Welcome to Home Page of Judy Massa

Radio is often called "The Theater of the Mind" and Judy plays her leading role through the words she spoke, the ideas she provides, and the sounds of her voice. Color, emotion, understanding, dreams the mystic.

"I've always felt that music is a powerful -- and also very palatable -- way of expressing values and thoughts, frustrations as well as accomplishments. And music shows that indeed we are, underneath all the categories and adjectives that seem to be attached to people, in essence the same. I think through music we find that out.


A Life That Knows No Boundaries

The life of Judy Massa has always been an international one, from the time of her birth to today. She has known no boundaries, neither in her life nor her career. That's why her role as an international radio & television personality simply reflected the person she is and her love of the world she knows.

Judy comes from a musical family, where music of all genres was performed and appreciated. She was born of American parents in the Republic of Panama port city of Colon. Panama is known as the Crossroads of the World where ships from around the globe gather to transit the Canal.



Border Crossings Radio Program

Country Music USA Radio Program

Border Crossings

BORDER CROSSINGS covers the world with music!
Border Crossings made its worldwide broadcast debut in October, 1996 after VOA Geoffry Cowan, Director, asked Judy to fill an hour of satellite time with “something different.” She came up with the idea – and name- of “Border Crossing,” the first ever world-wide LIVE music request/call in show on the international airwaves.

The weekday, hourly radio program received recognition as being the first-ever worldwide music call-in show on the international airwaves. Crossing all musical borders, featuring all musical genres and artists. Judy often conducted live, in-studio interviews with artists who are worldwide stars, and some with dreams of becoming famous.

"There's no better way to tell what we think, feel, and love than through music. It's the most powerful yet palatable means of communication, because it is from the artist’s heart to the listeners, and say something both personal and universal.

"Music is an International Language and much more. It is a powerful force for understanding and friendship."

The show concentrated on the latest music news from around the world, and on establishing and maintaining close, warm relationships with VOA listeners worldwide. Listeners from all corners of the world could call in (for free) and chat with their favorite musicians. The program proved to be excitingly popular especially with the university students in such places were Iran and China.

Guests included:

  • Garth Brooks
  • Kenny Rogers
  • Yo-Yo Ma
  • Matchbox 20
  • Lionel Hampton
  • Take 6
  • Chaka Khan
  • Bela Fleck
  • Tony Williams
  • Nils Lofgren
  • Yanni
  • BeBe Winans
  • Stormy Weather
  • "Queen of the Blues" Ruth Brown
  • Mark O'Connor
  • Delbert McClinton
  • Junior Brown
  • Jon Hendricks
  • Jorma Kaukonen
  • EmmyLou Harris
  • Yellowjackets
  • Marian McPartland
  • Kathy Mattea
  • Riders In the Sky
  • Charlie Daniels
  • Marillion
  • And more…

Most of the guests performed live for the radio audience. These interviews were an important part of the program and, as a talk show host, Judy worked hard to make the show an enjoyable and informative one for both her guests and audience members.

Everyone in the world could participate by calling in with questions and comments for her and the guests.

Calls have been received from listeners from:

The Caribbean and Latin America: Guatemala, Belize

Europe: England, France, Russia, Albania, Armenia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Germany, Macedonia, Spain, Switzerland, Denmark, Italy

Africa & the Middle East:Iran, Libya, Iraq, Egypt, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Mali

Asia & the Pacific: China, Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, India, Pakistan


Border Crossings was broadcast via satellite and shortwave Monday through Friday at 2:10 to 3:00 pm EST (USA weekdays).


The radio show that expands the world of country music

Judy Massa brought country music to the international airwaves via her weekly radio program, Country Music USA.

Thanks to Country Music USA, an estimated 100 million people outside of the United States had the opportunity every week to hear country music legends as well as new stars talk about themselves and their music. The program regularly showcased both contemporary and traditional country music songs and artists. Since 1984 more than one hundred country music artists were her guests, including: Garth Brooks, Johnny Cash, Reba McEntire, Buck Owens, Ricky Van Shelton, Chet Atkins, Clint Black, Bela Fleck, John Michael Montgomery, Junior Brown, and Mary Chapin Carpenter. She has given them the chance to discuss their careers, perform their music, and talk in person with listeners from many countries. She made the point to include a wide variety of musical elements in her programs. She gave affectionate attention to songwriters and musicians as well as unique areas of country music such as bluegrass, cajun and zydeco, cowboy music and Texas swing. As a result, Judy and her program steadily increased the profile of country music around the world.

According to Judy, "I love country music. It has a special place in my heart. What I love about country is its honesty and ability to communicate feelings without getting gussied up, it’s from one person's heart to another's."

