1987 in country music

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This is a list of notable events in country music that took place in the year 1987.

List of years in country music (table)


  • June 13 — Randy Travis' "Forever and Ever, Amen" spends three weeks at No. 1 of the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart. It is the first multi-week chart-topping song since "Lost in the Fifties Tonight (In the Still of the Night)" by Ronnie Milsap spent two weeks atop the chart in September 1985; in that time span, 85 songs would rotate in and out of the chart's top spot. Incidentally, only three other songs during the entire 1980s decade — all of them in 1980 — would spend more than two weeks at No. 1, owing much to how Billboard compiled the chart data at the time.
  • September — Dolly Parton's much anticipated TV variety series, Dolly, premieres on ABC in September. Despite a promising start (due to strong ratings in its early weeks), the show was panned by critics and its audience began to lose interest. After a continual decline on viewership, the series was cancelled at the end of the 1987-1988 season.

No dates

  • 46-year-old singer-songwriter K.T. Oslin becomes the success story of the year with her hit "80s Ladies," a Grammy Award-winner which told the story of three friends from childhood who stayed together through an era of social change. The song spawned an award-winning video as well and despite only reaching No. 7 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart, was one of the most played songs of the year. Oslin's rise to fame in her mid-40s came at a time when mainstream country radio was beginning to shun older female artists in lieu of younger, more attractive stars.

