Open Letter to the CMA’s

by @ChuckDauphin

The 46th Annual Country Music Association Awards are now in the history books, and I’ve had a few weeks to reflect on the show. Musically, I thought it was one of the better telecasts of recent years. For once, the producers didn’t feel like we had to include a lot of artists from outside the format to show how “cool” and “hip” we were. Collaborations are great, as are many of those artists, but we’re just fine on our own.

Honestly, there was only one quibble I had with the show. It came in the last hour when the CMA bestowed a Career Achievement Award to Willie Nelson, and announced the award would bear his namesake in future years. First of all, Willie Nelson is a legend. No argument from me there. But, what makes this award any different from the Country Music Hall of Fame? In researching it, I don’t see any difference. Willie was inducted into the Hall in 1993. But, the Hall has ceased being a part of the CMA Awards show the past few years – something I consider to be a travesty.

For most Country artists, the Hall of Fame is the crowning achievement on a career that has enjoyed huge impact upon the genre. Over the next few years, names such as Kenny Rogers, Ronnie Milsap, Ricky Skaggs, the Oak Ridge Boys, and others like them are expected to be added to the list. They deserve their time in the spotlight – just like George Jones, Merle Haggard, and Willie Nelson before them. Their fans deserve to be a part of that moment as well. With only 200 or so seats available at the Hall’s Induction Ceremony, fans could watch people enter the red carpet – but could not witness the moment that they have been a part of since day one. That, my friends, is just wrong.

The Willie Nelson Career Achievement Award is a great idea. But, if the award is going to be given to acts already in the Hall of Fame, the CMA needs to re-think this. I think it’s better for those artists mentioned above to have their time in the spotlight than those already in the Hall of Fame. If it’s going to go to acts like Jones, Haggard, Loretta, and I am not saying they are not deserving….but so are the upcoming inductees. They have worked no less harder for their moment in the sun, and deserve it just as much.

This is not a knock on the CMA. I am sure they have to think each performance slot out very carefully due to ratings. Running the CMA Awards can be a thankless job sometimes – just like Pete Fisher in his role at the Grand Ole Opry, you’re not going to please everyone. Either you’re spending too much time celebrating the past or ignoring it. But, I think this is something the CMA really needs to look at. I would much rather see an artist like the Oak Ridge Boys or Kenny Rogers get their five-six minutes of national TV than an artist who has received it before. It’s not about an artist being greater than or less than, it’s about giving equal time to the newer legends. In any case, it’s just something to think about…..

by Jessica Northey

Author: Jessica Northey

Everyone asks “what exactly do you do Jessica?” What some of my family members say, “she tweets for a living” is my favorite, but really the title that puts food on the table is “Social Media Influencer,” the definition sounds simple, someone who influences others through social media, but I consider myself a Citizen Journalist broadcasting and entertaining with news, thoughts, opinions, delivering information in my own unique way. Famous for my ‘sass wit and straight from the hip’ style I’ve always been called a “Social Media Pioneer” in the music industry. I’m also an On-Air/Online Broadcasting Host and Personality, Digital Media Strategist, Country and Music Blogger/Journalist as well as a Nationally recognized Speaker and Founder of Country Music Chat, News and Views Entertainment Website My favorite accomplishment is starting the largest Country Music Hashtag community in the world Country Music’s #CMChat. It all started with a hunch...back in the early 2000’s I would dial up the internet via AOL and join chat rooms whilst watching my favorite programs on TV. Loved watching Reality Shows with my Mom in Tucson, and blowing her mind with how I always knew who was going home on the Bachelor or Big Brother. Don’t think she ever caught on that I was talking to people via computer on the East Coast, where it had already aired. (We didn’t have the uber-spoiler Twitter or Facebook to ruin results and awards shows for us yet.) I’ve been taking over the internet, one tweet at a time and have accumulated over 3 Million followers/friends/fans across all my Social Media networks. Over the years I’ve been consistently ranked as an influential online personality and even named as a Forbes Top 50 Social Media Power Influencer. I was the first person Merle Haggard followed when he got on Twitter and spent the day with Garth Brooks at Twitter and Facebook when joined the social media world.

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