The River's Badge

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The CMA Awards - 1973

1973 was a banner year. Not necessarily for country music, but for ME! Yes, I was eighteen in 1973, and I graduated from high school.

I may SEEM like a dork, concentrating so much on country music during my teen years, but let me assure you, I didn't spend 1973 locked away in my room. (I did that from approximately 1967 to 1972.)

But, on the bright side, look at all the useless knowledge I accumulated during those years! I always wondered what I would do with these needless facts, and now here I am today, authoring a blog that no one reads! That's redemption!

But enough about me. Let's just get this out of the way, right off the bat:

INSTRUMENTAL GROUP OF THE YEAR

Danny Davis & The Nashville Brass


INSTRUMENTALIST OF THE YEAR

Charlie McCoy

(I told you that there would be no more videos of these guys, and I'm sticking to that. Again, it's nothing against Danny Davis or Charlie McCoy; it's just that they just kept winning, and I don't know what I'm supposed to do -- post the same videos over and over?)

FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR

Loretta Lynn


Well, there's just no decent videos of any of Loretta's songs that won her this award in 1973, so using my editorial discretion, I decided to go back to 1968 instead.



VOCAL DUO OF THE YEAR

Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn


No doubt, C & L were on a roll during these years. They'd wrestled the title away from Porter and Dolly, and they were reveling in it. They had a bunch of hit records in a row, and while the following video isn't chronologically correct, I thought I'd just put 'em all out there and we'd watch.



VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR

The Statler Brothers


Here we are again, Statlers! I have a sneaking suspicion that this is going to be repeated for years to come, so let's post some videos while the video postin' is good.

This is an example of the songs I was talking about in my earlier post, about how they did that reminiscent stuff, about when they were kids, that I really couldn't relate to. But who am I to judge? I just got done telling you about locking myself away in my room, so watching Saturday morning serials really doesn't seem so odd, now, does it?

So, here's one of those.



SONG OF THE YEAR

Behind Closed Doors - recorded by Charlie Rich; written by Kenny O'Dell


SINGLE OF THE YEAR


Behind Closed Doors - Charlie Rich


ALBUM OF THE YEAR


Behind Closed Doors - Charlie Rich


Well, here we go. After all these years, thirty-five, I guess, here we are with a song that stands the test of time; in fact, one of my top twenty country songs of all time, "Behind Closed Doors".

I guess one could say that 1973 was Charlie Rich's year.

Forgetting about Charlie Rich would mean forgetting about the essence of country music, really. Country music has always been a blend of a bunch of stuff -- gospel, pop, twang, bluegrass, the Nashville Sound -- I'm probably leaving out some stuff. But is there no finer example of what country music truly is? That indefinable "something"? Here's one of the best, not only one of the best songs, but one of country music's best interpreters.

And that piano riff hooked me right off the bat. If anyone deserved these awards in 1973, it was Charlie Rich.

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR

Roy Clark


I guess it was the Hee Haw phenomenon (ha! if you can call Hee Haw a "phenomenon"!) The other nominees for entertainer of the year in 1973 were Merle Haggard, Tom T. Hall, Loretta Lynn, and Charley Pride. Which of these names stand out today? I'm thinking not Roy Clark. But hey! Maybe he put on a good show - I don't know.

Of course, the CMA's are not been to be looked at for historical relevancy. They are a snapshot in time. Sometimes they got it right (from a historical aspect); most times they got it wrong. Hindsight is 20/20.

So, here's a look at Roy Clark (a performance from Hee Haw, of course). And he certainly seems like a jovial fellow, so I guess, congratulations, Roy.



COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME

Chet Atkins

Much has been written about Chet Atkins and his career as both a performer and a producer. So, I'm not going to get into all that now. I thought maybe we'd just enjoy Chet picking the Wildwood Flower.



COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME

Patsy Cline

Well, there will never be another like her. It's such a shame that her life was cut short so prematurely. I think she'd still be making and selling records today, albeit on an indie label, of course. And she'd be laughing about the histrionics of today's female country singers. She didn't need to do any vocal gymnastics, because she had a pure, natural talent. To me, she will always be the queen of country music.

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