Greetings once again, fellow time travelers! I'm still here; still countin' 'em down, year by year.
And this time around, it's 1983! Yes, ten years after I graduated from high school!
Looking back to the news of 1983, I see that a record budget deficit was projected - ha! If only they knew! That's small change! Peanuts really, compared to now!
In pop culture, they were still making those new-fangled things called "music videos". This was one of the top hits (videos) of 1983:
On the TV front, apparently (since every time I search for events of 1983, this comes up), it was the final season of M*A*S*H. Now, yea, I watched M*A*S*H, too, but in the larger scheme of things, this was NOT the best television series ever. Not even close.
We lost a couple of music greats in 1983. Here's Karen Carpenter:
Dennis Wilson (and here, he is forced to keep time by clapping his hands):
But, back to country music.
We (again) saw some repeats in 1983; the first being the SONG OF THE YEAR. Now, I'm not here to judge, but I just think that the CMA's needed to stop repeating themselves. It's all well and good that they really (really) liked certain songs and certain recordings. But surely there was enough new material each year to choose something new.
But no. They liked what they liked, and therefore, once again, the SONG OF THE YEAR was this (as written by Wayne Carson, Johnny Christopher, and Mark James - a true group effort):
ALWAYS ON MY MIND (and yes, this is a different video, because I really hate repeating myself)
And yes. CHET ATKINS was (again) the INSTRUMENTALIST OF THE YEAR. And no, I'm not posting any more Chet videos, because frankly, this is getting out of hand.
JANIE FRICKE was, again, named FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR. As I've mentioned before, the CMA's are but a snapshot in time. And Janie certainly had her time. But to be honest, she didn't really have too many hits. I basically remember Janie Fricke as a duet partner to Johnny Duncan. (That's not necessarily a bad thing to be remembered for).
So, here's a duet:
(Did I say previously that 1982 was the most boring year ever for the CMA's? I want to change my vote.)
We can kill a couple of birds here, with the ALBUM OF THE YEAR and the VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR. I promised you earlier that ALABAMA would get their fair share of awards, and I didn't steer you wrong.
VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR - Alabama
ALBUM OF THE YEAR - The Closer You Get - Alabama
Luckily for all of us, there was something new on the scene, and that was the SINGLE OF THE YEAR. Good ol' John Anderson.
Here's an acoustic version of the SINGLE OF THE YEAR, "Swingin'":
And, as if that wasn't enough, we also had a new VOCAL DUO OF THE YEAR! Yes kids. Something pretty good.........pret-ty, pret-ty, pret-ty good.
And that was MERLE HAGGARD and WILLIE NELSON:
The INSTRUMENTAL GROUP OF THE YEAR, this year, 1983, was the RICKY SKAGGS BAND. Apparently, they didn't have an actual name back then, but they came to be known as KENTUCKY THUNDER. Here they are, in later years:
EDIT: Okay, this is actually NOT Kentucky Thunder. It's the Del McCoury Band. But Ricky is featured here.
Is it just me, or is this stuff great? There was a time when I hated bluegrass. Now I LOVE it. It is one of the purest forms of music. Kind of reminds you of what music was like before the "suits" got their hands on it.....and ruined it.
The MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR in 1983 was Lee Greenwood. And it was because of this song:
Yes, I'll admit, I'm a sucker for a good patriotic song. And, as patriotic songs go, this one is pretty hard to beat. I like the Star Spangled Banner, too, but this song ranks right up there.
I didn't even know that Lee himself wrote this song. So kudos to you, Lee Greenwood! This song has served us well in trying times. It kind of says it all. And it's been a staple of Republican stump speeches for lo these many years.
Of course, that leads us to the ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR category. Had I been Randy, Jeff, Teddy, and Mark, I wouldn't have wanted to follow Lee Greenwood. Who would? But, after all, this was the primo award of the evening, and ALABAMA captured it!
Here they go:
As anthems go, this one is pret-ty, pret-ty good, too. It's no God Bless The USA, but it's still good! Congrats to Alabama for winning the entertainer of the year award for 1983!
Hall of Fame
Little Jimmy Dickens
Whereas, in 1982, three folks were inducted into the hall of fame, in 1983, only one person received that honor. Little Jimmy Dickens.
Yes, he's Little. Thus the name.
Here he is, with Brad Paisley, on his 60th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ol' Opry:
So, 1983, much like 1982, was not the most exciting year ever for the CMA awards. But it still had its high points. Namely, Lee Greenwood, John Anderson, and - don't forget - Alabama. A mixed bag, to be sure.
But we've got our fingers crossed for 1984!