Jo Walker-Meador, Beloved Leader in Country Music, Dies at 93

The Pickup

The Pickup

Admired for her business leadership and loyal friendship, Walker-Meador died August 16, 2017, after suffering a stroke.

Walker-Meador was the first hire at the Country Music Association (CMA) and she led the organization from 1962-1991. The Country Music Hall of Fame (created in 1961), the CMA Awards (created in 1967 and televised nationally since 1968), the CMA Music Festival (launched as Fan Fair in 1972) and many other initiatives were conceived and launched on her watch. And Kelsea... I've gotten to know her over the past couple years and we've gotten to become really good buddies. She taught me lessons in how to gracefully navigate the Board. WALKER-MEADOR was inducted into the COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME in 1995.

Describing Walker-Meador as "one of the sweetest people" he'd ever known, Anderson also stressed her tact and grace as an advocate for country music and industry personnel: "We had to scratch and claw for everything back in those days". "I never knew anybody in any business as devoted to her job, her cause and her people like she was".

"I didn't listen to a lot of music when I was young", she said at the Louise Scruggs Memorial Forum at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in 2014. She was to do bookkeeping, typing, and general office duties, while former WSM manager Harry Stone served as executive director.

Officials say they had more free events, making it easier for locals to take part in the fun.

Current CMA CEO SARAH TRAHERN issued the following statement, shortly after news of WALKER-MEADOR's passing.

"I wasn't there", Walker-Meador recalled to the Tennessean in 2016, "but I'm told that Minnie Pearl said, 'Jo's doing all the work".

Walker-Meador was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005.

Walker-Meador will be missed, but the concept and institution she helped create will live forever.

"No one was researching the demographics of Country Music listeners until Jo pushed it forward", Nelson said.

The amount of local sales tax generated by this year's CMA Fest is estimated at $5.3 million.

She is survived by her brother Pete Denning, daughter Michelle Walker and step-children Rob and Karen Meador.

Notícias recomendadas

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.