Yesterday, the Country Music Hall of Fame recognized radio and television host Lorianne Crook at its 15th annual Louise Scruggs Memorial Forum in the museum’s Ford Theater. During an in-depth interview with museum writer-editor Angela Stefano Zimmer, Crook discussed her more than 40 years in media.
Crook is one half of the hosting duo Crook & Chase, as well as a television and radio producer and writer. Born in Wichita, Kansas, and raised primarily in Nashville, she began her television career at Wichita Falls, Texas’s KAUZ-TV and Nashville’s WKRN-TV, where she wrote, produced and hosted two national award-winning health and medical documentaries, as well as the nightly entertainment news program PM Magazine.
In 1983, country music television producer Jim Owens (whom Crook married in 1985) enlisted Crook and fellow local television personality Charlie Chase to co-host a weekly country music entertainment television show, “This Week in Country Music,” first syndicated and then on The Nashville Network (TNN). In the four decades since, the pair have co-hosted several different country music news television shows, specials and award shows, as well as a long-running radio show. Crook and Chase currently co-host and executive produce a weekly radio show for iHeart Media/Premiere Networks and a podcast. Crook is also the president of Jim Owens Entertainment, Inc., which owns and manages Crook & Chase programming and archives, as well as the TNN brand and more than 10,000 hours of its historic country music television and radio programming.
The Louise Scruggs Memorial Forum is supported by Gibson Gives. The philanthropic arm of Gibson, the iconic American instrument brand, Gibson Gives has a strong focus on supporting the global music community.
Louise Scruggs (1927–2006) was married to Country Music Hall of Fame member and banjo great Earl Scruggs. In the mid-1950s, she began booking and managing Flatt & Scruggs and their band, the Foggy Mountain Boys. The first woman in country music to assume these roles, she astutely guided her husband’s career for half a century. The Louise Scruggs Memorial Forum was first presented in 2007; past honorees include Kay Clary, Bebe Evans, Bonnie Garner, Dixie Hall, Cindy Mabe, Mary Martin, Bev Paul, Nancy Shapiro, Denise Stiff, Liz Thiels, Traci Thomas, Sarah Trahern, Marcie Allen Van Mol, Jo Walker-Meador and Kay West.