FORMER RECORD EXEC RICK BLACKBURN PASSED AWAY-70 YEARS OLD

FORMER RECORD
EXEC RICK BLACKBURN
PASSED AWAY-70
YEARS OLD
Written by Jaquetta
White
The Tennessean
Richard Norman “Rick” Blackburn, a former
record company executive and past president and chairman of the Country Music
Association, has died. He was 70.
Blackburn was a former vice
president of operations and head of the Nashville division of Atlantic Records.
Under his watch, the label launched the careers of John Michael Montgomery,
Tracy Lawrence, Neal McCoy and Confederate Railroad.
The University of Cincinnati
graduate began his career promoting pop records for Mercury Records and Epic
Records. In a career that spanned decades, he also served as general manager of
Monument Records and CBS’s Nashville division, which he led from fourth
in country music market share to first place. During Blackburn’s tenure
at CBS, artists including Ricky Skaggs and Rosanne Cash joined the label.
Blackburn also was one of the
11-member founding council of Leadership Music, the music industry educational
organization created in 1989. In 1982, Blackburn served as president of the
Country Music Association’s Board of Directors. He was the association’s
chairman in 1986.
Blackburn was retired.
He is survived by his wife of 30
years, Suzanne “Suzie” McLellan Blackburn of Franklin, and brother,
Roger Blackburn of Kentucky.
A private service will be held at
a later date in Cincinnati, his childhood home. No public services are planned
at this time.

MAY RICK’S SOUL REST IN
THE LOVING AND PEACEFUL ARMS OF OUR BLESSED SAVIOR.

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