The TIME LIFE Company has just released a 10-DVD set called "CMA Awards Live: Greatest Moments 1968-2015" that features highlights from many of the CMA Awards shows that took place over the last 50-years. Since the CMA Awards shows have always featured the hottest country music acts, the list of performers appearing on the set reads like a who’s-who of chart toppers. Among the dozens and dozens of stars making appearances are Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Miranda Lambert, George Strait, Dwight Yoakam, Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Rascal Flatts and Reba McEntire.
The first four DVDs in the set feature material from select CMA Awards shows beginning with 1968 and running through 1985, and as such they offer performances from the latter days of the classic country era and stars like Charley Pride, Tammy Wynette, Jeannie C. Riley, Marty Robbins, Loretta Lynn, “Little” Jimmy Dickens and the Earl Scruggs Review. Highlights include Tanya Tucker performing “Delta Dawn,” Glen Campbell turning in takes on “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” and “Rhinestone Cowboy,” and Johnny Cash singing “Folsom Prison Blues” and teaming with wife June Carter Cash for a hot take on “Jackson.” Conway Twitty, Willie Nelson, Ronnie Milsap, Dolly Parton and Crystal Gayle are some of the other luminaries spotlighted in the early shows.
The shows from the 1990s understandably are packed with appearances by George Strait; joining King George are many of the other top artists of the decade including Brooks & Dunn, Wynona, Deana Carter, Randy Travis, Sara Evans, Clint Black and Billy Ray Cyrus who sings his smash hit (and 1992 Single of the Year) “Achy Breaky Heart” at the 26th Annual CMA Awards Show from the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. Names that are big today begin to appear on the shows beginning around 2005, with the likes of Blake Shelton, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Dierks Bentley, Lady Antebellum, Chris Stapleton and Eric Church making the list.
Every DVD has bonus features that go beyond the live performances, and the set’s 10th disc contains bonus features only, anchored by interview segments with Milsap, Kenny Rogers, Larry Gatlin and Naomi Judd. Features on Parton, Strait, Shelton, Aldean and Alabama are also among the extras. The package comes with a program so viewers can follow along from show to show, and there’s also a 44-page “memory book” featuring essays focusing on each decade. The memory book also lists all of the major category CMA Award winners from 1967-2015.
"CMA Awards Live: Greatest Moments 1968-2015" includes 127 performances in all and offers nearly 12 hours of entertainment. Find more information here.