The New Orleans and Mississippi Gulf Coast communities are mourning the death of a veteran radio personality who served as the voice of Pelicans and Saints home games.
Gulfport native Chuck Edwards died Wednesday at the age of 49.
Edwards first began working for the Saints as a game host/emcee in 1997. Recently, he served as the entertainment announcer on game days.
He took over as the public address announcer for the Pelicans, then known as the Hornets, in 2007.
Edwards was a familiar voice to radio listeners along the Coast, producing commercials and serving as a host for local shows.
“He was one of the best,” said Tommy Domenico, who worked alongside Edwards on his former sports talk radio show on 1490 and 1640 AM on the Coast. “You’ve heard his voice on the air for almost 30 years. If you heard one of his commercials, you knew it was him. If you heard him on the airways, you might not have known his name, but you knew his voice.”
Kyle Curley, program director for 103.5 FM “The Champ,” was a close friend of Edwards.
“He was just the shirt off his back kind of guy,” Curley said. “Anything he could do to help, he was always there. He always got some kind of positive out of any type of situation. He was just that kind of person. He found something positive and found a way to help you through it.”
Edwards began working in radio in 1988 and recently served as the creative services director for Alpha Media’s Biloxi-Gulfport market. He did freelance work that added his voice to commercials that aired across the U.S.
“He took everything to a whole new level,” Curley said. “He loved every bit of what he did in radio, production and announcing. He had that level of enthusiasm and he brings that out of everybody who is around him.”
Domenico noted how much he cared about his work and the people he worked with at Alpha Media.
“The one thing that comes to mind is the day I got laid off. He was more upset than I was,” Domenico said. “The friendship we had at work, how much fun we had doing the show … Man, he was just normally always a happy guy. He enjoyed what he was doing. He enjoyed working in radio.
“He enjoyed the fellowship of working for the Saints. He enjoyed talking sports. My show wasn’t his primary objective. He did stuff like commercials. He did the show on the side. He cared so much about radio and getting that message out. He was one of those guys that cared about other people.”
The Saints and Pelicans issued a joint statement on Thursday: “We are filled with sadness at this tragic news of Chuck’s passing. The legion of our fans with the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans will miss Chuck enormously and will remember his presence, his warmth, and his voice.”
The Pelicans will honor Edwards prior to the Feb. 5 game against the Indiana Pacers at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans. The Saints plan to recognize Edwards at some point during the 2019 campaign.
A visitation for family and friends of Edwards is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Saturday at the Riemann Family Funeral Home in Gulfport. The funeral will follow at 7 p.m. Flowers can be ordered for the visitation and funeral at www.riemannfamily.com.