The Country Music Association (CMA) has been handing out awards for 50 years now. The Country Music Association started in 1958 with the first awards handed out in 1967. According to Wikipedia, the ceremony was a non- televised event that first year, was hosted by Sonny James and Bobbie Gentry, and Eddy Arnold, Jack Greene and Loretta Lynn were three of the first winners.  And to think Loretta was in the front row this past Wednesday night is amazing in itself.

Watching the 50th edition of the award show was a very emotional one for me.  Seeing Randy Travis sing one word made it all the more special.  I've loved country music all my life and if you were watching the game Wednesday night and maybe set your DVR to record, do yourself a favor and watch this show.  Here's what I took from the  ABC telecast, summed up with five points:

  • Country music continues to evolve.  It's always been a genre of many influences. Over the years, people were saying "that's not country" when acts like Elvis, Olivia Newton-John, John Denver, and Shania Twain would win "country music" awards. 50 years later, we have the same fans saying that about Florida Georgia Line, and for some, believe it or not, Garth, Dolly and Luke.  I'll say it again, country music has always been a genre of influences and sounds.
  • The CMA's have always welcomed outside acts in to the show.  I think it's great that acts like Beyonce, Sting, and Justin Timberlake are showcased on a country music award show.  What it says to me about the artist is, I like and respect this music and would like to show my support and would be honored to perform with you. And the artists love it.  Artists like Garth Brooks and Chris Stapleton echoed this support in recent statements when fans took to social media, hiding behind their keyboards, to cut down Beyonce this year.  Why should we shut out acts that help the format grow?  Who is anyone to say they don't belong here?  We don't need more hate in the world; we need to embrace diversity in our music.  Isn't country music build on Christian morals and traditions?
  • The CMA's should never be scheduled opposite the World Series ever again.  This was the lowest rated CMA Awards in years, due to a game that had everyone cheering on the Cubs winning their first World Series in more than a century.
  • Country Music can come together to honor the artists from the past.  This year, the CMA kept their promise to invite the artists that help make country music, America's favorite most listened to form of music.  It was great seeing Loretta, Dolly, Crystal, Tanya, Roy Clark, Bill Anderson, Alabama, the Oak Ridge Boys and many others be featured front and center.  I hope they all come back and the CMA's and ABC feature these blasts from the past again next year.
  • Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood should host every year.  I love Vince and Reba but Brad and Carrie are amazing.  They define country music with tradition, respect and modern sounds.  They are truly awesome at what they do.

[via Wikipedia]