« St. Jude Country Cares Radiothon

How St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and Country Became Intertwined

by Paul Heling

What were you doing in 1988?  Trying to figure out elementary school math?  Trying to get a date in high school?  Trying to patch a worn Winger t-shirt?  Trying to figure out your college major?

Danny Thomas had us all beat.  He was already an internationally known entertainer and had made good on his promise to honor St. Jude for showing him the way.   The honor was the creation of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in the 1950's. 

Fast forward to 1988 when Thomas told Randy Owen of the supergroup Alabama about the strides the Hospital had made against childhood cancer.  Owen visited the Hospital and was moved enough to take the message to the 1989 Country Radio Seminar in Nashville.  Country Radio bought in, Owen followed through, other Country artists joined in, and the creation of what are now hundreds of radiothons on Country stations across America had begun, to date raising $440 million.

Over those years, St, Jude evolved into an integral part of the fabric that bonds Country artists, Country radio, and Country fans.

Jump to January 2014 at the annual Country Cares for St. Jude Kids gathering.  Cassadee Pope, Hunter Hayes, Brantley Gilbert, Joe Nichols, Rachel Farley, Eric Paslay, The Henningsen's, Charlie Worsham, Tyler Farr, Katie Armiger, High Valley, Maggie Rose, Joel Crouse, and more, including Randy Owen (of course) all joined us to rally support.  

On the shoulders of the bond built in 1988 and the energy of January's gathering, we are proud to present our 2014 radiothon!