October 12, 2008
As we gear up for the 42nd Annual CMA Awards and the possible surprises and disappointments that it might bring, I’m looking back to night and wondering:
What’s the greatest injustice in CMA history?
My first instinct was to note Conway Twitty, who lost all five of his bids for Male Vocalist and both of his bids for Entertainer. But at least he has four CMA awards to his credit, all of them shared with Loretta Lynn in the Vocal Duo category.
Then I thought about Sawyer Brown. Despite a hit run that lasted a good decade, they were never honored with Vocal Group of the Year, despite seven nominations. But at least they won a trophy back in 1985, when they were given the Horizon Award shortly after their Star Search victory.
So I’m going with Rosanne Cash. Despite strong record sales, critical acclaim and eleven #1 singles in the eighties, she went 0 for 11 at the CMA awards, including six failed bids for Female Vocalist of the Year. That’s not even getting into what the CMA failed to nominate, like her classic single “Seven Year Ache” and her landmark album King’s Record Shop. Even her 2002 collaboration with Johnny Cash, “September When it Comes”, failed to secure a Vocal Event nomination.