Bobby Karl Works MusicRow’s CRS Meet & Greet

Chapter 359 • Photos: Alan Mayor

MR Chart Director Jon Freeman (R) presents the CountryBreakout Reporter of the Year Award to Dale Desmond (L)

The hundreds of day drinkers give it away: Country Radio Seminar is here once again.

The occasion was the 9th annual MusicRow CRS Meet & Greet CountryBreakout™ Awards, staged at Cadillac Ranch on Tuesday afternoon (3/1). And the house was rockin’.

“Hello, hello, hello,” shouted the mag’s David Ross over the din of radio merry makers. “It’s MusicRow’s 30th anniversary! A little applause is just right. And give yourselves a round of applause. It’s wonderful to have all our radio friends and our industry friends with us today.”

Many artists were there as well, working the room to better their odds with broadcasters. Jeff Cook, The Roys, Matt Bailey, Deborah Allen, Melanie Denard, Josh Thompson, Steve Holy, Andy Griggs, Eric Lee Beddingfield, Lucy Angel, Greg Hanna, Moore & Moore, Billy Block and Robert Reynolds, plus award winners such as The Band Perry and Burns & Poe were present.

“Thank you guys so much,” said Kimberly Perry when her group won the Breakout Artist award. “We’re at CRS, and we’ll see you out and about.”

The Band Perry accepting Breakout Artist of the Year (L-R): Republic Nashville's Jimmy Harnen; Neil, Kimberly and Reid Perry.

“Make some noise for MusicRow, y’all,” shouted Keith Burns. “Thank you so much to radio for playing our songs,” added Michelle Poe. Their Burns & Poe duo won the Indie Artist of the Year prize. Presenter and awards emcee Jon Freeman called them, “The Sonny & Cher of country music.”

To no one’s surprise, Lady Antebellum won Artist of the Year. Capitol Nashville earned Label of the Year honors for the sixth consecutive time.

“Thank you so much: Let’s have a good week,” said Country Breakout Reporter of the Year Dale Desmond of KTHK in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

Burns & Poe accept Indie Artist of the Year. (L-R): MR Publisher David M. Ross; Keith Burns and Michelle Poe; and MR Chart Dir. Jon Freeman.

Joanna Smith

The party featured music from Joanna Smith and Colt Ford. Joanna was still all a-flutter about that day’s luncheon where new artists get to meet the just-announced Country Music Hall of Fame inductees. This year’s induction class is Bobby Braddock, Jean Shepard and Reba McEntire. The always blunt and lovable Jean told the new girls to look in the mirror and ask themselves if they are as good as Dolly, Loretta, Tammy and Reba. If not, “Get out.”

After warbling “Kissing in Public” winningly, Joanna chirped, “I want to dedicate this next song to our new Hall of Fame inductee, Reba McEntire. Jean Shepard is an inductee, too. And I think she’d approve of this song, too.” Joanna offered a feisty take on “Poor Little Heart,” and then concluded her set with her single “Georgia Mud.”

Colt Ford

“It’s CRS: Here we go again,” said Tom Baldrica. “We’re happy and honored to be with you this afternoon….Let’s get this party started.” He introduced Colt, who rocked the crowd with “Every Chance I Get.” Wearing dark shades and a black hat, nice-guy Colt quipped, “Play my record every chance you get.” His set also included “Looking for a Good Time” and “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.”

Thanks largely to Jon Freeman, MusicRow’s CRS bash has ballooned in size. More than 350 rsvp’d this year, including such fabulons as Mike Betten, Mike Thomas, Wynne Adams, Win Patton, Jimmy Rector (and the rest of the Columbia promo staff), Jimmy Harnen, Lee Richey, Diane Richey, Diana Henderson, Chuck Dauphin, Chuck Thompson, Don Wilson, Martha Moore, Archie Jones, Ed Salamon, Wes Vause, Kerry Hansen, Susan Collier, Barry Cown, Bill Wence, Woody Bomar and Steve Pope.

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