Six headed to Country Music DJ and Radio Hall of Fame


Country Radio Broadcasters Inc. (CRB) has announced the 2010 inductees into the Country Music DJ and Radio Hall of Fame. From the DJ side, the honorees are Bill Bailey, Laurie DeYoung and Rudy Fernandez, while the inductees from the management side are Cy Blumenthal, Dan Halyburton and Michael Hammond.

The class of 2010 will be officially instated at a dinner ceremony on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2010, at the Nashville Convention Center.

“CRB is proud to welcome these six very deserving members to the Country Music DJ and Radio Hall of Fame. The 2010 inductees are a diverse group of dedicated broadcasters who embody the most important criteria for induction, by having made significant contributions to the Country radio and music industry.  On behalf of the Hall of Fame Committee, I congratulate each and every honoree,” said R.J. Curtis, Chairman of the Country Music DJ and Radio Hall of Fame.


Bill Bailey – Bill Bailey started his radio career in 1956 as a high school student in Temple, Texas.  Bailey spent the majority of his career at KIKK (Pasadena/Houston, Texas) and KENR (Houston), but also spent time at KTAE (Taylor, Texas), KELP (El Paso, Texas), KATR (Corpus Christi, Texas), KIOA (Des Moines, Iowa), WPEO (Peoria, Ill.) and KTHT (Houston).  He was awarded Billboard and Bill Gavin Radio Conference’s Country Radio Program Director of the Year in 1970 and later won CMA’s Large Market Disc Jockey of the Year in 1979.  Bailey holds the distinct honor of sending the first Country music to the moon when he gave a cassette tape to the astronauts aboard Apollo XII in 1969.

Laurie DeYoung – A 24-year veteran of WPOC in Baltimore, Md., Laurie DeYoung won the CMA Large Market Personality of the Year award in 1994.  She began her career at WMUZ (Detroit, Mich.) in 1975, with stints at WSHN (Fremont, Mich.), WYGR, WCUZ, WLAV, WTWN and WKLQ (Grand Rapids, Mich.) and KBST (San Diego, Calif.) before arriving at WPOC in 1985.  During her career in Baltimore, DeYoung has been nominated for multiple Billboard, R&R and CMA awards.  She hosts her own morning program at WPOC, which was awarded CMA’s Large Market Station award in 1991 and 1992.  DeYoung also hosted “New Country Video” on Maryland Public Television for seven years.

Rudy Fernandez – Rudy Fernandez began his radio career in 1973, but moved into the Country format in 1978 at KEAN in Abilene, Texas.  Besides a brief stint at WIBW (Topeka, Kan.) in 2002-03, Fernandez has been with KEAN for a total of 31 years.  He is a prominent participant in fundraising and charity events, helping raise more than $1.5 million to date.  Some of his fundraising stunts include riding a ferris wheel for five consecutive days, living in a van suspended by a crane, being buried alive in a coffin for 48 hours and being frozen in a block of ice for 48 hours.  Fernandez was awarded the Gavin Music Director of the Year award in 1990, 1997 and 2001 and was recognized as R&R Drive-Time Dominator of the Year from 1996-1999.  KEAN was awarded CMA’s Small Market Station of the Year in 1987.

Cy Blumenthal – Cy Blumenthal (1913-1983) was a pioneer in Country radio, becoming the first man to own a chain of Large Market radio stations in the Country format.  His first acquisition was WARL in Arlington, Va., in 1951, followed by the purchase of WCMS (Norfolk, Va.) in 1954, WHMS (Memphis, Tn.) in 1955, KCKN (Kansas City, Kan.) in 1956 and WABB (Mobile, Ala.) in 1958.  Blumenthal began his career in radio in Chester, Pa., in 1949, where he learned the radio business from his brother-in-law.  Some of Blumenthal’s former staff includes Country Radio DJ Hall of Fame inductees Don Owens, Ted Cramer, Don Rhea and Joe Hoppel.

Dan Halyburton – Dan Halyburton is a 39-year veteran of the radio business, currently heading up the Dallas-based new media and technology company, RadioTime, as President.  A former Senior Vice President and Market Manager of Emmis Communications in New York, Halyburton began his career in 1970 at WWOK in Miami, Fla., with stops at WTVR (Richmond, Va.), WTCR (Huntington, W. Va.), WFMS (Indianapolis, Ind.), WDGY (Minneapolis, Minn.) and WQAM (Miami, Fla.) before arriving at Susquehanna Radio Corp. and KPLX/KLIF in Dallas, Texas, in 1981.  He went on to a 25-year career with Susquehanna before leaving for Emmis in 2006.  He has served on the CMA Board as Chairman and President, as well as the CRS Agenda Committee and the CRB Board.  An active advocate of Internet streaming technologies, Halyburton has testified before the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on behalf of radio broadcasters.

Michael Hammond – Michael Hammond has enjoyed a 36-year career in the radio business with Citadel Broadcasting, currently serving as the company’s Director of Operations in Knoxville, Tenn.  He began his radio career as a sophomore in high school, working at WBIR and WETE AM before joining WIVK (Knoxville, Tenn.) in 1973.  Hammond also spent time at WKDA/WKDF (Nashville, Tenn.) and in 1989 began managing WZRR and WJOX (Birmingham, Ala.) before returning to WIVK in 1994.  His many awards and accolades include Associated Press Broadcaster of the Year in 1980, CMA’s Program Director of the Year in 1987, the Edward R. Murrow award in 1996 and R&R’s Country Program Director of the Year in 2005.