HeroVet: Bob Kingsley, Supporting Those Who Serve
Bob Kingsley is big in American Country Music circles. He’s a leading country music radio personality and host of nationally syndicated programs, a standard for over three decades. He’s also an Air Force vet who makes supporting those who serve a life priority, including Veterans Advantage partner Wounded Warrior Project.
For 27 years, Kingsley was the voice behind the nationally syndicated countdown program, "American Country Countdown" and the two-minute daily "Bob Kingsley with America's MusicMakers." After talks to renew his contract with ABC Radio broke down, he successfully re-emerged to create the popular weekly "Bob Kingsley's Country Top 40," as well as the annual "Christmas in America" and year-end countdown shows.
Following childhood dreams to break into radio, the road to success for Bob Kingsley began when he was just 18 years old, while stationed in Keflavic, Iceland with the US Air Force. There, he auditioned for an announcer spot on Armed Forces Radio Station TFK.
"I did a little audition from the production studio," he says, "and they put me on the air working all night, which was just perfect."
Following his Air Force stint, Kingsley honed his skills at several radio stations in such places as Tijuana, Nevada and finally California. He jockeyed at Los Angeles country station KGBS, 1961-69, then in 1970 became program director at KLAC, which had just adopted a country format, and from there, he grew to become the country music authority he is today.
And yet, thanking the military that gave him his start in broadcasting has always been special to Kingsley. He served as Master of Ceremonies at the National Veterans Day Ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery in both 2004 and 2005.
SPREADING AWARENESS OF VETERANS BENEFITS
In 2005 Kingsley gave back his time in partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: ABC Radio Networks and American Country Countdown with Bob Kingsley aired a series of public service announcements detailing benefits available to veterans, in addition to an on-air special "Bob Kingsley Salutes America's Veterans," a commercial-free broadcast of music and interviews with headliners in the Country Music industry, including Faith Hill, Toby Keith, Trace Adkins, Brooks & Dunn and Trisha Yearwood, among many others.
“Having served as a broadcaster in the U.S. Air Force with American Forces Radio, it is my privilege to be working with VA and ABC Radio Networks as part of this program,” Kingsley said in announcing the special partnership. “Country music is one of the most effective ways to reach our veterans and service men and women. I am honored to be a part of VA’s efforts to get the word out to veterans.”
At the time, the VA said the partnership was formed as part of its mission to inform veterans of the entitlements they have earned as mandated by Congress.
WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT
And most recently, he’s been a big supporter of Wounded Warrior Project. Bob and his wife Nan have been working to spread the word about WWP and the needs of injured service members. Bob has also used his radio program to take WWP on the air, producing a public service announcement that he plays on his show and links to WWP from his Web site www.ct40.com.
Reaching millions of listeners on over 1,000 radio stations, Bob Kingsley has hosted the number one national music show in any format. He's been named host of Billboard magazine's "Network/Syndicated Program of the Year: Country" for 16 consecutive years (1987-2002); the only air personality in any format to achieve this continued success. In October of 2001, Bob Kingsley was named the first ever Country Music Association National Broadcast Personality of the Year. And, in 2003, he received the honor a second time.
"I try to leave people with a real picture of the stars who make the music," Kingsley says. "Whether it's a chart newcomer, a current superstar, or one of the all time greats, when listeners hear a record, I want them to think, 'that's the singer Bob Kingsley told us about'. It's certainly a great journey, and the best part is that it's never stopped being fun!"
Image Credit: https://radiosyndicationtalk.com/2015/04/17/cumulus-reunites-bob-kingsley-with-american-country-countdown/