FOUNDER OF THE MCMAA
The MCMAA is a chartered, non-profit organization that was officially begun in April of 1979, as an outgrowth of an idea first considered by popular country music personality, LUKE WETHERFIELD.
The First meeting was held at the Timberland Lounge in Taunton, MA and the group consisted of five country music lovers and Luke Wetherfield. From this small group of people sprung the Massachusetts Country Music Awards Association as it is now known to this day.
The purpose of the organization is to further country music, both in the media and in LIVE performances. The organization hopes to guarantee that the countless numbers of people who enjoy this truly American musical art form will have the opportunity to see and hear the music and performers they love throughout Massachusetts.
During the first year the original Board traveled extensively, listening to bands all over Massachusetts to select nominees for the first annual award show. To raise funds for this gala show, there was a jamboree held at the Weymana in Weymouth, MA and another at the Wagon Wheels in Ayer, MA. On September 24, 1979, trophies were awarded in twenty categories, selected from over 180 nominees.
Since that night of September 24, 1979, the M.C.M.A.A. Awards Show has become the epitome of country music in Massachusetts. It is almost as much of a show to see the audience arrive in all of their finery as to see the bright lights and star-studded entertainment. Each Award Show since that first gala event gets bigger and better. The success of these early Award Shows was made possible by the donation of the equipment, time and talent volunteered by John Penny Enterprises, and Luke Wetherfield plus the unending help of many others.
When the Weymana closed down the Award Show was moved to Lombardo’s in Randolph, where is has been held each year until recently last year of 2012 to the Venus deMilo in Swansea. It is always held on the last Monday in September. The Venus deMilo makes the perfect setting for such a spectacular show, is easily accessible and has the capacity to seat the large crowd that this show attracts.
The M.C.M.A.A. members have the opportunity to cast a ballot for their favorite artist when the association plans their Annual Awards Show. Voters for the Nominees and the final ballot must be currant members of the Massachusetts Country Music Awards Association. Rules for selecting the Nominees and setting up the final ballot are revised from year to year. The last category on the final ballot is for “People’s Choice” which allows members to vote for the local artist (instrumentalist, vocalist, recording artist and/or entertainer) who they consider to be the most outstanding overall during the past year. In addition to the trophies given out in the categories voted on by members, there is also an award given out by the board of Directors.
Each year new people are inducted into the M.C.M.A.A. HALL OF FAME which is currently headed by Chairman Ron Hill. Although new inductees are voted for by the Hall of Fame members anyone may submit a name for the group to consider by mailing a profile to the M.C.M.A.A. Chairman. One hundred-forty-four members have been inducted into our Hall of Fame since it was started.
At request of our members, “Country songwriter of the Year” was added in 1988. Entries to this category are submitted on CD’s to be judged by three independent people in the music business. The winner and runners-up are announced at the Awards Show. Rules and entry form for the Country Songwriter category are published on the website.
As the younger population of entertainers began to perform at events the category was introduced back to our ballots in 2011 for “Junior Entertainer of the Year”.
As the organization continues to grow so does the type of country music, what was once that of the classic country sounds now includes the newer styles of contemporary (aka: Top 40) country music, along with the introduction of Blue Grass.
The M.C.M.A.A. is a non-profit organization and all Board and Committee workers are VOLUNTEER. At our jamborees and events the host band is paid for the setting up, dismantling, and use of their equipment, but all other performers of the day donate their services. The Board of Directors would like to thank all of the bands and entertainers who have participated and helped to make this organization such a success. They would also like to thank the clubs, radio stations, newspapers and numerous others who have helped promote the M.C.M.A.A. Last but not least, many thanks to the general membership that now, including deceased, have reached a number of over 1300. Without the fans who enjoy and support the country music there would be no M.C.M.A.A., no need for country entertainers, clubs and radio stations. It takes the combined efforts of all to keep “country music” alive and kicking in Massachusetts and to continue.