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Journeys of Discovery: Morro Bay resident honored in Nashville at the Ryman Auditorium

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.

You are invited to subscribe to the Lowell Thomas Award-winning podcast travel show,  Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer, featured on the NPR Podcast Directory,  Apple Podcast, the NPR One App & Twitter: TomCWilmer. Instagram: Thomas.Wilmer. Underwriting support provided by The Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

Tom Wilmer produces on-air content for Issues & Ideas airing over KCBX and is producer and host of the six-time Lowell Thomas award-winning NPR podcast Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer. Recorded live on-location across America and around the world, the podcasts feature the arts, culture, music, nature, history, science, wine & spirits, brewpubs, and the culinary arts--everything from baseball to exploring South Pacific atolls to interviewing the real Santa Claus in the Arctic.
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