The River's Badge

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The CMA Awards - Welcome To The Nineties!

Yes, I have counted down (or up, as the case may be) the CMA awards, all the way from 1967 through 1989. Whew! That's a lot of years. And frankly, I needed to take a break. It started to feel like a homework assignment after awhile, and you know, I have enough "have to's" in my daily life, as is.

But now I'm back! I'm not one to leave a job unfinished, so I'm back and refreshed and ready to tackle the nineties!

First, as usual, a bit of background about the year 1990.

In the news, well, the first Gulf War began.

Here's the first President Bush announcing that fact:



I really have no comment about this, other than that George H.W. Bush should've followed my lead and finished what he started. Could've saved us a lot of grief.

But, if I've said it once, I've said it a whole bunch of times, what we really remember about a given year isn't that world event stuff; it's pop culture!

One of the top movies of 1990 was this:



I could've gone with the top, top movie of the year, "Pretty Woman", but I decided not to be so cliche. But suffice it to say that 1990 was apparently the year that the chicks got their flicks.

In the world of pop music, Michael Bolton was being overwrought, as usual. (I wonder if Michael still has that mullet). Here's one of the top pop songs from 1990 (yes, really):



Another top pop hit from the year featured Wendy, Carnie, and Chynna (thus "Wilson Phillips"). Here's "Hold On":



Which leads us to the 1990 CMA Awards.

Once again in 1990, the Musician of the Year award was won by fiddlin' Johnny Gimble. I'd thought I'd exhausted all the Johnny Gimble videos, but I found a new one! Here's Johnny with Floyd Tilman, doing a number called, "I'll Keep On Loving You":



The Vocal Duo of the Year was, yes, once again The Judds. Sure, in this twenty-first century world, the Judds might seem like old-hat. But there's a handful of artists (and I think I could actually list them on one hand) that typify the 1990's, and on one of those fingers I would count Wynonna and Naomi.

Here's "Born To Be Blue":



Enjoyably (for me), a new name appeared in 1990 to take home the Vocal Group of the Year award. And that new name was the Kentucky Headhunters.

Here are the (older) boys performing on the Marty Stuart Show, doing my favorite and yours, Dumas Walker:



Glad to see that Fred Young still has his coonskin hat!

Anybody who ever stepped foot inside a honky tonk in the early nineties knows this song, inside and out. Who hasn't two-stepped to this song? Well, I, for one, definitely have. And I like the Kentucky Headhunters!

The Vocal Event of the Year is bittersweet for me. Keith Whitley had already passed away, and his widow, Lorrie Morgan, recorded her vocals over a demo that Keith had done of a song called, "Til A Tear Becomes A Rose". Alas, there couldn't be a video of the two performing this song together, but I still wanted to include it. This is a beautiful recording.

Here's "Til A Tear Becomes a Rose", by Keith Whitley and Lorrie Morgan:



The Song of the Year was written by Don Henry and Jon Vezner, and was recorded by Jon Vezner's wife, Kathy Mattea. The song was "Where've You Been":



A beautifully written song, to be sure. Just not country, really.

Which leads us to the Female Vocalist of the Year award, and that award was bestowed upon Kathy Mattea. Here is "Battle Hymn of Love" (and I actually like this song better than the other one, but maybe that's just me):



The Male Vocalist of the Year was another one of those "count on the fingers of one hand" artists, Clint Black. Amazingly, I had to find this video on MTV. Sad. Here's Clint's single from 1990, "Put Yourself In My Shoes":




That new-fangled award, Music Video of the Year, was given to this celluloid performance. It's kind of sweet; kind of heart-rending. Tony Arata wrote this song:




The Horizon Award winner in 1990 was, inexplicably, Garth Brooks. I guess my thought is, by 1990, Garth wasn't really what one would consider a "newcomer". Maybe the CMA was catching up.

Garth had a couple or three big hits in 1990, but I had to include this one, just for the fact that the song annoyed me so much. Granted, the first one or two times I heard it, I thought it was catchy. After the 2,501'st time I heard it, I just wanted to pound my car radio into millions of pieces. Seriously. I remember driving home from somewhere?......and that damn song came on the radio once again, and I just wanted to kill myself. Luckily, I didn't actually kill myself. If I had, I wouldn't be able to post this video.

And yes, Garth is one of the five fingers of the 1990's. And yes, I was never a big Garth fan, but I did see him in concert with my mom (the last concert I ever attended with my mom), and yes, he was impressive. So, (ten gallon) hat's off to Garth Brooks.

And here you go:



On the other hand, the Single of the Year is a song that still holds up! And I really don't want to kill myself when I hear it! I guess that's why it was named single of the year!

Here's Vince Gill (with a shadowy Patty Loveless singing harmony), doing "When I Call Your Name":



By my calculations, that only leaves the BIG award of the night, Entertainer of the Year. I spent way too much time trying to find videos of this guy's hit songs from 1990, with no luck. Finally, in desperation, I decided, the hell with it, and I decided to go with this instead. And YOU'RE WELCOME:



Ah- Ha! (as Bob Wills would say). Yes, my favorite artist of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. 1990's entertainer of the year, George Strait.

Hall of Fame


Yes, in the deepest recesses of my memory, I remember seeing this guy on TV (black and white TV). And frankly, to a five-year-old, this guy was sort of scary. I mean, he had that deep voice, and that Snidely Whiplash mustache.

Turns out he wasn't really scary and mean. I learned this from watching reruns of "I Love Lucy". And any guy who would say, "Bless your little pea-pickin' heart" was okay in my book. My thin little book of five-year-old knowledge. Still, I much preferred my daddy.

Anyway, this is a really poorly-thought-out tribute to Tennessee Ernie Ford, but I'm kind of tired, and I've been writing and researching for a few hours, but you can see him for yourself here:



Thus ends my first foray into the world of the CMA's in the 1990's.

I do want to recap the fingers of my one hand, however. Here's what I came up with:

The Judds
Clint Black
Garth Brooks
George Strait

That leaves one more finger, and I have a feeling that there will be a couple of more names popping up as we peruse the decade that is the nineties. Which means that I am going to have to grow one additional finger. I can live with that. Being deformed and all. It's all for a good cause.

See you in 1991.

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