Friday, September 11, 2009

Twentieth IBMA Awards Show

September 11, 2009
Info: Nancy Cardwell, (615) 256-3222

Performers Include Hot Rize, Kathy Mattea, Steve Martin with the Steep Canyon Rangers, Del McCoury, The Grascals, Dailey & Vincent, Dan Tyminski, Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out

Nashville, Tenn.--The 20th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards show, to be held on Thursday, October 1, at 7:30 p.m. at the historic Ryman Auditorium, promises an evening of stellar musical performances and many opportunities to recall highlights from past awards shows. The "can't miss" program includes the presentation of 17 industry awards that recognize outstanding achievement in the bluegrass genre during the past year, and the induction of The Lonesome Pine Fiddlers and The Dillards to the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame.

The audience will be treated to performances by this year's hosts, Grammy®-winning country artist Kathy Mattea and the legendary bluegrass band, Hot Rize, as well as the following artists: Steve Martin with the Steep Canyon Rangers, Del McCoury, Dailey & Vincent, The Grascals, The Dan Tyminski Band, Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, Lonesome River Band, Dale Ann Bradley, Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, G2 Bluegrass Band, The Gibson Brothers, Danny Paisley and Junior Sisk, and Sierra Hull & Highway 111. The show is also known for surprise guests and special collaborations.

Twenty years is an important milestone for any event, and the International Bluegrass Music Awards show is no exception. Take a moment to recall these special moments in the history of the show:

Ronnie McCoury received the Mandolin Player award in 1995 and instead of simply dedicating the award to his idol, he walked out into the crowd and presented the trophy to the Father of Bluegrass Music, Bill Monroe, seated in one of the first few rows. Monroe smiled broadly and waved the crystal award in the air above his head, to the delight of the entire audience.
Opening awards envelopes can be a catastrophe on any awards show. To resolve a problem with an uncooperative one at the very first IBMA Awards Show, Mitch Jayne of The Dillards reached into his boot for a large bowie knife to open the envelope that announced the 1990 Entertainer of the Year. Mitch then flipped the knife into the wooden podium, anchoring the tip of his blade in place while he announced Hot Rize as the award recipients.
Capturing the heartfelt emotions of the world just a few weeks after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the U.S. in 2001, the show opened in complete darkness and a moment of silent tribute. The darkness was replaced and every heart filled with the sounds of "America the Beautiful" being played on banjo in a solo spotlight by Hall of Fame member Sonny Osborne.
Hall of Fame member Jimmy Martin yodeled from the balcony for show host Marty Stuart during the 2000 awards show, demonstrating the sound Marty often heard on the telephone when Jimmy would call him in the middle of the night to report on a particularly good jam session or invite him to go coon hunting the following morning.
Awards shows are always under time constraints, which usually prevent encores. But the crowd simply wouldn't let The Bluegrass Album Band offstage in 1990, which resulted in the only encore--ever--in the history of the International Bluegrass Music Awards.
Pete "Dr. Banjo" Wernick introduced an unknown group of pre-teen Bluegrass Youth All Stars onstage at the 1993 awards show and launched a youth movement in bluegrass. The same youngsters returned ten years later--most of them stars by then--to welcome a new group of gifted, young musicians. The band of 12-year-olds in '93 included Chris Thile, Michael Cleveland, Josh Williams, Cody Kilby and Brady Stogdill. The band in '03 featured Sierra Hull, Cory Walker, Sarah Jarosz, Will Jones, Mary Beth Estes and Ryan Holladay.
With flags representing IBMA's members from over 25 countries proudly unfurled across the top of the stage in 1994, a group of talented musicians from around the world paid a tribute to the widespread influence of The Osborne Brothers with a soul-stirring version of "Rocky Top."
Stuart Duncan accepted the award for Fiddle Player of the Year in 1992 and thanked--literally--everyone from A to Z, listing his influences alphabetically...on live radio!
Del McCoury took the stage to accept the Entertainer of the Year award with his grandchildren in tow--for several of the nine times he won. He passed the microphone to each band member and to then-toddler grandson Jacob McCoury to help him say thanks.
Sonny Osborne and Ricky Skaggs surprised Del McCoury, who was accepting an award at the 2003 show in Louisville, with a coveted invitation for Del to become the newest member of The Grand Ole Opry. He, naturally, accepted!
Almost everyone who received an award in 1995 kept their acceptance remarks brief in order to "give more time to Jimmy Martin," who was to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Jimmy used all the time, giving a record-setting, 23-minute acceptance speech, every second of which kept the audience riveted.
Cherryholmes was the first act nominated in the same year, 2005, for both Emerging Artist and Entertainer of the Year. While they did not receive the Emerging Artist of the Year award, they instead leaped straight to the top of the bluegrass world when they were announced at the end of the show as Entertainers of the Year.
Dailey & Vincent repeated the Cherryholmes' feat of being nominated for both Emerging Artist and Entertainer awards in 2008. They would be honored with both in the same year (a first) during an evening that saw them receive an unprecedented seven awards. The band played their first gig less than one year earlier.
Showing the versatility of bluegrass, Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder collaborated with The Nashville String Machine on "Crossing the Briney" in 2006. It was the first time a 23- piece orchestra appeared on the show.
Hall of Fame member Eddie Adcock and well-known Japanese artist Takeharu Kunimoto broke into "Earl's Breakdown" on the five-string banjo and the shamisen, before announcing the recipient of an award in 2003.
Awards have a way of drawing emotions to the surface; for example, Jamie Dailey cried half a dozen times at the awards show podium in 2008. He was so shook up, he even brought his duo partner Darrin Vincent onstage with him to accept Male Vocalist of the Year, because he wasn't sure he could get any words out.

