Showing posts with label lee greenwood. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lee greenwood. Show all posts

Sunday, February 6, 2022

Reviewing The Top Ten Country Hits From This Week In 1987


As someone who considers myself quite the country music aficionado, the number of successful country hits I've forgotten is mind-boggling. In perusing the country singles chart from this week in 1987, thirty-five years ago, only two (two!) of the top ten are familiar to me. 1987 was a rather seminal year for me in country, since that was the year I came back, after a several-year foray into rock. My leaving wasn't my fault; it was country's. Naturally, however, while I was away, country got good again and I had a lot of catching up to do. No regrets. With music it's a snap to play catch-up. It's not like music suddenly disappears. And everything is new, even if it's old! 

But I digress. Scanning the totality of the top forty for this particular week, a few soon-to-be classics were scratching their way to the top. That, however, is not my job here. My designated task is to review the top ten as if I've never before heard them. In most cases, that's actually true. 

The usual disclaimer: Performance or music videos may not be available on YouTube. All I can do is my best.

Let's begin.

#10 ~ You Still Move Me ~ Dan Seals

I love this guy's voice. It reminds me of that seventies pop group, England Dan and John Ford Coley 😀. Truthfully, however, his voice belongs in country, not pop. That said, this song is forgettable. It's a middling ballad that without the soulful voice would be something a wannabe singer would strum on an acoustic guitar in his basement bedroom. I'm going to boost it half a grade solely due to the singer.


#9 ~ Mornin' Ride ~ Lee Greenwood

I'm not sure what to make of this. It has a comforting cadence that evokes the song's message. The chorus is relatively easy to memorize and thus is sing-alongable. But it's one of those tracks that doesn't say as much as the writers maybe thought it did. 


#8 ~ I Can't Win For Losin' You ~ Earl Thomas Conley

This song should remind today's songwriters that the best lines are not twelve words long. Five words, if they're the right words, are the mark of great songwriting. GREAT songwriting. Shout out to Robert Byrne and Rick Bowles. HUGE shout out to the late master Earl Thomas Conley who made this track magic. A great song, a great, soulful singer; a track that will pull couples onto the dance floor (trust me). What dos that add up to? A classic.


#7 ~ Fire In The Sky ~ Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

This group is capable of so much more. I don't even know what this is, but it's a mistake. The track seems to have one foot in (bad) eighties pop and one toe in country. The key changes do nothing to improve it. And the Kenny G-type sax -- c'mon. Even Jeff Hanna's voice is buried in this rancid stew.


#6 ~ Right Hand Man ~ Eddy Raven

Never wear your boots outside your pants, but that has nothing to do with the track itself. I just felt a need to mention it after viewing the video. Hmmm, this is kind of a little nothing song, but it does have a pleasant melody. Surprisingly, this topped out at number three for Eddy. If I heard it once (which I just did now) I'd never care to hear it again.


#5 ~ Straight To The Heart ~ Crystal Gayle

While watching Crystal perform this song, my mind wandered. I wondered if she'd ever cut her hair (spoiler alert: no). A wandering mind is the mark of a bad song, which this most definitely is. They all can't be winners, I guess. But they all don't need to be this bad.


#4 ~ I'll Come Back As Another Woman ~ Tanya Tucker

It's near impossible for this woman to do a bad performance. This is but one of a ton of Tucker hits, and a minor one. In the hands of a lesser singer this song would be a mess. I would listen to it again, but it's not $-worthy. So, no, I wouldn't buy it. Or include it in a 1987 Spotify retrospective. Another half-grade bump based on the singer.


#3 ~ How Do I Turn You On ~ Ronnie Milsap

It's a sad fact of show biz that 99.9% of artists have a shelf life (the other .1% are named George Strait). This track reeks of desperation. I would never play this again and would celebrate my superior taste in successfully avoiding it. Love ya, though, Ronnie.



#2 ~ Half Past Forever (Till I'm Blue In The Heart) ~ T.G. Sheppard

See: "Shelf life (Ronnie Milsap)". The first thing Sheppard shouldn't have done was try to sing in a higher register. I think there's a reason I've never heard this track before. I'll just say it: this is putrid.


