|Genre||Music chart show|
|Running time||Approx. 3 hrs. and 55 mins. (including commercials)|
|Country of origin||United States|
Don Bowman (1973-1978)|
Bob Kingsley (1978-2005)
Kix Brooks (2006-present)
|Created by||Casey Kasem, Don Bustany and Tom Rounds|
|Original release||October 6, 1973 - present|
|No. of episodes||Approximately 2,150 (to date)|
|Audio format||Stereophonic sound|
American Country Countdown, also known as ACC or American Country Countdown with Bob Kingsley, is a weekly internationally syndicated radio program which counts down the top 40 country songs of the previous week, from No. 40 to No. 1, according to the Billboard Country Airplay charts. The program premiered in 1973 and as of January 2006 is hosted by Kix Brooks.
American Country Countdown was conceived as a spinoff program from American Top 40, which had premiered in 1970 and showcased the week's most popular singles. The new program was a creation of Casey Kasem and Don Bustany, the same duo behind American Top 40, with Tom Rounds as co-creator and Watermark Inc. distributing.
American Country Countdown launched nationwide on October 6, 1973. Like with its parent series, Billboard provided the chart information. In this case, the Hot Country Singles chart was used. The show now uses the Billboard Country Airplay chart, which it has used since September 2017 after eight years of using charts compiled by Mediabase. Singer Don Bowman was the host of the three-hour countdown with Bustany producing.
In June 1974, Bustany stepped aside from his duties in order to focus on AT40 and tapped Bob Kingsley, who had been program director at country station KLAC-Los Angeles, to be ACCs producer. It was under Kingsley's watch that the program began to increase in popularity, as more and more stations picked up the countdown.
On May 6, 1978, Kingsley added hosting duties to his producing duties when he became the new host of ACC. Don Bowman had not made any mention that he would be departing the program on the previous show; Kingsley informed the audience that Bowman had left the program to pursue other aspects of his career.
Beginning with the January 11, 1986, broadcast, ACC was expanded to four hours, adding several new features, including an "ACC Archives" feature (similar to one featured on American Top 40 several years earlier, with a chronological playback of No. 1 hits of the 1970s, and later on the 1980s) and an "ACC Calendar," spotlighting a classic country artist, song, important innovation or event in country music.
Kingsley hosted the program until December 2005, with his last show being his annual Christmas special. Like Bowman before him, he never told the audience he would be leaving; in this instance, Kingsley was leaving to join Westwood One to host their new Bob Kingsley's Country Top 40.
The ratings for ACCA dropped dramatically compared to the 2013 American Country Awards. According to TV By The Numbers, 18-49 ratings/share dropped from 1.4/4 to 0.9/3 and viewership dropped from 5.14 million to 3.39 million.
ACC broadcasts several special programs throughout the year. The most notable include:
Other special programs, usually centering on a theme or to promote a much-anticipated album that was about to go on sale, air throughout the year. Past specials have paid homage to the West, presented unusual or notable chart facts and performer accomplishments, counted down the top acts of all time, profiled a performer, and presented the top female and male singers of the past decade.
During the early years, Kingsley (after he became the show's producer) was the fill-in host when Bowman was absent. During the Kingsley era, a top radio personality from one of ACCs affiliates filled in as host in Kingsley's absence. Kix Brooks did not assume hosting duties until January 21, 2006. Since 2006, either a top country music act or ACC executive producer Suzanne Alexander (previous Donna Britt) has served as substitute host whenever Brooks was absent.
In April 2015, Nash FM, the media brand and network of country music stations owned by Cumulus Media, announced it would begin re-airing classic ACC programs from the Bob Kingsley era, starting the weekend of May 2. The show, featuring programs originally aired between 1990 and 2005, is three hours in length (meaning the first hour of four-hour programs are not included).
The first aired ACC Rewind program featured an ACC show which originally aired May 1, 1993.
ACC was named Billboard magazine's "Network/Syndicated Program of the Year: Country" from 1987 to 2002. Kingsley twice won the Country Music Association's National Broadcast Personality of the Year award (in 2001 and 2003).
When ACC premiered in October 1973, it aired on just 45 stations. Today, the show is heard on more than 1,000 radio stations in the United States and worldwide, and can be heard on the Armed Forces Radio Network.
ACC is produced and distributed by Cumulus Media Networks; since 2007, the program has been distributed via Cumulus' Today's Best Country satellite network and, since 2013, on most Nash FM stations as well. Tom Rounds' syndication company, Radio Express, distributes the program to radio stations outside the United States.
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