Chuck Dauphin, a highly regarded Nashville music journalist, radio personality and 2014 CMA Media Achievement Award recipient, passed away Wednesday evening (September 18). He was 45 years old.

A native of Dickson, Tenn., Dauphin (born Charles Frederick Dauphin III) loved country music – and country radio – even when he was young. “I was browsing the AM band at night and found stations such as WBAP / Dallas, WWL / New Orleans and WLW / Cincinnatti,” he reminded the Tennessee in 2018. “I thought it was so cool that at 12:30 a.m. you could hear [deejays] talk 500 miles away.

“I actually developed my own imaginary radio station, WBRQ – W-Burns (my hometown in Tennessee) -Q,” he added. “I would take my boombox that my grandmother bought for me, read the ads in the local newspaper, and do the intros and outros of the songs.”

All this practice paid off in 1991, when Dauphin began working as a radio host. He also began picking up bylines as a freelance writer, eventually serving as a contributor to Billboard (as of 2011), and writes for many other publications. Over the course of his career, Dauphin has interviewed a wide range of luminaries in the genre, including his personal idol, Kenny Rogers.

Dauphin suffered from several health problems during the last years of his life. In April 2018, he broke his shoulder in an accident in Denver, Colorado. He returned to Tennessee and saw a doctor, but a few days later his kidneys stopped and he fell into a coma for four days. After coming out of the coma, Dauphin began dialysis treatments.

In the fall of 2018, Dauphin’s right foot was amputated due to complications from diabetes and MRSA infection. Then, in early August, he underwent back surgery to remove an infection from his vertebrae. The operation was successful, but Dauphin struggled to recover and was admitted to Nashville Hospice about a month later.

Dauphin is survived by several family members, including his father Charles and his stepmother Marcia, his half-brother Lyle (and his wife Dee Dee) and his half-sister Deanna (and her husband Eric), as well as his stepson Zack and stepdaughter Isabella. He is also survived by a large group of friends and supporters in his church and country music communities, whom he has loved all his life.

“We are so proud of Chuck,” says Dauphin’s father. “He accomplished so much and was loved by so many people. Our sincere thanks to everyone who showed their love for Chuck. We know he felt your prayers and support.

“I can’t wear a tune or play an instrument,” Dauphin said previously. Billboard, “but I’ve always loved talking to people about music – whether it’s a superstar like Tim McGraw or Lee Ann Womack, a legend like Kenny Rogers, or a brand new artist that no one has ever heard of. ‘ve never heard of it – yet. “

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