Coming to DVD is one of the most amazing collections Time Life has ever put together. For those who love country music this is an opportunity to see five decades of country music’s biggest stars perform with CMA AWARDS LIVE: Great Moments from 1968-2015.
The CMA Awards have spent the last 50 years showcasing country music by capturing the artists at work giving us some of our most favorite songs. The show has captured performances that have become historic as well as iconic and seen on television capturing it all.
In 1967, performers of country music came to Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium for the very first CMA’s. Performers such as Bobby Gentry, Sonny James, Jim Reeves, Red Foley and Jack Green were there. It was Green who would win the Male Vocalist Award, Album, Song and Single of the Year for his song There Goes My Everything.
Throughout the 60’s, performers such as Eddy Arnold, Loretta Lynn, Chet Atkins, Bob Wills, Glen Campbell, Tammy Wynette, Johnny Cash, Porter Wagoner, Dolly Parton, Jeannie C. Riley, and Bobby Russell would bring show stopping performances that can be found in this collection.
The CMA’s moved to the Ryman Auditorium by the 1970’s when Loretta Lynn would be called the First Lady of Country Music. Merle Haggard became the voice of patriotism for the United States during a difficult time and it showed with his song Okie from Muskogee.
As change came over the CMA’s, it was reflected in the awards when Charlie Pride won for Male Vocalist and Entertainer of the Year in the 70’s. A little surprise came when Olivia Newton John won for Female Vocalist of the Year but no surprise for me when John Denver won for Entertainer of the Year.
There were outlaws in country music when Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Jessi Colter and Compall Glaser won Album of the Year for Wanted! The Outlaws. Other stars during the decade included Kris Kristofferson, Jerry Reed, Lynn Anderson, Ray Price, Sammi Smith, Freddie Hart, Jimmie Davis, Tanya Tucker, Donna Fargo, Roy Clark, Charlie Rich, Ronnie Milsap, Cal Smith, Don Wayne, Freddy Fender, Crystal Gayle, Kenny Rogers, Dottie West, Barbara Mandrell, Charlie Daniels and Johnny Gimble.
During the 1980’s, country music became even more popular if that was possible. New groups and a new generation of singers hit the television and airwaves bringing love songs and story telling. Barbara Mandrell started off with songs such as I was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool.
This is the era of Emmylou Harris, George Jones, Mac Davis, Alabama, Oak Ridge Boys, Chet Atkins, Janie Fricke, Ricky Skaggs, Lee Greenwood, Reba McEntire, The Judds, Sawyer Brown, Hank Williams, Jr., George Strait, and Randy Travis.
The careers ending the 80’s would become the next big stars of the 1990’s but there would also be newcomers such as Lonestar and Diamond Rio. Billy Ray Cyrus would have everyone growing a mullet and singing Achy Breaky Heart. The women also broke through in a big way with Shania Twain, Deana Carter and Sara Evans.
At the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee, the CMA’s would see the likes of Kathy Mattea, Clint Black, Travis Tritt, Kentucky HeadHunters, Garth Brooks, Vince Gill, Don Henry, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Brooks & Dunn, Alan Jackson, John Michael Montgomery, Pam Tillis, Martina McBride, Alison Krauss, Trisha Yearwood, LeAnn Rimes, Dixie Chicks, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, and Randy Skruggs.
The 2000’s saw another shift not only in country music but the changes at the Grand Ole Opry. Reba McEntire was on top and The Dixie Chicks were riding high as an all girl country group. It is also a time when country would stop for a moment and talk about the grief of 9/11 as Alan Jackson asked in song Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning).
Other performers in this fifteen year span included Rascal Flatts, Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, Gretchen Wilson, Lee Ann Womack, Toby Keith, Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley, Kellie Pickler, Miranda Lambert, Taylor Swift, Sugarland, Darius Rucker, Jason Aldean, Kelly Clarkson, Zac Brown Band, Lady Antebellum, Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton, Little Big Town, Hunter Hayes, Florida Georgia Line, Kacey Musgraves and Chris Stapleton.
Time Life continues to bring never before released anywhere classic collections of television shows for fans to revisit and remember what has made television so special. Time Life has released Mama’s Family, CPO Sharkey and The Tonight Show and they now reminds of us of a time when sex and politics were up for grabs with ROWAN & MARTIN’S LAUGH-IN. For more of what Time Life has to offer fans of classic television visit www.timelife.com.
This 10-disc set (that’s 11 hours plus extras) also includes the bonus of Newly Produced Bonus Interviews with Country Legends including Charley Pride, Kenny Rogers, Naomi Judd, Ronnie Milsap and more. Plus CMA bonus features with Alan Jackson, Miranda Lambert, Vince Gill, George Strait, Carrie Underwood and many other country music stars.
Also, 44-Page Memory Book including show photos, a history of the CMA Awards, plus a year-by-year guide to 50 years of Award winners.
For country music lovers this is a collection of music and performances that are to be truly experienced. Having grown up in a country music family, there are performances here by legendary musicians that I had completely forgotten about. That is why Time Life has once again brought back some of my favorite family memories of music. I couldn’t be more pleased to have had the opportunity to watch these musicians once again but this time share them with my own family.
There is a heart and soul to country music and after spending time watching the CMA AWARDS LIFE: Great Moments from 1968-2015, it becomes clear that the heart and soul is still viable and so worth revisiting.
In the end – these are truly the greatest moments!