Tonight is a special night for Country Radio – it’s the night when the Country Radio Broadcasters honors some of radio's best with inductions into the Country Radio Hall of Fame and presentations of special awards.
One of the Honorees will be this year’s Artist Career Achievement Recipient, Randy Travis.
Randy, who was also announced as this year's Modern Era Inductee to the Country Music Hall of Fame didn’t initiate the “post-Urban Cowboy movement” of the early 80's. That arguably started with the April, 1981 release of “Unwound” and, a few months later, Reba McEntire’s “(You Lift Me) Up to Heaven.”
George would have 11 more top ten songs, Reba would have 8 more and the Judds would release their first charted single in 1983 - “Had A Dream (For the Heart)” - and begin their run of eight consecutive number one songs with “Mama He’s Crazy” before Randy released what would be his first Top 10: 1985’s “1982.”
Through the rest of the decade, Randy would score 10 more number ones and one number two, and then in the 90's and 2000's 17 more top 10's, the streak ending with his final number one, "Three Wooden Crosses" in 2002.
George Strait (2013), Reba (2003) and the Judds (2011) have all received the CRB's Artist Career Achievement Award.
This year, they’ll be joined by Randy Travis.
CRB Executive Director Bill Mayne and I got to know each other well in the early 80's when I was programming in Washington, DC and Bill was programming in Dallas. I asked him if he had a Randy Travis story and he shared this:
“I remember doing focus groups in Dallas/Ft. Worth when “Forever & Ever Amen” was a hit, many previous 'non-country' fans were brought into the fold 'specifically' by Randy’s performance of that song & the timing of its release. The public truly had a new definition on what the sound of country music was.”
|Bill with Randy.|
As country radio programmers we’ve had the opportunity to champion some truly amazing artists - some, like Randy, have changed the game.
“Randy’s contribution to Country Music is beyond measurement," Bill added. “Country Radio & the Country Music industry were given a tremendous gift with Randy Travis as its beacon. This recognition for him, could not be more appropriate.”
Congratulations Randy – and to all of this year’s honorees:
- On Air: Blair Garner, Mike and Dana Schuff, and Lisa Dent
- Radio: Mick Anselmo, Kerby Confer, Jack Reno, Tim Roberts, and Jim Slone
- President’s Award: Carole Bowen
That you were acknowledged/“went in” with Randy Travis is in itself an honor.
As I wrote last year, "the Country Radio Hall of Fame is a reminder that excellence matters and is still acknowledged and celebrated. At its best, the Hall and inductees inspire us all to make a daily, “significant contribution to the radio industry.”