Nobody won Entertainer of the Year at the very first ACM Awards, because the top prize wasn't that inclusive. In fact, the whole show was set up to benefit a very specific cross-section of country star.

That group of artists did not include Johnny Cash. The Man in Black didn't win an ACM Award for his music until the mid-'80s when "Highwayman" took Single Record of the Year. The Academy's website states the show was started to spotlight country music in the western 13 states, so you see a whole lotta love for the Buck Owens and Merle Haggard types, but not so much men living east of the Mississippi River, and we do mean men. Watch this episode of The Secret History of Country Music to learn how women were not-so-subtly excluded from the fun.

Most ACM wins? Most years spent hosting? A highlight package of Reba McEntire's best jokes? Those are all included in this week's episode. The 2019 ACM Awards air on CBS at 8PM ET on April 7, but the show will look quite a bit different from its early '60s origination. There are more awards, less dinner, and more appreciation for a good joke. Honestly it's hard to argue the first ACMs were even about the music at all. Watch this week's ep. and you'll see.

The Secret History of Country Music is a new weekly series hosted by Taste of Country News host Ania Hammar. We'll go deeper inside the stories of country music's biggest hits, moments and figures. Be sure to subscribe to Taste of Country's YouTube channel so you never miss a new episode.

Remember: The best way to watch the ACM Awards is on TV, with ToC on your phone.

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