She points out that Country Music has more of the universality of folk music. It appeals to people all around the world. And I think a three-minute song can say more about a nation and what its people are about than any other medium."

"This VOA Country music program elicits a greater response than any other genre-specific VOA music program. Listeners in Africa and China seem to like Country Music the best."

One listener from Sholapur, India wrote, "What makes country music so great a listening pleasure is not just the lyrics and the tune, but the feeling the artists put into those songs." A fan from Asuncion, Paraguay, wrote "The kind of music from your country I like the most is country music, not only because it is easier for me to understand, but also for its particular sound. I also think country music is the most representative style of music from the U.S., despite the wide variety of music that exists there, because it's the exponent of your folk music culture."


The show is a weekly, half-hour program that has been on the air for many years. Judy took the seat as host in 1984, and also became the producer and writer for the show. She has presented a number of live concerts, such as three of Charlie Daniels Volunteer Jams, Farm Aid concerts, and The Grand Ole Opry's 60th Birthday Celebration. In addition to the live shows, she also taped live performances and played them for her audience at a later date. "I like to get away from commercial recordings whenever possible. Live, I think, listeners get a sense of the excitement the star creates that is missing on record; and they get a sense of what one of their favorite singers is like. Many listeners in foreign countries never get to see performances by American artists. By broadcasting a concert, we have found the listeners really respond to the feeling of being at a show. I've received letters that say the people stand up and applaud in their homes after a song they liked."

Popular Special Programs

Over the years presented exciting special music events in country music to the homes of her audience. Here are some of the most popular specials she has provided to the world:

During May 12 - 16, 1997, she traveled with Garth Brooks to Ireland.

In October, 1996, Judy honored one of Country Music USA’s long time listeners from India at the time of his impending death. She organized a trip to South East Asia with singer Dan Seals that included a meeting with the listener and a concert in tribute to him in his hometown of Mangalore, India. The rest of the concert tour included Bombay and New Delhi (India), Bangkok (Thailand), and Hanoi (Vietnam). The show in Hanoi was the first bi-national cultural presentation in that city since the French abandoned the country in the mid-1950s.

The international radio premiere of Garth Brooks' new album Fresh Horses was presented in November of 1995. The show took place at the VOA auditorium with Judy as producer and host of the two hour live broadcast with Garth. The show had a little bit of everything possible: it was a combination news conference, international call-in by fans and journalists alike giving comments and asking questions, and a vivid live performance. The whole event had an electric spontaneity about it that made it a fascinating and lively introduction to the music on Garth's new album.

From March 30 through April 23, 1994 she traveled with Garth Brooks on his first overseas tour. He performed in Ireland, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Norway, and Sweden. She wrote news stories and broadcast special "Correspondent Reports" from the tour which included comments from Garth and his audience.

In October, 1993 she covered the 5th Annual Country Gold Festival, which is held in Kumamoto, Japan. Artists attending the famous festival that year included Steve Wariner, Pam Tillis, the Nashville Bluegrass Band, Highway 101, Jett Williams & The Drifting Cowboys, and festival founder Charlie Nagatani & the Cannonballs. She presented a special "Correspondent Report" from Japan and a 30-minute program on the festival upon her return.

1992 marked the 50th Anniversary of the international broadcasts of the Voice of America. To celebrate – and to thank h 100 million + dedicated listeners for tuning in over the years Judy organized and co-hosted a special musical show. Participants – who all donated their services- included Judy’s co-host Kenny Rogers, along with such luminaries as Garth Brooks, Chet Atkins, Joe Walsh, Clark Terry, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Dan Seals, Clamma Dale and John Sebastian.

She conceived, coordinated, and hosted a live two-hour worldwide telephone call-in show from Nashville, Talk To America on June 4, 1989. The topic was "American Country Music." Studio guests included Charlie Daniels, Emmylou Harris, Dan Seals, and Roseanne Cash. They took questions and chatted with listeners who called-in from around the world. Also joining Judy was a group of noted musicians who performed live music during the broadcast: Vassar Clements, Jesse McReynolds. Eddie Bayers, Bela Fleck, and Jerry Douglas, and Marty Stuart. Some artists couldn't attend in person but called in to talk with Judy: these included Kenny Rogers, K.T. Oslin, Buck Owens, and Roy Clark. People called from all corners of the world, including Malaysia, India, Niger, Zimbabwe, Scotland, Jamaica, and Peru.

Judy was the emcee of Roy Clark's November, 1988 Friendship Tour of Russia, with concerts in Moscow and Leningrad over a period of two weeks. She wrote and provided the audio commentary for a series of Correspondent Reports during the trip. Once she returned to Washington, she hosted a special program about the tour.

