Academy of Country Music Announces Pre-Show Winners

Buddy Cannon Wins as Producer, Billy Bob's Wins Top Nightclub

Buddy Cannon, Kenny Chesney’s longtime producer, is the Academy of Country Music’s producer of the year for 2006, the ACM announced Tuesday (May 9). Additionally, Nashville studio veteran Justin Niebank was named engineer of the year as one of the other winners who will pick up their trophies prior to the live telecast of the 41st annual ACM Awards on May 23.

Seven musicians were cited in the instrumental player of the year category, including Michael Rhodes (bass), Jonathan Yudkin (fiddle), Pat Buchanan (guitar), Shannon Forrest (drums), Mike Rojas (keyboards) and Paul Franklin (steel guitar). Acoustic guitarist Bryan Sutton won in the specialty instrument field.

Radio station of the year honors went to WFMS-FM/Indianapolis (major market) and WUSY-FM/Chattanooga, Tenn. (medium market). In the small market division, WGSQ-FM/Cookeville, Tenn., tied with WYCT-FM/Pensacola, Fla.

In another radio category, Blair Garner of the syndicated After MidNite With Blair Garner program was named national on-air personality. Other on-air personality winners include Gerry House & the House Foundation, WSIX-FM/Nashville (major market), Scott Innes, WYNK-FM/Baton Rouge, La. (medium market) and Becky Austin & Brad Austin, KLUR-FM/Wichita Falls, Texas (small market).

The Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Conn., was named casino of the year, and Billy Bob’s Texas in Fort Worth received the nightclub of the year award. In a category named to honor the memory of concert industry pioneer Don Romeo, the talent buyer of the year award went to Suzanne Wilson of Wilson Events Inc., and promoter honors were bestowed on Louis Messina of the Messina Group.

CBS will broadcast the ACM Awards show live from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.