Remember when you were a kid and you were convinced Santa didn’t get your letter?
You pretty much expected that while the tree was beautiful, you were going to have to wait until next year for that big gift, in the fancy wrapping and the big red bow, with a smile on your face because Christmas was celebration for all!
Then you woke up in the morning and you got exactly what you wanted and more!
That my friends, sums up my CMAO Awards experience.
Now don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t expecting failure. I just wasn’t expecting this to be as big a show as it was. I was absolutely stunned how it all came together. The stars were there, Charlie Major rocked as the emcee, the performances rocked and if had just walked in off the street, I would’ve sworn that this wasn’t their first awards show!
I was the ‘voice behind the curtain’ that night and the energy backstage was electric. I’m sitting watching it all and all I had to do was announce the nominees, I was there as a professional but let me tell you, I was truly a fan.
Deric Ruttan & Jason Blaine goofing around, Greg Keelor reading over my shoulder, and the sweet whisper of ‘you’re doing great!’ in my ear that made me turn around and see the lovely Michelle Wright.
I was damn proud of what the CMAO committee did, and seeing the sour looks on the naysayers and doubters made me even more proud, when reports started circulating on the internet the following week on how successful the night was.
Country Music Association of Ontario, your back must be red with the pats and all!
Hearing about Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson signing with the Detroit Red Wings made me think of Jason Blaine. You see, Jason is a Senators fans and with me being a Leafs fan we have this little rivalry. That’s probably why he’s never thanked me in his liner notes for being his hero.
How ‘bad’ is this ‘war’?
One time at Bayfest in Sarnia, I was doing a backstage broadcast and lo and behold there was Jason’s trailer just a few yards away.
So between breaks, I did up some ‘Maple Leafs Rule’ posters complete with logos and plastered them all over his door and wall.
He showed up. I pretended to be talking on the air when he arrived and watched him go to his trailer open the door and enter.
What the heck?
Somebody inside asked if he saw what was on the door and Jason thought he was in the wrong trailer!
Well, when he saw the Leafs logos, he let out an Incredible Hulk like roar and turned to see my goofy Leaf loving face!
He never did get me back…..but I’m ready!
Sadly, this will be my last post as the family and I are returning to the East Coast. I really appreciate how warm and welcoming Ontario has been and continues to be towards their local Country talent. I’m seeing radio stations who last year wouldn’t play local acts on the air, are now bringing them in studio for performances and interviews. Keep it up!
Thank you Heather, Barry, Bruce, Anya for showing what ‘drive’ really is!
Thank you CMAO for allowing me to have an outlet to say what needed to be said, and allowing me to be part of this great family.
And thank you artists for making my job easy!
Editors note; We value all the articles Bill Hart has turned in over the years in his “Country From the Hart” column. We will greatly miss his opinions, observations, insights and humour. Good luck in all of your future endeavors Bill. The CMAO thanks you and we will all miss you. The CMAO.