When you're talking about the biggest country music artist in history there is, of course, no correct answer. Everyone has their favorite, the one they feel is bigger than the rest. The name may be Williams or Cash, Pierce or Acuff, Cline or Lynn. Or one of many others.

One name in that discussion would be Sonny James.

Famously known as The Southern Gentleman, Sonny left a musical mark on country music that cannot be denied. Here are 6 things you may not know about the great Sonny James:

1) Sonny James last name is really his first name! That's right, the many millions around the world that knew Sonny as 'Sonny'? Well, his first name is actually James...James Loden.

2 ) So just how big was Sonny James? Well, he made history of a sort by becoming the first country music artist ever to appear on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1957.

3) The CMA Awards Show is an annual highlight for country music fans, and Sonny James co-hosted the very first one in 1967 with Bobbie Gentry.

4) In February 1971, James was the first country artist whose music went into space and he made a special music recording for the crew of Apollo 14. They later presented him with one of the small American flags that they had carried to the Moon.

5) Sonny was the first country music artist to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It happened in 1961.


6) From 1967 into 1971 Sonny had an incredible 16 consecutive #1 hits! That's right, 16 in a row with missing the top of the country chart. Wow!

More From KIKN-FM / Kickin' Country 99.1/100.5