Country Music Industry Celebrates 40 Years Of Bob Kingsley Countin' 'Em Down
February 18, 2014 at 3:59 AM (PT)
Virtually every arm of the Country music industry turned out MONDAY night (2/17), to celebrate 40 YEARS of BOB KINGSLEY counting down the hits.
Host of his self-titled, WESTWOOD ONE distributed, “BOB KINGSLEY’s COUNTRY TOP 40" since 2006 and “AMERICAN COUNTRY COUNTDOWN” before that, KINGSLEY has been a weekly staple on Country radio since 1974. During those years, he's established himself as a friend to artists, an advocate for songwriters and ardant supporter of charitable causes, most notably, THE WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT.
All of these contributions were saluted MONDAY night, with a diverse roster of more than 50 special guests which included radio, labels, artists, songwriters and members of KINGSLEY's production team, appearing both in person and via recorded messages. After a video sharing BOB’s background prior to radio was shown, a string of artists spanning the past 40 years performed.
Among those who sang included DAVID NAIL, LEE ANN WOMACK, CHRIS YOUNG, MARTINA MCBRIDE (who claimed the night was so special, “I shaved my legs for this”), KATHY MATTEA, ELI YOUNG BAND, JANIE FRICKIE, JEWEL, RHETT AKINS with THOMAS RHETT, RADNEY FOSTER, JACK INGRAM, WYNONNA - and as if to wrap a gigantic bow on the evening, GARTH BROOKS and TRISHA YEARWOOD.
A recurring theme of the night recounted by literally every artist, was the very first memory of hearing KINGSLEY announce their name on his countdown, a moment each of them said added credibility and hope to their then-just-beginning career in music.
The dinner took place at the GRAND OLE OPRY HOUSE in NASHVILLE, the stage of which was filled with tables ornately set for a full banquet meal, while a smaller bandstand was erected to accommodate musical performances.
Because KINGSLEY is also one of the most humble of radio legends, his wife, NAN and GRAND OLE OPRY VP/GM PETE FISHER had to trick KINGSLEY in attending, under the guise of the OPRY’s 89th anniversary celebration.
"I could not have been more surprised," said a visibly moved KINGSLEY. "And I could not feel more honored. I have made a career of Country music radio because I love it, and to have my friends in the business, from artists and songwriters to industry executives, tell me my work has made a difference--well it means the world to me. And to have the people I work with day in and day out here to celebrate with me makes it all the more special."
The evening also served as a fundraiser for THE OPRY TRUST FUND, which assists members of the Country music community in need. A guitar signed by each of the evening’s performers was auctioned off after the dinner; proceeds from the dinner also benefitted The OPRY TRUST.