Garth Brooks, the reigning King of Country, made Utah concert history when more than 65,000 people bought tickets for a series of shows that will run from July 9-12.

All performances will start at 7:30 p.m.When the dust settled, Brooks had sold out four shows at the Delta Center. That's the largest number of tickets sold for any musical event in the state. And if that's not enough, they sold out in only three hours.

Before Brooks' sellout, the most tickets sold by any artist or group was 48,321, purchased by Deadheads for two Grateful Dead concerts at the Delta Center in February 1995. (Which marked Jer-ry Garcia's last performances with the Dead in Utah.)

Back in 1994, Reba McEntire made a bit of local history as her concert became the fastest sellout. The first lady of modern country music sold 25,000 tickets in 40 minutes.

Brooks' four-concert sales record broke his own 1993 milestone, when he sold out a single concert in 85 minutes.

Those who didn't get tickets will have to resort to winning some from the many country radio promotions around the valley. Get your speed-dial ready.

This has been a bittersweet year for Brooks. He's had a much-publicized feud with his current recording company, Capitol Records. As a result, Brooks' first six albums have been discontinued and rolled into a single box set called "The Limited Series."

Those albums will be out of print until their 10th anniversary - but even then, the music will only be released on DVDs.

Brooks' seventh album, aptly titled "Sevens," was held back for almost a year while Brooks and Cap-i-tol hammered out their differences. The original release date for "Sevens," and a subsequent promotional concert scheduled for August 1997 in New York's Central Park, were put on hold.

The singer apparently held back the release until he and the label could agree on a major marketing push. However, before the deal was signed, sealed and delivered, Brooks played the Central Park gig.

Capitol Records, astounded by the number of people who showed up for that concert, gave the nod for the release of "Sevens" - and it immediately shot to the No. 1 spot on Billboard's Top 200 album chart.

The current "`Limited Series" also hit No. 1, a spectacular feat for a boxed set.