Academy of Country Music
|Headquarters||Encino, California, USA|
The Academy of Country Music (ACM) 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 Christensen 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 Campbell, 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 1970, the organization 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. 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).
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.
- "Academy of Country Music - Mission". acmcountry.com. Retrieved April 5, 2012.