Be Doin' Somethin' Right Eddie Rabbitt
6 ? What Do You Want from Me This Time Foster & Lloyd
9 7 Wilder Days Baillie & the Boys
6 8 Wildflowers Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris
4 6 Workin' Man (Nowhere to Go) Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
72 10 You Are My Angel Billy Parker
20 ? You Can't Fall in Love When You're Cryin' Lee Greenwood
2 2 Young Country Hank Williams, Jr.
17 Your Memory Wins Again Skip Ewing

Singles released by Canadian artists

US CAN Single Artist
8 Angelina George Fox
7 Cheater's Moon Carroll Baker
15 Cinderella/Gingerbread Man Dick Damron
18 The Circle of Wood Wayne Pronger
61 10 Do You Have Any Doubts Alibi
8 Fifty Years Ago Ian Tyson
17 The Gift Ian Tyson
12 Give In Terry Carisse
8 Gone So Long The Good Brothers
10 Highway to Heaven Stoker Bros
14 I Still Think of You Colleen Peterson & Gilles Godard
21 7 I'm Down to My Last Cigarette K.D. Lang
17 If You're Up for Love Ronnie Prophet
10 Isn't That the Strangest Thing Anita Perras & Tim Taylor
15 Listening to the Singer Cindi Cain
15 The Music Still in Me Cindi Cain
9 One Smokey Rose Anita Perras
8 She Knows I Can't Say No Ken Harnden
14 Straight to Your Heart Mercey Brothers
10 Thank You for Being My Friend The Ellis Family Band
14 You Won't Fool This Fool This Time The Good Brothers
7 You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' Carroll Baker

Top new album releases

US Album Artist Record Label
1 Alabama Live Alabama RCA
25 All Keyed Up Becky Hobbs MTM
4 Big Dreams in a Small Town Restless Heart RCA
1 Buenas Noches from a Lonely Room Dwight Yoakam Reprise
7 Chiseled in Stone Vern Gosdin Columbia
22 Come as You Were T. Graham Brown Capitol
12 Comin' Home to Stay Ricky Skaggs Epic
7 Copperhead Road Steve Earle MCA
8 Diamonds & Dirt Rodney Crowell Columbia
8 Don't Close Your Eyes Keith Whitley RCA
1 Greatest Hits The Judds Curb/RCA
8 Highway 101, Volume 2 Highway 101 Warner Bros.
16 Homesick Heroes The Charlie Daniels Band Epic
7 Honky Tonk Angel Patty Loveless MCA
20 I Should Be with You Steve Wariner MCA
1 If You Ain't Lovin', You Ain't Livin' George Strait MCA
1 Loving Proof Ricky Van Shelton Columbia
9 Monongahela The Oak Ridge Boys MCA
1 Old 8×10 Randy Travis Warner Bros.
11 One Time, One Night Sweethearts of the Rodeo Columbia
12 Pontiac Lyle Lovett Curb/MCA
6 Rage On Dan Seals Capitol
1 Reba Reba McEntire MCA
11 River of Time Michael Martin Murphey Warner Bros.
9 Shadowland k.d. lang Sire
21 The Statlers Greatest Hits The Statler Brothers Mercury
9 Strong Enough to Bend Tanya Tucker Capitol
25 This Is My Country Lee Greenwood MCA
2 This Woman K. T. Oslin RCA
21 Tired of the Runnin' The O'Kanes Columbia
6 What a Wonderful World Willie Nelson Columbia
1 Wild Streak Hank Williams, Jr. Curb/Warner Bros.

Other top albums

US Album Artist Record Label
51 10 John Anderson MCA
26 Across the Rio Grande Holly Dunn MTM
46 Alive & Well Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers Columbia
29 All in Love Marie Osmond Capitol/Curb
45 As I Am Anne Murray Capitol
36 Best of Eddy Raven Eddy Raven RCA
60 Brand New Gary Stewart Hightone
52 Chasing Rainbows Mickey Gilley Airborne
61 A Christmas Tradition, Vol. II Various Artists Warner Bros.
29 The Coast of Colorado Skip Ewing MCA
56 Every Christmas Gary Morris Warner Bros.
33 Exchange of Hearts David Slater Capitol
36 Full Circle Waylon Jennings MCA
36 The Gift The McCarters Warner Bros.
66 Greatest Hits Kenny Rogers RCA
27 Greatest Hits Volume Two Lee Greenwood MCA
33 The Heart of It All Earl Thomas Conley RCA
49 Higher Ground John Denver Windstar
37 Hot Dog! Buck Owens Capitol
51 I Guess I Just Missed You Canyon 16th Avenue
52 I Never Made a Record I Didn't Like Ray Stevens MCA
34 I Wanna Dance With You Eddie Rabbitt RCA
35 I'll Be Your Jukebox Tonight Barbara Mandrell Capitol
36 I'm Gonna Love Her on the Radio Charley Pride 16th Avenue
45 I'm Still Missing You Ronnie McDowell Curb
33 If My Heart Had Windows Patty Loveless MCA
64 Just Enough Love Ray Price Step One
58 Light Years Glen Campbell MCA
27 Little Love Affairs Nanci Griffith MCA
60 Live at the Opry Patsy Cline MCA
62 Making Believe Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn MCA
64 New Faces of Country Various Artists K-Tel
28 No Regrets Moe Bandy Curb
63 Nobody's Angel Crystal Gayle Warner Bros.
51 Now You're Talkin' Mel McDaniel Capitol
43 One Fair Summer Evening Nanci Griffith MCA
45 Rebels Without a Clue The Bellamy Brothers Curb/MCA
26 Running The Desert Rose Band Curb/MCA
64 Saddle the Wind Janie Fricke Columbia
30 Sincerely The Forester Sisters Warner Bros.
28 Still in Your Dreams Conway Twitty MCA
47 Stout & High The Wagoneers A&M
47 Swingin' Doors, Sawdust Floors Larry Boone Mercury
39 View from the House Kim Carnes MCA
48 Water from the Wells of Home Johnny Cash Mercury
34 Western Standard Time Asleep at the Wheel Epic
33 Wide Open Sawyer Brown Capitol/Curb
63 Who Was That Stranger Loretta Lynn MCA
33 Workin' Band Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Warner Bros.
27 Zuma Southern Pacific Warner Bros.

On television

Regular series

Specials

Births

Deaths

Hall of Fame inductees

Country Music Hall of Fame inductees

Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame inductees

  • Jack Feeney

Major awards

Grammy Awards

Juno Awards

Academy of Country Music

Canadian Country Music Association

  • Entertainer of the Yeark.d. lang
  • Male Artist of the YearIan Tyson
  • Female Artist of the Year — k.d. lang
  • Group of the YearFamily Brown
  • SOCAN Song of the Year — "One Smokey Rose," Tim Taylor (Performer: Anita Perras)
  • Single of the Year — "One Smokey Rose," Anita Perras
  • Album of the YearShadowland, k.d. lang
  • Top Selling AlbumAlways & Forever, Randy Travis
  • Vista Rising Star AwardBlue Rodeo
  • Duo of the Year — Anita Perras and Tim Taylor

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
  • 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.

Other links

External links


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