Wednesday, May 7, 2008
– Porter Wagoner, The Oak Ridge Boys, Brenda Lee and Dick Clark were among the winners announced Wednesday by the Academy of Country Music. The awards were part of the awards show to be held May 18 in Las Vegas.
The Jim Reeves International Award - Dick Clark. The award goes to an individual for outstanding contributions to the acceptance of country music throughout the world. In 1979, Clark joined forces with the Academy of Country Music to bring the show to NBC and then later to CBS.
Poet's Award - Bill Anderson and Fred Rose. They were picked to receive the first-ever Poet's Award, which honors songwriters for outstanding musical and/or lyrical contributions throughout their careers in the field of country music. Over the course of 50 years, "Whisperin' Bill" Anderson has written songs for some of the biggest names in country music, ranging from Ray Price to George Strait - and racking up 37 Top 10 country hits as a performer in his own right. In 1962, Anderson perched at number 1 for 7 weeks with his own song, "Mama Sang a Song" and repeated that remarkable achievement in 1963 with "Still." Contemporary artists such as Vince Gill, Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley and George Strait have all recorded songs penned by Anderson, who won his first Academy of Country Music award in 2007 for co-writing Strait's hit track "Give It Away."
Following the success of writing songs for Hollywood's singing cowboys, Fred Rose co-founded Nashville's first music publishing house, and nurtured the career of a young Hank Williams. Both men were charter inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1961. As a songwriter, Rose scored a Western-inspired hit, "We'll Rest at the End of the Trail" in 1936. He penned songs for legendary artists Gene Autry and Roy Rogers, landing his most famous hit posthumously with Willie Nelson's 1975 recording of "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain." Rose is an inductee of both the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame Rose. In 1942, he and Roy Acuff founded Acuff-Rose Music, still one of the most successful publishing companies in Nashville today.
Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award - Brenda Lee, The Oak Ridge Boys, Conway Twitty, and Porter Wagoner. The award honors individuals who are pioneers in the country music genre. Thanks to a string of pop hits in the 1950s and 1960s, Lee remains one of the best-selling female artists in history, and she introduced Nashville's music to audiences throughout the world. She made her first chart appearance in 1957 with "One Step at a Time," debuting on the Grand Ole Opry that same year and earning the nickname "Little Miss Dynamite" from the success of her following hit song "Dynamite." She became best-known for her beloved classic "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree." She joined the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1997 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002, becoming the only woman in history to be honored by both institutions.
Although rooted in gospel, the Oak Ridge Boys ultimately scored enormous success in country music with their four-part harmoniese. In 1978, the Academy of Country Music awarded them with two trophies - Vocal Group of the Year and Album of the Year. Their career momentum continued for another decade, with 17 number 1 hits, including "I'll Be True to You," "Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight" (an early cut for Rodney Crowell) and "Trying to Love Two Women." Their most famous song "Elvira" appeared in 1981 and won the Academy of Country Music's Single Record of the Year as well as a Grammy for country vocal group.
In 1970, Conway Twitty has a career hit with "Hello Darlin'" one of the most recognizable singles in country music history. He later he teamed with Loretta Lynn and the Academy of Country Music awarded their partnership with 4 trophies for Top Vocal Group in 1971, 1974-1976. In 1975, he won two more Awards for Album of the Year and Top Male Vocalist. Before he died in 1993, Twitty had scored a record breaking 40 number 1 hits, either as a solo artist or with Lynn.
Porter Wagoner's sparkling jackets were part of his persona during his 50 years on the Grand Ole Opry. He reached number 1 on the country chart with the song "A Satisfied Mind" in 1955. When television came into homes in the sixties, he had his own show with singing partner Dolly Parton, who wrote one of her greatest hits, "I Will Always Love You" about Wagoner. He died in 2007.
In the awards given to musicians, band and instrumental categories:
Top guitarist - Dann Huff
Top piano/keyboard - Matt Rollings
Top bassist - Michael Rhodes
Top percussionist/drummer - Shannon Forrest
Top steel guitar - Paul Franklin
Top fiddle - Stuart Duncan
Top specialty instrument(s) - Jerry Douglas
Audio engineer - Justin Niebank
Producer - Mark Wright
National on-air personality:
The Big D and Bubba Show
The Lia Show
On air personality - major market
Gerry House & The house Foundation, WSIX- FM, Nashville, TN
On air personality - medium market
Valleri St. John, WWGR-FM, Ft. Meyers, FL
On air personality - small market
Gator & The Styckman, WGSQ- FM, Cookeville, TN
Radio Station - major market
WMIL- FM, Milwaukee, WI
Radio Station - medium market
WUSY- FM, Chattanooga, TN
Radio Station - small market
WGSQ- FM, Cookeville, TN
The Academy will present the special awards and MBI Awards to recipients at a special event in Nashville later this year, date to be announced. The Industry and Radio Awards will be presented during the New Artists' Party for a Cause on Saturday May 17, in Las Vegas.