08/17/09 — Famed country music disc jockey loses his battle

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Famed country music disc jockey loses his battle

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on August 17, 2009 1:46 PM

Longtime Wayne County radio personality Chester Thompson, 80, died Sunday morning at Pitt Memorial Hospital after spending a week there in critical condition following a one-car crash.

And as funeral arrangements are being made, those who knew the host of "Ole' Time Radio Jamboree" already miss him.

Thompson was critically injured when his 2000 Toyota went airborne after it hit an embankment off Grantham School Road last weekend, striking a mailbox before hitting a nearby driveway culvert.

He had been traveling south on the road when he lost control, according to investigators from the State Highway Patrol.

Local veteran and disc jockey Bill Carr saw Thompson shortly before the crash.

"He came by my house when he got off the station, as he did sometimes. You know, just to talk," Carr said. "I miss those times already, and he's just barely gone."

Benton Whaley misses his time with Thompson, too.

Only he never met the man.

"I must have listened to him for 15, 20 years. On and off, you know?" Whaley said. "If you live in these parts and country music is what you love, Chester is the one you love because he gives it to you -- and he knows everything about it."

And it is for that reason, he added, that the man "can never be replaced."

"We've lost a legend," Whaley said. "Now some people, they might not have ever heard Chester on the radio, they might not understand why we're carrying on, but this was a man who knew his radio. He took pride in what he did and anyone can respect a man like that."

Carr agrees.

He has, after all, followed Thompson since his own days as a DJ on Cherry Point.

"I knew of him back then. I used to listen to him on the radio. He was already a legend ... and that was in the 1970," Carr said. "He was just one of the finest individuals I have ever known. I'm sure going to miss him."