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WORTH NOTING ON TV

By Alan Bunce / May 9, 1995



WEDNESDAY

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30th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards (NBC, 8-11 p.m., EDT): This live awards show features a long lineup of stars, many of them crossover artists who are almost equally big in the general pop field. Lately, in fact, country music has been topping the charts, giving past editions of this special strong audience ratings. That should prove true this time around, as the program offers stars like hosts Clint Black and Tanya Tucker, who are joined by comedian Jeff Foxworthy.

All three of them will perform, as will Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, Alabama, Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Barbara Mandrell, Willie Nelson, Pam Tillis, and others. Many of the artists will do numbers from their current hits, like John Black, who offers ''Summer's Comin' '' and Tillis who sings ''I Was Blown Away.''

Awards shows have a penchant for looking back, and this is especially true of country. This production includes a medley of winners in the Single Record of the Year category over the past 30 years (''Okie From Muskogee,'' ''Tulsa Time,'' etc.). Brooks also does a medley in salute to his musical heroes -- people like Glen Campbell, Merle Haggard, and George Jones. Alabama sings songs in memory of recently deceased country greats.

Championship Ballroom Dancing (PBS, 8:30-10 p.m.): Any connection between these dazzling performances and what most people mean by ''ballroom dancing'' is hard to make. These are brilliant professional couples of breathtaking skill and sometimes athleticism. Even in fox trots and waltzes they try to knock the judges' socks off with athletic routines. When it's time for the Latin dances, the atmosphere sizzles.

The event -- taped last November -- is the finals of the leading ballroom-dancing competition, with competitors selected from some 8,000 entries from more than 38 states and Canada. The host, in her 12th appearance at the event, is dancer Juliet Prowse, joined by seven-time United States Latin Champion Ron Montez.

Please check local listings for these programs.