New CMA Awards Display Celebrating Fifty Years of Promoting and Preserving Country Music

MIM recently unveiled a new display celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the Country Music Association (CMA) Awards, the longest-running annual music awards program on television. MIM worked closely with the CMA to create the exhibit, which features instruments on loan from several CMA Musician of the Year nominees and winners.

CMA’s chief executive officer Sarah Trahern traveled from Nashville to attend the display opening, along with singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Hunter Hayes, who also spoke at the unveiling. The display, which is located in MIM’s Artist Gallery, showcases some of the legends of country music and will rotate on a periodic basis.

The initial installment of the CMA Awards display highlights instruments owned and used by some of the most respected musicians in country music, including the vintage Fender electric guitar that seven-time CMA Awards winner Roy Clark used on his 1962 debut album The Lightning Fingers of Roy Clark. The fiddle that seven-time CMA Awards winner Mark O’Connor played on hundreds of Nashville recording sessions is also featured, as well as a dobro from Jerry Douglas, three-time Musician of the Year winner.

Winners of the CMA Awards are chosen by their peers. Country legends Eddy Arnold, Loretta Lynn, and Chet Atkins were among the inaugural CMA Awards winners in 1967. Since then, “Country Music’s Biggest Night” has continued to showcase the sounds, styles, and artists that define country music history while charting its future course.

In the spirit of encouraging artists of the future, children from Rosie’s House, the music academy for underserved youth of Greater Phoenix, performed before the display unveiling. Rosie’s House is one of two organizations in the Valley that receive grants from the CMA Foundation; Phoenix Conservatory of Music is the other recipient.

Come get a taste of country music history by taking in the new exhibit.