#1 ~ Leave Me Lonely ~ Gary Morris

A totally forgettable track. This makes me want to lie down and go to sleep. I don't know what this guy's deal is. I guess he performed on Broadway or something, and went slumming into country music and fooled some people. I don't get it and I don't get him. The only reason this track gets a bump is because T.G. Sheppard's song is so bad.



This was a fun experiment. Was. Now I'm simply depressed. I happen to know that country music wasn't this bad in 1987 as a whole. Maybe it's just that the year was new and listeners didn't know how much wondrous music was yet to come. Or maybe if one sorts out the chaff, they're left with one classic track. Is there only one classic country song released each year? That can't be right. I might have simply stumbled on the wrong year.

I should be celebrating Earl Thomas Conley's A+++ instead of dwelling on the absolute drivel. 

Celebrate the good. Forget the rest.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Happy Bir....

(To my friend, "Your Name Here")

My birthday isn't until tomorrow, but I'm choosing to celebrate it tonight. 

When I was a kid, I considered the year 2000 and thought, wow, I'll be forty-five! Essentially on my death bed! The good news is, it's 2018 and I'm still kickin'. And I know now that forty-five is nothing. When I was forty-five, gravity was still averted. You know that picture you run across from 1945 in the ragged family photo album and you think, really? That's my mom? Turns out that, yes, we all were young and dewy-skinned once. I don't look like myself anymore, but I'm so used to my countenance in the morning mirror that I don't give it a second thought. It's only when I (accidentally) see a photograph of myself that I realize some grievous calamity has apparently occurred.

I've given up on regaining my lost figure. It just doesn't work anymore. I'm not going to become one of those delusional fitness fanatics. I've never exercised more than ten days in my life and I'm not about to start now. Plus, I deserve to eat.

The thing about turning 63 is that I spend more time looking back than forward. I mostly choose to remember the good things. It's not that I've forgotten the bad. I can conjure up those memories in a snap if I choose to, but when I do, I tend to view them philosophically, like a neutral bystander. Humans do the best they can do with what they have. I don't hold it against my parents for what they did. They didn't damage me on purpose. 

Today I received some birthday wishes from my co-workers. My best work friend Barb brought me a single-serve DQ cake. It was awesome. The cake had a cobalt-blue plastic butterfly ring atop it and I slipped it on my finger and wore it throughout the day. Everyone I encountered chose to ignore the humongous butterfly encircling my finger; sure (no doubt) that I'd made an unfortunate fashion choice. That made me giggle. A boy (really) that I trained four years ago asked me about my birthday plans and we got to talking about retirement. I told him that 2020 is the year. He said, "It won't be any fun here without you." I didn't realize I was still "fun". I used to be fun back in 1997, when I commanded a department at Aetna (US Healthcare), but I essentially just feel tired now and don't have the energy to be engaging. How lame must everyone else be, that I am regarded as the "fun" one?

I blame (or credit) Sirius Radio with my current state of look-back. Every single song I click on evokes memories. I hover between classic country and sixties and seventies rock; and sometimes fifties rockabilly. Some of the songs make me cry, for reasons only known to me. My best friend died in 2000 (when she was only forty-five). The songs we shared together are bittersweet. I almost feel embarrassed to still love those songs, because Alice is gone and she and I can't share them. 

When I hear John Lennon's voice, my heart breaks a little. John was my education in "real" music, beginning when I was nine years old or so. 

I don't "sum up" when it comes to music. Songs are quicksilver. Songs are not dissectable, like some scientific experiment. Anyone who slices and dices music is not a music lover. I love a song by the Honeycombs and one by Tommy James, and one by Steve Wariner and "God Bless The USA" by Lee Greenwood just because. I like Boston and Gene Pitney and Bobby Bare and Dobie Gray. Nobody needs to know why. 

Happy Birthday to me.

Friday, July 3, 2015

God Bless The USA

Call me old-fashioned. I'm old and I'm "fashioned"?

