Country Hall Of Fame Matriarch Just Passed Away… Thanks For The Memories

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — We are saddened to report that Jo Walker-Meador, a matriarch of country music who led the Country Music Association for nearly three decades, has died. She was 93.

Jo Walker-Meador, who rose from the the Country Music Association’s “girl Friday” to become a chief architect of today’s country music industry, died early Wednesday morning in Nashville after suffering a stroke.

The Nashville Tennessean reports that her daughter, Michelle Walker, confirmed her death through a spokeswoman.

She was the first full-time employee the CMA ever hired. The fledgling trade organization brought her on as office manager in the 1950s, a time when the genre was being overshadowed by rock ‘n’ roll. When she retired in 1991 after 29 years as the CMA’s executive director, country music was an international juggernaut.

Under her leadership, the genre flourished. During her tenure as executive director, she oversaw the creation of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, CMA Awards and Fan Fair, which became CMA Fest.

“When you thought of the CMA, you thought of Jo Walker,” said country legend Bill Anderson, a dear friend of Walker-Meador for nearly 60 years. “I never knew anybody in any business as devoted to her job, her cause and her people like she was.”

Anderson added that Walker-Meador was “one of the sweetest people” he’d ever known, and a fierce advocate for country music and musicians: “We had to scratch and claw for everything back in those days. Jo could scratch and claw without people knowing they had been scratched and clawed. She left a mark on this town and this business that will never be erased.”

Jo Walker-Meador was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1995 for her tremendous contributions to the genre. Her funeral arrangements are pending.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends.

Rest in peace hun.

God Bless.

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