There are Grammy, ASCAP, CMA, and MTV music-award shows, among a host of others. I've been fortunate enough to see many or at least parts of several, enjoying most of them.
The CMA (Country Music Association) Award Show in Nashville, aired on CBS, October 8, was one of the best all-around award shows I've seen. The show was very professionally done; the MCs, songs performed, performers and the backdrop were all very good. I don't think anyone agrees with all of the selections, but the representation was good. The Horizon Award was loaded with talent -- Garth Brooks (winner), with the Kentucky HeadHunters, Alan Jackson, Vince Gill and Travis Tritt.
However, what made the show so special to me was the sincerity of the recipients. Maybe it's just the timing, but Lorrie Morgan (sharing with Keith Whitley the award for Vocal Event of the Year) and The Judds (Vocal Duo of the Year) going through tough experiences, were touching accepting their separate awards. Tennessee Ernie Ford, his wife and a megaton hit, "Sixteen Tons," being sung by The Oak Ridge Boys, was also special while Ford accepted the Hall of Fame Award with tears in his eyes. And then the salute to our troops in the Middle East at the end with the Air Force Chorale, George Jones, Vince Gill, Lee Greenwood and hosts Reba McEntire and Randy Travis singing "God Bless America" and "I'm Proud to Be An American" added an extra touch.
Maybe all this sincerity comes from country folks being receptive to open affection towards one another, at least accepting it as okay behavior among their peers. I'm not saying other music-award shows such as rock or pop don't have sincerity. They do, but it is much more rare, and even the faces of those singing on stage is more an impersonal snarl than a look of genuine sincerity. Maybe self-image and fans perception of approval takes priority. Whatever the case, country music folks can be proud and thankful for the genuine sincerity they share.
For information about the NSAI Louisville Songwriters Workshop, call (502) 452-1996.