Autumn is once again upon us, which means one distinct thing for country music fans. The Country Music Association Awards. In addition to crisp mornings, apple cider, and pumpkin spice everything, there is the music and fashion of the CMA. This year’s awards mark the 51rst anniversary of the event. It is also the 10th year co-hosted by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood. Taking place on November 8 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, the CMA Awards is one of country music’s biggest events.

country music awardsBrad Paisley at the Country Music Awards (source: Salon)

Here’s a brief history of the now-cherished event.

Now a major television event that airs internationally, the first CMA Awards were presented at Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium. Those 1967 awards were not televised. The first-ever Entertainer of the Year award was given to Eddy Arnold. Long-time country music fans will recognize that name. If you don’t, you might check him out. He had 147 songs on the Billboard country music charts. These included hits as “Make the World Go Away” and “Love Lifted Me.” Just as a point of reference, only George Jones has more Billboard chart-toppers. 

“There Goes My Everything” won Best Song, single, and album of the year. That was performed by Jack Greene, also the Male Vocalist of the Year. Loretta Lynn took home the Female Vocalist award. It was certainly a favorable beginning for the now-cherished CMA Awards show!


Duck Dynasty, country music, CMAThe Robertson’s made an appearance at the 2013 CMA Awards and had some points to make (source: People)

Looking Ahead: 2017

Country music has experienced quite a revolution since those early crooners, but some parts still remain. The tunes that are considered the bedrock of country still paint lyrics of love, loss, heartbreak, hope, and the longing for a simpler time on a canvas of guitar riffs, fiddles, and some boot-stompin’ ‘twang. 

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