I still remember attending the Fourth of July parade with my dad, and he loved it. It was pretty much the highlight of his year. And it was actually pretty cool for me, too. Everybody stood up when the flag passed by, and I inevitably got a lump in my throat. But I'm sentimental like that. Just like my dad got sentimental when the old farm implements trudged down Main Street, I was a sucker for the flag.

Because you've gotta stand for something, right?

I was watching a news channel this morning that shall remain nameless, because, you know, politically correct bullshit. And I saw Lee Greenwood. His song took me back to 1985, when both he and I looked a whole lot better, but he's still out there doin' it, whereas I have gotten old and I just miss my dad.

I can't go home, and even if I did, it wouldn't be the same. Dad is gone, Mom is gone. Mom always stayed behind while the rest of us went to the parade, because she had to nurse the potato salad for when we all straggled back home.

My sister Lissa and I would park on the curb with our cameras and our sunglasses and laugh about nothing and everything. My boys would be tromping around the McDonald's parking lot, waiting for the candy-throwers to finally show up, and then they'd lurch out onto the street and battle the other little kids for a piece of taffy to stuff inside their plastic grocery bags.

My big brother Rick would stand alongside my dad and offer prescient comments, while his wife Kathy was still inside McDonald's, chatting up the lunch ladies. My little brother Jay was sort of like ether; here one moment, gone the next.

Lissa and I snapped pictures of the Mandan Braves marching band with their high-white headdresses and black-and-white MANDAN banner. We hoo-rahed the stupid US Healthcare flatbed (me) and the Golden Dragon Restaurant float (her). I applauded the truck that towed the local country band, because, you know, country. We snapped pictures of the same stuff year after year, but we didn't care.

 The Fourth of July is when I miss my dad the most. We shared the same corny patriotic sentiments. We were both sentimental that way.

So, here you go, Dad.

And I still tear up. I can't help it.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The CMA Awards - Lookin' Alive in '85!

Twas the night before Thanksgiving, and what were we thankful for in 1985?

Well, certainly not world events. Quickly scanning the list, I find that there were a bunch of hijackings and other terroristic activities. We don't want to really dwell on that, though. This is supposed to be happy!

So, we (thankfully) move on to pop culture. On the TV front, this was one of the most popular shows; theme song sung by Johnny Mathis and Deniece Williams. And featuring some unknown kid named Michael J. Fox (Sit,Ubu, sit!)

In movies, coincidentally, here is the trailer for the biggest movie of the year; also starring that kid, Michael J. Fox. Wow! This trailer really wants to make me see the movie to find out what happens! (Ha! I kid! I've seen this movie about 1,537 times, and I still love it.)

Hello! McFly!

So, I'm thankful for "Back To The Future".

I'm also thankful that I get to see all the pop stars of the eighties, all in one place! This was one of the most popular recordings of 1985, and also won the Grammy award for record of the year.

And, as I said, they're all here; from Lionel Ritchie, to Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Kenny Rogers, James Ingram, Tina Turner, Billy Joel (my favorite and yours), Michael Jackson in an isolation booth, so he doesn't "catch" anything; Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Willie Nelson (representing the country crowd), Al Jarreau, an overwrought Bruce Springsteen, Kenny Loggins, Steve Perry (!!), Daryl Hall (unfortunately John Oates was relegated to the "chorus"), Huey Lewis, Cyndi Lauper, Kim Carnes, Bob Dylan (who was told to sing it more like "Bob Dylan"), and, of course, Ray Charles.

There were others there, too, but they, I guess, weren't good enough singers to warrant a solo. I mean, I can see Dan Ackroyd not getting a shot, but Smokey Robinson? Anyway, the song was writ' by Lionel and Michael, and the whole kaboodle was directed by Quincy Jones (you know, the dad of the girl who used to be on The Office? ha ha)

So, here you go; enjoy (especially Bruce and Bob - I know I do).

And, you know, the CMA's were not to be outdone. In 1985, they introduced a new category, MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR. So, seeing the writing on the wall, Hank Williams, Jr. thought he'd get a bunch of people together, too - although it just didn't have the same cachet as We Are The World.

