Longtime radio and music journalist Chuck Dauphin won the 2014 CMA Media Achievement Award.
Dauphin — who has been a contributing writer for Billboard since 2011, as well as The 615 columnist for Billboard.com — accepted the award at the 48th annual CMA awards in Nashville on Wednesday night (Nov. 5). The first Media Achievement Award was handed out in 1982.
“I am truly blessed and humbled to be in the list of names who have won this award,” said Dauphin at the event. “Thanks to all my editors who give me the outlets to write for, especially Tye Comer at Billboard for the chance. And, thank you to the publicists who make my job so much easier. They are not just people I work with, they are my friends. Thanks to my God, my family, including my son Zack, and of course to the CMA.”
Wendy Pearl, CMA Vice President of Corporate Communications, notes in a statement that “Chuck is a well-respected journalist within the industry and he is highly regarded among our voting CMA member publicists for his preparation, creativity, integrity, and passion for Country Music.”
Dauphin has always displayed this passion. He remembers hunting for tunes on the radio as a youngster. “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 12:30 a.m., you could hear them talking 500 miles away. I actually developed my own imaginary radio station,” he adds, “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.”
These skills served him well when he started working as a radio broadcaster in 1991. He eventually added record promoter and journalist to his resume, writing for a number of publications.
“I can’t carry a tune or play an instrument, but I have always loved telling people about music — whether a superstar like Tim McGraw or Lee Ann Womack, a legend like Kenny Rogers, or a brand-new artist that nobody has ever heard of — yet,” Dauphin tells Billboard. “I am humbled and honored by this [award], and am just proud to be a part of the Billboard team. Thanks to Tye Comer, Denise Warner, and Serena Kappes for giving me an outlet, as well as former staff member Marc Schneider, all of whom have been very good to me. I am blessed.”
In 2013, Deborah Evans Price — who is also a Billboard contributor — won the Media Achievement Award.