ROGERSVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — The Town of Rogersville, Tennessee has a lot of fans. But few, if any, have a bigger platform than Charlie Chase.
“I love Rogersville,” the legendary broadcaster said from his office on Music Row in Nashville. “I was born and raised there. I’ve often told people that Rogersville was the village that raised me.”
Charlie Chase isn’t just the pride of Rogersville. He’s also a legend in Nashville, where over a five-decade career he helped make country music what it is today by hosting television shows on The Nashville Network and now co-hosting a nationwide country radio program alongside longtime broadcast partner Lori Ann Crook.
“I just love my job,” Chase told News Channel 11. “It’s a lot of fun to go to work every day.”
That work began with his first radio job back home in Rogersville on WRGS radio when Chase was only 13.
“Radio was the best training I ever had for being on television,” he said. “It gave a sense of timing, a built-in feature being in radio.”
Talent stood out. In 1974, a job offer took him from Northeast Tennessee to Nashville.
WSM Radio hired him in 1976 to replace none other than Pat Sajak who made the jump to TV.
Soon, Chase followed.
In 1983, The Nashville Network debuted on cable television with Nashville-based programming including “Crook and Chase” interviewing up-and-coming stars in front of a live studio audience.
“When TNN was developed, it became a major force in Country Music,” Chase said. “We interviewed the legends, and we introduced the country to up-and-coming stars who would go on to become legends too.”
Stars like Garth Brooks, Clint Black and Alan Jackson all came to chat with Crook and Chase on their way to superstardom.
Grand Ole Opry legends appeared on the show and revealed their real personalities to their loyal fans.
“They got a chance to be a real person,” he said of the guests on the cable chat show. “You see them on stage singing and performing. But we got a chance to dig into their personality and see who they were. And they were charming. They were funny.”
Crook and Chase may be fixtures in Nashville and friends with Country Music’s A-listers, but he hasn’t forgotten his hometown.
“I’m proud of that town,” Chase said. “I’m proud to say that I’m from Rogersville.”