The Academy of Country Music has been doing an unusual ceremony. After the spring award show in Vegas they do a little ceremony in Nashville that is more relaxed and comfortable. They give away special awards and recognize non-televised winners. This year it was at the Ryman Auditorium.
The first award went to Rod Essig’s who won Mae Boren Axton Award.
One Poet’s Award winner went to Cindy Walker and Don Schlitz.
The Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award went to Mel Tillis and Marty Robbins.
Kix Brooks was the one who announced and congratulated Keith Urban for winning the Jim Reeves International Award.
The film, Crazy Heart won the Tex Ritter Award for featuring country music on the big screen.
Nine musicians won in the musician/bandleader/instrumentalist categories, who included: fiddler Stuart Duncan, drummer Shannon Forrest, steel player Paul Franklin, producer Dann Huff, guitarist Brent Mason, engineer Justin Niebank, bass man Michael Rhodes, keyboard player Michael Rojas and multi-instrumentalist Randy Scruggs.
Bridgestone Arena won for venue of the year.
Brian O’Connell of Live Nation won promoter of the year.
Todd Boltin of Variety Attractions, Inc. was named the Don Romeo Talent Buyer of the Year.
Billy Bob’s Texas won the top nightclub prize
Las Vegas’ Green Valley Ranch Resort won the nation’s top casino for country music performances.