Longtime Nashville music and radio industry executive and former Country Radio Broadcasters/Country Radio Seminar executive director Bill Mayne died on Tuesday (Nov. 28) at age 72 following a battle with a long-term illness.
Mayne’s career spanned nearly five decades. He began performing in a band before transitioning into radio, with his career including on-air and programming roles at various radio formats including top 40, rock and country. His radio career began in 1970 in an on-air role at KRLY in Houston; he would go on to serve in roles at KASE in Austin, KZLA/KLAC in Los Angeles and KSCS/WBAP in Dallas.
Mayne then spent 15 years at Warner Bros./Nashville, where he held a variety of roles, rising through the ranks from a regional role to senior vp/GM and vp of promotion. He was also a member of the Country Radio Broadcasters board, eventually becoming board vp before taking on the role of executive director at Country Radio Broadcaster in 2010 — a role he held until his retirement in 2019.
Current Country Radio Broadcasters/Country Radio Seminar (CRB/CRS) executive director RJ Curtis said in a statement, “The passing of Bill Mayne marks a profound loss for the entire country music community. Bill was a true giant in every sense of the word. His fifty years of passionate work positively impacted everyone he met, in nearly every segment of our business, through his time in radio, the music industry, artist management, entrepreneurialism, and, of course, his decade of leadership as Executive Director for CRB. Bill Mayne navigated the organization through a period of great adversity, ultimately reestablishing CRS as the premier industry event that it is today.”
In 2019, Mayne received CRB/CRS’ President’s Award in recognition of the significant contributions he made to the radio industry.
Mayne also founded Mayne Entertainment, an artist management company, and Mayne Street Consulting, a private entertainment consulting firm that offered insight and guidance to clients in the entertainment field.
“Bill had great passion for Country Music going back to his days in radio,” Country Music Association CEO Sarah Trahern said in a statement. “I first worked with him in 1996 on a TV special when he was with Warner Bros. Nashville. I was struck by his enthusiasm for the format and ability to get things done. Years later, we were both officers of the ACMs, where his great knowledge of board governance and organization was a huge asset to our leadership team. Most recently, we got to work together when he joined the CMA Board of Directors, where he served from 2016 to 2018. My deepest condolences to Sallie and his sons.”
Beyond his professional accolades, Mayne previously served as a board member of the Country Music Association and spent over 35 years on the Academy of Country Music board of directors, including roles as chairman and chairman of the board at the ACM’s charitable arm, Lifting Lives. He also co-founded the St. Jude Country Cares for Kids Program, an initiative that has raised over $700 million for St. Jude since its inception in 1989. Additionally, he held the role of national vp for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and was a member of the Nashville non-profit Leadership Music as well as the mayor’s Nashville Music Council.
“On behalf of our membership and Board of Directors of the Academy and ACM Lifting Lives, I am deeply saddened by the loss today of Bill Mayne, a true giant of the country music industry, an invaluable champion of the Academy of Country Music, and one of our longest serving board members,” said Academy of Country Music CEO Damon Whiteside in a statement.
“Bill dedicated more than 35 years of service to the ACM Board, including serving as the Chairman for both the Academy and ACM Lifting Lives,” Whiteside continued. “I am comforted that we were able to celebrate his phenomenal legacy this summer by presenting him with our ACM Service Award at the 16th ACM Honors. Bill had a huge heart, as evidenced by his incredible philanthropic work, including his service to ACM Lifting Lives. His impact, passion, and devotion to the Country Music industry and community will live on forever. On behalf of all of us at the ACM, we send our love and prayers to his family, friends, and all who have been lucky enough to work with and know him.”
Mayne is survived by his wife of 46 years, Sallie Mayne; sons Bryant Mayne and Christopher Mayne; his grandchild, Everleigh Mayne; and mother-in-law Helen Wood. Plans for a public service honoring Mayne’s life have yet to be announced.