New Book Chronicles CMA Awards History

The glamour, history, backstage stories, and memorable moments from more than 40 years of the annual CMA Awards are collected in a new, unique book, The CMA Awards Vault, now available nationwide.

Author Deborah Evans Price traces the show’s 43-year run from a one-hour, radio-only broadcast in 1967 to the glittery three-hour, network television spectacle of today. Evans Price interviewed dozens of country music’s biggest stars, from Sonny James, the host of the first CMA Awards Banquet and Show, to Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, who will host The 44th Annual CMA Awards for the third time in November. In the process, the author takes the reader behind the scenes and recalls the greatest performances, the famous – and sometimes infamous – fashion trends, and the art of putting together a top-rated network gala.

Deborah Evans Price

“As someone who grew up watching the CMA Awards, and was then privileged to go to the Awards for the past 25 years, I couldn’t think of anything that would excite me more than doing a book on the institution,” said Evans Price.

What really sets this book apart from other Country Music histories, however, is the unique “scrapbook” approach. The CMA Awards Vault contains never-before-published photographs, artwork, and memorabilia. Tucked into dozens of pockets throughout the book are replicas of such items as a program from that first CMA Awards in 1967; a note to the CMA from the Charlie Daniels Band in 1980; a ticket to The 40th CMA Anniversary show; and the set-design blueprint from the 2009 CMA Awards.

“I’m thankful for the wonderful journey this book provides through the history of the CMA Awards,” writes Barbara Mandrell in the book’s afterword. “Reading it makes one feel so ‘behind the scenes,’ ‘inside,’ and as though they’re having conversations with many of the great artists in country music.”

With a foreword by four-time CMA Entertainer of the Year Kenny Chesney, The CMA Awards Vault is published by Whitman Publishing, LLC, of Atlanta. The 144-page hardcover 12-inch by 10-inch book with slipcase is available for $49.95 in bookstores and online retailers. The book can also be ordered at www.CMAawards.com and www.WhitmanVaultBooks.com. CMA members can purchase the book for $35 at the CMA office.

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