She created and conducted a 1988 worldwide essay contest, What Country Music Means To Me, with the winner (and a guest) each receiving a two-week, all-expense paid trip to Washington and Nashville. The contest drew over 3,000 essays from 109 countries. The winner was a 23-year-old international business student from Shanghai, China. His sole source for the country music he loved was Judy's program. The trip took place in June and Judy arranged for the winner to meet a number of country music stars during his visit. The press provided extensive coverage of the event and both Judy and the student participated in a number of interviews.

Judy hosted live broadcasts of Charlie Daniels' Volunteer Jams from 1984 to 1992 from Nashville. This gave the Jam a worldwide audience. She supervised all production duties for her shows and broadcast special reports from the event that included live performances. Charlie Daniels made the statement at his 10th Volunteer Jam: "My music knows no ideologies, no borders, and no politics, it’s people-to-people love, and I am glad that you're one of those people..."

She broadcast a 5 week series of live-to-tape programs of The Grand Ole Opry's 60th Anniversary, which included interviews with artists on the famous show.

She presented a 10-week series on the major instruments of Country Music. Top musicians appeared and explained their instruments and music to Judy's audience. Her guests were: Chet Atkins (guitar), Mark O'Connor(violin). Jerry Douglas(dobro), John Jarvis(keyboards), Joe Osborne(bass). Eddie Bayers(drums), Jesse McReynolds(mandolin). Buddy Emmons(peddle steel guitar). Bela Fleck(banjo). and Terry McMillan(harmonica & percussion).

She presented a 3-part program about the career of Johnny Cash. Johnny appeared on the program, talked about his life and career, and took questions via phone from listeners around the world.


Dear readers,
We want to post the latest information about Judy in this section. If you see an article about her, please send me a copy so that I can include it here. My e-mail and postal addresses are at the end of this site. Thank you for you help. - BP

Here Are The Latest Articles.

• VOA's Musical Ambassador. VOA Guide. January/February/March. 1997: p. 1, 12: illus.

• Harrington. Richard. GARTH'S WORLD. The Washington Post: Wednesday, Dec. 13. 1995: p. Cl. Cu:7 illus.

• Powers. Evelyn Tan. World audiences attuned to U.S. country music. USA Today; Wednesday, Nov. 29, 1995; p. 8A; illus.

• Piccoli. Sean. Giving music a voice on VOA: Judy Massa's radio universe. The Washington Times: Saturday. October I. 1994: p. B I. B2. Illus.

• Morris. Edward. Country's Voice' Heard 'Round The World': VOA's Judy Massa Touts Genre's 'Universe Appeal. Billboard: Nov. 9. 1991.

• Fenwick. Stewart. Listen to the worldwide Country radio. International Country Music News. Feb. 1991; p. 8.

• Goldsmith. Thomas, and Oermann. Robert K. Insiders agree Fan Fair was biggest. zaniest yet. The Tennessean; Sunday, June, 1990. Metro Section. p. I.

• Oermann, Robert K. Seals is Bulgaria-bound. The Tennessean. Wednesday. June 6. 1990; p. 2E; illus.

• Billboard Special Issue: A tribute to Johnny Cash on his 35th Anniversary. Billboard: Feb. 24. 1990. Judy's tribute letter to Johnny was published in the issue.

• Kowalski. Joe. Voice of America's DJ is 'Queen of the Mike." Publication not listed. Oct. I. 1989: p. 2.

• Country Music Goes Worldwide. CMA CloseUp; Country Music Association. V. 24, #7: July. 1989; p. 4, illus.
The article and photo cover VOA's two-hour. live call-in show hosted from Nashville by Judy Massa on Sunday, June 4th.

• Goldsmith. Thomas. Country stars to answer questions on VOA show. The Tennessean; June 1, 1989: n.p.

• Massa. Judy. A Dream Come True; contest winner comes to America. Voice: Oct./Nov.. 1988; p. 6-8, illus.
The article highlights the contest winner. Zhou Zuo-Ren from China, and prints his winning essay on 'What Country Music Means To Me,- and includes photos of him and Judy in Washington and Nashville.

• Oermann. Robert K. Its a series of firsts for Chinese country music fan. The Tennessean; June. 1988: n.p.. illus

• Hurst. Jack. Country's Music; VOA announcer tells world about America. Chicago Tribune. Sunday. Jan. 3, 1988; Arts section. p. 18.20: illus.

• Schmitt. Katherine. Country music strikes right chord overseas. Chicago Tribune; Thursday. May 28. 1987: p. I I H, illus.

