The Bluebird Cafe and NSAI Announce Partnership with the Bob Kingsley Estate


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Pictured L-R: Bart Herbison (Executive Director, NSAI), Victoria Shaw (Songwriter), Rhett Akins (Songwriter), Nan Kingsley, Craig Wiseman (Songwriter), Erika Wollam Nichols (General Manager, The Bluebird Cafe), John Zarling (President, 615 Leverage + Strategy) and Ken Halford.


December 15, 2021 (Nashville, Tenn.) – The legendary Bluebird Cafe and the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) announce a partnership with the estate of the late radio icon Bob Kingsley designed to ensure his legacy and fund preservation and distribution of historic songwriter performances.

Bob Kingsley had a simple directive for his 40-year plus countdown show, “Pay it off with a song.”  Bob’s estate, under the stewardship of his wife Nan Kingsley, announced a partnership with The Bluebird Cafe and NSAI with songwriters Rhett Akins, Victoria Shaw and Craig Wiseman performing.

A significant portion of a financial donation will underwrite the digitization of a selection of historic Bluebird Cafe shows that were recorded over the years in a variety of mediums.

Additionally, video interviews with songwriters featured during The Bluebird Cafe’s 40th anniversary season in 2022 will also be part of the partnership. (Weatherford College in Weatherford, Texas, Kingsley’s home, announced earlier his week that they will partner with The Bluebird Café, also through a Kingsley Estate endowment, to have their students involved in the digitization of the historic shows.) 

“The goal is to begin airing some of the iconic shows when The Bluebird Cafe’s celebrates its 40th birthday next June,” said General Manager Erika Wollam-Nichols. 

Additionally, NSAI recently launched a TOP 40 song page at in honor of Bob Kingsley.  “Each quarter NSAI is posting a playlist of the best forty songs from our non-professional members, songs that come through our programs and services from songwriters around the world.  We just launched our second such playlist and this has been very popular among our members.  It is a great way to honor Bob’s legacy and a method to recognize and inspire a new generation of professional songwriters,” said NSAI Executive Director Bart Herbison.  

“Bob loved and supported the Nashville songwriter community,” said Nan Kingsley.  “From his early experiences with Hank Cochran and John Hartford to establishing Bob Kingsley’s Acoustic Alley at the annual County Radio Seminar (CRS), Bob’s had a passionate appreciation for songwriters.  He supported them on the air too, by using his platform to recognize and promote the individuals behind the songs. It is only fitting that I continue to honor his legacy with these partnerships.”

“We all grew up listening to Bob’s ‘American Country Countdown’ show and have long noted how he treated songwriters with a special reverence.  He interviewed them and included writers on special charity shows, also becoming friends with many who stayed on Bob’s ranch,” Nichols and Herbison added.  Earlier this year the Kingsley estate donated over 700 full shows and 3,200 interviews with songwriters, artists and others to the County Music Hall of Fame.