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COUNTRY MUSIC / ROCK N ROLL
Rock and roll (also known as rock 'n' roll) is a form of music that evolved in the United States in the late 1940s and early 1950s, with roots in mainly Blues , Country , R&B , Folk and Gospel music, and quickly spread to the rest of the world.
We all know the story of the evolution of Rock n Roll from it's roots. We have discussed the parallel lines between Classic Rock and Country Rock, Southern Rock, Rockabilly etc. and the crossover artists.
I have added this topic to post articles and news that apply to the country side of rock. It may include
and just about anything else that we would like to post here : )
CMA helped country music survive surge of rock 'n' roll
50 years later, association faces new challenges
Fifty years ago, the still-fledgling country music industry was a house of cards in a rock 'n' roll-fueled windstorm.
Honky-tonk heroes Webb Pierce, Lefty Frizzell and Ernest Tubb saw their fan bases dissipate as listeners flocked to Elvis Presley. Grand Ole Opry attendance fell drastically, radio stations clamored to play the new music of America's youth, and Pierce, Little Jimmy Dickens and others flirted with rock-inspired sounds in a failed attempt to keep pace.
Under those circumstances, a group of publishers, performers, songwriters, radio folks and other insiders banded together to try to right the ship.
"They want ed there to be a resurgence," said Jo Walker-Meador, who in 1962 became the executive director of the new organization called the Country Music Association. "And they thought that it'd be easier and better if all facets of the business were involved."
"They" were a group that included broadcaster and founding President Connie B. Gay, music publisher Wesley Rose, radio executive Harry Stone (who was the CMA's first director), musician Mac Wiseman and others. The group held its first meeting on Nov. 20, 1958, and in the ensuing half century the CMA has grown in size, reach and budget.
The organization puts on an annual awards show (which began in 1967) and the summertime CMA Music Festival, and it created the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1961. This year, the CMA has launched a research project to identify country consumers and find ways to market the music in a frantic digital age. In 1958, though, it was more about personal conversations with radio station owners.
"We had people who knew how to sell country (advertising) time, and those volunteers went into radio markets and helped us convince them to change," Walker-Meador said.
Hall of Fame funded
In the 1960s, the country industry began to rebound, on the strength of the crossover-friendly "Nashville Sound" records produced by Owen Bradley, Chet Atkins, Don Law and others. And success bred success: Artists, labels and publishers gave up their royalties and allowed the CMA to sell two compilation albums filled with hit songs. Those sales put money in the coffers and allowed the CMA to move forward with plans to build a Hall of Fame.
Walker-Meador served as executive director until 1991, and her place in the Country Music Hall of Fame is evidence of her accomplishments during that time. A key moment came in 1968, when NBC agreed to televise the CMA Awards show.
"The pay was pitiful — about $25,000 — but it got the ball rolling," Walker-Meador said. "We had a number of syndicated shows, but getting network television was major for country music."
Under Walker-Meador, and under later directors Ed Benson and Tammy Genovese, the CMA has been a gathering ground for industry leaders. It is to the music what a White House Cabinet is for the president.
"You take people of disparate interests and parts of the business and put them at a table, let them get to know each other and educate each other so people don't act myopically," said Benson, who joined the CMA in 1979 and was chief executive from 1992 through the beginning of 2006.
"We constantly harped on the issue of confidentiality, because we came to realize that certain potential strategies would be compromised if they were talked about before they were properly vetted."
Case in point: the 2001 "Country: Admit It, You Love It" branding campaign that Benson hoped to roll out on the CMA's own schedule. But board members spoke publicly early on about the campaign, and fans railed against the seeming absurdity of selling country as a guilty pleasure.
When Benson arrived at the CMA in 1979, the organization had a $2 million operating budget. By the time he left, the budget had grown to more than $30 million, the Fan Fair festival had been moved downtown from the fairgrounds and renamed CMA Music Festival, and the CMA Awards show had made a one-off sojourn to New York City. Genovese took over in 2006 at a time when digital downloads and falling CD sales presented a challenge nearly as frightening as the 1950s rock revolution.
"As an organization and an industry, we've had to shift, fast," Genovese said. "But I feel that at CMA we're positioned to do things for our industry that we've not done before. We've promoted country music and put artists in front of millions with prime-time shows, but what we're doing now is working on a major research project to find out who our new consumer is and how they're consuming music."
As Genovese celebrates the CMA's 50th anniversary, she sees it less as a booster club and more as a fact-finder and think tank.
"In the past, you'd ask someone, 'Why are you a CMA member,' and the answer was, 'Well, it's a community and I want to join it.' Now, we're trying to be the trade organization to help the business community get their arms around a real business plan. I want people to feel that they need us and that we're going to make a difference in people's lives and careers."
I thought this was a really interesting article. I am posting the link. If you have a chance, check out the some of the comments. Diane