Bob Kingsley Dies Following Cancer Diagnosis
One week after taking a leave from Country Top 40 due to a diagnosis of bladder cancer, Bob Kingsley has passed away.
Kingsley died at his home in Weatherford TX this morning at the age of 80. Kingsley has been involved with weekly Country syndicated countdown shows since 1974 when he joined American Country Countdown as a producer. He would begin hosting in 1978 and remained with that show until 2006 when he launched Country Top 40. He began his radio career while serving in the Armed Forces stationed in Iceland and worked at 1020 KGBS Los Angeles from 1961-69 and then as PD of 570 KLAC and Drake-Chenault’s Country programming service before joining ACC. Kingsley was inducted into the Country Radio Hall of Fame in 1998 and the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2014.
Through ACC, Kingsley was the also the final voice on 97.1 WYNY New York before it became “Hot 97” WQHT in 1988.
Original Report 10/9: Bob Kingsley is taking a leave from KCCS Productions and Westwood One’s Country Top 40 with Bob Kingsley following a diagnosis with bladder cancer.
In a letter to listeners, Kingsley wrote, “Bob Kingsley here. I have always prided myself in delivering the truth to you—my friends in the Country music industry, my fellow radio broadcasters, and all of the loyal listeners around the world—and today, well, today the truth does not come in the form of a story behind the song, or anything else, but in the reality of what is going on with yours truly. I want to let you know that I have been diagnosed with bladder cancer. While there is no doubt that the immediate road ahead will push me and challenge my resolve, I want you to know I am blessed to be working with the very best in the medical profession, and they have a plan to deal with this awful disease. The faith you have placed in me is something I treasure, and that support has allowed me to do what I love in this wonderful industry for 60 years. I have no intention of stopping anytime soon, but for a moment, I need to ask for your patience as I step away from the mic and focus on my treatment. Those of you who know me personally, know I would not be here today, and could not continue in this moment without my beautiful bride of 30 years,Nan. Her strength is unmatched, and she is by my side every step of the way. My amazing team at the Country Top 40 and KCCS Productions, and our extended family at Westwood One, will be following up very soon with our temporary plan. And I do have to say, we are very far down the road on a concept we have been working on for a while in conjunction with this year’s CMA Awards—one that I thought I would get to be a part of over the next several weeks. That, however, is not going to be possible, but I am looking forward to hearing it from the other side of the speakers. You know friends, I’ve made a career out of #1s, and right now my #1 goal is getting back on the air to create more memories we’ll all be able to share, surrounded by the music we all love. I thank you in advance for the prayers and well wishes…they mean more to me than you could ever know.”
The 80 year old Kingsley has been involved with weekly Country syndicated countdown shows since 1974 when he joined American Country Countdown as a producer. He would begin hosting in 1978 and remained with that show until 2006 when he launched Country Top 40.
From this upcoming weekend until the final weekend in November, the show will be hosted by what is described as “Country music’s most impactful female artists”. Trisha Yearwood, Kimberly Schlapman & Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town, and Martina McBride are among those who will guest host the show.
Country music’s longest-running syndicated show host, Bob Kingsley, is still breaking new ground as he celebrates his 45th year involved with the most listened-to Country music countdown program in history. Today, a partnership with the Country Music Association that began taking shape prior to Kingsley’s announcement to his listeners and affiliates that he is battling bladder cancer, will continue and enhance Country Music’s Biggest Night™. Over the course of several weeks Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40 will spotlight the legacy of female voices in the format, each week seeing a hitmaking female artist take a turn behind Bob’s mic.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled to team with my friends at the CMA to help them magnify what is already poised to be an incredible night for this music we all love,” said Kingsley, whose Country Top 40 program airs globally on more than 320 stations. “The artists we have secured for this very special partnership are among my favorite of all-time, and being able to provide this platform to reinforce how important female voices are to Country radio and Country music in general is an honor. While I wanted to be right there with them, now knowing that these amazing female voices will be pinch-hitting for me as I focus on cancer treatment, brings me such peace of mind and gratitude.”
Beginning the weekend of October 12-13 and running through the weekend of November 30-December 1 Kingsley will turn over the mic to Country music’s most impactful female artists as the powerhouse women help countdown the week’s top 40 biggest hits. Throughout each episode, each guest artist will play their big hits, songs from their new albums, their favorite songs either performed or written by females, and each week’s Milestone segment will spotlight CMA Female Vocalist nominees and winners through the years. Artists confirmed to guest host during this partnership period include Trisha Yearwood, Kimberly Schlapman & Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town, Martina McBride, and more to be announced.
“Bob Kingsley defines Country music and I could not be more proud to know of his passion for female talent and his desire to recognize them in this significant way,” says Sarah Trahern, Country Music Association CEO. “This year’s show is turning out to be one of our most important ever. With Carrie, Reba & Dolly leading the charge as our hosts, additional female artists will have the opportunity to showcase their hosting abilities, all the while being able to magnify their music. Bob has, and always will be, a leader in this industry, and this initiative is another shining example of that fact. With today’s news about Bob’s health, he has some amazing ladies ensuring his show remains at the top of its game.” Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40 is produced by KCCS Productions and is distributed by Westwood