Since last week’s CMT Music Awards, some in the industry have made some comments concerning the telecast’s relatively short tribute to George Jones upon his recent passing. On the show, the singer was briefly mentioned, and the Mavericks played into a commercial break with Jones’s 1964 hit “The Race Is On.”
One artist who definitely wasn’t happy with the programming decision was Naomi Judd. The singer has written a letter to the editor in the Nashville Tennessean, taking the network and producers to task.
George Jones is to country music what The Beatles are to pop, the Rolling Stones to rock, Elvis to rockabilly, Mozart to classical and Aretha to soul.
Yet, the “Country” Music Television awards show allowed only a “by the way” mention of Jones’ death and legacy. Incongruously, they chose alternative music group the Mavericks to perform their short version of George’s “The Race Is On.”
True country music fans are a loyal bunch and are passionate about our roots and heritage.
Every year, CMT includes artists of unrelated genres, many of whom some country music fans don’t even know. I suggest the CMT Awards show change its name. Perhaps to “the Multi-Genre Awards Show, Featuring Artists under 30.”
I realize speaking out will cause me to now be forever banned by CMT. But I’m tired of folks messing with my country music. Especially when it involves my dear friend George Jones.
Ironically, Judd has been a featured personality on CMT before, and has appeared as a judge on the show “Can You Duet.” In her letter, Judd mentioned “unrelated genres,” in a reference to the network’s trend to place acts such as Nelly and Lenny Kravitz on the show. However, the ratings for the show were extremely strong, with over 3.4 million viewers tuning in for the telecast and the encore.