Longtime music and radio industry executive and former CRB/CRS Executive Director Bill Mayne has died at 72 after a long-term illness.
Mayne’s nearly 50-year career included a decade at the helm of CRS as well as time at multiple radio stations and a 15-year stint at Warner Bros. in Nashville.
Mayne started his career in radio, working on-air in programming roles across diverse formats, including top 40, rock and country music, where he found his calling. Mayne launched KASE in Austin and went on to lead KZLA/KLAC in Los Angeles and KSCS/WBAP in Dallas.
After time spent in radio, he transferred over to the records side of the building, joining Warner Bros./Nashville. During his 15 years there, Mayne held various influential roles, from regional to VP of Promotion, eventually becoming Sr. VP/General Manager and VP of Promotion.
A devoted member of the CRB Board, Mayne became the Board Vice President before assuming the role of Executive Director in 2009. He held the position for a decade before stepping down in 2019. The same year, Mayne received the organization’s President’s Award and was recognized for the significant contributions he’d made to the radio industry.
The multi-hyphenate business man also presided over Mayne Entertainment, an artist management company, and Mayne Street Consulting, a private entertainment consulting firm, offering valuable insights and guidance to clients in the entertainment field.
Mayne was also deeply involved in the industry’s charitable endeavors, serving as a former Board member of the Country Music Association and spent over 35 years on the Academy of Country Music Board of Directors, including roles as Chairman and Chairman of the Board of Lifting Lives, the charitable arm of the ACM. His legacy also includes co-founding the St. Jude Country Cares for Kids Program, a monumental initiative that has raised over $700 million for St. Jude since its inception in 1989. Additionally, he held the role of National VP for MDA and was a distinguished member of Leadership Music and the Mayor’s Nashville Music Council.
Mayne is survived by his loving wife of 46 years, Sallie Mayne, who was his steadfast partner throughout his incredible journey. He is also survived by his sons Bryant Mayne and Christopher Mayne, his grandchild Everleigh Mayne and mother-in-law Helen Wood.
Memorial services for Mayne have not yet been announced, though donations can be made in his honor to St. Jude and ACM Lifting Lives.
RJ Curtis, the current Executive Director of CRB/CRS, shared the following statement regarding Mayne’s passing: “The passing of Bill Mayne marks a profound loss for the entire country music community. Bill was a true giant in every sense of the word. His fifty years of passionate work positively impacted everyone he met, in nearly every segment of our business, through his time in radio, the music industry, artist management, entrepreneurialism, and, of course, his decade of leadership as Executive Director for CRB. Bill Mayne navigated the organization through a period of great adversity, ultimately reestablishing CRS as the premier industry event that it is today.”
Damon Whiteside, CEO of the Academy of Country Music, shared, “On behalf of our membership and Board of Directors of the Academy and ACM Lifting Lives, I am deeply saddened by the loss today of Bill Mayne, a true giant of the Country Music industry, an invaluable champion of the Academy of Country Music, and one of our longest serving Board Members. Bill dedicated more than 35 years of service to the ACM Board, including serving as the Chairman for both the Academy and ACM Lifting Lives. I am comforted that we were able to celebrate his phenomenal legacy this summer by presenting him with our ACM Service Award at the 16th ACM Honors. Bill had a huge heart, as evidenced by his incredible philanthropic work, including his service to ACM Lifting Lives. His impact, passion, and devotion to the Country Music industry and community will live on forever. On behalf of all of us at the ACM, we send our love and prayers to his family, friends, and all who have been lucky enough to work with and know him.”
CMA CEO Sarah Trahern said, “Bill had great passion for Country Music going back to his days in radio. I first worked with him in 1996 on a TV special when he was with Warner Bros. Nashville. I was struck by his enthusiasm for the format and ability to get things done. Years later, we were both officers of the ACMs, where his great knowledge of board governance and organization was a huge asset to our leadership team. Most recently, we got to work together when he joined the CMA Board of Directors, where he served from 2016 to 2018. My deepest condolences to Sallie and his sons.”