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Asleep at the Wheel wins Academy of Country Music Award

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At least one band nominated for Top Vocal Group at this week’s Academy of Country Music Awards (May 3) proves you can succeed in ’90s country music without a blow dryer. The veteran Texas-swing band Asleep at the Wheel earned their ACM nod thanks to their all-star album, Tribute to the Music of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys. ”If you’re a musicologist, or if you’re a housewife ironing clothes, you can really enjoy it,” says Wheel founder Ray Benson of Wills’ eclectic music. ”It has timely, universal appeal to certain people. Some people just don’t get it, but that’s their problem.” After 24 years with the Wheel (and as its last original member), Benson, 43, can afford a casual attitude, after surviving the countrypolitan ’70s, the Urban Cowboy ’80s, and the Hot Country ’90s. ”The graph in show business is not a direct line up,” says Benson with a chuckle. ”It’s a roller coaster. You gotta ride the crest and somehow survive the valleys.”