Top hits of the year

Singles released by American artists

US CAN Single Artist
7 4 80's Ladies K. T. Oslin
86 17 Ain't No Cure for Love Jennifer Warnes
1 1 All My Ex's Live in Texas George Strait
1 1 Am I Blue George Strait
16 35 American Me S-K-O
4 Another World Crystal Gayle with Gary Morris
2 2 Baby's Got a Hold on Me Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
1 Baby's Got a New Baby S-K-O
4 8 The Bed You Made for Me Highway 101
10 9 Bonnie Jean (Little Sister) David Lynn Jones
1 1 Born to Boogie Hank Williams, Jr.
9 4 Brilliant Conversationalist T. Graham Brown
1 1 Can't Stop My Heart from Loving You The O'Kanes
6 1 The Carpenter John Conlee
4 7 Chains of Gold Sweethearts of the Rodeo
16 30 Changin' Partners Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers
13 14 Child Support Barbara Mandrell
5 3 Cinderella Vince Gill
10 23 Cowboy Man Lyle Lovett
3 7 Crazy from the Heart The Bellamy Brothers
4 Crazy Over You Foster & Lloyd
7 5 Crime of Passion Ricky Van Shelton
1 2 Cry Myself to Sleep The Judds
9 12 Daddies Need to Grow Up Too The O'Kanes
10 10 Deep River Woman Lionel Richie with Alabama
85 17 Didn't You Go and Leave Me Rosemary Sharp
1 3 Do Ya K. T. Oslin
4 5 Domestic Life John Conlee
10 4 Don't Be Cruel The Judds
1 1 Don't Go to Strangers T. Graham Brown
20 19 Don't Touch Me There Charly McClain
4 7 A Face in the Crowd Michael Martin Murphey with Holly Dunn
2 2 Fallin' for You for Years Conway Twitty
8 11 Fallin' Out Waylon Jennings
7 5 Fire in the Sky Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
1 1 Fishin' in the Dark Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
7 11 Forever The Statler Brothers
1 1 Forever and Ever, Amen Randy Travis
16 18 Full Grown Fool Mickey Gilley
7 10 Girls Ride Horses Too Judy Rodman
13 18 Give Back My Heart Lyle Lovett
1 3 Give Me Wings Michael Johnson
18 23 God Will Lyle Lovett
8 10 Goodbye's All We've Got Left Steve Earle
10 11 Gotta Get Away Sweethearts of the Rodeo
9 6 Gotta Have You Eddie Rabbitt
2 3 Half Past Forever (Till I'm Blue in the Heart) T. G. Sheppard
6 6 The Hand That Rocks the Cradle Glen Campbell with Steve Wariner
10 Hard Livin' Keith Whitley
14 50 Have I Got Some Blues for You Charley Pride
18 39 He's Letting Go Baillie & the Boys
9 25 Homecoming '63 Keith Whitley
17 12 House of Blue Lights Asleep at the Wheel
1 1 How Do I Turn You On Ronnie Milsap
1 3 I Can't Win for Losin' You Earl Thomas Conley
1 1 I Know Where I'm Going The Judds
14 19 I Only Wanted You Marie Osmond
2 2 I Prefer the Moonlight Kenny Rogers
2 2 I Want to Know You Before We Make Love Conway Twitty
1 1 I Will Be There Dan Seals
1 1 I Won't Need You Anymore (Always and Forever) Randy Travis
10 24 I'll Be the One The Statler Brothers
5 9 I'll Be Your Baby Tonight Judy Rodman
2 1 I'll Come Back as Another Woman Tanya Tucker
4 15 I'll Never Be in Love Again Don Williams
1 1 I'll Still Be Loving You Restless Heart
9 24 If There's Any Justice Lee Greenwood
1 1 It Takes a Little Rain (To Make Love Grow) The Oak Ridge Boys
31 7 It Won't Hurt Dwight Yoakam
8 12 It's Only Over for You Tanya Tucker
2 3 Julia Conway Twitty
1 3 Kids of the Baby Boom The Bellamy Brothers
37 20 Killbilly Hill Southern Pacific
1 2 The Last One to Know Reba McEntire
1 1 Leave Me Lonely Gary Morris
4 5 Let the Music Lift You Up Reba McEntire
16 17 Let's Do Something Vince Gill
7 3 Little Sister Dwight Yoakam
8 1 Little Ways Dwight Yoakam
1 1 A Long Line of Love Michael Martin Murphey
10 7 Love Can't Ever Get Better Than This Ricky Skaggs with Sharon White
2 3 Love Me Like You Used To Tanya Tucker
6 5 Love Reunited The Desert Rose Band
2 2 Love Someone Like Me Holly Dunn
6 4 Love, You Ain't Seen the Last of Me John Schneider
1 1 Lynda Steve Wariner
1 1 Make No Mistake, She's Mine Kenny Rogers and Ronnie Milsap
11 7 Mama's Rockin' Chair John Conlee
1 1 Maybe Your Baby's Got the Blues The Judds
4 6 Midnight Girl/Sunset Town Sweethearts of the Rodeo
1 2 The Moon Is Still Over Her Shoulder Michael Johnson
1 1 Mornin' Ride Lee Greenwood
19 37 No Easy Horses S-K-B
2 1 No Place Like Home Randy Travis
20 7 Nowhere Road Steve Earle
1 1 Ocean Front Property George Strait
9 17 Oh Heart Baillie & the Boys
11 Old Bridges Burn Slow Billy Joe Royal
2 2 One for the Money T. G. Sheppard
1 1 One Promise Too Late Reba McEntire
4 7 Only When I Love Holly Dunn
9 9 Plain Brown Wrapper Gary Morris
76 17 Real Good Heartache Rosemary Sharp
1 1 Right from the Start Earl Thomas Conley
3 5 Right Hand Man Eddy Raven
8 6 The Right Left Hand George Jones
16 14 The Rock and Roll of Love Tom Wopat
1 1 Rose in Paradise Waylon Jennings
6 18 Rough and Rowdy Days Waylon Jennings
9 12 Señorita Don Williams
4 3 She Couldn't Love Me Anymore T. Graham Brown
9 She Thinks That She'll Marry Judy Rodman
1 1 She's Too Good to Be True Exile
1 1 Shine, Shine, Shine Eddy Raven
1 1 Small Town Girl Steve Wariner
1 1 Snap Your Fingers Ronnie Milsap
1 5 Somebody Lied Ricky Van Shelton
5 3 Someone Lee Greenwood
1 1 Somewhere Tonight Highway 101
1 2 Straight to the Heart Crystal Gayle
20 Susannah Tom Wopat
37 19 Sweet Little '66 Steve Earle
10 7 Take the Long Way Home John Schneider
4 3 Talkin' to the Moon Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers
7 4 Tar Top Alabama
3 6 Telling Me Lies Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris
1 2 That Was a Close One Earl Thomas Conley
3 4 Then It's Love Don Williams
1 2 This Crazy Love The Oak Ridge Boys
5 1 Those Memories of You Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris
1 1 Three Time Loser Dan Seals
6 10 Till I'm Too Old to Die Young Moe Bandy
17 35 Time In The Oak Ridge Boys
1 1 To Know Him Is to Love Him Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris
5 4 Too Many Rivers The Forester Sisters
6 15 Train of Memories Kathy Mattea
2 2 Twenty Years Ago Kenny Rogers
1 1 The Way We Make a Broken Heart Rosanne Cash
1 1 The Weekend Steve Wariner
1 1 What Am I Gonna Do About You Reba McEntire
9 7 What Can I Do with My Heart Juice Newton
20 10 When a Woman Cries Janie Fricke
2 1 Whiskey, If You Were a Woman Highway 101
1 1 Why Does It Have to Be (Wrong or Right) Restless Heart
15 24 Why I Don't Know Lyle Lovett
1 3 You Again The Forester Sisters
11 You Haven't Heard the Last of Me Moe Bandy
1 1 You Still Move Me Dan Seals
2 5 You're My First Lady T. G. Sheppard
3 6 You're Never Too Old for Young Love Eddy Raven
5 You're the Power Kathy Mattea
1 1 "You've Got" the Touch Alabama
12 13 Your Love Tammy Wynette

