Chuck Dauphin (Photo: File)
Kristy Owings said the man she cared for like a brother was also the person who first nudged her into the on-air radio business.
Owings’ office adjoined her co-worker Chuck Dauphin’s work space at the Downtown Dickson-located WDKN radio station. The two quickly became friends: Dauphin the radio personality “Crazie Chucky” and Owings who worked in an accounting role.
“I think he’s the first one who handed me the microphone and told me I needed to do Swap and Shop to see what it was like,” Owings said. “When he gave me that microphone, he never got it back.”
Owings said Dauphin, who died Wednesday from health complications at age 45, was always like that: Giving and listening to others.
“He was amazing. He was a good friend, and we remained good friends even after the station closed in 2009,” Owing said.
She recalled that all his office walls were covered with autographs from artists from going to the CMA Festival every year.
“Every time he would come back, he would have several new ones to hang up,” Owings said. “There was not a blank space on his wall. If it wasn’t country music, it was Dallas Cowboys or Daisy Duke.”
The sign at the former site of WDKN radio station on College Street in Downtown Dickson where Chuck Dauphin worked for years. (Photo: Mandy Lunn, Copyright 1996 The Tennessean;Ye)
The long work days, starting with show prep at 5 a.m. daily and ending with various ball games into the night, never slowed Dauphin down, she said. Those days were partially fueled by Pepsi and then Diet Pepsi after he was diagnosed with diabetes.
She said Dauphin “had a wealth of knowledge in country music.”
In recent days, Owings said she’s heard from many people in the music industry who remembered Dauphin relentlessly working the phone lines to set up country music star interviews.
She said even with WDKN being a “small town station,” Dauphin was able to get some big name interviews on the station.
“Kenny Rogers was the main one,” said Owings, adding that Dauphin finally landed an face-to-face interview with Rogers years later while Dauphin was freelance writing for Billboard.
Randy Travis performs during the CMA Music Festival at LP Field on June 7, 2013. (Photo: Larry McCormack / The Tennessean)
After Dauphin left WDKN, he wrote for Billboard and The Dickson Herald as well as working at a Hickman County country music station.
On Twitter, Randy Travis wrote:
“If ever you needed a friend… or a kind word… you could count on Chuck Dauphin. A gentleman through all the years of my career, who always focused on the best in everyone. Rest now in peace and perfect health, Brother Chuck — Forever and Ever, Amen.”
Craig Morgan sent out the following statement: “I’ve known Chuck for a lot of years, both as a member of the music community and a neighbor in Dickson County. He was a good, kind man and a true supporter of country music and his presence will be missed.”
Locals recollections of Dauphin
Dickson resident Mike Dudley, who would hang out in the studio with friends who were Dauphin’s buddies, remembered Dauphin:
“Chuck was very unique in the fact that he loved classic old-school country at a very young age. While most of us were listening to Eazy E, Ace Of Base or Nirvana, Chuck was blasting Hank Williams Sr., Loretta Lynn, Kenny Rogers or Dolly Parton through his speakers.
He was also the biggest fan of the show “Dallas.” He was so excited when he got to visit the actual Southfork Ranch in Texas that he actually mailed me a postcard from there which he beat home by a week! (Ha ha)
Chuck knew exactly what he wanted to do as long as I had known him. Working in radio was Chuck’s dream come true.
Whether it was doing his morning show on WDKN “The Crazy Chuckie Show”, calling the local ball teams or interviewing country music artists, Chuck always gave it his all and Dickson County was lucky to have him.”
Dickson County attorney Brian Ragan, whose family is long connected with Downtown Dickson and the radio station, said Dauphin was “interesting and engaging.”
“He could take almost any subject with any guest and make it fun to listen to, and he was exceedingly kind and gracious to everyone…just a good man.”
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