The 20th annual IBMA Awards show will undoubtedly add a few more magical moments to this list, for the folks lucky enough to be in the audience October 1. Tickets are available through the Ryman box office by calling 615-889-3060, or online at

The International Bluegrass Music Awards are determined by the professional membership of the association and recognize outstanding achievement in the bluegrass genre. The show is syndicated to more than 300 radio stations across the country and around the world and will be broadcast live on Sirius XM's Bluegrass Junction (Sirius channel 65, XM channel 14). National sponsors for the show include Martha White, GHS Strings, Sugar Hill Records, Deering Banjos, Bluegrass Music Profiles and the International Bluegrass Music Museum. For information on becoming a radio affiliate for the International Bluegrass Music Awards, go to, email Jill Crabtree at or call 888-438-4262.


- THE TROPHY - a crystal obelisk with the IBMA logo engraved on a solid maple wood base. It stands eight inches tall and weighs 1.2 pounds. There have been over 1,000 named recipients.

- THEME MUSIC -Jerry Douglas and Mark Schatz penned the familiar instrumental theme music for the show first used in 1991. Titled "Shoulder to Shoulder," the song features a cast of IBMA Awards recipients including Douglas, Schatz, Alan O'Bryant, Stuart Duncan, Russ Barenberg and Sam Bush. The song also appeared on Jerry's album Slide Rule (Sugar Hill), which received the awards in 1992 for Instrumental Album and Recorded Event of the Year.

- HOST SITES - There have been six host venues for the show in three cities: The Executive Inn Showroom Lounge and RiverPark Center in Owensboro, Kentucky; Kentucky Center for the Arts and The Palace Theater in Louisville; and The Grand Ole Opry House and the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. The Ryman boasts a historic plaque (dedicated at the 2006 IBMA Awards) from the Tennessee Historical Commission honoring it as the location of the "The Birth of Bluegrass," based on the first on-air performance by the classic version of Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys in December 1945.

- SHOW HOSTS: Ricky Skaggs has hosted or co-hosted the show seven times, followed closely by Alison Krauss' five times in the role. For the first time in 2009, the awards show will be co-hosted by an entire band.

2009 - Kathy Mattea & Hot Rize
2008 - Del McCoury
2007 - Sam Bush
2006 - Marty Stuart
2005 - Alison Krauss & Ricky Skaggs
2004 - Alison Krauss & Dan Tyminski
2003 - Alison Krauss & Dan Tyminski
2002 - Patty Loveless & Ricky Skaggs
2001 - Steve Wariner
2000 - Marty Stuart
1999 - John McEuen, Mac Wiseman, Tom T. Hall, Tim O'Brien, Joe Diffie, Laurie Lewis, John Hartford, Ricky Skaggs & Rhonda Vincent
1998 - Ricky Skaggs & Rhonda Vincent
1997 - Ricky Skaggs
1996 - Ricky Skaggs
1995 - Ricky Skaggs
1994 - Laurie Lewis & John Hartford
1993 - Alison Krauss & Joe Diffie
1992 - Alison Krauss, Tom T. Hall & Tim O'Brien
1991 - Mac Wiseman, Marty Stuart & Chris Hillman
1990 - Vince Gill & John McEuen

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