CMT.com is celebrating its 20-year anniversary on Friday (April 14), but a lot of people didn’t understand what was going on with the new technology – specifically an innovation known as the Internet — when the website launched on April 14, 1997.
“People thought we were crazy when we launched,” according to CMT Broadcast and post production operations vice president Martin Clayton, who supervised the website’s creation. “No one at that time understood the power of the Internet.”
CMT.com began as Country.com, one of the first major music websites among all genres, and was rebranded as CMT.com in 2001,
Much has changed in two decades, but CMT.com continues to be an online authority for country music news and entertainment while providing an online home for CMT series such as Nashville, Sun Records, Still the King, I Love Kellie Pickler and CMT Hot 20 Countdown and a wide array of music specials, including the CMT Music Awards, CMT Artists of the Year and CMT Crossroads.
The week the website launched, Billboard’s No. 1 country single was Clay Walker’s “Rumor Has It.”
Check out the video for Walker’s No. 1 hit and some of the other videos you might recall from CMT.com’s first year — when dial-up modems were still on the cutting edge.