NASHVILLE (WSMV) – Award-winning music journalist and radio host Chuck Dauphin died Wednesday in hospice care due to complications from diabetes. He was 45 years old.
The Dickson native got his start in radio as a junior in high school at WDKN, working his way up to program director as “Crazy Chucky.” He soon went on to on-air stints at WNKX in Centerville and WSM-AM in Nashville, and appeared as a guest on SiriusXM country music channels.
Dauphin was also a prolific writer in country music journalism writing articles for CNN, Rolling Stone, and The Tennessean. Most recently, Dauphin was a country music contributor with Billboard Magazine from 2011 until his death. He received the CMA Media Achievement Award in 2014.
“We are so proud of Chuck,” Dauphin’s father, Charles F. Dauphin, Jr., says. “He accomplished so much and was loved by so many. Our deepest thanks to everyone who showed their love to Chuck. We know he felt your prayers and support.”
Memorial details are still being arranged with Taylor Funeral Home and Burns Church of Christ. In lieu of flowers, the Dauphin family asks for donations to be made to Music Health Alliance, MusiCares, Alive Hospice, The Opry Trust Fund, and/or the Nashville Humane Association.
He is survived by his father, stepmother, a stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother, stepsister, an uncle, two aunts, several cousins and numerous friends.
Many artists and colleagues have paid tribute to Dauphin:
"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. Chuck was a gift to this world and leaves us all better because he crossed our paths. Rest now in peace and perfect health, Brother Chuck — Forever and Ever, Amen." — Randy Travis
“There will never be anyone like you again, and I want you to know that all of us in the business appreciate what you have done for us and our careers. I will miss you more than you know as I am sure everybody will.” — Kenny Rogers
“What an honor and privilege it is to be counted among your friends. Alicia and I know it’s been a tough road but you are a tough guy. We love you and appreciate your friendship and sharing your gifts, life and smile with us.” — John Schneider
“You have always been a pro even when you were young. I never hesitated to invite you to anything I was doing because I knew how respectful you were of everybody. I’ve watched your career grow and read your articles and felt the love you had for the music and the artists behind it. Please tell George Mac, ETC how much I miss them. We’ll get together again someday. Love you.” — Keith Bilbrey
“I have lost a good friend, but the music industry has lost one of its great champions. Music was his whole life. He ate, drank and slept country music. He was a kind and gentle man who always supported the legends in our business as well as the new artists just starting out. Rest in peace, my friend.” — T.G. Sheppard
“Chuck was always a sweetheart. Positive vibes and a total pro. Thanks for all the kind words. Rest easy, pal.” — T. Graham Brown
“Chuck is the definition of a pro who invites you in to be vulnerable and honest. That is a secret ingredient that makes a true savant in the world of overdone cover stories. One of the nicest and most compassionate individuals in the press world.” — Tim Rushlow
“His interviews got down to what was important to that person. Whether he was covering sports or country music, he had the innate ability to celebrate the person and their craft. He knew how to pull out the best in every interview to the point where readers always felt like they knew the subject intimately from his writing." — Deborah Evans-Price