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The Country Music Awards Shows Sure Have Changed

Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard
Bryan Steffy/Getty Images for The Smith Center

I try to watch the Academy Of Country Music Awards Show. I really do.

I try to watch the Country Music Association Awards Show. I’m not kidding, I have it on my television, I turn it up.

But then I turn it down. I change the channel and try to find ‘Gunsmoke’ or ‘Bonanza’.

‘Tis true. Country Music has largely passed me by. I think it does it to everybody eventually. I’ve talked about it before.

I remember the day’s when Waylon, Willie, Paycheck, even the Oaks or Kenny Rogers came on TV. My Dad would watch for a few minutes, then turn it down and turn the channel. Difference was, back in ‘those days’, he didn’t have to go far on the TV dial. We only had one other channel.

But the point is, the Waylon/Willie/Paycheck that I loved, well, it had passed him by. It wasn’t Lefty, Ernest, Buck or any of the Hank’s he had loved 20 years before.

And so, now I’ve arrived at that rest stop and I watch these ‘new’ artist’s zip by. They have names like Aldean, Bryan, Church and Owen. Oh, and Swift. Swift everywhere, can’t get away from Swift.

And you know what? God Bless ‘em. My kids like them fine, and my Grandkids like ‘em fine, too. For now. Eventually, my kids will find this rest stop, listen to ‘what’s new’ and realize it’s not their country music.

But for now, well, give me an awards show that has Willie introducing Merle singing ‘That’s The Way Love Goes’.

And that’s the way Country Music Goes, too.

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