So, let me see. As I watch this, I see that little Paul guy who wrote "Evergreen". What's his name again? Oh, sorry. Paul Williams. Then I see that Ernest guy, from all those dumb Ernest movies, who used to do radio commercials, where he was always talking to "Vern". There's ol' George Jones on a riding lawn mower (as if that's not a cliche). William Lee Golden (and his boots) are hitchhiking. Little Jimmy Dickens is there, too, but then, he's in every country music video (right, Brad?) Not to be outdone by William Lee, the other three Oak Ridge Boys arrive by limo (and can you blame them for making William Lee hitch a ride?) Even Waylon and Willie are there! Grandpa Jones is cleaning his window (that he always takes with him), Jim Varney shows up, because at that point, he'll take any gig offered to him). Hey, wait a minute - isn't Jim Varney the "Ernest" guy? Now I've gotten my corny comic actors mixed up! I'm missing someone - help!

But moving on, Cheech Marin stumbles out of a limo. And whaddya know? There's Kris Kristofferson and Bobby Bare! Porter shows up. And even M-M-M-Mel.

So, it sort of would be the "We Are The World" of country in 1985, had it not been for the ringers, and of course, had it actually been for something benefitting humanity, and not just a prelude to Monday Night Football. But, as it is, All My Rowdy Friends Are Comin' Over Tonight won the very first music video of the year award at the 1985 CMA's.

Does it seem like this post is all about name dropping? Well, I am going for the record!

An oddity of 1985 was that an actual "duo" got shoved into another category to make room for this one-time pairing. And even after watching the video, nothing has jogged my memory about this. But here is the VOCAL DUO OF THE YEAR, Anne Murray and Dave Loggins:

Hey, I like both Dave Loggins and Anne Murray, but number one, this is not country, and two, a one-time duet doesn't deserve an "of the year" award, per se.

So, moving to the VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR podium were The Judds (and this was even before Wynonna gained her weight - so it was difficult to categorize them as a "group".)

Here they are at the 1985 Music City News Awards:

Did I mention that Chet Atkins was named INSTRUMENTALIST OF THE YEAR? Well, that's a given at this point, really.

And, oh, by the way, Ricky Skaggs and his Band* were once again named INSTRUMENTAL GROUP OF THE YEAR.

As for FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR, well, Reba McEntire won again! If you recall, back around 1985, Reba was still "country". She was good then! And she looked "natural", as opposed to whatever she's done to herself lately.

This song is from the year that the award was bestowed, but alas, there is no actual video available. I thought it was good enough to include this "picture retrospective", however. At least we can listen to the song together, while we look at the pictures.

As the CMA was wont to do around this time, it liked certain things so much that it awarded them twice! And that's the case with the SONG OF THE YEAR. I can't actually begrudge them doing it. It's just that I maintain there were enough "new" songs/singers/et cetera to choose from, making it unnecessary to engage in reruns. Nevertheless, they liked this one a lot (and rightly so, I guess), to give the award again to Lee Greenwood for "God Bless The USA".

Last time around, I featured a live performance of the song by Lee. This time, I found the actual music video for the song. But to be honest, I can't believe this is the real music video. Because when I think about being proud of my country, the first thing I think of is not football. So, this is probably another one of those promotional things, but here it is anyway:

The SINGLE OF THE YEAR happens to be one of my favorite country songs. But wouldn't you know it, there's no video to be found of The Judds singing this live, or even in a music video.

So, let's watch the out-of-focus pictures as we listen to one of my favorites, Why Not Me.

The HORIZON AWARD went to a workhorse band, Sawyer Brown. Of course, in 1985, no one realized what a workhorse band they were. But believe me, I saw the band in concert more than a few times, so I know they were out there on the road a lot.

I don't know why, but it's really difficult to find Sawyer Brown videos anywhere. But thanks to Windy, I found a site with lots of cool Sawyer Brown videos. Click here:

Mark Miller is a cool guy. And did you know that the band got its start on a show called "Star Search", emceed by Ed McMahon? Well, I remember it. And they were a completely different band at that time - more "jaunty"; less "country". But they redeemed themselves. I just don't know why they don't allow any of their videos to be posted anywhere. But I'm sure they have their reasons.

