Morro Bay resident Chris Christensen will be in Nashville, the Ryman Auditorium on Aug. 22 to receive the Academy of Country Music Founders Award. Christensen’s mother and father started the Country Music Awards back in 1964 at the family owned Red Barrel nightclub in the Los Angeles community of Hawaiian Gardens.
The Red Barrel was a magnet for trendsetting California based Country performers like Merle Haggard, Buck and Bonnie Owens, George Jones, Eddie Miller, and Tommy Wiggins.
It wasn’t long before the Christensens' annual Country & Western Music Academy Award performances at the Red Barrel caught the eye of Dick Clark Productions. The venue was switched to the Hollywood Palladium in 1966. “Western” dropped from the new name, Academy of Country Music Awards, fondly dubbed the ACMs, and is now held annually at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
54 years later, Mickey and Chris Christensen are posthumously being honored as the Academy’s founders with the prestigious ACM Honors--Mae Boren Axton Service Award.
Join Chris Christensen Jr., as he recounts tales of growing up immersed in his family’s world of Country Music; and his younger years centered around partying, adventuring, surfing, and an interlude as a drug smuggler before his eventual rebirth as a talent agent. Christensen is still at it, working with Ken McMeans Productions, representing musicians from Nashville, Texas, and across the West.
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