Academy of Country Music
|Headquarters||Encino, California, USA|
The Academy of Country Music was founded in 1964 in Los Angeles, California as the Country & Western Music Academy. Among those involved in the founding was Eddie Miller and Tommy Wiggins, who joined Mickey and Chris Christensen. They wanted to promote country music in the western 13 states with the support of artist based on the West Coast. Artist such as Johnny Bond, Glen Camobell, Merle Haggard, Roger Mill, and many more influenced them. The ball finally started rolling in 1965 when a board of directors was formed to govern the Academy.
The Country Music Association was founded in 1958 based in Nashville, while the Academy sought to promote country/western music in the western states. During the early 1970s, the organisation changed its name to the Academy of Country and Western Music and finally to the Academy of Country Music to avoid confusion about whether the organization was a music school. As such, its early membership was largely composed of those country performers based in the west. This is evidenced by the early awards shows being dominated by Bakersfield artists Buck and Bonnie Owens, and Merle Haggard. Due to the convergence of country and western music into one genre in the late 20th century, the Academy and the Association no longer have a significant distinction in the artists each organization promotes and recognizes.
At the first ceremony held in 1966, honoring the industry and artist from the previous year. This ceremony was the first awards ceremony in country music and created a huge spotlight for the genre. Winners from the first ceremony included Kay Adams, Merle Haggard, Bonnie Owens and Buck Owens. Fran Boyd, the first paid employee, created the signature “hat” trophy which is still around today. The organization changed its name from the Academy of Country and Western Music to the Academy of Country Music. They did this to avoid confusion on whether or not the organization was a music school or awards ceremony. During this change, they expanded the efforts by sponsoring “Country Music Caravan” in Los Angeles and promoting their efforts to benefit Prisoners of War (also held in Los Angeles).
Not only does the Academy sponsor industry’s and artist in Country Music but they put on events such as the Celebrity Golf Classic, held in Los Angeles, which has become a popular annual event that raises more than $1 million for charity. This brings attention to the Academy amongst celebrities who then use their fame to promote it throughout society.
All of these bring major attention to the country music aspect in California. Without the Academy of Country Music people would not relate California and country music. This ceremony is so prestigious and well known that California has become such a major contributor to the success of country music and the members of the industry.
The awards are “dedicated to honoring and showcasing the biggest names and emerging talent in the country music industry.” Every year, the ceremony is televised live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Typically, the ACM Awards are presented in April or May and recognize the achievements from the previous year. The most prestigious awards are for Artist of the Decade and Entertainer of the Year. There are a number of other awards to recognize male and female vocalists, albums, videos, songs and musicians. The awards are typically presented in April or May and recognize achievement for the previous year.
Many times artist may receive more than one nomination that factors into the final count. While picking the nominees, the academy reflects on the past nominees of that category and sees if any individual, duo or groups have similar accomplishments of the past year.
The winners are chosen both by the official academy and also by the general public. This entails more people to watch and feel a part of the show. When people feel connected and a part of a cause they generally become more involved. This leads to more viewings and attendance for the Academy of Country Music.
- "Academy of Country Music - Mission". acmcountry.com. Retrieved April 5, 2012.