|Sep 28, 2009 |
CRS Founder Tom McEntee Passes
The following was submitted by Scott Tutt.
The Nashville music industry lost a tremendous innovator and creator, Tom McEntee. Tom passed away in Florida with his family on September 24th, 2009.
Tom McEntee marched to his own drumbeat and was always ahead of his time.
Tom was the Founder and Creator of the famed COUNTRY RADIO SEMINAR, and served as Executive Chairman/President of CRS for it’s first decade. This event, in its 41st year, has generated many millions of dollars into the Nashville economy and is currently the largest and most successful educational event ever established in the music/radio industries.
Tom was also a publicity innovator, a bio writer, (writing bio’s for some of the largest stars in country and pop music) an artist manager, a songwriter, created and operated a radio tip-sheet called COUNTRY MUSIC SURVEY, a country chart editor of CASHBOX MAGAZINE two different times, National Promotion Director of GRT Records & Ovation Records, and a Promotion Executive at several major and Indy labels.
To name but a few, Tom was instrumental in the careers of Jimmy Buffet (Tom’s quoted in Buffet’s book), Alabama, The Amazing Rhythm Aces, Eddie Rabbit, Earl Thomas Conley, Jimmy Dean, The Kendalls, Hank Williams, Jr., Ronnie McDowell, Susan Marshall, and Lefty Frizzell, even writing the liner notes on Lefty’s last album. Tom was the very first record company executive to hear super-group Alabama’s debut recording. After one listen, he said they would be enormous stars. He was right like that, a lot! He helped them get their first record deal… along with many other artists.
In 2001, Tom graduated on the Dean’s List from Tennessee State University with a BS in Psychology, and won The President’s Award from the Country Radio Broadcasters. Tom also received the Nashville Mayor’s Award in 1994, and the BMI Commendation of Excellence in 1989.
He moved from working in the music industry in New York City, to Nashville in 1969, after serving as a sergeant in the U.S. Special Forces in Vietnam. Even then, Tom was the best in the entire Special Forces at translating code.
Tom will certainly be missed by his family and friends, and by all of those that he mentored, trained, taught, and guided on their own music careers. THANKS TOM!
Scott Tutt, Jack Griffin, and Susan Marshall