- Over 50 years ago, Monk co-founded the popular Country Radio Seminar and hosted its New Faces Show over 40 times.
- Monk grew up in a small town in Alabama with no plumbing or running water.
Charlie Monk, an upbeat music industry networker and radio personality known as Mayor of Music Row, died Monday afternoon at his home. he was 84 years old.
Co-founding the popular country radio seminar over 50 years ago, Monk earned his nickname for his decades of delighting and encouraging others in country radio and country music publishing. He hosted the New Faces show that launched his career over 40 times on that radio seminar.
Alabama native who grew up in poverty, Monk told The Tennessian three years ago that he fought hard to establish himself and become famous.
Monk felt he fell short of that second goal, but he launched a career in radio and music publishing that has helped many artists become superstars.
“I have helped many people achieve their goals,” she said.
“I finally came to terms with the fact that I wasn’t a superstar. Ultimately, I became the best Charlie Monk,” he said in 2020.
Among those grateful to meet Monk are the genre’s biggest stars, including Garth Brooks.
Brooks recently released a video tribute to Monk, which was awarded by the Nashville Association of Talent Directors, saying, “I love you, bro. I can’t thank you enough for everything you’ve done for me.” Hmm.
“But the truth is you did it for everyone. Ready to go out and kick the world**. And that’s the gift you have. Me and Thank you for sharing.
“He always has a big smile on his face and has done a lot for country music. I love him dearly!” said Reba McEntire. “He’s been around forever and I know because I was too!”
hillbilly music on battery operated radio
Monk grew up in Geneva, Alabama, population 4,400, and had a chipped shoulder. He spent the rest of his life battling the ghosts of a few people who said he and his family weren’t worth licking.
“The girls wanted to date me. I was the best dancer in town. Charming, smart, funny and cute,” Monk said, flinching her smile.
“The mothers didn’t want their daughters to hang out with me because their daughters might come across my family smoking, drinking, swearing and chewing.” because I can’t
Monk’s father left his mother in 1938 when he learned she was pregnant. Monk, his mother, his stepfather, and his brothers grew up eating government cheese in a house with no plumbing or running water.
The family listened to hillbilly music and big band music (with a lot of Frank Sinatra) on a small battery-powered radio.
Monk would read Hollywood magazines and spend hours looking at celebrity homes in those pages. He eventually got a job putting promotional flyers for the town’s movie theaters on people’s windshields. This job was paid for with free tickets.
“I was sitting there in the dark daydreaming,” he said. “I always wanted to be a star. I wanted a big, flashy car.”
During high school, Monk attended his hometown WGEA radio station, got a cleaning job for $5 a week, and eventually landed a weekend on-air shift, finding a way to call the girls in town. Monk didn’t have a phone at home, so he used the train station phone all the time.
Monk eventually settled on one girl, his wife of 63 years, Lois. As Monk’s radio career took off, the couple moved on. From Geneva he went to Troy, served in the U.S. Army, went to Tuscaloosa, Mobile.
Charlie Monk Lane
In 1968, Charlie and Lois Monk moved to Murfreesboro to program WMTS, one of Middle Tennessee’s first full-time country format stations, which had just been purchased by Jim Reeves’ widow Mary.
Once in central Tennessee, Monk quickly found his way to Music Row, first working for ASCAP, a royalties collection company, and then as a song publisher, where people like Randy Travis and Kenny Chesney wrote songs. , helped land a record deal.
Around 1969, Monk helped radio promoter Tom McEntee start a country radio seminar. This was how a handful of national broadcasters enlisted to battle the Top 40 pop stations that dominated radio.
No parties, no free booze, no artist concerts, no CRS famous schmooze events today. Monk said it was media professors and industry experts who were trying to figure out how national radio could boost sales.
Since then, CRS has grown into a week-long convention with over 2,000 attendees. The convention is interspersed with showcases of his performances and artists live throughout Nashville for out-of-town radio programmers.
Since then, Monk has been inducted into the Country Radio Hall of Fame, the Alabama Music Hall of Fame, and the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame. His hometown renamed the street “Charlie Moncrane”.
Monk returned to radio in 2004 as mayor of Music Row on the satellite SiriusXM country channel.
He continued to greet people and shake hands when he appeared in public. This was a trick he learned from Frank Sinatra greeting all 50 of him backstage at his private party at the Opry in 1974.
“Exactly the definition of a Music Row storyteller”
Monk reintroduced himself to people he had already met.
“Don’t be ashamed if I can’t remember your name,” Monk said.
The star certainly remembered his name and his persistence in taking pictures with them.
In a video tribute honoring Monk from the Nashville Association of Talent Directors, Dolly Parton said, “Whatever it was, you were always there like a rash that wouldn’t go away.
“From every press conference I did in Nashville, to every country radio seminar I attended, to the movie we were in Blue Valley Songbird all those years ago—oh, you’re the star of it.” Did you, Charlie? — always try to take another picture with me.
“Well, you’ve won the nomination as mayor of Music Row. I can tell you that,” Parton continued. is the definition of
Monk has served on the boards of the Nashville Chapter of Leadership Music, Country Radio Broadcasters, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Nashville Songwriters Association International, Gospel Music Association, and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. He was also a member of the Country Music Association and the Country Music Academy.
His honors include Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Country Radio Hall of Fame, the Alabama Music Hall of Fame, the University of Alabama College of Communications and Information Sciences Hall of Fame, and the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame.
Monk has served in the Alabama House and Senate, Country Radio Broadcasters, SESAC (Publisher 1998), BMI (Publisher of “Most Played Songs”), ASCAP (Publisher of “Most Played Songs”) , and received an award from Nashville Songwriters. Association International.
He has received awards and honors for his commercial audio work from the CLIO Award, the Addy Award, the Mobile Press Register, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, and the Nashville Talent Directors Association. In 2021, Monk became his ninth winner of his CMA’s Joe Talbot Award. This was in recognition of “his outstanding leadership and contribution to the preservation and development of country music values and traditions.”
Funeral arrangements are still pending.
Monk was bequeathed to his wife, Lois Walton Monk. Sons Charles Jr. (Sukugi) and Colin (Grace). He has daughters Capucine Monk and Camilla Monk Perry (Scott). Stepsisters Peggy Walton Walker-Lord (Larry) and Elsie Walton (Colin Hamilton). Grandchildren Sam (Christina), Nathan, Christabel, McKenna, Theodore, Ella, Walton and Douglas. great-grandchildren Alexis and Sophia; nieces Clara and Linda, nephews Wayne, Brian and Chip.
In lieu of flowers, you can donate keepsakes to MusiCares, Community Care Fellowship, Calvary United Methodist Church, Rochelle Center, or WO Smith Music School.
The family has reached out to public relations officer Jackie Marushka (firstname.lastname@example.org) for inquiries.
Contact Brad Schmitt at email@example.com or 615-259-8384 or Twitter @bradschmitt.