Rianna Kendrick February 7, 2020

Music Industry Legends to be Honored at Arkansas Country Music Awards on June 1


The Arkansas Country Music Awards are proud to announce Charlie Rich, Wayland Holyfield and Levon Helm as the 2020 recipients of their Lifetime Achievement Award. “Just like the two previous years, this is another incredible mix of Arkansas talent,” says longtime country music journalist Charles Haymes. “From a giant country hit-maker to a phenomenal songwriter to a man that was an Americana influence on the country scene before we ever heard the term. When it comes to music, Arkansas has so much to be proud of.”


Often referred to as “The Silver Fox,” Charlie Rich carved his own musical niche with such early recordings as “Lonely Weekends,” ”Big Boss Man,” and “Mohair Sam” through major country hits like “Behind Closed Doors,” “The Most Beautiful Girl,” “A Very Special Love Song,” and “Rollin’ with the Flow.” Rich was a true stylist as a singer and a musician. The Colt (St. Francis County) native scored 10 number one country singles, won a Grammy award and won five awards from the Country Music Association, including being named Entertainer of the Year in 1974.


Wayland Holyfield was born in Mallettown (Conway County). He attended Hendrix College prior to graduating from the University of Arkansas. In 1972, he moved to Nashville and soon became a powerhouse composer. His songs have been hits by such artists as Charley Pride, George Strait, Ronnie Milsap, Crystal Gayle, Janie Fricke, Mickey Gilley, Billy Dean, Johnny Russell, and many more. He co-wrote Anne Murray’s 1980 mega-hit “Could I Have This Dance.” Also, he wrote or co-wrote numerous Don Williams hits, including “You’re My Best Friend,” “Some Broken Hearts Never Mend,” and “Til the Rivers All Run Dry.” In 1986, he wrote and recorded “Arkansas, You Run Deep In Me” which was for the states Sesquicentennial celebration. In 1992, he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.


The wide reaching influence of Levon Helm can’t be measured. As a singer, songwriter and musician, he has left a mark on many genres, including country. He grew up in Turkey Scratch (Phillips County). Most known as one of the colorful members of The Band, Helm helped popularize songs like “The Weight” and “The Night They Drove Ole Dixie Down.” He grew up loving the country music he heard on the radio, and many of today’s country artists point to Helm as an influence. He portrayed Loretta Lynn’s father in the 1980 movie Coal Miner’s Daughter. Also, he narrated the entire series of ABC’s country music program The Road in 1994. In 2008, “Dirt Farmer” won a Grammy award for Best Traditional Folk Album. His follow-up release, “Electric Dirt,” won a Grammy award in 2010 for Best Americana Album.

Rich, Holyfield and Helm join previous Lifetime Achievement recipients Johnny Cash, Glen Campbell, The Browns, Ed Bruce, Wayne Raney, Conway Twitty, Kye Fleming, Patsy Montana, The Wilburn Brothers and Jimmy Driftwood. Other notable past guests of the Arkansas Country Music Awards: Governor Asa Hutchinson, Shawn Camp, Tanya Tucker, Miss Arkansas Claudia Raffo, Chanley Painter of COURT TV, AETN, and more.

The third annual event is already gearing up to be a larger show than last year. And this year, Katelynn Zoellner of FOX (KNWA) joins the stage as Cohost of Arkansas Country Music Awards, along with Charles Haymes, country music historian and Vice President of ACMA.

Katelynn says, “This is a huge event and I’m excited about sharing the stage with such immense talent, and legends…”

The 2020 Arkansas Country Music Awards is open to the public and will be held on Monday, June 1 at Maumelle High School at 6:30. This year’s event will kick off with the VIP Pre-show with attendees enjoying musical performances, food, and time in front of the cameras on the red carpet. More information can be found at ArkansasMusic.org.

Press contact:
Charles Haymes, charleshaymes@gmail.com (501) 850-2056
Website: ArkansasMusic.org












Press Release – Arkansas Event Honors Legends