I have sort of been saving these two awards, cuz well, this is one of the best country singers of ALL TIME. But alas, the available videos are sparse. This has something to do with MCA Records and their short-sightedness. Not to judge, but they could make George's videos available for embedding. I mean, what's it gonna hurt? For pete's sake.

But we work with what we've got (which isn't much). The MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR and ALBUM OF THE YEAR were awarded to George Strait. And no, this song isn't technically from the album of the year, Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind, but go ahead and try to find any videos from this album. Good luck. So here's another song from around that time:

This was 1985, mind you. Now it's 2008, and George is still scoring number one records. So, hmmm.......I guess we know who is a legend and who's but a flash in the pan.

That brings us to the ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR. And I do believe this is the longest CMA post that I've done, and hopefully will ever do again. I don't know how this post got out of hand, but it did. In spades.

Nevertheless, the entertainer of the year was Ricky Skaggs. And here's a number one song by Ricky - an oldie - with his mentor, Bill Monroe:

Tonight, I downloaded a bunch of Ricky Skaggs recordings from Amazon. These posts are influencing me! I had forgotten how much I liked Ricky.

Hall Of Fame

Flatt and Scruggs

Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs brought bluegrass into the mainstream. And yea, they did it partly by providing the backdrop to that sixties chestnut, The Beverly Hillbillies.

But that's not Flatt and Scruggs' only claim to fame.

Here's an old video:

One of the biggest movies of 1967 was "Bonnie and Clyde". And this song set the tone:

Yes, "Foggy Mountain Breakdown".

Marty Stuart started out touring with Lester Flatt as a mere tyke. And Marty won't steer you wrong. So, take it from Marty, and take it from "Bonnie and Clyde". This bluegrass group is a legend.

Thus ends our (long) look back to the CMA's of 1985. Either there was a lot of stuff to talk about, or I have lost my editing ability. But there it is. I don't think 1986 will be quite so wordy, but time will tell.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The CMA Awards - Goin' For More In '84!

Wow, is it 1984 already? Those first few years of the eighties went by fast!

Looking back to the year 1984, one finds that nothing earth-shattering happened in the world of news. But we don't really care about the news anyway, do we? We care about the important stuff, like TV and music. That's the stuff we remember.

So, in pop music, this song was popular and won Grammy awards. Tina was, here, about 72 years old, I believe. So today, that would make her 96 years old, and she's still going out on tour! That's stamina!

A truly classic acceptance speech from the Oscar Awards in 1984 was delivered by somebody we all really, really like.......Sally Field. I mean it; we like her; we really, really like her.

The big three television networks were still serving up their hot piping cauldron of crap; namely prime-time soaps, such as Dynasty and Dallas and any other show that started with the letter "D". There was this show, however, that cracked the top 20:

My brother, and my other brother, were big fans of this show.

But on to the topic at hand - the 1984 CMA Awards.

I bet you can't guess who the INSTRUMENTALIST OF THE YEAR was. No, really. Guess.

If you guessed anyone other than CHET ATKINS, then you haven't been paying attention. Because he, I estimate, won this award approximately 267 times.

For the second straight year, RICKY SKAGGS and his BAND* won the INSTRUMENTAL GROUP OF THE YEAR award.

*band to be named later (actually, Kentucky Thunder)

Here's a gospel tune from the band*:

And, as long as we're talking about two-fers, the MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR statuette was once again presented to LEE GREENWOOD.

Not surprisingly, if you type "Lee Greenwood" in the YouTube search field, all you get is one song! Over and over. Yes, that one. I can attest, however, that Lee did record other songs. I have a CD of Lee's, and it doesn't just have one track. Just to set the record straight.

So, I switched over to, and I did find two Lee Greenwood videos. And yes, one of them is that song. But here's another one (featuring, apparently, Patrick Duffy from that number one prime-time soap, Dallas):

And, after a brief sabbatical, THE STATLER BROTHERS were once again back on top, reclaiming the award for VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR.

