|Known as Chucky from Kentucky, Chuck Dougherty
was one of the first hires at KQV when the top 40 format was put in place
in 1958. Chuck hosted mornings and was Program Director. Chuck was at KQV
from 1958 -1960. Chuck came to KQV from WQAM in Miami. Former KQV General
Manager John Gibbs said, "Chuckie
from Kentucky", who trained the other jocks into what emerged as the KQV
format. Chuck Dougherty was one of the most exciting wake-up entertainer
Pittsburgh radio had ever heard. He was great."
After Pittsburgh Chuck went to WKWK in
Wheeling. Chuck's career included stops at WIP, WNEW, WPEN, WGST and WLW.
At one time Chuck was also a recording artist and song writer. He recorded
on Roulette Records. His songs included "Reluctantly / Lumberjack" (listed
as Chuck Darty) and "My Steady Girl / Can't You See" (listed as Chuck Darty).
Chuck Dougherty passed away on January
20, 2018 in Naples Florida.. He was 93 years old.
He wrote Freddy Cannon's 1961 hit "Transistor
Chuck left radio in 1980 and owned a number
of Tuxedo shops for the next 15 years. He is now retired and living in
The following article appeared
Retired disc jockey has a thousand
Chuck Dougherty says he
had a good career as a radio disc jockey on the East Coast.
By Mike Reilly
Published: Friday, August
22, 2008 9:02 AM CDT
Chuck Dougherty has not
had a boring life.
The 83-year old former pilot
and big-time radio disc jockey who lives just off Marco Island is enjoying
his retirement, but he really hasn't slowed-down all that much.
He used to hobnob with the
likes of Tony Bennett and other celebrities.
Now he likes to hang out
on Marco with his girlfriend and he still sings whenever he has a chance.
He loves to sing.
In fact, at one time, Dougherty
recorded for Roulette Records. He wrote a hit record, too. It was Freddy
"Boom-Boom" Cannon's early 1960s hit, "Transistor Sister."
It could have started for
this Kentucky native in Seymour, Ind., where he was offered $25 a week
at a radio station.
"But I thought to myself
that I was making more than that on the G.I. bill, so how am I going to
make this thing work?" he said.
He decided it wasn't and
turned the offer down.
His first radio stint ended
up being at WBTH in Williamson, W.V., at $48 a week in 1950.
But to really know Dougherty,
you have to backtrack to World War II.
Throughout his condo are
models of the planes he flew in the Pacific during the war.
"I first soloed in an open
cockpit aircraft, the PT-19," he said with pride. "Later, I flew B-28 Liberator
Bombers, 26 missions with the 5th Air Force 90th Bomb Group, 319th Squadron.
But I never really worried about the Japanese. I worried more about getting
that heavy aircraft off the ground."
That was because their missions
lasted sometimes more than 12 hours, so they took-off from the Philippines
with 3,100 gallons of gas, 6,000 pounds of bombs, plus a 10-man crew.
"It was slow getting it
off the ground. We flew right out over the Pacific Ocean," he said. "We
lost several crews just getting it off the ground."
Dougherty would have been
part of the Japanese invasion in November 1945, had there been one. The
dropping of the atomic bombs ended the war instead.
"One of my favorite sayings
is, 'If there hadn't been a Pearl Harbor, there wouldn't have been a Hiroshima,'"
Dougherty received a radio
degree from the University of Kentucky. It was rare for a radio DJ to have
a college degree back then.
"I worked my way through
college singing," said Dougherty. "In fact I got into radio with the thought
that I would end up being a singer. I wanted to be a singer primarily."
His shot at recording came
later, when he was working in Miami at WQAM. He did the morning show there
beginning in 1956. In Miami, he became acquainted with music producers
and songwriters Frank Slay and Bob Crewe.
"Actually, my first recording
was with Henry Stone, who later discovered K.C. & the Sunshine Band,"
"I first recorded with Henry
and he got me the contract with Roulette. For Frank Slay and Bob Crewe,
I did my recording in New York City."
While enjoying some regional
success as a recording artist, Dougherty never had a big hit nationally.
He added that one of his biggest thrills was his first day recording in
New York, when sitting next to him was guitarist Tony Mottola, one of Frank
Sinatra's longtime musicians.
On that first day in New
York, Dougherty recorded a song called "My Steady Girl." Later in his singing
career, he recorded with Perry Como's band.
But he wasn't that unhappy
about not having a hit record, since he also had a good job in radio and
a wife and three children.
Through most of the 1960s
and well into the 1970s, Dougherty worked in Philadelphia (WIP and WPEN),
except for one year in New York City (WNEW).
Most of his radio work through
the years was Top 40, but he also worked a little bit in country music,
too. On top of that, he did football and basketball play-by-play.
One of the things that happened
in the middle of Dougherty's career was the British Invasion and the Beatles.
But although he grew up in the Big Band era, and even sang Big Band music,
he stayed right with the Top-40 format through the years, enjoying it along
"I have always been one
to go with the flow, I like it all," he said. "I knew a singer who just
hated rock 'n roll, just hated it. But you just go with the flow. Rock
'n toll is fine."
Dougherty said she doesn't
know it, but he gave Annette Funicello her first hit, "Tall Paul."
"I had heard this song by
some kids and I thought it had a lot of potential, so I called a friend
at Buena Vista Records (Disney) and told him that "Tall Paul" should be
a hit," said Dougherty. "He called me back later and said they gave it
to Annette and it moved about three-quarters of a million records. But
she never knew it was me who suggested the song."
When asked who his favorite
interview was through the years, Dougherty is quick to respond that it
was Tony Bennett.
"This one time I did a radio
show with Tony at WIP in Philly. He was great and it was a lot of fun,"
he started. "Fast forward to that night and I'm at the R.D.A. Club (in
Philadelphia) and there's nobody there, except for two couples and me sitting
at the bar. All of a sudden Tony slipped in. And on stage is a combo doing
Tony's songs. Tony asks me to be quiet as he slips up behind the kid singing
and takes the mic out of his hand. I thought this kid was going to faint."
Bennett took over the stage
with that kid's band, and proceeded to sing.
"Tony gave us 30 minutes,
just two couples and me," Dougherty added with a laugh. "He's such a nice
During his career Dougherty
also had a chance to meet with Richard Harris.
"Richard was so easy to
talk to, but I told him that whenever he heard 'MacArthur Park' on the
radio, you can be sure the disc jockey's gone to the bathroom," he said.
That's because at seven
minutes-plus in length, the song gave the DJ some free time.
Being an amiable guy, Dougherty
is living his retirement with a smile. Twice widowed, he is close to his
three children who live out-of-state and adores his four grandchildren.
His first wife, Mary, was
the mother of his children. They were married 1946-1994. Later, he wed
Vanetta and was married to her for seven years before she passed away.
Both of his wives died from cancer.
"I'm lucky I guess," he
adds thoughtfully. "You see so much estrangement in families and it's so
sad. I'm so glad that we don't have that. We're all close and I truly love
my children and they love each other. Life is pretty good."