Lifenotes: CRS Founder Tom McEntee
Tom McEntee, a longtime music businessman best know as founder of Country Radio Seminar, passed away in Florida on Sept. 24, 2009. After starting CRS, now in its 41st year, McEntee spent a decade as the organization’s Executive Chairman/President.
McEntee started the radio tip sheet Country Music Survey, and spent time as country chart editor of Cashbox Magazine. His career also included radio promotion gigs, stints in publicity, bio writing, artist management, and songwriting.
He played a role in the careers of Jimmy Buffet, Alabama, The Amazing Rhythm Aces, Eddie Rabbit, Earl Thomas Conley, Jimmy Dean, The Kendalls, Hank Williams Jr., Ronnie McDowell, Susan Marshall, and Lefty Frizzell. He helped Alabama get its first record deal, and wrote the liner notes for Frizzell’s last album.
An award winner several times over, McEntee’s plaques included the Country Radio Broadcasters President’s Award, the Nashville Mayor’s Award, and the BMI Commendation of Excellence.
tom was one of the classiest people in country music. he was wise and fun, innovative and honorable.
Tom McEntee 69 years old lost his battle to Leukemia on September 24, 2009 in South Florida. He was born in Bronx, New York. Tom was 1 of 9 children, survived by 5 sisters; Dottie, Francie, Anne, Mary Lou and Lillian. 14 nieces, 11 nephews,15 great nieces,19 great nephews and had many loving friends. Tom was preceded in death by Frankie, Margie and John. Tom was an incredible human being. Tom served in the Army as a GREEN BERET; He moved to Nashville, Tennessee where he continued his life in the Country Music business. Tom was my uncle and will be missed by many, but his memories and soul will live on forever. Love you Uncle Tommy. Peaches
I am heartbroken at your passing Uncle Tommy and while I am thankful that I was lucky enough to get you for an Uncle in this lifetime, I’m miserable at the thought of having to spend the rest of it without you. You made my life richer, smarter, deeper and a whole lot funnier for as long as I can remember and you did it with your own brand of “Shock and Awe”: Awing every one of your nieces and nephews with your wellspring of wisdom on every subject under the Sun and NOT being shocked by any of our lame attempts to keep up with you. I want to thank you for playing such an important role in my life and for always making my children (aka Linz d’ Pinz; Whit d’ Snit and Jon d’ Bomb) such an important part of yours. The entertainment you showered on us was as impressive as the enlightenment you bestowed on us. For anyone who knew you, there are just no words to describe how we feel right now having to face life without you. For anyone who didn’t, I’m truly sorry for their loss.
Love always in this lifetime and the next,
Margo (yup, from Wells Fargo)
I am so proud to have been Tom McEntee’s niece…He not only loved so unconditionally but inspired and guided me in my spiritual evolement. His legacy is not just inspiring creative people in country music, but how his inspiring nature impacted the entire country music industry to what we enjoy today.
We love you uncle Tommy.