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HUCKABY: Forget Hollywood awards, it's CMAs for me

Darrell Huckaby

Darrell Huckaby

I’ll watch an awards show on television for a little while. I like seeing the good-looking women stroll down the red carpet (OK. I’m a pig. So sue me. I’m not running for president.) and hearing the opening monologues and I like the little film montages and tributes that most of the shows have.

I'm not real big on the political statements some of the Hollywood shows try to make and easily tire of the acceptance speeches. I'd say that I'm good for about 45 minutes of the Academy Awards, a little less for the People's Choice and I might watch 10 minutes of the Emmy Awards.

But when the CMA Awards come on, well, let's just put it this way. I am down with the CMA's, y'all. I'm there for the duration. The show originates from Nashville, not the land of fruits and nuts --and any political statements coming out of Nashville are probably political statements that I agree with.

Plus, a lot of my favorite Hollywood types seem to show up at the CMAs anyway -- Nicole Kidman was there Wednesday night and so was the girl who plays in "Revenge," one of my new favorite television shows. And when's the last time you saw Little Jimmy Dickens portraying Justin Bieber at the Oscars?

Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood were the co-hosts of this year's show, for the fourth year. They've about got it down by now and at one point in the proceedings Paisley seemed to be openly campaigning for the recently vacated job as emcee of the aforementioned Academy Award show. He was too late. I heard that Billy Crystal just got that gig. But he and Ms. Underwood work well together and are really funny -- and at least one of them is really nice to look at. I'll give you a hint. It's not the one in the cowboy hat.

Since I've already admitted to being a male chauvinist pig, I will go ahead and admit that I could just sit and stare at Carrie Underwood all night, even if she never opened her mouth. Before you crucify me for that remark, I want you to know that Buster Davis said the same thing and he's a whole lot nicer than me.

I guess I like the CMAs so much because country music performers have always struck me as a lot more genuine than those in other realms of the entertainment industry. They seem to be real close family, too -- even though my daughter Jenna insists that Taylor Swift rolled her eyes when Miranda Lambert was named Female Vocalist of the Year. Of course, I have always called Jenna the Queen of the Eye-roll so I guess she should know one when she sees one. Taylor was all sweetness and light, of course, when she was named Entertainer of the Year.

I loved the opening. Well, not so much the part where they sang "Footloose" in front of all the dancers wearing red hot pants -- but the part where Brad Paisley sang the parody of Hank Williams Jr.'s, "Are you Ready for Some Football?" song. They were poking fun at Bocephus, because he got himself kicked off Monday Night Football for making a comment that could have been interpreted as comparing the President of the United States with the former Chancellor of Germany. Apparently you can't do that.

Right in the middle of the parody, Hank Jr. himself walked onto the stage. I'm here to tell you, he's a big old boy, and he jumped right into the festivities and got the party started right.

I think my favorite part of the show, other than watching Carrie Underwood and the girl in the short purple dress who brought all the hardware out, was when Zac Brown and Gregg Allman teamed up to sing "Georgia on My Mind." I'm pretty sure that Ray Charles was smiling down from heaven during that number.

I also liked the tribute to Glen Campbell. Old Glen has been through a lot lately and was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. But when various country stars sang his golden hits, like "Galveston" and "Wichita Lineman" and "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," he was able to pick up most of the words. It was a touching moment when they brought him up on stage.

I also loved the bit where Paisley and Underwood exchanged gifts. She got a Faith Hill "Barbie" and he got a Tim McGraw "Barbie" -- which was supposedly anatomically correct and built to scale. In case you aren't a country music fan, McGraw and Hill are husband and wife, and their reaction to the skit was priceless.

A lot of the old stars, like Reba McEntire, were on hand, of course, along with a lot of the new ones, like The Band Perry and Luke Bryan. They even had the guy from "Modern Family," the one who reminds me of my boss, Greg Fowler, come out and give an award, although if he's country, I'm a midget Russian astronaut.

All in all, it was a great evening and served to remind me, yet again, how proud I am of my roots. I may be American by birth, but I am purely Southern by the grace of God.

Darrell Huckaby is a local educator and author. Email him at dhuck08@bellsouth.net. For past columns, visit www.rockdalecitizen.com or www.newtoncitizen.com.