LeMars, Iowa…..”When the ‘Rural Roots Music Commission’ was organized in 1980, we had no idea we would be able to expand the purpose, or the interest, into such a large arena of music appreciation.” Bob Everhart is President of the National Traditional Country Music Association. “We started what might be called our ‘music protection’ society in 1975, which eventually became the NTCMA. We quickly realized that the very slow process of placing recognition and honor on those that have made a lasting impression on country music, was leaving a huge amount of worthwhile contributors without recognition. That was the beginning of the Rural Roots Music Commission. We also had to find a way to distinguish what we do, so we began labeling the musical genre ‘rural country,’ so as not to be confused with present day country music,” Everhart said. “Only a handful of those that have made significant contributions to this particular kind of music, were being honored. We decided to seek out recording artists, performers, instrumentalists, songwriters, producers, promoters, even media specialists, that have been successful in ‘rural country music’ by making annual awards at the agricultural-convention and festival promoted by the National Traditional Country Music Association. And, we decided to do this on several different levels of interest, Local, State-Wide, Regional, National, and International. In other words, we were, and are, dedicated to finding the very best participants in all areas of this genre of music.”

Everhart went on to say, “We honor contributors to ‘rural country’ music in two ways now. Some are inducted into America’s Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame which is located in the Pioneer Music Museum in Anita, Iowa. Others, especially those active in ‘recording’ rural country music, receive recognition from the Rural Roots Music Commission. The latter process requires a review of CDs recorded and made available to the public, prior to the festival which takes place this year August 29-September 4th, at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds in LeMars, Iowa. CD’s received are reviewed in Tradition Magazine, the house organ of the NTCMA, and then forwarded to the Rural Roots Music Commission who decide the awards to be made.”
“There are a number of categories for these honors,” added Everhart. “We are extremely pleased to announce that Ms. Maggie Mae of Oxford, Wisconsin, will be awarded RRMC’s “Best Contemporary Country Music CD of the Year.” Since much of the music that the RRMC has recognized over the past thirty years has been what is labeled as ‘old-time country’ we also realized there are a lot of artists, producers, and promoters that do country music in a 50′s and 60′s style, so we labeled it contemporary. Maggie Mae has an interesting ‘story’ behind how she became such a good contemporary country music artist. She owns a cafe in Oxford, Wisconsin, called “Maggie’s Cafe.” It is co-owned with her husband Roger, and this particular cafe is a quite unique experience for the patrons. You get a song with your meal. In addition to keeping classic country music songs alive by singing to her diners, she and her husband cleaned out an old barn near the cafe, and started doing “Music in the Barn” programs that has drawn a huge crowd from the community, and has allowed Maggie to continue her efforts in keeping classic country music alive in Wisconsin. The two venues have provided the entire area opportunity for the music to be shared and experienced, even at breakfast, which is a specialty at Maggie’s Cafe. And, quite naturally Maggie’s new CD produced by Grammy nominated Nashville Music Group® producer Denny Knight follows that direction, it’s called “Cookin’ Up Country.” This combination of good food and good country music is the very epitomy of what we pursue in the Rural Roots Music Commission.”