The inaugural Arkansas Country Music Awards were held in Little Rock at the UALR Performing Arts Center on Monday night. There were 27 categories and nominees in each one from around the state. Much like the Nashville Country Music Awards there were categories covering Male and Female Vocalist of the Year, Vocal Group of the Year, Entertainer of the Year. In addition to the regular categories there were categories which focused on genre’s and individual instrument players. Fiddler of the Year, Drummer of the Year, and other instruments are never seen in the more popular awards show, but were a big hit at this show.
Cleburne County’s own Jon Raney was nominated for Sound Engineer of the Year, which he won. Also nominated for Producer of the Year, was defeated by Randy Lloyd. Raney’s grandfather, Wayne Rayne, was given a lifetime achievement award posthumously, which was accepted by Raney in his honor.
The event was co hosted by Country singer Collin Raye, Charles Haymes and former Miss Arkansas Ashton Gill.
Awards and their nominees and winners were:
Entertainer of the Year: Bonnie Montgomery, Cory Jackson, Erin Enderlin, Phil McGarrah and Runnin’ on empty and The Zac Dunlap Band who won the award.
Americana/Roots Artist of the Year: Caleb Ryan Martin, Frankie Cadillac, Route 358, Ten Penny Gypsy and winner Bonnie Montgomery.
Bluegrass Artist of the Year: Dr. Gary Shipley, Grand Prairie, Posey Hill, Runaway Planet and winner The Keisler Brothers Band.
Country Artist of the Year: David Adam Byrnes, Erin Enderlin, Greg Ward, Phil McGarrah and Runnin’ On Empty and winner Cory Jackson.
Inspirational Artist of the Year: Ben Coulter, Hallelujah Harmony Quartet, The Keisler Brothers,
United Voice and winner Heaven’s Echoes.
Female Vocalist of the Year: Diane Berry, Erin Enderlin, Melodie Rooker, Melody Hart and winner Bonnie Montgomery
Male Vocalist of the Year: David Adam Byrnes, Greg Ward, Phil McGarrah, Travis Ryan Smith and winner Blane Howard
Acoustic Act of the Year: Anna Marie, Jason Lee Hale, Melody Pond, Michael Stephen Winston and winner Caleb Ryan Martin
Vocal Group of the Year: Brett and Terri, The Keisler Brothers Band, Ten Penny Gypsy, The Wildflower Revue and winner The Zac Dunlap Band.
Album of the Year: “Carry On” by Doug DeForest, “Tattooed on My Heart” by Josh Newcom, “Ten Penny Gypsy” by Ten Penny Gypsy, “The Wildflower Revue” by The Wildflower Revue and winner “Whiskeytown Crier” by Erin Enderlin
Song of the Year: ”Ain’t it Just Like a Cowboy” written by Erin Enderlin and Heather Little, performed by Erin Enderlin, “Fishing in the Sky” written by Tommie Sue Wilkey, performed by Travis Ryan Smith, “Golden Rule” written by Brett Hamman, Terri Swift and Curt Ryle, performed by Brett and Terri, “I Just Saw a Ghost” written and performed by Doug DeForest and winner “Arkansas Mine” written by Zac Dunlap and performed by The Zac Dunlap Band.
Songwriter of the Year: Amy Garland, Doug DeForest, Lance McDaniel, Mark Currey and winner Erin Enderlin
Music Producer of the Year: Barry Poynter, Darian Stribling, Jon Raney, Milo Deering and winner Randy Loyd
Sound Engineer of the Year: Barry Poynter, Bryce Roberts, Darian Stribling, Mark Colbert and winner Jon Raney
Promoter of the Year: Barth Grayson, Chris King, Ray Bingham, Roger Woods, Sr. and J.R. Rogers
Video of the Year: “Ain’t it Just Like a Cowboy” by Erin Enderlin, “Kids from School” by Doug DeForest, “Pretty Blue View” by David Adam Byrnes, “Row by Row” by Cory Jackson and winner “Arkansas’ Mine” by The Zac Dunlap Band
Radio Station of the Year: KABF in Little Rock, KDYN of Ozark, KFIN of Jonesboro, KWCK of Searcy and winner KSSN of Little Rock
Radio DJ of the Year: Brandon Baxter of KFIN in Jonesboro, Del Hughes, Del Hughes of KWCK in Searcy, Flap Jones of KUAR in Little Rock, Kyle Kellums of KUAF in Fayetteville and winner Bob Robbins of KMJX in Little Rock
Magazine of the Year: AY Magazine, Jonesboro Occasions, Nightflying, The Oxford American and winner Arkansas Living
Venue of the Year: George’s Majestic Ballroom in Fayetteville, Jimmy Doyle Country in Little rock, Roundup Music Show Theater in Brookland, White Water Tavern in Little Rock and winner Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View
Young Artist of the Year: Bree Ogden, Lance Curtis, Morgan McGarrah, Zac Cheesman and winner Cam Shelton
Bassist of the Year: Colton Everhardt, Dawayne George, Harley Sorrells, Matt Thomas and Cam Shelton
Drummer of the Year: Bart Angel, Carey Williams, Justin Parker, Kevin King and winner Doobie Bowie
Fiddler of the Year: Caleb Cobb, Cliff Prowse, Stacy Pixley, Tim Crouch and winner Melody Hart
Guitarist of the Year: Erin Detherage, Luke Williams, Nick Devlin, Ricky Rooker and winner Randall George
Steel Player of the Year: Jerry Roller, John Brunner, Marc Matoska, Redmond Keisler and winner Steve Matlock
Lifetime Achievement Awards were given to: The Browns, Jim Ed, Bonnie and Maxine. Ed Bruce; Glen Campbell, Johnny Cash and Wayne Raney
Look to The Sun Times for a more in depth article about Jon Raney and his grandfather, Wayne Raney.