Bob Kingsley - Country Radio Legend - passed away this Thursday while undergoing treatment for bladder cancer. He was 80-Year-Old. He remained on the air until just one week before he passed.
I grew up listening to him every Sunday on the American Country Countdown. I would write down the songs in order so that I knew what the #1 country song of the week was.
I began my Country Radio career in 1993 and one of my very first programming decisions was to add his countdown to our station.
Also that first year of my career in Country Radio, I was tapped to Emcee part of Alabama June Jam Festival in Ft. Payne, Alabama. The festival average 50,000 plus in attendance each year and was a virtual who' who of country stars performing. It was the Woodstock of Country! At that point (and maybe even now!) it was the largest crowd I had ever been on stage in front of! I was so nervous, I could barely breathe! Bob Kingsley was the Master of Ceremonies and he saw me standing side stage before my turn to take the mic. He walked over and hugged me (see photo) and told me there was nothing to it. He then walked on stage and introduced me to the crowd.
He was named to the Country Radio Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 1998 and he became a member of the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2016. He is also the namesake, as well as the inaugural winner, of the Bob Kingsley Living Legend Award.
He and his wife Nan launched the Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40 show in 2006, and it still runs today on over 320 stations.
He was a kind man, a legend in the industry, and there will never be another one like him.