Today in '70s nostalgia: Watch Charlie Rich burn John Denver at the 1975 CMAs

It's one of most heated moments in country music's history

Prachi Gupta
June 13, 2014 9:52PM (UTC)

Country Music Nation has discovered a treasure from the 1970s -- what it touts as "one of the most infamous and explosive moments in the history of Country music," has emerged on YouTube.

The clip is from the 1975 Country Music Awards, in which country singer Charlie Rich presented the award for Entertainer of the Year. Rich, who won the honor the previous year, read aloud the nominees: John Denver, Waylon Jennings, Loretta Lynn, Ronnie Milsap and Conway Twitty.


Denver, of course, stands out on the list for his pop-star appeal; his nomination was contentious among country artists. The "Annie's Song" singer won (and, as if to rub it in further, Denver called in via satellite). Rich's infamous response: burn the notecard (and, it soon followed, his career).

h/t Spin

Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at

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Charlie Rich Country Music Awards John Denver Music Video

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