KKDA’s Chuck Smith
Charles Edward Smith Sept. 25, 1935 – Oct. 5, 2017 Charles “Chuck” Smith was born in Kosciusko, Mississippi to James and Mary Smith. He grew up in Milwaukee, WS., where as a teenager, Chuck’s love of music led him to become a DJ at the local YMCA, which ultimately led him to become a DJ at 1590am WAWA radio station. As an adult he relocated briefly to Memphis, Tenn. where he worked at WDIA radio. In 1970, Chuck was part of a team hired to start a new radio station in Dallas, TX. for Service Broadcasting Corporation.
Hired as the Music Director, he was eventually promoted to General Manager and remained with KKDA-AM and K104-FM for 42 years. During Chuck’s tenure with KKDA his leadership, guidance and mentoring helped to shape the careers of many up and coming young men and women in the African-American communities of DFW, who went on to become successful entertainers, entrepreneurs, politicians, and more. Some of those names include some of the biggest names in the broadcast business.
He was the brainchild of “the music you grew up listening to” and was always ahead of his time. He was instrumental in bringing “community talk radio” to the Dallas Ft. Worth area, especially geared towards people who felt that they had no voice. You could express your opinions without fear of retaliation. He was a quiet giant in the radio industry and many owe their careers and success to him. There was always an open door to Chuck to hear the knowledge and the wisdom of someone who didn’t want the public accolades but didn’t mind sharing with you to help you grow!
Chuck leaves his wife Pearl, Sons Todd (Dena), Turhan (Raquel) and Ian, 7 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild to remember his love and words of wisdom from this day forward.
His extended Service Broadcasting family and friends remember him fondly as the “Man with the Plan” behind many of the antics and schemes which helped define Black Radio in Dallas/Ft.Worth which led K104fm to the Number 1 Radio Station (among all stations in Dallas Ft. Worth) for several years.
A Celebration of his life will take place on November 4, at the Black Academy of Arts and Letters located at 1309 Canton St., Dallas at 4pm.