Academic papers examine politics, outlaws, Americana and the MuzikMafia
The International Country Music Conference (ICMC) honored longtime country music journalist Chet Flippo and also the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Nancy Cardwell Friday with the Charlie Lamb Award for Excellence in Country Music Journalism, as part of the annual conference at Belmont University, now in its 27th year.
Cardwell is the Charlie Lamb honoree in the contemporary category while Flippo, currently the editorial director of CMT and CMT.com, is the Charlie Lamb honoree in the career category. The Charlie Lamb award, funded by Gary and Peggy Walker of Nashville’s Great Escape record store, is named in honor of the founder of two key early publications devoted to country music – The Music Reporter and The Sound Format. To music journalism, Lamb also introduced the “Big 100” concept and the “bullet” which identified a fast rising record.
The Music Reporter was the first to use two-color and three-color process printing. Lamb also organized the first disk jockey convention in Nashville, and played an important role in the careers of Elvis Presley, Hank Snow, Kitty Wells, Brenda Lee and Marty Robbins.
The conference featured a strong line-up of academic papers from those who study country music. The conference was dedicated to the memory of Dr. Charles Wolfe, a long time attendee and one of the premier historians of country music.
The conference also featured a special panel presentation of “The Outlaws,” celebrating the 30th anniversary of the release of the album by Waylon Jennings, Jessi Colter, Willie Nelson and Tompall Glaser that was the first “Gold” album by country artists from Nashville. Key figures in the Outlaw Movement in the mid-1970s sat on the panel: Hazel Smith, Chet Flippo, Richard “Pete” Peterson, Don Cusic and moderator Ronnie Pugh.
The Belmont Book Award for the Best Book in Country Music in year 2005 was presented Friday at the conference luncheon. The “Lifetime Achievement” award for “linking books with country music” was presented to Richard “Pete” Peterson. The Charlie Lamb Excellence in Country Music Journalism Awards was presented to Flippo and Cardwell.
The keynote speaker for the conference was Lance Ledbetter who spoke on “Standing in the Presence of the Past: Dust-to-Digital and the Preservation of Old Time Music.”
Complete conference schedule: Click here.