Although best known for his lengthy career as a television game show host, Chuck Woolery also enjoyed a run as a recording artist, even cracking the Billboard Top 40 as one-half of the psychedelic pop duo the Avant-Garde. Born March 16, 1941 in Ashland, Kentucky, the young Woolery aspired to a career in music but instead joined the U.S. Navy and later studied economics and sociology at Morehead State University. After graduation, he worked for Pillsbury before relocating to Nashville to resume his musical pursuits where he joined fellow singer/guitarist Elkin "Bubba" Fowler in the Avant-Garde. After they signed to Columbia, the duo recorded their debut single, "Yellow Beads," in late 1967 that captured a sweeping acoustic sound. This sound crested with the follow-up, "Naturally Stoned," a minor classic of orchestral pop that reached number 40 on the Billboard pop charts in mid-1968. The more overtly psychedelic touches that distinguished the Avant-Garde's first two efforts were nevertheless scrapped for their third and final single, "Fly With Me". When the disc barely dented the charts, the group dissolved and Woolery continued as a solo artist with the release of "I've Been Wrong" in 1969. In all, he released five solo discs on Columbia. None of them generated much attention, and after 1970's "Hey, Baby," the label terminated Woolery's contract. He then signed to RCA, moved to Los Angeles, and released "Forgive My Heart."
Following the commercial failure of 1971's "Love Me, Love Me," Woolery launched an acting career. He starred as Mr. Dingle in the children's program New Zoo Revue and appeared as a featured vocalist on the musical game show Name That Tune. Following a spot on The Merv Griffin Show, Griffin tapped Woolery to host his production company's fledgling daytime game show, Wheel of Fortune. Woolery and co-star Susan Stafford headlined the NBC series from 1975 to 1982 and Woolery won a Daytime Emmy in 1978. At the peak of the show's popularity, he resumed his singing career and released the 1977 singles "Painted Lady" and "Take ‘er Down, Boys" on Warner Bros. After exiting Wheel of Fortune in the wake of a contract dispute, he signed on to host the long-running dating program Love Connection and concurrently helmed NBC's Scrabble from 1984 to 1990. In 1991, Woolery hosted his own short-lived talk show and in 1996 served as co-host of the Family Channel's Home and Family. Following the mammoth success of ABC's primetime quiz show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, Woolery hosted the Fox Network's copycat show Greed. He also founded MotoLures, a company that manufactured his signature line of fishing lures. In 2003, Woolery was hosting the Game Show Network program Lingo and was also the subject of the channel's first-ever reality series; dubbed Chuck Woolery: Naturally Stoned, the show also featured the Avant-Garde's biggest hit as its title theme.