(Memphis) He was funny, entertaining, and he got kids to laugh.
But more than that, Charles ‘Mr. Chuck’ Scruggs was a teacher to young learners.
He became a celebrity on WKNO Public Television, beginning an era of local kids TV which spanned more than a decade.
WKNO President, Michael LaBonia said their idea in the 1990s was to create a show that helped the community and Charles Scruggs was there from the beginning, with Number 10 Friends Circle and Hello Mr. Chuck.
“It was genuineness. He wasn’t looking for anything or trying to sell any product,” says LaBonia. “He had genuine interest in trying to help make kids better.”
Scruggs was also the first black General Manager of WDIA Radio.
The Reverend Bill Adkins worked with him, “He was a tenacious worker. The guy was hard and fast and in love with doing everything the right way. I loved that about him.”
WDIA’s Bobby O’Jay says the radio world is a lot better because of Chuck Scruggs.
Mr. Scruggs even worked for a time at WREG TV as a morning show personality.
He was back at WREG just two years ago talking about his early days in radio.
“People listened to them (WDIA) because it was a novelty to have a black radio announcer,” Charles Scruggs told us back then.
Charles Scruggs was also a founder of the Civil Rights Museum.
But for many he will always be Mr. Chuck.
Charles Scruggs also held parenting seminars in the community and promoted literacy.
We are told he had been in poor health recently and died Friday morning at age 80.
WKNO plans to air a tribute special to him next week.