Country Radio Broadcasters Announce Recipients of 2018 Artist Career Achievement Award and President’s Award

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The Country Radio Broadcasters, Inc. have announced Steve Wariner as the recipient of the 2018 CRB Artist Career Achievement Award, and Charlie Morgan as the recipient of the 2018 President’s Award. Both awards will be presented during the Country Radio Hall of Fame Dinner and Awards ceremony, to be held on Wednesday, June 20that 6 p.m. CDT at the Marriott Nashville (Vanderbilt, 2555 West End Avenue, Nashville, Tenn.).  

Twenty albums into his five-decade career, 2018 CRB Artist Career Achievement Award recipient, Steve Wariner has become a modern-day multi-genre icon earning fourteen #1 hits, over 30 Top 10 hits, three Gold albums, four GRAMMY Awards, three CMA Awards, one ACM Award, a Christian Country Music Association Award, a TNN/Music City News Award, a CMA Triple Play award, and 15 BMI Million-Air Awards. He is a member of the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame, the National Thumbpickers Hall of Fame, the Music City Walk of Fame, and one of only five guitar players in the world to be given the "Certified Guitar Player" (CGP) award by Chet Atkins. The now Grand Ole Opry member was discovered by the legendary Dottie West at just 17 years old as he played a set in an Indiana club. West hired him on the spot to be her bass player. Upon accepting the offer, Wariner played bass for three years with her before his next gig playing in Grand Ole Opry member, Bob Luman’s band and was a featured musician on Luman’s Alive and Well record, which was produced by Johnny Cash. Working with Luman’s band led to Wariner being commissioned by his idol Chet Atkins to play bass in his band. It was Atkins that eventually signed Wariner to his first recording contract at RCA in 1977 and produced Wariner’s first recording session at the historic RCA Studio B. 

The CRB Artist Career Achievement Award is presented to an individual artist or act that, through their creativity, vision, performance or leadership has made a significant contribution to the development and promotion of country music and country radio.

“Steve Wariner is still enjoying of one of the most amazing careers in Country music history; singer, songwriter, Grand Ole Opry member, contributor to his fellow artists, and a member of the most prestigious clubs for extraordinary guitarists. All of this in addition to being the best friend any one on earth could be blessed to have!” says Bill Mayne, Executive Director of CRB.

Charlie Morgan is Senior Vice President/Market Manager of Emmis New York, which includes WBLS, WLIB and WQHT.  Morgan has supervisory responsibility for Emmis-Indianapolis, which includes WIBC, WFNI, WYXB, WLHK and Network Indiana. A Butler University graduate, Morgan has over 35 years of radio experience, the first 23 years with Susquehanna (now Cumulus) Radio, (WFMS/WJJK/WISG) in roles from Morning host to SVP/Market Manager. In 2007, Morgan joined the team at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway, serving as President and COO of IMS Productions. In 2009, he returned to radio joining the Emmis team managing the Indianapolis cluster for seven years (WLHK, WIBC, WYXB, WFNI) and now the Emmis New York cluster (WBLS, WQHT, WLIB.)  Additionally, in 2013 Morgan formed the Rith Group, a marketing consulting agency with longtime associate Bob Richards. Morgan has been widely recognized for his leadership in Radio, honored on multiple occasions as one of the top Managers in radio, most recently in 2016.  Also named the 2013 Country Aircheck/Country Radio Broadcaster’s Large Market Manager of the year and the 2012 Radio Wayne Award winner for Market Manager of the Year.  Additionally, Morgan has received the CMA Large Market Personality of the Year Award in his on-air role and been General Manager of stations receiving multiple CMA, ACM and Marconi Awards for Station of the Year. Morgan has served the industry as President of the Board of the Country Radio Broadcasters, and is a current Board Member of the Country Music Association, the New York Market Radio Group (NYMRAD), and the New York State Broadcast Association. In addition to his industry involvement, Morgan is active in the community. He currently serves on the Boards of Heartland Films, and Classical Music Indy.  Morgan was past Chairman of the 500 Festival Board of Directors.

CRB/CRS President, Kurt Johnson comments, “Charlie is simply one of the best at what he does. And he does a lot. It’s hard to think of anyone who’s made more impact as a leader across a diverse list of organizations in and around Country Radio, earning accolades at every step. He’s been a fixture at CRB and CRS for years and is a good friend to artists, managers, labels, DJs…basically pro’s in every part of Country music. Charlie personifies the spirit of CRS and I’m proud to give him the President’s Award on behalf or the CRB Board.”

The Country Radio Hall of Fame event will also honor the “Class of 2018” radio inductees that were announced during Country Radio Seminar (CRS) 2018. Seven on-air personalities and two off-air broadcasters will be honored and include Radio category honorees Michael O'Malley of the Albright, O'Malley & Brenner consulting firm, and the late Lisa McKay, VP/Programming at Curtis Media/Raleigh, who doubled as PD for WQDR. The On-Air Personality category includes Andy Ritchie and Alison Mencer ("Andy & Alison") formerly of WIVK/Knoxville; Steve Harmon and Scott Evans ("Harmon And Evans") formerly of KPLX/Dallas and WXTU/Philadelphia; and Bill BarrettTim Fox, and Tracy Berry ("Barrett, Fox, And Berry) still active at KKNU/Eugene, OR. 

The Country Radio Hall of Fame is dedicated to the recognition of those individuals who have made significant contributions to the radio industry over a 20-year period, 15 of which must be in the Country format. The Country Radio Hall of Fame was founded in 1974 to recognize outstanding individuals working in the broadcasting industry who are promoting the Country radio format.