Charlie Monk, Bobby Denton & More Inducted Into 2019 Country Radio Hall of Fame

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Kayla Schoen Photography
The 2019 Country Radio Hall of Fame Class of inductees: (L-R) Gregg Lindahl, Ron Morton and Charlotte Wise appearing on behalf of Bobby Denton, Charlie Monk, Kyle Cantrell, Mac Daniels, and Jeff Garrison

The 2019 Country Radio Hall of Fame Induction Dinner and Awards ceremony was held Wednesday evening (June 19), at the Nashville Marriott at Vanderbilt University. With over 300 people in attendance, the night served as a celebration for six men inducted into the revered Country Radio Hall of Fame, including radio category honorees Mac Daniels, Jeff Garrison, Gregg Lindahl and Bobby Denton, who was awarded posthumously, and air personalities Charlie Monk and Kyle Cantrell.

Founded in 1974, the Country Radio Hall of Fame recognizes those who have made significant contributions to the radio industry. Inductees must have worked in radio for at least 20 years, 15 of which must be in the country format. The 2019 class joins an esteemed roster of 167 other honorees.

"You’re not kind of a big deal, damnit, you are a big deal," Country Radio Broadcasters executive director RJ Curtis told the inductees at the start of the ceremony. "Thank you for your commitment and service to country radio. Each of you is going to leave radio better than you found it."

Ahead of each honoree accepting his plaque, Dustin Lynch took the stage with two guitarists to perform his breakout hit “Cowboys and Angels,” which he penned about his grandparents who have been married for 64 years. “Thank you guys for changing our lives with that one,” he said. He followed with his latest chart topper, “Good Girl.”

Recently retired CRB executive director Bill Mayne was then presented with the president’s award for his support of the country genre. Introduced by CRB board president Kurt Johnson, Mayne was celebrated for his four decades of influence on Music Row. Upon receiving his honor, Mayne thanked his industry colleagues for their continued support throughout his career.

“This president’s award is about one thing: it’s about service,” Mayne said. “In my mind, the most important thing I learned over the years is giving back…it is so important in your community to give back. It is so important in our industry to give back and that’s what CRS is about.”

SiriusXM senior director/country programming J.R. Schumann then introduced Country Radio Hall of Fame 2019 air personality recipient Monk with a video that included messages of congratulation from Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks and Taylor Swift. “Thank you so much for treating artists with such respect and for being a personal champion for me in this business,” Swift said. Parton ended the video with a verse of “I Will Always Love You,” which she dedicated to Monk.

After some brief words from his wife, Monk took the podium for a short and comical speech. “I’ve waited so long for this, I’m not gonna thank a damn soul,” he joked. “This is such a great honor and frankly, about 75 or 80-percent of the people in this room thought I was already in this Hall of Fame. I am so honored that you guys did this for me because I have worked a long, long time. I am truly honored just to be up here. Thank you so very, very much."

Many of the newly inducted Hall of Famers thanked country radio for what it has given them. Radio category honoree Lindahl said he never pursued radio, it pursued him. “I receive and continue to receive more from country radio and country music than I ever gave. I am truly blessed,” he said.

Air personality honoree Cantrell echoed Lindahl’s sentiments. “[Country radio] has given me way more than I could give it,” he said. “I could have never dreamed back in 1980 that I’d someday be honored like this. In fact, if this is a dream and I’m about to wake up and find out it was all a joke and I’m still sacking groceries, at least I can say that this is a dream that I have greatly enjoyed.”

Meanwhile, radio category honoree Daniels’ acceptance speech combined his gratitude to have worked over four decades in the genre as well as his love of country radio. “It’s unbelievable that I’m joining the ranks. It’s been said love what you do, and you’ll never work a day in your life. Well, I’ve got to agree with that,” he said. "It’s the love that sustains. The love for radio. The love of country music, [what] I consider to be the best damn music made. I’ve always felt country music was the best pure music for radio because it’s about life. Whatever life throws at us, there’s a song about it.”