The Inspirational Country Music
The Inspirational Country Music Association was founded in 1992 as the Christian Country Music Association by Gene Higgins. He wanted to bridge the gap between country and Christian Country music. Because of his vision, pioneering, and determination, there are numerous national syndicated radio shows now playing on 100,000 watt radio stations. Christian Country Music is now a format with radio stations nationwide and around the world playing the sound of country music with family values.
This is one reason you hear more great songs on country radio today such as “Where Were You When The World Stop Turning,” “Go Rest High On That Mountain,” and “I Believe.” In the past country artists recorded a gospel album sometime in their career, but now they are actually recording Christian songs on their albums!
The association was created to not only bridge the gap between Country and Christian artists, but to bring the best of both genres together on radio and television giving them a wider audience. The annual awards show has featured: Lonestar, Hank Williams Jr, Wynonna, Diamond Rio, Josh Turner, Collin Raye, Richie McDonald, Randy Owens, Merle Haggard, Jamie O’Neal, and The Oak Ridge Boys.
Josh Turner – Long Black Train
“Josh Turner Rides the Long Black Train to Certified Gold”
By Chris Willman, senior music writer for Entertainment Weekly
Universal Nashville chairman Luke Lewis is bringing the gold-record party for country upstart Josh Turner to order. ”I’ll try not to cuss, ’cause there’s Christians in the room,” Lewis kids. ”I’m gonna try not to get on that train” – meaning the hell-bound locomotive warned about in Turner’s breakout hit, ”Long Black Train.” ”We don’t get to do this much anymore,” Lewis adds, a bit ruefully. ”There haven’t been a whole lot of Gold Records in Nashville lately.”
“Beyond all of the hard work by everyone involved in the creation of the record and delivery to the marketplace is the reminder that there is magic in music when a great song, performance and production come together. All of us at Universal Music Group Nashville are proud to be associated with an artist of Josh’s caliber.”
Staff of the former HMG Nashville were present to celebrate Josh’s Gold Record.
Melanie Walker, reigning 2005 and 2006 ICM Female Vocalist of the Year:
“Gene Higgins is a great visionary. Through his organization I have gotten to release my songs to over 1,000 radio stations all over the world. As an independent artist this kind of worldwide ration evangelism has been beneficial in helping my ministry and career growth. I am grateful to Gene and his pioneering efforts. May the Lord continue to greatly increase this organization.”
Mike Hammock, 2006 ICM Entertainer of the Year:
“The exposure I have received from being a part of the Christian Country Music Association has been invaluable to my ministry and music career. Having been awarded Male Vocalist of the Year and appearing on the award show has opened many doors to minister and perform. The Power Source Top Twenty program is a project with world class that has also been an incredible tool to bring exposure to Christian Country artists and to all the artists’ members who are seeking to expand the territories of their ministries. Thank you Gene and Brenda Higgins for obeying God with the vision he gave you many years ago and thank you for caring about people and wanting each of us to be successful in our calling.”
*The association’s mission is accomplished through education, encouragement through networking opportunities, providing resources, products, services, events, and promotional opportunities for the purpose of touching and changing lives through the message of the music.