If you were to Google the call letters WBRQ, you would find the station licensed to a town in La Grange, GA. However, in the summer months of 1984, those call letters also represented the dreams of a ten-year old who wanted to be involved in radio – one way or the other.
“I remember that was the first summer that my parents let me stay up and watch TV as late as I wanted – provided I didn’t wake them up,” recalls Chuck Dauphin. “I would scan down through the AM band at night, and find stations such as WBAP / Dallas, WWL / New Orleans, and WLW / Cincinnati. Each of those stations had live bodies on the air back then. I used to think it was so neat that at 12:30am, you could hear them talking 500 miles away,” he recalled. “I actually developed my own imaginary radio station – WBRQ – W- Burns (my hometown in Tennessee)-Q. I would take my boom box that my grandmother had bought me, and would read ads from the local paper, and do intros and outros of the songs.”
Since then, his career has been far from imaginary, and more like a dream. He has spent the past twenty-one years working as a radio broadcaster, record promoter, and as a journalist. Since 2001, he has had over 1,000 articles published in various magazines and newspapers – including the legendary Billboard Magazine – for which he has been a contributing writer since September 2011.
“Having this job amazes me,” Dauphin says. “I was buying Billboard at B.Dalton Booksellers at Hickory Hollow Mall as an eleven year old kid. I am extremely blessed and humbled to be able to write about the music and artists I love.”
That child who recorded onto a cassette player some three decades ago is still using a recorder, but now he’s interviewing artists such as Carrie Underwood, Vince Gill, Jason Aldean, and Dolly Parton. “It’s an absolute honor to be able to give these artists a platform to talk about their careers. I consider myself a professional, but at the end of the day, I am also a fan – still remembering being that 12-year old listening to Kenny Rogers or Reba McEntire on late night radio.”
Since 1991 – the year that CDX began, Dauphin has been a fixture at stations throughout Tennessee, most notably WDKN / Dickson, and WNKX / Centerville, where he can be heard each week. In a neat twist of fate, he was also a part of the Interstate Radio Network, a satellite-fed radio network that included the “Air Castle Of The South,” WSM-AM, the station that most influenced him. “Regardless of whatever I do in my career, I can say that I was the broadcaster on the air on WSM when 1999 turned into 2000. That will always be special.”
Journalism or Broadcasting – What does Dauphin consider his specialty? “I have been asked that question several times over the past few years, and I’m not sure there is a clear cut answer. I love being able to communicate my love of the music to the reader or the listener. If a person has bought a CD or downloaded a song because of something they may have heard about from me, then I’ve done my job.”
And, into his third decade of doing it, he continues to do it very well!