The Country Music Association is something of a walking disaster zone at the moment. Some stalwarts who died this year were honoured during the 2020 CMA awards show last night, including Kenny Rogers, Charlie Daniels, and Mac Davis, but three other recently deceased icons went completely unmentioned during the broadcast: John Prine, Jerry Jeff Walker, and Billy Joe Shaver. And this has not gone unnoticed – Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires have announced that they’re returning their lifetime membership cards to the Country Music Association. In a tweet Isbell wrote: “I doubt anybody will care, but we cared a lot about our heroes.”
Due to @CountryMusic’s failure to mention John Prine, Jerry Jeff Walker, and Billy Joe Shaver at the CMA’s last night, @amandashires and I have decided to return our membership cards. I doubt anybody will care, but we cared a lot about our heroes. pic.twitter.com/UmplzD0Z7p
— Jason Isbell (@JasonIsbell) November 13, 2020
They are not the only artists to call out the decision. Sturgill Simpson posted on his Instagram: “Don’t get it twisted…wouldn’t be caught dead at this tacky ass glitter and botox cake & cock pony show even if my chair had a morphine drip. I just wanted to see if they would say his name but nope.”
And Prine’s label Oh Boy Records tweeted: “We’re disappointed John won’t be a part of the CMA award show tonight. Country music was both the inspiration and foundation for his songwriting and performing. While there may be a number of artists who have had more commercial success than John, there are very few who achieved more artistically.”
— Oh Boy Records (@ohboyrecords) November 12, 2020
Margo Price was also critical of the show for its lack of diversity and the general direction of the genre. She recently told Uncut: “Country music has been hijacked by a bunch of morons that don’t care about real songwriting.” And, dear reader, this is all good enough reason that you won’t find Tim McGraw (sorry Tim) on our hallowed pages. Long live americana!