Inside the CMA Awards Vault

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From its beginnings in 1967, the Country Music Association Awards broadcast has featured an ever-evolving lineup of some of country music’s most popular and well-loved artists, from Johnny Cash and Minnie Pearl to the ’90s glamour of Reba McEntire and Garth Brooks, to the invasion of younger artists such as Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift. The show’s production value has expanded immensely from the early days of being broadcast on radio to today’s annual glamorous televised shows complete with pyrotechnics, numerous performances and luxurious gowns.

In her new book,The CMA Awards Vault, author and Country Weekly contributor Deborah Evans Price traces the award show’s history from 1967 and reveals moments both touching and hilarious that CMA Awards viewers have never seen, thanks to a mix of scrapbook-style photos and interviews with some of country music’s top artists. For example, Trisha Yearwood reveals that after her first CMA performance of her debut hit, “She’s in Love With the Boy,” her mother sent a thank-you note to the show’s producer.

The book is filled with interesting extras drawn from the Country Music Association, including replicas of tickets to the CMA’s 40th anniversary show and a program for the very first awards show in 1967, reproductions of a note to the CMA from the Charlie Daniels Band in 1980, and a duplicate of a set-design blueprint from the 2009 CMA Awards.

The book is now available at book retail stores and online outlets.

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