The CMA Awards Continue to Snub the Hall of Fame Inductees

Brady Vercher | October 20th, 2007

2007 Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees As has been previously reported, the induction of the newest members to the Country Music Hall of Fame will not be aired on the CMA Awards, nor are there plans to even mention them on the three hour broadcast, all under the guise that there isn’t time to do them justice. What a cop out and sorry excuse if there ever was one. It’s as if completely ignoring them on the broadcast will do them more justice. It seems Chet Flippo shares my frustrations:

Am I the only one who thinks that it’s very unfortunate that Jamie Foxx and the Eagles will be on the CMA
Awards show, but the three new inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame will not be? Let me see, Vince Gill and Mel Tillis and Ralph Emery, as the newest members of the Hall of Fame, will not even be mentioned during the show, but Foxx and the Eagles get prominent screen time? Don’t get me wrong. I love the Eagles’ music and Foxx is a marvelous talent, but … Foxx and the Eagles did not build country music. Tillis, Gill and Emery were hugely important in the rise of country. I think there’s an important lesson here. As the wise University of Texas football coach Darrell Royal used to say, “Dance with who brung you.”

Gimme a break. Jamie Foxx and the Eagles are performing and they can’t find time to honor Mel Tillis, Vince Gill, and Ralph Emery. Granted Foxx will join Rascal Flatts, but it will be their second performance of the night. If you haven’t heard the song from their new album, it’s terrible. How can the CMAs find time to market a bad song that no one will remember or even care about in a couple of years, completely ignore the Hall of Fame inductees, and still consider their awards show to be prestigious?

Kevin from Country Universe conveyed his disbelief at the following quote from the COO of the CMA:

“This is destined to be the sort of one-of-a-kind performance the CMA Awards are known for,” said Tammy Genovese, CMA Chief Operating Officer. “When there is a meaningful and tangible connection between artists from seemingly diverse musical styles, bringing them together on the CMA Awards creates magical moments that resonate with our audience and expand awareness of the format.”

That’s a bunch of corporate bologna. Look, I’m sure some of the class acts performing that night would gladly relinquish their spots to honor the inductees, and I sure as hell know who would receive a bigger ovation between the inductees and Foxx/The Eagles/latest pop band. It’s all beyond me. So what’s your take on the whole issue? Am I off base, or do you share my thoughts? Leave a comment and let us know.

After a local DJ expressed his frustrations on air–check out those poll results–and gave out the CMA contact information, I figured I’d do the same. If you’d like to contact the Country Music Association to express your displeasure, their contact information is below.

One Music Circle South
Nashville, TN 37203
(615) 244-2840 (Phone)
(615) 726-0314 (Fax)

  1. Dave S
    October 20, 2007 at 5:15 pm

    I totally agree with you Brady! I’m so disgusted by this whole fiasco with ignoring the inductees and letting so many clowns perform, that I will not be watching the show for the first time in my life.

    Seeing Miranda Lambert perform will be the only worthwhile moment of the show for me anyway. Certainly I am not going to see anyone I want to win the awards because I base my opinions of artists on talent and the quality of their music, rather than sales and airplay like the CMA voters do.

    I will be looking for Miranda’s performance from that night on YouTube.

  2. Dick Sutliff
    October 20, 2007 at 5:49 pm

    It might be a good idea to get some people who know a thing or three about REAL country music, not the nonsense that passes for country these days. Today’s country simply has no soul. It’s just worthless drivel. Where’s TNN when we need it?

  3. Kevin
    October 20, 2007 at 5:56 pm

    Vince Gill is nominated for two awards this year, and is the show’s legendary host. He should use Joe Torre as an inspiration and not attend this year’s ceremony. What an insult.

  4. Matt C
    October 20, 2007 at 9:37 pm

    I’m actually not bothered by this. It’s an unfortunate year to stop the practice because of the history between Vince Gill and the CMA Awards and the fact that all three inductees are very prominent Nashville figures. However, it’s never been clear to me why exactly the CMA Awards show should recognize the Hall of Fame inductees. I was the CMA Awards last year, and while George Stait got a very nice reception, it was painful to watch the audience’s very lukewarm appreciation of Sonny James and Harold Bradley. It was clear that many in attendance didn’t know who they were and didn’t care. I expected some people to gripe about this, but I actually think that you better honor the inductees in a seperate ceremony devoted to the Hall of Famers and attended by people with a greater appreciation for the history of the music.

  5. C. Eric Banister
    October 21, 2007 at 7:35 am

    Matt C.: “However, it’s never been clear to me why exactly the CMA Awards show should recognize the Hall of Fame inductees.”

