With Hank Williams Jr. introducing "The Conversation," his 1983 hit music video featuring Waylon Jennings, CMT's new digital channel, CMT Pure Country, marks its on-air debut Friday (May 26) at 6 a.m. ET.
Building on CMT's rich heritage, CMT Pure Country delivers uninterrupted country music around the clock. Replacing the existing VH1 Country channel, CMT Pure Country will feature the sounds and images of country music in its most essential form, performed by the genre's most authentic voices.
To celebrate the launch, CMT will pre-empt its regular programming to air all CMT Pure Country programming on Monday (May 29) from 6 a.m.-1 p.m. ET. Beginning June 4, CMT will also debut its new one-hour music block, CMT Pure Country, airing each Sunday at 9 a.m. ET.
"Pure Country is an exciting new opportunity for the wide range of artists we work with," said CMT vice president of music programming and talent relations Chris Parr. "We will use our expertise and talent relationships to create and program another truly unique music experience for the fans."
CMT Pure Country will serve as a catalyst for music lovers to explore established and emerging artists steeped in the rich tradition of country music. The network will showcase a broad spectrum of artists including Johnny Cash, Dierks Bentley, Brad Paisley, Lee Ann Womack, Brooks & Dunn, Tim McGraw, Gretchen Wilson, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Toby Keith, Willie Nelson and more.
Among the programs featured on the new channel:
Wide Open Country -- An extension of CMT's successful weekly series, Wide Open Country is a one-hour weekly series featuring music from a wide array of alternative country, bluegrass and Americana performers along with performers from the heart of country music. (Premieres May 26 at 1 p.m. ET.)
Studio 330 Sessions -- From the intimate performance series previously seen only on CMT.com, Studio 330 Sessions features a mix of the best live performances taped in CMT's studio with artists such as Dwight Yoakam, Jason Aldean and Little Big Town, among many others. (Premieres May 26 at 7:30 p.m. ET.)
Studio 330 Sessions Up-Close -- Brings to television the full spectrum of an individual artist's live in-studio performance and interview together for an intimate look at their entire acoustic set. Dwight Yoakam will be the first artist featured. (Premieres May 26 at 9 p.m. ET.)
Pure 12 Pack Countdown -- Count down the Top 12 videos each week as determined only by the fans voting online at CMT.com. (Premieres June 5 at 9 p.m. ET.)
Pure Vintage -- Step back in time for a look at some of country music's best-loved videos, starting with the early '80s. (Premieres June 12 at 3 p.m. ET.)
Additionally, premiere dates and times are still to be determined for two other programs:
This Is -- Get an inside look at today's emerging artists through performance footage, interviews and behind-the-scenes moments of today's rising country artists.
CMT Most Wanted -- A mix of new and classic videos with the big names such as Tim McGraw, Garth Brooks, Faith Hill, Brooks & Dunn, Shania Twain and more.
Carried in more than 16 million homes, CMT Pure Country will be available via Comcast, Charter, Cox, CableOne, Mediaone, Knology, Cequel II, Armstrong Cable and Blue Ridge Cable.