is recognized worldwide as an expert on early Rhythm & Blues and Rock & Roll
vocal harmony. He was born and raised in Philadelphia. With a PhD from the
University of Pennsylvania, Charlie’s been totally immersed in the fields of
rhythm & blues, doo wop, soul and spiritual music since he first began
collecting records at the age of 11. That collection has now grown to over
50,000 records. Starting in 1970, Charlie hosted a popular weekly radio
program out of Philadelphia (WKDU and WXPN) on the history of R&B vocal groups
that spanned 25 years. The program was also simulcast for a time on KALX (Berkeley, CA) and WKHS (Warton, MD). In tracing the origins of urban group harmony,
he’s interviewed hundreds of singers and reunited countless groups from the
fifties who’d thought their fame was long passed. Charlie’s produced and MC’d
more than a half dozen acappella stage shows and is largely credited for a
resurgence in doo wop music in the Philadelphia area that began in the late
seventies and continues today. He’s written liner notes for over fifty albums
and published dozens of articles in magazines such as Echoes of the Past,
Goldmine, Bim Bam Boom, Record Exchanger, Harmony Tymes and Yesterdays
Memories. Charlie’s served on the board of directors of the United In
Group Harmony Association’s Hall of Fame and was president and co-founder of
the Mills Brothers Society. He was awarded the Philadelphia Group Harmony
Association’s only Lifetime Achievement Award and also received a Lifetime
Achievement Award at the first ever Philadelphia Doo Wop Festival.
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame & Museum in Cleveland
has called Charlie, "one of the foremost authorities on early rhythm & blues
and vocal group music."
Charlie and his wife Pamela reside in
Somerset, New Jersey, where they’re both active in preserving the legacy of the
vocal harmony groups. Charlie’s forty-five years of research and personal
friendships with groups like the Orioles, Ravens, Harptones, Solitaires,
Silhouettes, Frankie Lymon’s Teenagers, Chantels, Lee Andrews' Hearts, Tymes,
Turbans and Sensations allow him to tell the story of how the music came about.
of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, interviewed songwriter
and Orioles manager Deborah Chessler in front of a live audience at the Rock
Hall (February, 2009). See
Evening with Deborah Chessler.
with Pam Horner, produced, hosted and emceed an industry reception and concert
in June 2012 at the Morris Museum's Bickford Theatre to celebrate the soul vocal
group, the Masqueraders' 50th Anniversary and vocal harmony itself. The
event included a catered dinner for 180 guests including 70 celebrity singers.
The concert had seven vocal groups, each singing a distinct style of vocal
CUH 2012 Event.
Assisted the Morris Museum (Morristown, NJ) with their major
exhibit, "Jersey Rocks: A History of Rock & Roll In The Garden State".
Loaned the museum memorabilia, helped organize and label displays, gave two
multimedia presentations on "New Jersey Doo Wop Groups" including live
demonstrations of acappella harmony in the exhibit gallery, researched and
distributed printed programs listing more than 200 NJ vocal groups, helped
organize and promote two major doo wop concerts (2011).
to the Advisory Panel of Asbury Angels, an organization that gives
recognition to Asbury Park (NJ) musicians and music industry professionals
who have passed away.
on the Franklin Township (NJ) Cultural Arts Council's Performing Arts
Committee, to encourage expression and appreciation of the Arts in Franklin
Member of the Asbury Park
Member of the Meadows Foundation.
sponsor of the 2012 7th Annual Philadelphia Doo Wop Festival.
the Black Swan 2008 Burlington Vocal Group Concert.
Produced and hosted a popular radio program for 23 years, aired
in PA, CA and MD.
Recognized worldwide as an expert on African American Music,
particularly quartet singing.
Conducted interviews with hundreds of historically important
vocal group singres.
Authored numerous articles on singing groups, published in music
Authored liner notes for over 40 commercially available record
Produced historical reissue albums by several singing groups.
Presented with the first ever Lifetime Achievement
the Philadelphia Doo Wop Festival.
Selected for the Philadelphia Group Harmony Association’s first
ever Lifetime Achievement Award.
Vice president, co-founder and then President of the Mills
Brothers society. Editor of their quarterly magazine.
Member of the Board of Directors of the United In Group Harmony
Association’s Hall of Fame.
Subject of an Associated Press feature and numerous local
Consultant with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for their 1995
Produced and MC’s seven major concerts.
Made dozens of guest appearances on radio programs from NY to
VA to CA.
Toured Europe with and as a guest of popular European vocal
quartets the Golden Gate Quartet and Deep River Quartet.
Gave music presentations from PA to VA for the United in Group
Harmony Association and the Mills Brothers Society.
Now gives music presentations on the history
of R&B and Doo Wop vocal group singing.