    I would say that the CMA should recognize them because it is the CMA who runs the Hall of Fame inductions. I’m not sure that the current inductees would have the same problem with recogniction with the audience. If they do, that just further defines the problem of attracting fans that have no knowledge or desire to know about the history of the genre. I’m not saying it is neccesary that every new country fan is some how required to delve into the history of the genre, but it seems like the world could do without a second Rascal Flatts song to honor the past.

  6. Brady Vercher
    October 21, 2007 at 9:01 am

    Kevin, that would be awesome.

    Induction into the Hall of Fame is a lifetime achievement award that should be shared with the whole world. I think the broadcast would serve as the wedding ceremony and something like you’re talking about, Matt, would serve as the reception. The people who helped build country music shouldn’t be tossed aside in favor of the flavor of the moment. I would consider that an insult, especially considering Vince Gill’s history with the show.

  7. Rand
    October 21, 2007 at 9:51 am

    The Eagles actually DID help build country music……..probably more so than the Hall of Fame Inductees. Almost every song that came out between 1989 and 1998 (and even a few now and then these days) was a direct parody of an Eagles song or was written around “Eagles” singing or harmony. ANY mainstream country band that formed post-1984 (except BR549) was structured like the Eagles. The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (who in fact influenced the Eagles themselves) ended up changing the sound/makeup/presentation of the band in the 80s to mimic the Eagles.

    You don’t have to like it, but their influence runs very VERY deep.

    Jaime Fox on the other hand, did not. So here your complaint is justified.

  8. Brady Vercher
    October 21, 2007 at 3:14 pm

    I realize the Eagles were influential, but they didn’t participate in the genre and certainly didn’t contribute the time and effort that the current inductees did towards bettering country music. So now that it’s time to honor those who did dedicate their careers to the genre, I’d expect them to be the ones being honored.

  9. Heidi
    October 21, 2007 at 6:25 pm

    Matt C has some very valid points. The CMA induction ceremony last year was painful. I do think that sharing this achievement with the world is good and that the world needs less Rascal Flatts but I’m also okay with them not including the ceremony this year.

  10. Brady Vercher
    October 21, 2007 at 9:34 pm

    The argument that it was painful just doesn’t work for me. Who is it painful for? The inductees? The audience? I don’t understand how accepting a lifetime achievement award shared by so few could be considered painful or embarrassing.

    If the CMA feels like the inductees aren’t getting the attention they deserve at the ceremony itself, then they should do more to highlight their achievements and promote country music’s history in the marketing efforts leading up to the ceremony. Granted my whole argument is based upon my stance that the inductees are getting shafted, but I suppose I can’t personally argue anything on their behalf.

  11. Matt C
    October 21, 2007 at 11:19 pm

    Brady, I guess that it comes down to why you feel that the inductees are getting shafted. Is it because they’re not being sufficiently honored? At this point, it’s clear that if a Hall of Fame Ceremony were to be included in the awards show, it would be a drive-through induction sandwiched between Rascal Flatts performances and witnessed by many people who probably wonder why Mel Tillis is going into the hall of fame instead of the Eagles. It seems like the only advantage that the CMA Awards show offers anymore in terms of honoring the nominees is exposure to a larger audience. On balance, I think an extended ceremony dedicated to the inductees and attended by an appreciative audience would be preferable to a brief segment that happens to be nationally televised. Of course, that’s just my opinion, and I’m clearly not getting inducted into the CMHOF.

  12. Brady Vercher
    October 22, 2007 at 12:12 am

    I think they’re getting shafted because I think the reasons the CMA has given are dishonest and selfish. I have no problems with the official induction ceremony being a separate function and do think it’s a great idea to better honor the inductees, but why is it a good idea to completely exclude them from the broadcasted award ceremony and not even mention them? I don’t see why it has to be one or the other and not both. And what’s the message being sent if the CMA doesn’t consider members of the Country Music Hall of Fame as being representative of country music? The desire to appeal to a younger audience and the attempt to receive higher ratings is the motivating factor, rather than honoring the most deserving. Sure, it may be an idealistic thought, but what’s to keep country from losing its identity when rating become the only goal?

  13. C. Eric Banister
    October 22, 2007 at 7:39 am

    The CMA could borrow from the Grammy’s and pair each of the inductees up with a star to present an award. Just before they read the nominees have the star congratulate the inductee and list a few accomplishments. It wouldn’t take that much time and it would recognize the inductees and tie it in with the awards show.

  14. Matt C.
    October 22, 2007 at 11:46 am

    Brady, you raise another worthy aspect of the issue. When I was first getting in to country music, I watched the CMA Awards and I had never heard of the Hall of Fame inductees. I discovered their music through the exposure that they were given on the awards show and this was some of my first exposure to traditional country music. While I think that most of the CMA television audience couldn’t care less about the CMHOF inductees, those new fans that might be receptive to traditional country music lose a valuable chance to discover the music’s history.

