Country Radio Broadcasters, Inc. today announced that country legend Randy Owens was the recipient of this year’s Artist Humanitarian Award.
Together with his cousins Jeff Cook and Teddy Gentry, Owens was the front man for the one of the best selling country acts of all time, Alabama. The band, which peaked in the 80’s, racked up over thirty No. 1’s on Billboard’s Country Singles Charts, with memorable hits such as “Love in the First Degree,” “Feels So Right,” “Close Enough to Perfect” and “Take Me Down.” They also sang backup vocals on Lionel Richie’s 1987 single “Deep River Woman,” which peaked at No. 10. The group has won two Grammy Awards for "Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal" in 1982 for Mountain Music and in 1983 for The Closer You Get.
Owen co-founded Country Cares for St. Jude Kids® in 1989 after meeting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital founder Danny Thomas the year before. To date, Country Cares has raised more than $345 million to fund research in the fight against childhood cancer. Earlier this year, more than 800 members of the country music industry gathered at the annual seminar in Memphis to celebrate 20 years of support for the children of St. Jude. In 2008, Broken Bow Records released the Grammy Award-winner’s debut solo album, One On One, and HarperOne published his memoir, titled "Born Country."
Country Radio Broadcasters, Inc. leads the music industry in recognizing the humanitarian achievements of country artists. In 1990, CRB instituted the Artist Humanitarian Award, which was first presented during the CRS-21. Past honorees include Brad Paisley, Brooks & Dunn, Garth Brooks, Charlie Daniels and Kenny Rogers. For a complete list of past winners, click here.
Last year’s recipient, Clay Walker, presented Owen with the award Wednesday morning during the award ceremonies in the Convention Center.
The Radio Humanitarian Awards for 2009 went to 97.3 WGH, Norfolk-Virginia (Large Market), 107.7 WIVK, Knoxville, Tennessee (Medium Market) and 93.3 WFLS, Fredericksburg, Virginia (Small Market). The CRB Radio Humanitarian Awards are presented to full-time country radio stations for their efforts to improve the quality of life for communities they serve.
This year’s Tom Rivers Humanitarian Award was given to CBS Minneapolis VP Market Manager Mick Anselmo, Sr. During his tenure at KEEY-FM, Anselmo organized and created a radiothon which has helped raise more than $12 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. His partnership with Sharing and Caring Hands of Minneapolis during a run of Garth Brooks concerts in 1998 set a Minneapolis-St. Paul food drive record. The former Clear Channel radio executive also created Project Northern Lights, an effort that collected calling cards for troops stationed in Baghdad.
The intent of the Tom Rivers Humanitarian Award, given at the discretion of the Country Radio Broadcasters Board of Directors, is to recognize an individual in the Country Radio industry who has displayed a magnanimous spirit of caring and generosity in service to their community. The award is given when the board feels an individual, through outstanding service, warrants the recognition.
Congratulations to Randy and the other winners.