Herbert Woolery in Ashland, Kentucky, Chuck grew
up fishing and playing guitar, and is something of a Renaissance man.
He spent two
years in the United States Navy and then went to college at Morehead State
University, where he pursued degrees in sociology and economics. After college, he worked a series of
odd jobs, including as a Pillsbury sales representative and wine
however, was the muse that drew him to Nashville, Tennessee, where he
co-founded The Avant Garde
with Elkin Fowler. They
released the acoustic-flavored “Yellow Beads” in 1967 and
squeezed into the Billboard Top Forty with “Naturally Stoned”
in 1968. The follow-up,
“Fly With Me” (as psychedelic as it sounds) never took
The duo split
up and Chuck went solo in 1969.
His debut single was “I’ve Been Wrong”, followed
by “Hey, Baby” in 1970.
Columbia Records let him go and he switched labels to RCA, for whom
he recorded “Forgive My Heart” and “Love Me, Love
None of his
singles did much and so he changed tacks and decided to pursue an acting
career. In 1972, he began a
five-year run on the kids’ TV program, The New Zoo Revue, as Mr. Dingle, the local mailman and storekeeper.
serendipity that Chuck was recruited for an episode of the TV game show, Tattletales, and was tapped as a
vocalist on Name That Tune and Your Hit Parade in 1974. TV magnate Merv
Griffin noticed Chuck’s talent and plucked him for emcee of a new
game show called Wheel of Fortune,
a high-rolling version of Hangman, on NBC.
It did not
keep Chuck out of the recording studio, however. In 1977, he took one more shot at
musical glory with “Painted Lady” and “Take Her Down,
Boys”, but he wisely did not quit his day job. He won an Emmy in 1978 in the
category of best game-show host.
In 1981, he quit the show after asking for and being denied a pay
increase of $435,000 a year.
He would not
be out of work for long, however.
On 19th September 1983, he began hosting a syndicated
game show-cum-reality show entitled The
Love Connection. It was a
variation on The Dating Game,
inviting bachelors and bachelorettes to watch a short clip of three
potential dates and choose one based on first impression, or—for the
very brave—allow the audience to pick for them. The show was a perfect fit for
Chuck’s folksy good humor and natural charm, allowing him to interact
with the contestants much moreso than he had been
able to on the turn-based Wheel.
He also moonlighted
on a game-show version of Scrabble
in 1984. Both shows enjoyed
long runs: Scrabble ran through 1990 and was briefly resurrected in 1993; The Love Connection ran until 1st
July 1994, one of the longest lasting syndicated game shows in history,
with over 2,000 episodes. While
there is no doubt of the commercial success of the show, the jury is still
out on its match-making success.
During its tenure, it set up approximately 22,000 potential couples,
resulting in eight engagements and twenty-nine marriages.
Chuck had a
scare in 1996 when he had to undergo a quadruple bypass.
In the late
‘90s, he started up an online dating website, but it failed to make a
love connection. He was back on
TV in 1998, hosting a new version of The
Dating Game. In 1999, he
was hand-picked to host Greed,
which was Fox’s answer to Who
Wants to Be a Millionaire?. It only lasted until 2000.
In 2002, he
began another successful run with the Game Show Network’s Lingo, which enjoyed six seasons and
was GSN’s top-rated program. He also did voice-overs for the
network from 2005 to 2007, and became the subject of GSN’s
first reality program, Chuck Woolery:
years, he has become the television point-man for National Recreational
Properties, which are featured on those ubiquitous infomercials, showcasing
properties like Arkansas’s Holiday Island.
to be a game lover, hosting live game shows, including Harrah’s The Price is Right Live! and the Las Vegas Hilton’s 250,000 Game Show Spectacular, and playing in the charity
tournament, World Poker Tour
Hollywood Home Game.
His love for
fishing, however, has remained unabated. He has his own line—pun
intended—of fishing equipment, such as the MotoLure,
which is exactly what it sounds like:
A motorized fishing lure which is meant to simulate the natural
movements of a swimming fish.
information on this multi-talented performer and outdoorsman, please see
his website, listed below.