  15. Valerie
    October 23, 2007 at 4:49 pm

    The CMA Show is THREE HOURS long, mostly performances. Personally I wouldn’t care if they cut out a few performances in order to make room to honor the HOF inductees. And WHY does Rascal Flatts have the ‘honor’ of getting to perform TWICE on the show when there are so many others who would be honored to be able to perform, even once? Like was mentioned in the article, Vince Gill is up for two awards, plus he’s one of the HOF inductees, but yet he’s being totally ignored by the CMA…he won’t be honored along with the other HOF inductees and he’s not on the list of performers, either…all this after he gave so many years to hosting the show.

  16. Brenda
    October 23, 2007 at 4:51 pm

    I was so disappointed when I heard they wouldn’t be honored on the show. It’s one of the moments that I always look forward to – I love the history of country music and all those who contributed to it. Things started going downhill with the Hall of Fame honorees a few years ago when Alabama was shown unbelievable disrespect when their speeches were cut off. I know, that’s a network thing but it was still disrespectful. Is it possible that CMT or GAC could start airing the actual induction ceremony in the same way that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony is aired.

  17. Paul W Dennis
    October 23, 2007 at 9:05 pm

    There was a time when the two highlights of the CMA Awards were the Entertainer of the Year presentation and the announcement of the new HOF inductee. This began to change when radio stations switched to playing only music available on CD, and would not accept requests for past hits unless they were available on CD. Since it took many years for most of the Country oldies to become available on CD (actually 10+ years), an entire audience grew up with no exposure to the great artists of the past

    It doesn’t surprise me that much of the audience views crsp like Rascal Flatts and the Eagles as being country – they had no audible reference point to show otherwise. It’s their loss

  18. Mary Lou
    October 24, 2007 at 7:30 am

    I am very disappointed in the decision to omit the recognition of these wonderful country artists on the awards show. They could easily cut a couple of performances to give them the acknowledgement they so richly deserve. The people who are inducted each year may not be what the radio is playing every day, but they have all contribulted greatly to the history of country music, and continue to do so. Maybe the people/or persons being inducted is someone that we don’t know, but does that mean we forget them. Rascal Flatts is one of my favorite groups, but two performances by them is not necessary. Someday they will be the ones being inducted, and some other band will be getting radio time. At that time, I hope they get the proper recognition also. I’m tired of seeing the people who have given so much to country music be ignored, while the stars who are selling the most records, and are currently hot on the charts get more than enough attention. Please, let’s take a few moments to give proper respect to these awesome talents, and not ignore their important moment in favor of a few minutes of the current favorites.

  19. Susan
    February 12, 2008 at 1:27 am

    Just another sign at the loss of respect for the Inductees. Such a shame. Another is the delay in doing a catch-up induction to give those deserving their rightful place before shoving in all of the newer ones. It’s just not how you’re supposed to treat the ones that made Nashville “The Music City”.

  20. Tommie Bryant
    June 4, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    ONE YEAR LATER – Same old, same old. Hall of Fame Inductees getting the cold shoulder again! The Statler Brothers for Heaven sakes! EmmY Lou! Tom T. Hall! The late Pop Stoneman. All of the living acts would be an asset to any show’s line-up! But nooooooo

  21. Tommie Bryant
    June 4, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    ONE YEAR LATER/2008- Same old, same old. Hall of Fame Inductees getting the cold shoulder again. The Statler Brothers for heaven’s sake! Emmy Lou! Tom T. Hall! The late Pop Stoneman. All of the “living” acts should/would be as asset to ANY show’s line-up! But, noooo……..

  22. Ricky Moeller
    July 12, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    My father Larry A. Moeller lifetime member of the cma L-66 The individuals inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame are truly people who have touched the hearts and minds of people who listen to music of all the diversity of mankind.thru their artistry they have achieved recognition by the voters certifying their greatness and talent for the world to appreciate with pride and adulation
    So who cares who plays the cma awards show have ac dc if you want to,music is music,but the inductees that grace The Country Music Hall Of Fame should always be the cornerstone of any CMA function that,s why my dad and other founders founded it in the first damn place!Music City USA is on the map of the world because of the pioneers who had a grand ole vision of country music in Nashville Tn.they run the blues off to Memphis to show they meant business.I,ve had wonderful 54yr livelihood because of their legacy so if you can read and you ain,t deaf dance with the one that brung ya and if you cut the pie into smaller pieces then everyone can have a slice!

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