Off-Camera ACM Award Winners Announced; Big Machine to Start Third Label; New Music Videos

Ken Morton, Jr. | March 24th, 2014

Career Achievement Award: Toby Keith, Ronnie Milsap

Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award: Bob Beckham

Crystal Milestone Award: Merle Haggard

Gene Weed Special Achievement Award: Carrie Underwood

Jim Reeves International Award: Steve Buchanan, Rascal Flatts

Mae Boren Axton Award: Paul Moore

Poet’s Award: Jack Clement, Dean Dillon, Kris Kristofferson, Buck Owens

Bass Player of the Year: Michael Rhodes

Drummer of the Year: Shannon Forrest

Guitar Player of the Year: Rob McNelley

Piano/Keyboards Player of the Year: Charlie Judge

Producer of the Year: Dan Huff

Specialty Instrument Player of the Year: Bryan Sutton

Songwriter of the Year: Shane McAnally

  • Rebecca Lynn Howard has formed a new band called Loving Mary along with Suzie McNeil, Marti Frederiksen and Elisha Hoffman.
  • Big Machine is launching their third label, Dot Records. From The New York Times: Dot, to be run by Chris Stacey, a former promotion executive at Warner Music Nashville, revives the name of a celebrated independent label that was active from 1950 until the late 1970s, with a diverse roster that started with gospel and R&B and moved into pop, rock and country…Like Republic Nashville, Dot will be a joint venture between Big Machine, in Nashville, and Republic Records in New York, a division of the Universal Music Group. The deal reflects the rapid rise of Big Machine and its founder, Scott Borchetta, and the label’s increasingly strong ties to Universal. What music Dot will release, however, is unclear. No artists have been signed to the label yet. And in interviews last week, Mr. Borchetta and Monte Lipman, the chairman of Republic Records, were tight-lipped about what direction Dot would take, saying only that it would take shape as it grew.
  • Joey and Rory Feek unveiled a video called “The Birth of Indiana” that celebrates the recent birth of their daughter. Rory has also started a blog called This Life I Live which will chronicle the couple’s life raising their beautiful baby, who has Down Syndrome.
  • The effervescent C.M. Wilcox has a new Quotable Country feature up at Country California.
  • Two-time IBMA award-winner Kathy Kallick has a brand new album called Cut to the Chase.
  • Miss Piggy of the The Muppets has a cute crush on Blake Shelton.
  • Longtime steel guitar player Bobbe Seymour passed away last week, reports Gary Hayes. Seymour played with the likes of Ferlin Husky, Jean Shepard, Stonewall Jackson and Billy Walker.
  • Amy Grant and Vince Gill dish on their marriage. Gill is also going to be a grandpa: his daughter, Jenny, is pregnant.
  • David Nail talked about his battle with depression in this feature written by The Tennessean’s Cindy Watts.
  • Brandy Clark shared her biggest “pinch me” moments with HitFix Music.
  • Jason Michael Carroll will be heading overseas on an extensive USO tour in May (via press release).
  • Buck Owens was Number 39 on CMT’s All-Time Top 40 Artist’s Choice countdown.
  • Craig Shelburne reviewed George Strait’s recent Nashville concert. Guest stars included Eric Church and Kenny Chesney.
  • The Luke Bryan EP Spring Break 6… Like We Ain’t Ever sold 74,000 copies in its first week.
  • Singer-turned-radio-personality Julie Reeves will return to the Grand Ole Opry stage this week.
  • Byron Fay looks back at an article (written in 2000) about the Opry and then-new general manager Pete Fisher’s vision for the show.
  • New music videos from the past week or so:

Miranda Lambert“Automatic” (Live at the Opry) 

Amber Hayes“Cotton Eyed Joe”

The Jepettos“Even Though”

Carissa Leigh“Bad Boy” 

Jessie Lee Cates“Scotland”

Kevin Chase“Whole Lotta Honey”

Chris Young“Who I Am with You”

Charla Corn“In My Heart” 

Erin Enderlin“I Let Her Talk”

Maggie Rose“Looking Back Now”

Jimmy Rankin“Cool Car”

Thomas Rhett“Get Me Some of That”

The Saint Johns“Your Head and Your Heart”

John Nemeth“Sooner or Later”

Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road“That’s Kentucky” 


  1. bob
    March 24, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    Glad to hear about Striking Matches getting a record deal. Does anyone else agree that they’re incredibly talented – which sadly won’t guarantee commercial success. The Brandy Clark article indicates that her “12 Stories” album has struggled to find a wide audience but I see that LB’s Spring Break EP sold 74,000 copies in its first week. Seems crazy.

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