Yes, Alabama had kind of swooped in for three years and absconded with the award, but now the Brothers were back! Man, can you imagine if someone had pilfered Chet Atkins's award??

Here are Harold, Phil, Don, and now Jimmy Fortune, doing their version of an old ditty:

A new face appeared in 1984 to claim the FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR award. And much like Barbara Mandrell, we would see this artist standing at the podium many, many times in years to come.

I searched hard to find a video of when this lady was still "country" (and before she had some "work done", I'm guessing). After scrolling through many pages, I found one! This song was recorded a few years after the 1984 awards, but my criteria was to find a country song, so here's 1984's female vocalist of the year, REBA MCENTIRE:

The SONG OF THE YEAR was written by Larry Henley and Jeff Silbar. And yes, I know these are country awards, but the one and only video of Gary Morris performing this song has been removed from YouTube. So, here's the version that everyone remembers anyway (sorry, Gary, but it's true). From that weepie movie (and I mean that in a good way), Beaches, here's THE WIND BENEATH MY WINGS, courtesy of Bette Midler:

Both the ALBUM OF THE YEAR and SINGLE OF THE YEAR belonged to Anne Murray this year. For something that was so popular, you'd think there'd be a video available. But no.

But, you know, I can't just NOT include this. It won two awards, for pete's sake. So, here's a picture to look at, while you listen to the album and single of the year, "A Little Good News":

I've been sort of saving the VOCAL DUO OF THE YEAR category, because it's just so odd and quirky. You know, ol' Willie likes to record duets with, well, everyone. So, here he was, just doing his usual thing, recording duets. He had the guy from Spain drop by the studio one day. They slapped together a little number, and lo and behold, they ended up winning the vocal duo award! Yes, that's right. WILLIE NELSON and JULIO IGLESIAS. And here they are! (And sorry, the audio does tend to cut out on this, but it's the only video available).

Of course, whenever I think of this song, I'm reminded of this, and it's a hoot:

On the HORIZON, here comes a duo that sure could sing country like it was meant to be sung. Sometimes we don't appreciate artists enough when they are on the scene. It takes hindsight to realize just how great they were. I'll admit, Naomi annoyed me a lot. But when she was singing harmony with Wynonna, (as opposed to talking and acting out) well, it was sublime. Here are the 1984 HORIZON AWARD winners, The Judds:

That brings us, of course, to the big award of the night, ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR. Yes, these guys kept on winning a whole bunch of awards through the years (although not vocal group in 1984, snickered Harold Reid). And yes, in retrospect, they deserved all the kudos they received. Here's a 1984 song. Just one of many from their multi-decade career. The 1984 ENTERTAINERS OF THE YEAR, ALABAMA:


Anyone who knows anything about the history of country music surely has heard of Ralph Peer. In 1925, Ralph Peer set out on an odyssey to discover new talent to record for "Victor Records". He traveled to Appalachia, where he found a couple of acts that country-philes may have heard of. And once he found them, he recorded them in the field. Here's one of them:

Here's another:

Without Jimmie Rodgers and without the original Carter Family, well, there wouldn't be country music. And no one would've heard them if it hadn't been for Ralph Peer.

Floyd Tillman

Floyd Tillman came from Willie's old stompin' grounds in Texas, and was an early influence on Willie. Floyd specialized in that musical genre that was indiginous to Texas, western swing. He also had a very distinctive style of singing, as represented here, with his biggest hit song, "Slippin' Around":

Here's another song written by Floyd Tillman, performed here by Shelby Lynne; "I Love You So Much (It Hurts Me)":

So, country music expanded its horizons a bit in 1984, welcoming a pop singer from Spain and a country-pop singer from Canada, while still recognizing the contributions from states such as ALABAMA. 1984 saw the rise of future legends The Judds and Reba McEntire. And we can't forget that Chet Atkins was apparently the most famous country star of the UNIVERSE.

I'm looking forward to 1985, if for no other reason than to find out if Chet wins again!

Friday, November 21, 2008

The CMA Awards - Yippee For 1983!

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.

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.


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.


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!