One of broadcasting’s most beloved and iconic figures, Bob Kingsley was a mainstay on radio for 60 years. His dominance in the Country format began in 1978 when he took over as host of American Country Countdown after four years as the show’s producer for radio’s original syndication companies, Watermark, founded by Tom Rounds. In 2006, he and his wife and business partner Nan Kingsley established Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40, produced by their own KCCS Productions. Kingsley received many of broadcasting’s top honors and was named to the Country Radio Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 1998 and the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2016. He is the namesake and was the first recipient of the Bob Kingsley Living Legend Award, presented each year since 2014 at the Grand Ole Opry House and benefiting the Opry Trust Fund. With Kingsley at the helm, American Country Countdown with Bob Kingsley was named Billboard Magazine’s “Network/Syndicated Country Program of the Year” for 16 years in a row.
They were among the many fruits of a career built on a simple premise. “I love the music and the people who make it,” he once said, “and I want our listeners to have as much insight into both as I can give them, and to make the experience as enjoyable as possible.” Bob’s love for radio and music dated to his childhood, when polio kept him in bed and in near isolation for a year. “I would listen to the radio,” he said, “and certain shows became really important to me. It was complete escapism and entertainment. I didn’t realize the imprint it was making, but it obviously stayed with me.”
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