Biggest country radio event tests endurance


More country fun from Nancy Wilson.

My K99.1 radio co-host Frye Guy and I are in Nashville this week for the Country Radio Seminar.

Known as the “biggest country radio event in the world,” the three day program at the Nashville Convention Center is full of panels, exhibits, speakers and educational presentations in all areas of the radio and records industry. Long story short, it’s a way for us to learn how to be a better radio station for our listeners.

But all work and no play make for an unhappy Breakfast Club Morning Show, so there’s also entertainment. Performances by some of country music’s superstars (Luke Bryan? Jason Aldean? Yes, please!) and also by some of country music’s promising up-and-comers. And it’s not just country music. Motley Crue’s Vince Neil is scheduled to make an appearance, and my inner ’80s hair-band goddess hopes it will be the entire band.

In doing some research about the CRS, I found Billboard magazine called it “an annual rite of passage for the country radio industry and Nashville music community that tests the stamina (and alcohol tolerance) of its participants every year.” Hmmm … someone advised me to treat it like a “marathon, not a sprint.”

Eli Young Band bassist Jon Jones, a CRS veteran, told the magazine, “The Bridge Bar at the Renaissance has always been a good hang in between showcases and interviews. Though, the front lounge of our bus is usually where the party ends up at night’s end.” So noted. There’s too much to miss, I don’t plan on spending my time testing the comfort level of the Renaissance Hotel bathroom floors.

Here are some of the highlights: Vince Gill received the Career Achievement award Tuesday night. Wednesday morning, Carrie Underwood was given the Country Radio Broadcasters’ Artist Humanitarian award, which recognizes country music artists who have exhibited exceptional humanitarian efforts during their career.

“In a format rich with artists that are generous with their time and talents for a wide variety of worthy causes and needs, Carrie Underwood has distinguished herself with her depth of kindnesses and commitment to making a positive difference,” stated CRS President Charlie Morgan.

Little Big Town was featured in a panel discussion on perseverance in the business.

The CRS literature said LBT is the perfect example of perseverance, with their “steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.” The group shared stories about sticking together as a band during the ups and downs of their career, which paid off with a No. 1 album, two No. 1 singles, a Grammy Award and ACM/CMA Vocal Group of the Year.

Friday night the festivities are capped off with the “New Faces of Country Music Show” featuring Brett Eldredge, Tyler Farr, Cassadee Pope, Thomas Rhett and Charlie Worsham.

After this week, I’m thinking I might do well in the Air Force Marathon.