Bob Kingsley, country music radio legend and generous benefactor, as well as dear friend to the cutting community, passed away at his home in Weatherford, Tex., October 17.
“While there is no doubt that the immediate road ahead will push me and challenge my resolve, I want you to know I am blessed to be working with the very best in the medical profession, and they have a plan to deal with this awful disease,” Kingsley shared through Rubin Media, on Oct. 9, just eight days before his death from bladder cancer.
The Country Music Hall of Fame radio host found his calling while serving in the U.S. Air Force, where his rich and distinctive baritone voice brought him to the attention of Armed Forces Radio. When he returned to civilian life, he began a career in radio that spanned six decades.
In 1973, Bob Kingsley became producer of nationally syndicated American Country Countdown, and served as the show’s host and Country Music’s most distinguished voice from 1978 through 2005. Having moved from Los Angeles to Weatherford in 1995, in order to be close to the cutting industry, in 2006, Bob and his wife and business partner, Nan, began producing Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40, currently carried by over 300 stations, from their studio in Weatherford.
Bob Kingsley fell in love with cutting when country star and cutter Lynn Anderson put him on a cutting horse in 1993, to raise money for a charity, and shortly after, he was invited to an NCHA roundup on Helen Groves’ ranch. At about the same time, Bob and Nan met NCHA show and sale producer Ben Emison, and his wife Jan, who would become their mentors and close friends.
“We moved here in 1995 and the reason was because of horses and cattle,” said Bob. “I really wanted to learn and to get involved. And it turned to be exactly the right move. My main objective was to raise (cutting horses).”
In 2004, Bob Kingsley purchased Little Pepto Gal from Crystal Creek Ranch in Weatherford. The Peptoboonsmal daughter had been trained and shown by Matt Gaines as 2002 NCHA Open Horse of the Year. In 2004, Kingsley showed Little Pepto Gal to win the NCHA Classic Challenge Non-Pro. It was his first time to show her and his first finals as a Non-Pro.
“It was the most amazing ride of my life,” said Bob. “I wish everybody could have an opportunity to ride a horse like that.”
By the time she was retired, Little Pepto Gal had official NCHA earnings of $490,951. As a broodmare she has produced earners of $1.2 million, including Little Pepto Cat LTE $601,910 bred by Bob and Nan Kingsley’s Bluestem Ranch.
Bob Kingsley’s love and enthusiasm for cutting was contagious. Over the years he introduced celebrities from the Country Music world to the sport through participation in the NCHA Celebrity Cutting, held during the NCHA Futurity. Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40 has been an official NCHA sponsor since 1995, and Bob never turned down a request to serve as “the voice of cutting” for NCHA special events and presentations. Bob and Nan’s generosity has also extended to many charities in the larger community, as well as in Weatherford and Parker County.
A memorial service will be held for Bob Kingsley on Friday, October 18 at Doss Heritage Center, 1400 Texas Drive, Weatherford, Texas 76086.