Singles released by Canadian artists

US CAN Single Artist
8 All I Really Need Audie Henry
20 10 Are You Still in Love with Me Anne Murray
6 Arms That Love (Hearts That Don't) Carroll Baker
19 Better Off Alone The Good Brothers
9 Cowboy Pride Ian Tyson
10 Death and Taxes and Me Lovin' You Carroll Baker
15 Denim Blue Eyes Sylvia Tyson
14 Diamonds in the Dark Cameron Molloy with Silver Weasel
9 Heroes Mercey Brothers
10 I Love You More Family Brown
20 I've Found Someone Too Anita Perras
16 Listen to My Heart Stoker Bros
11 New Fool at an Old Game Michelle Wright
9 No Holiday in L.A. Ronnie Prophet
13 None of the Feeling Is Gone Terry Carisse with Michelle Wright
3 Old Photographs Terry Carisse
8 Raised by the Radio Mercey Brothers
84 11 Roller Coaster Alibi
13 Say When Tim Taylor
14 Small Talk Glory-Anne Carriere
10 Starting Forever Again Terry Carisse
15 Taste of Romance Bootleg
20 Too Short a Ride Sylvia Tyson
14 True Blue Anne Lord
1 Try Blue Rodeo
10 Walk in the Rain Tonight Gary Fjellgaard
20 What a Fool I'd Be Colleen Peterson

Top new album releases

US Album Artist Record Label
16 10 Asleep at the Wheel Epic
1 80's Ladies K. T. Oslin RCA
18 After All This Time Charley Pride 16th Avenue
1 Always & Forever Randy Travis Warner Bros.
23 Angel Band Emmylou Harris Warner Bros.
7 The Best Dan Seals Capitol
25 Borderline Conway Twitty MCA
1 Born to Boogie Hank Williams, Jr. Curb/Warner Bros.
23 Brilliant Conversationalist T. Graham Brown Capitol
8 Chill Factor Merle Haggard Epic
17 Come On Joe Jo-El Sonnier RCA
22 Cornerstone Holly Dunn MTM
21 Country Rap The Bellamy Brothers Curb/MCA
25 Crackin' Up Ray Stevens MCA
24 The Desert Rose Band The Desert Rose Band Curb/MCA
15 Exit 0 Steve Earle & The Dukes MCA
2 Greatest Hits Reba McEntire MCA
22 Greatest Hits John Schneider MCA
25 Greatest Hits Steve Wariner MCA
1 Greatest Hits Volume Two George Strait MCA
19 Hangin' Tough Waylon Jennings MCA
1 Hank Live Hank Williams, Jr. Curb/Warner Bros.
9 Harmony Anne Murray Capitol
13 Heart & Soul Ronnie Milsap RCA
20 Heartbeat The Oak Ridge Boys MCA
1 Heartland The Judds Curb/RCA
7 Highway 101 Highway 101 Warner Bros.
1 Hillbilly Deluxe Dwight Yoakam Reprise
24 Hits Gary Morris Warner Bros.
14 Hold On Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Warner Bros.
18 I Prefer the Moonlight Kenny Rogers RCA
14 Island in the Sea Willie Nelson Columbia
1 Just Us Alabama RCA
6 King's Record Shop Rosanne Cash Columbia
3 The Last One to Know Reba McEntire MCA
23 Lone Star State of Mind Nanci Griffith MCA
10 Love Me Like You Used To Tanya Tucker Capitol
22 A Man Called Hoss Waylon Jennings MCA
9 Maple Street Memories The Statler Brothers Mercury
1 Ocean Front Property George Strait MCA
18 Rainbow Dolly Parton Columbia
18 Right Hand Man Eddy Raven RCA
5 The Royal Treatment Billy Joe Royal Atlantic
13 Shelter from the Night Exile Epic
16 Somewhere in the Night Sawyer Brown Capitol/Curb
24 Sure Feels Good Barbara Mandrell EMI America
14 Too Wild Too Long George Jones Epic
1 Trio Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt
& Emmylou Harris
Warner Bros.
11 Untasted Honey Kathy Mattea Mercury
13 The Way Back Home Vince Gill RCA
25 What If We Fall in Love? Crystal Gayle & Gary Morris Warner Bros.
14 Where the Fast Lane Ends The Oak Ridge Boys MCA
1 Wild-Eyed Dream Ricky Van Shelton Columbia
13 You Again The Forester Sisters Warner Bros.
10 You Haven't Heard the Last of Me Moe Bandy Curb

