Here’s a look at some key moments in the history of the Country Music Association Awards, which honor the best of the country music (the 47th annual CMAs air on Wednesday night).
– 1967: The first CMA Awards were not televised. It is billed as a “Banquet and Show,” hosted by Sonny James and Bobbie Gentry. The Jack Greene hit “There Goes My Everything” wins single and song of the year. Greene’s album, “There Goes My Everything” is named album of the year. Eddy Arnold becomes the first CMA Entertainer of the year.
– 1968: The CMA gets televised on NBC. It does not air live: It is taped and shown about two weeks later as part of “Kraft Music Hall.” Glen Campbell is named entertainer of the year in a ceremony hosted by Roy Rogers and Dale Evans.
– 1971: Charley Pride becomes the first african-american to win CMA entertainer of the year as the CMAs air independently as an NBC special.
– 1972: Loretta Lynn becomes the first woman to win CMA entertainer of the year.
– 1975: In a shocking moment, on live television, reigning entertainer of the year does not announce the name of John Denver when he wins the top prize. He instead sets fire to the card in disgust (some believed Denver was too pop to be considered country). Denver accepts the award via satellite from Australia.
– 1981: Barbara Mandrell makes history, becoming the first artist to win entertainer of the year more than once. Meanwhile, the horizon award is introduced to honor new artists, and Terri Gibbs takes that honor.
– 1991: President George H.W. Bush and first lady Barbara Bush attend the ceremonies, which were dominated by Garth Brooks. He wins four trophies, including entertainer of the year, album of the year for “No Fences” among others.
– 1999: Shania Twain becomes the first female to win entertainer of the year in 13 years.
– 2000: The Dixie Chicks take home four awards, including entertainer of the year and album of the year for “Fly.” Brad Paisley wins the horizon award.
– 2005: For the first time, the awards are held outside of Nashville, airing from New York City. Keith Urban wins entertainer of the year.
– 2009: Taylor Swift becomes the youngest person to win CMA entertainer of the year at age 19.
– 2012: Blake Shelton takes home three trophies, including a song of the year trophy with wife Miranda Lambert, but the biggest win is for entertainer of the year.