Country Radio Hall of Famer Bob Kingsley was honored at the Grand Ole Opry Monday night for his 40 years in national radio syndication as part of American Country Countdown and as host and owner of Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40. The surprise event, which benefited the Opry Trust Fund, included performances, appearances and taped messages from industry friends. Bob believed he was there to celebrate the Opry’s 89th birthday when the evening was actually designed to honor him.
“I could not have been more surprised and I could not feel more honored,” said Bob. “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.”
Nearly 50 artists participated in the evening including 25-plus taped video messages along with in person appearances or performances by Rhett Akins and Thomas Rhett, Alabama, Lynn Anderson, Garth Brooks, Eli Young Band, Radney Foster, Janie Fricke, Jack Ingram, Jewel, Kathy Mattea, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, Will Robinson, Tom Schuyler, Red Steagall, Jeffrey Steele, Tanya Tucker, Steve Wariner, Lee Ann Womack, Wynonna, Trisha Yearwood and Chris Young.
“What a pleasure to host so many friends on the Opry House stage tonight as we all came together to celebrate one of country radio’s most beloved voices, leaders, and gentlemen,” said Pete Fisher, Grand Ole Opry vice president and general manager. “All of us at the Opry are particularly honored that, just as Bob has made a point to do throughout his career, tonight’s event also gave back to a worthy cause, the Opry Trust Fund. For nearly 50 years the Trust Fund has assisted members of the country music community in need, and I can’t think of a better way to honor Bob’s contributions to the country community than to continue that legacy of helping others in his name.”
2014 marks 40 years since Bob Kingsley first became involved in counting down America’s biggest country hits every weekend. He was named American Country Countdown’s producer in 1974, and took over as host four years later. A veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Bob has a passion for military-related and other charitable causes. Using his national platform to give back, Bob his a supporter of the Wounded Warrior Project hosts the annual National Cutting Horse Celebrity Cutting to benefit a variety of causes.