Nashville – (February 20, 2017) – Music industry veterans Lorianne Crook & Charlie Chase were honored with the Bob Kingsley Living Legend Award for their impact on country music during an event held tonight at the Grand Ole Opry House. The honor was a well-kept surprise for both who were recognized as a powerhouse duo who for 34 years have been delivering Country music news, interviews and performances to fans across the globe via television, radio and online channels. No other personalities have played such a key role in the creation of Country content on television, entering fans’ homes via TNN (The Nashville Network), becoming an extension of the family, and introducing multiple generations of future superstars and legends to more than 80 million homes. The evening benefitted the Opry Trust Fund, which for more than 50 years has supported members of the country music community in nee.
Among the artists who participated in the evening with performances, appearances and taped messages were Trace Adkins, Moe Bandy, John Conlee, Billy Dean, Tareva Henderson, Tracy Lawrence, John Michael Montgomery, Jeannie Seely, Ricky Skaggs, T.G. Sheppard, Doug Stone, Tanya Tucker, The Whites and Mark Wills along with Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood presenting Crook & Chase with their award.
Garth commented that it was fitting the event was held on the Opry stage as Lorianne & Charlie also “made country music famous.”When accepting the award an emotional Lorianne shared, “we feel like we’ve grown up in the business with you guys. Thank you for trusting us with your artists. It’s been a beautiful, life changing dance.” Charlie broke the emotional moment telling the crowd, “the biggest reward about this award is it has Garth and Trisha’s fingerprints on it!"
The inaugural celebration honored Bob Kingsley in 2014. Due to the overwhelming response and success of that evening, Bob opted to make it an annual event where individuals would be honored on the stage of the Opry. The award, given to Joe Galante in 2015 and Jim Ed Norman in 2016, recognizes the most deserving individuals across the country music industry, including record labels, radio, and media.
About Crook & Chase
WhenCrook & Chasebegan its run on newfound network TNN in 1983 under the banner ofThis Week In Country Music, Producer Jim Owens paired local news correspondent Lorianne Crook with veteran radio personality Charlie Chase—and the rest, as they say, is history. That landmark show, with more than 2800 episodes to its credit from 1983-1999, provided a daily dose of entertainment news, interviews and performances to the Country lifestyle viewer. Long before Regis & Kathie Leebecame staples on national TV, Lorianne & Charlie were building a devoted fan base of their own, one that would prove its worth when in 1993 TNN placed them in the primetime 90-minute spot held by Ralph Emery’s Nashville Nowfor a decade. With 554 episodes in the vaults, Music City Tonight signed off in 1995 at the height of Country’s boom to enable the duo to morph Crook & Chaseinto national talk show via syndication. In that same era, the duo extended their brand even further, with a best-selling autobiographyOur Lives, The Music & The Stars, a theater in Myrtle Beach, SC, a museum in Nashville…and even a Charlie Chase solo recitation album My Wife…My Life on Epic Records! During this same time, their production output of specials and TV shows continued, including Celebrities Offstagewith Lorianne Crook (1988-1995), Funny Businesswith Charlie Chase (1989-1995), Crook & Chase Tonight (1997) and This Year In Country Music(1989-1999). With an insatiable demand for content, TNN commissioned additional programming from Jim Owens & Associates – Country Standard Time(1990-91) TNN Country News(1993-1999),Weekday(1993), TNN Music City News Awards (1988-1999),TNN Songwriters Awards (1990-99) – all with production credits to Lorianne Crook & Jim Owens. As the new century dawned, Lorianne & Chase found a renewed interest in their franchise via radio & digital platforms. During the 2000s, Crook & Chasereturned to television on RFD-TV and Lorianne hosted 180 episodes ofCelebrity Kitchenon GAC-TV from 2003-04. As the 2010s began, Lorianne & Charlie took their place in the Country Radio Hall Of Fame.
With their CMA & ACM-nominated syndicated radio show,The Crook & Chase Countdown, now in its 27th year, and the rights to TNN and the more than 50,000 hours of content they created in the rightful ownership of Jim Owens & Associates, the future is as bright as ever for the duo who never sang a note themselves, but allowed countless artists to find their own voice in front of millions of fans.
About the Grand Ole Opry Trust Fund
The Opry Trust Fund was formed in 1965, the Opry’s 40th birthday, by Opry management as a means to help those in the Country music industry who have fallen on hard times. The purpose of the fund is to give financial assistance in time of need, emergency or catastrophe to people who were or are actively engaged in the country music industry. Most often, disbursements help pay medical bills and living expenses for people that are undergoing medical care and unable to work.
Lorianne Crook and Charlie Chase have been the go-to source for country music news and entertainment for 30 years now, reaching millions of fans not only in North America, but around the globe. Each week, listen in to the Country Radio Hall of Fame members as they host the syndicated radio program, THE CROOK AND CHASE COUNTDOWN, airing all across America.
It all started back in 1983, when Crook and Chase had heard of each other, but had never met. Lorianne was hosting her own show on the ABC television affiliate in Nashville and Charlie was hosting his own show on the competing NBC affiliate. (In all honesty, Lorianne had been a fan of Charlie's since her high school days when she and her cheerleading buddies listened to Charlie as a DJ on his radio show on WMAK). Charlie is quick to point out that is just a rumor, but Lorianne stands by her story.
Unbeknownst to either of them, while they were going about their business of hosting their TV shows, a famous producer by the name of Jim Owens was watching each of them on their respective stations. Jim had a hunch that Lorianne and Charlie might work well together as a team reporting on country music and its stars. At that time, there was no television show of any kind along that line.
In April of 1983, Jim arranged a meeting, bringing himself together with Crook and Chase at the Opryland Hotel. It was there that he told them of his idea for a syndicated TV show he was creating called THIS WEEK IN COUNTRY MUSIC that he would like for them to host. Lorianne and Charlie took an instant liking to each other, and one thing led to another. By June of that year, they had produced a pilot episode of the show, which Jim was successful in selling all across the nation. Crook & Chase debuted as a team in September of '83.
THIS WEEK IN COUNTRY MUSIC remained a popular syndicated show for two years, after which, the fledgling network TNN requested exclusive airing rights beginning in 1985. Crook and Chase remained on TNN until its demise as a country network at the end of 1999. During those 16 years, Lorianne and Charlie became two of the network's most popular and respected hosts, producing thousands of hours of programming, including THE CROOK & CHASE SHOW, CROOK & CHASE TONIGHT, MUSIC CITY TONIGHT WITH CROOK & CHASE, CELEBRITIES OFFSTAGE, FUNNY BUSINESS, TODAY'S COUNTRY, and countless award shows and specials.
Much of their personal and professional history was documented in their 1995 book "CROOK AND CHASE: OUR LIVES, THE MUSIC, AND THE STARS".
Since teaming up in 1983, Crook and Chase have been involved in the production of television and radio programs on a continuous basis, making them one of the longest running broadcast duos in the business. They're still going strong 30 years later! And in February 2013, they were inducted into the Country Radio Hall of Fame.
Crook & Chase. 30 years. And counting!