October 30, 2008
Dolly Parton had a little fun with her presentation of the Male Vocalist of the Year award in 1988. First, she flirted with nominee George Strait and asked if he’d went out and rented the prettiest girl in town, referring to Strait’s wife, Norma. Parton, comfortable as any entertainer in front of an audience, then sat down in Travis’ lap and proclaimed that if she were a younger (and single) woman, she would be interested in the singer. The crowd erupted with laughter as she playfully teased the star with her “big hair and big ideas.”
Parton was not the only person in the Grand Ole Opry House who had been smitten by the traditional vocalist, as he was soon announced as the Male Vocalist of the Year for the second consecutive time. Travis jokingly exclaimed, “After all that I find myself wondering what I just won!” The following year, Parton came back to the stage as Travis introduced the Female Vocalist of the Year award, but no funny business this time.
Both Parton and Travis were favorites of the CMA crowd. Parton’s nine CMA victories are the most of any female solo artist, and among those honors are two Female Vocalist of the Year awards and the 1978 Entertainer of the Year prize. Travis never won another CMA award after 1988, but owns five trophies and 22 nominations across a career that has spanned more than two decades.
Dolly Parton & Randy Travis, Male Vocalist of the Year presentation (1988):