The Billy Mata & Texas Tradition Band and the Texas Tradition Music Team, are extremely proud to announce that the Academy of western Artists has presented Billy Mata with two major awards at their 10th Annual Will Rogers Awards Show at the Eisehann Center, Hill Performance Hall in Richardson, Texas, on Tuesday, July 12, 2005.

Billy Mata has been named the winner of both the
*2005 Western Swing Male Vocalist of the Year

and the TOP Honor bestowed in this juried awards program:

Our whole organization joins Billy in thanking the Academy of Western Artists for their recognition of Billy Mata’s contribution to Western Music. We are incredibly honored.
The nationwide membership of the Academy Of Western Artists (often referred to as the AWA) is made up of Cowboy and Western Artists, Radio Personalities, Book Publishers, Magazine Publishers, News Media, and other Music and Arts Industry people who share a common interest in all things Western. The AWA exists to promote and encourage the American Cowboy and Western Arts to future generations. It is to traditional cowboy and western arts what the Academy of Motion Pictures is to the Movie Industry.
Starting from a small awards show at it's inception, the AWA has grown it's membership and influence to help bring what has nationally been considered a niche market to national market prominence. The annual awards show was organized to help promote awareness of the depth and breadth of the movement, as well as to highlight the year's outstanding group and individual works.

The Will Rogers Awards on July 12th, 2005 marks the 10th Anniversary of the program.

"We've pulled out all the stops for our 10th anniversary," said Bobby Newton, founder and executive director of the AWA. "This is by far the best show we have had for the awards yet. We will have two full western swing bands plus some of the best talent in western music for performers and presenters."

After having been nominated by a national jury made up of roughly one thousand of the Academy Of Western Artists membership, Billy and the band were carried through several rounds of jury voting that ultimately yielded Ten Top nominations in five separate artist award categories.

Prior to the show, the semi-final round of voting narrowed the field to the Top Five nominees in each category. These were the nominees invited to the gala awards ceremony in Dallas, Texas in July.

Billy Mata and his band remained in the Top Five Nominations for their five separate award categories:

Entertainer of the Year - Billy Mata
Western Swing Male Vocalist of the Year - Billy Mata

Western Swing Group - Billy Mata and the Texas Tradition
Western Swing Song of the Year - "Just To Celebrate"
Western Swing Album of the Year - "Traditionally Yours, Billy Mata"

In fact, Billy Mata had the largest number of separate nominations of any artist nominated this year. The second highest number of nominations went to Wylie Gustafson, a Montana native now living in Washington state. Wylie is known as one of the best songwriters in western music today.

Look at some of the other great performers that were recognized as Top Ten Nominees by the Academy of Western Artists this year:

Dave Alexander and Legends of Western Swing
Ray Benson and Asleep At The Wheel
Hot Club of Cowtown
Jody Nix and the Texas Cowboys
The River Road Boys
Tom Morrell and the Time Warp Tophands
Craig Chambers
Curtis Potter
Leon Rausch and the Texas Playboys
Red Steagall
Bill Barwick (The "voice" of satellite and cable's 'The Western Channel')
Curly Musgrave
Belinda Gail
Kip Calahan
Riders In The Sky
..... this list goes on and on and on

We are extremely proud to be included in such a list of important ambassadors of Western Swing and Real Country Music!

Keep The Tradition !!!

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