Basingstoke is the new home of country music in the UK

Nov. 24, 2006 – On Wednesday 29th November, a Basingstoke venue is hosting a celebratory party, to which everyone is invited, to celebrate its key role in the recent launch of a new country music radio station across Europe, CMR Nashville Radio at

The Academy in Worting Road, Basingstoke, some 50 miles south of London, already hosts a weekly Country Music Night every Wednesday evening. The DJ is country radio & TV presenter Lee Williams who established the original CMR Nashville radio station in the US with leading country personality Ted Randall.

Lee has now brought to life a new European station broadcasting on the internet 24 hours a day at and is syndicated through Australian and Greek country music stations. His Wednesday show at The Academy is broadcast on the following Sunday evening.

CMR Nashville is broadcasting online from its various studios in Nashville, London, Ireland and Australia. Now, a new studio is being constructed at The Academy in the style of a coffee lounge so that guests on the show can be interviewed in the relaxed atmosphere of Basingstoke’s premier family entertainment venue. Shows will be recorded in this new studio and customers of The Academy will be able to see what is going on. Their new lunchtime show will go out live from The Academy on weekdays and record labels will be encouraged to bring new artists down to the venue to be broadcast live on air.

As Lee explained: “Every programme has a leading DJ (presenter) with every style of country music being featured including Today’s Country, Traditional, Bluegrass, Americana, Alt Country, Irish Country, Classic Country, and Country music from around the world.”

But one big attraction will be the facility to view the shows being broadcast via a webcam being set up in The Academy’s new studio.

CMR Nashville claims to host the most informative web site for country music outside the USA. Visitors to the site can read the latest news from the world of country music on a daily basis with the latest CD releases, artists’ news, tours, festivals, media, and in fact anything about country music. The Ranch is a free membership area, for another experience whilst visiting the site. As a member, visitors have many benefits including a forum to talk to other members around the world, take part in competitions and receive regular newsletters about CMR Nashville with special opportunities and discounts plus so much more.

The Academy is hosting a special launch party this coming Wednesday, 29th November, to celebrate their new relationship with CMR Nashville and the public are invited!

Henry Smith’s Country Dreams Band, probably the top UK country music band, will appear live on stage and Lee Williams will be dee-jaying from 8pm to midnight. The show will be broadcast live on as it happens so at least everyone has the chance to listen in. Admission is only £5 and is for over 18’s only.

There will be some special guests from the world of country music in the venue, to wish the station well with its new venture, and to support the development of The Academy as the regional centre for country music. These include some top celebrities including Dave Sheriff, recently nominated at The Radio Awards and whose new album is already topping the country charts, and the beautiful Rachael Warwick (pictured left) who was a massive hit at the International Country Music Festival.

But Lee is delighted to say that there is one very special guest – Cathy McManamon – “Anita” from the smash hit West End & touring show “Girls Night Out”. Not because she is bringing along her brother, a leading light with The Pogues, but because Cathy has kindly agreed to share her passion for country music by singing her forthcoming record release live on stage!

Why the Basingstoke Academy? As Lee explained: “The venue’s claim to be the regional home of country music has some credibility. With acts like Henry Smith, Easy-Rider coming in December and even down to having the legendary George Hamilton IV appearing next year, I do not know of any venue like it. CMR Nashville are proud to be associated with The Academy and will do all it can to support them. Next year will be an exciting one for country music in the south of England and The Academy will be at the very heart of it.”

Full details of forthcoming events are available on The Academy website ( or by telephoning John Hicks, General Manager of the venue on 01256 327273.


Further details of CMR Nashville Radio can be found at or contact Lee Williams. Tel: 07956 888587. E-mail:

Media enquiries to:
John Hicks M.IDM
Headline Promotions, Press & PR
Mobile: 07771 575 654
Fax: 0707 520 9717

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