• Goldsmith, Thomas. VOA helps Opry grow 'grander.' The Tennessean. Friday. Nov. 21, 1986.

• Goldsmith. Thomas. Jam XII goes 'round the world. The Tennessean: Saturday. June 28, 1986: n.p.:

• McCall, Michael. Voice of America gains a country accent. Nashville Banner, Friday. June 13, 1986; p. B1-2: illus.

• Neese. Sandy. Volunteer Jam Fans Sing Praises From All Corners of the World. The Tennessean; Monday. July 2. 1984: STET

• Neese. Sandy. Voice of America Converges on Volunteer Jam. No bibliographic information. (Possibly: The Tennessean, February, 1984?] p. 4. illus.
The article is about VOA's coverage of the next days Volunteer Jam X.

• Kimbro, Judy. Charlie's Jam. Chattanooga News-Free Press. Friday, Feb. 10, 1984; p.


By virtue of the fact that Judy's programs were broadcast to every country in the world, she had a fan and listener base of such size that it makes the audiences of other programs look small. The same is true of the mail she received.

She explains how she developed a closeness to her audience: "You sit behind the microphone and imagine you are talking to a few of your friends. Our listeners and letter writers are exactly that. And I think it's better to look at it that way because you communicate in a more personal, less formal way. It doesn't overwhelm you like it would if you thought about the fact that you are talking to the whole world."

Music is the center of Judy's communication with her audience. Through music, she and her listeners talked to each other directly with enthusiasm, warmth and sincerity. The tone of Judy's voice always carries the sound and feel of energy and cheer. It's her voice that paints a picture of Judy Massa.

Judy recognizes the spirit of her audience and the efforts they made to communicate with her: "Their letters are especially gratifying and touching when you realize that in many countries, the postage is the equivalent of a day's wages." And people write her about how her program (and the music she presented to them) affected their lives. A writer from Tehran, Iran wrote her about his love of country music, saying that Loretta Lynn’s “Coal Miner's Daughter” gave him the inspiration that he, too, could succeed despite living in poverty and under political restrictions.


Here are some excerpts from letters written to Judy from her listeners around the world:

"I love the programme. Nice music ... interested audience... a warm and knowledgeable host ... what more could I want!!!" Shripad/Seychelles Island

"Hi there. First I should thank you for your fantastic program. Here in the dorm we have good nights with your program and in spite of the classes in the early morning. I don't go to sleep before listening to your program. So thank you again." Amir / Iran

"Thank you for replying to my request. I heard it last night and it was great. I have so many musical requests and I am going to send you all of them one by one." Alex / Iran

"After registering in the university last month. I promised myself I would send you an e-mail message. This is the first time I got a chance to do so however. I was fortunate to be able to stay awake and listen to your special show on the first birthday of Border Crossings. I know it might be a little late, but as a long-time listener I'd like to say:

I would also like to thank you and the whole crew for all you made me see. understand, and like during this one year of broadcast." Eshan / Iran

"Dropping you a line to let you know how much I enjoy the show. Its a great mix of music. I pick it up early in the morning after 2:00 AM local time. Reception is mediocre, but it's better than nothing." Kevin / Bangkok. Thailand

"Through your show. I've made many new friends around the world. Please dedicate this song to Baharak, the young lady in Tehran. Iran that had her birthday on 22 August. I just want her to know that she has the most charming and sweet voice I have ever heard. It would be wonderful to receive a letter from her. Have fun and keep up the wonderful music.”
Wyman B. / Vilnius, Lithuania

"Thanks for playing the song ”Hello” for me. Tonight was my daughter's birthday. Her name is Parisa and she is twelve. I informed the family that you may play the song for me. Parisa went to sleep because we hear your program at I A.M. so my wife Forouzan and my son Babak (he is 17) waited to hear the song. Thanks. It seems that you have got another permanent friend." Saeed D. / Tehran. Iran

"I enjoyed the programme tonight. but then I always do when I can get good reception. Such a good mix of music. You must have a terrific record library system there at V.O.A. to be able to sort out and play requests so quickly." Bob G. / Dorset, England

"I really like your show. It brings some peace in our heads after all that had news that we hear here these days. As you might know, my country is going through a big crisis and people are very confused and worried about the future of this country. It's very hard to keep the positive waves in our hearts in this tense atmosphere. Your show is one of the few sources of the positive waves." Ilir Z. / Tirana, Albania

”I really enjoy your program and talk shows (interviews) with the different artists and types of music."
Faustina C. / Belize

"I'm crazy about VOA being broadcast to my part of the globe, Massa's 'Border Crossings' provides for a pleasant rest." Velin V. / Varna, Bulgaria

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