Other top albums

US Album Artist Record Label
29 After Midnight Janie Fricke Columbia
37 Ain't No Binds The Whites MCA
32 Americana Michael Martin Murphey Warner Bros.
56 Angel with a Lariat k.d. lang Sire
48 Back to Basics Mickey Gilley Epic
27 Baillie & the Boys Baillie & the Boys RCA
53 The Best of Crystal Gayle Crystal Gayle Warner Bros.
41 Blue Skies Again John Anderson MCA
51 Break the Routine The Kendalls Step One
63 Celebration Janie Fricke Columbia
66 A Christmas Card The Forester Sisters Warner Bros.
57 A Christmas Tradition Various Artists Warner Bros.
49 Christmas with the Judds The Judds Curb/RCA
47 Country Collection Various Artists K-Tel
48 Country Now Various Artists K-Tel
50 Crazy from the Heart The Bellamy Brothers Curb/MCA
69 A Crystal Christmas Crystal Gayle Warner Bros.
59 Emotion Juice Newton RCA
33 Foster & Lloyd Foster & Lloyd RCA
43 Greatest Hits Mel McDaniel Capitol
59 Greatest Hits Sylvia RCA
41 Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 Ray Stevens MCA
62 Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 Ray Stevens MCA
28 Hard Times on Easy Street David Lynn Jones Mercury
43 Higher Ground Tammy Wynette Epic
54 Honky Tonk Crazy Gene Watson Epic
38 If There's Any Justice Lee Greenwood MCA
29 It's a Crazy World Steve Wariner MCA
36 Johnny Cash Is Coming to Town Johnny Cash Mercury/PolyGram
54 Larry Boone Larry Boone Mercury
63 The Lonesome Jubilee John Mellencamp Mercury
50 A Matter of Life…and Death David Allan Coe Columbia
72 Merry Christmas to You Reba McEntire MCA
54 Modern Times Johnny Paycheck Mercury/PolyGram
52 No Easy Horses S-K-B MTM
47 One for the Money T. G. Sheppard Columbia
55 The Only One O. B. McClinton Epic
71 The Patsy Cline Story Patsy Cline MCA
29 A Place Called Love Judy Rodman MTM
49 Rattlesnake Annie Rattlesnake Annie Columbia
60 Romeo's Escape Dave Alvin Epic
65 Rosie Flores Rosie Flores Reprise
31 Seashores of Old Mexico Merle Haggard & Willie Nelson Epic
35 Still I Stay Charly McClain Epic
32 Still within the Sound of My Voice Glen Campbell MCA
26 Super Hits George Jones Epic
39 Walking the Line Merle Haggard, George Jones
& Willie Nelson
42 What a Girl Next Door Could Do Girls Next Door MTM
41 You Ain't Seen the Last of Me John Schneider MCA

On television

Regular series

  • Dolly (1987–1988, ABC)
  • Hee Haw (1969–1993, syndicated)



  • January 31 – Tyler Hubbard, member of Florida Georgia Line, a duo of the 2010s.
  • August 16 – Dan Smyers, member of Dan + Shay, a rising duo of the 2010s.
  • September 25 — Greg Bates, up-and-coming country singer of the early 2010s.


  • June 25 - Boudleaux Bryant, 67, songwriter (with wife Felice) of many 1950s and 1960s hits.

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
  • 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