The River's Badge

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The CMA Awards - Goin' For More In '84!

Wow, is it 1984 already? Those first few years of the eighties went by fast!

Looking back to the year 1984, one finds that nothing earth-shattering happened in the world of news. But we don't really care about the news anyway, do we? We care about the important stuff, like TV and music. That's the stuff we remember.

So, in pop music, this song was popular and won Grammy awards. Tina was, here, about 72 years old, I believe. So today, that would make her 96 years old, and she's still going out on tour! That's stamina!

A truly classic acceptance speech from the Oscar Awards in 1984 was delivered by somebody we all really, really like.......Sally Field. I mean it; we like her; we really, really like her.

The big three television networks were still serving up their hot piping cauldron of crap; namely prime-time soaps, such as Dynasty and Dallas and any other show that started with the letter "D". There was this show, however, that cracked the top 20:

My brother, and my other brother, were big fans of this show.

But on to the topic at hand - the 1984 CMA Awards.

I bet you can't guess who the INSTRUMENTALIST OF THE YEAR was. No, really. Guess.

If you guessed anyone other than CHET ATKINS, then you haven't been paying attention. Because he, I estimate, won this award approximately 267 times.

For the second straight year, RICKY SKAGGS and his BAND* won the INSTRUMENTAL GROUP OF THE YEAR award.

*band to be named later (actually, Kentucky Thunder)

Here's a gospel tune from the band*:

And, as long as we're talking about two-fers, the MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR statuette was once again presented to LEE GREENWOOD.

Not surprisingly, if you type "Lee Greenwood" in the YouTube search field, all you get is one song! Over and over. Yes, that one. I can attest, however, that Lee did record other songs. I have a CD of Lee's, and it doesn't just have one track. Just to set the record straight.

So, I switched over to, and I did find two Lee Greenwood videos. And yes, one of them is that song. But here's another one (featuring, apparently, Patrick Duffy from that number one prime-time soap, Dallas):

And, after a brief sabbatical, THE STATLER BROTHERS were once again back on top, reclaiming the award for VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR.

Yes, Alabama had kind of swooped in for three years and absconded with the award, but now the Brothers were back! Man, can you imagine if someone had pilfered Chet Atkins's award??

Here are Harold, Phil, Don, and now Jimmy Fortune, doing their version of an old ditty:

A new face appeared in 1984 to claim the FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR award. And much like Barbara Mandrell, we would see this artist standing at the podium many, many times in years to come.

I searched hard to find a video of when this lady was still "country" (and before she had some "work done", I'm guessing). After scrolling through many pages, I found one! This song was recorded a few years after the 1984 awards, but my criteria was to find a country song, so here's 1984's female vocalist of the year, REBA MCENTIRE:

The SONG OF THE YEAR was written by Larry Henley and Jeff Silbar. And yes, I know these are country awards, but the one and only video of Gary Morris performing this song has been removed from YouTube. So, here's the version that everyone remembers anyway (sorry, Gary, but it's true). From that weepie movie (and I mean that in a good way), Beaches, here's THE WIND BENEATH MY WINGS, courtesy of Bette Midler:

Both the ALBUM OF THE YEAR and SINGLE OF THE YEAR belonged to Anne Murray this year. For something that was so popular, you'd think there'd be a video available. But no.

But, you know, I can't just NOT include this. It won two awards, for pete's sake. So, here's a picture to look at, while you listen to the album and single of the year, "A Little Good News":

I've been sort of saving the VOCAL DUO OF THE YEAR category, because it's just so odd and quirky. You know, ol' Willie likes to record duets with, well, everyone. So, here he was, just doing his usual thing, recording duets. He had the guy from Spain drop by the studio one day. They slapped together a little number, and lo and behold, they ended up winning the vocal duo award! Yes, that's right. WILLIE NELSON and JULIO IGLESIAS. And here they are! (And sorry, the audio does tend to cut out on this, but it's the only video available).

Of course, whenever I think of this song, I'm reminded of this, and it's a hoot:

On the HORIZON, here comes a duo that sure could sing country like it was meant to be sung. Sometimes we don't appreciate artists enough when they are on the scene. It takes hindsight to realize just how great they were. I'll admit, Naomi annoyed me a lot. But when she was singing harmony with Wynonna, (as opposed to talking and acting out) well, it was sublime. Here are the 1984 HORIZON AWARD winners, The Judds:

That brings us, of course, to the big award of the night, ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR. Yes, these guys kept on winning a whole bunch of awards through the years (although not vocal group in 1984, snickered Harold Reid). And yes, in retrospect, they deserved all the kudos they received. Here's a 1984 song. Just one of many from their multi-decade career. The 1984 ENTERTAINERS OF THE YEAR, ALABAMA:


Anyone who knows anything about the history of country music surely has heard of Ralph Peer. In 1925, Ralph Peer set out on an odyssey to discover new talent to record for "Victor Records". He traveled to Appalachia, where he found a couple of acts that country-philes may have heard of. And once he found them, he recorded them in the field. Here's one of them:

Here's another:

Without Jimmie Rodgers and without the original Carter Family, well, there wouldn't be country music. And no one would've heard them if it hadn't been for Ralph Peer.

Floyd Tillman

Floyd Tillman came from Willie's old stompin' grounds in Texas, and was an early influence on Willie. Floyd specialized in that musical genre that was indiginous to Texas, western swing. He also had a very distinctive style of singing, as represented here, with his biggest hit song, "Slippin' Around":

Here's another song written by Floyd Tillman, performed here by Shelby Lynne; "I Love You So Much (It Hurts Me)":

So, country music expanded its horizons a bit in 1984, welcoming a pop singer from Spain and a country-pop singer from Canada, while still recognizing the contributions from states such as ALABAMA. 1984 saw the rise of future legends The Judds and Reba McEntire. And we can't forget that Chet Atkins was apparently the most famous country star of the UNIVERSE.

I'm looking forward to 1985, if for no other reason than to find out if Chet wins again!

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