I've always had a love of music. I would sit and listen to my older brother's and sister's records until I could sing every word of a song. I never really thought much about performing. Not even when I started seeing live bands in 7th grade at the "Y" dances for kids. It wasn't until I started to meet some of the local musicians in St. Joe, and saw how much they loved it, the life style, and how the girls loved them.

At 18 years of age I started searching for a group to sing with. The first two didn't really have names, nor did we ever play outside of a basement. A buddy of mine, Leo Myers, could play drums so we put a band together called "Fox". We played one date out before it was finished. I decided I would need to find a band that was already going. I tried out for a couple but without any real experience, (and because I couldn't stay on key) I couldn't get hired.

When I was 20 a friend in a local band that played all the time told me of a group he had run into. They were a three-piece band called "Myth". He said they were young but very talented and just needed to find some direction. So I contacted them and auditioned. I was hired even though they had a fabulous singer/bass player by the name of Dale Armstrong. But I found that I could not sing many of the songs they wanted to do. Rush, Led Zeppelin, etc. I was subsequently fired a couple of months later with them thinking they would just have Dale sing everything. But alas, Dale couldn't sing like that all night and they had no harmony parts so I was called back.

We were playing in all the smaller towns around and beginning to get pretty good. After adding another young one (18 yr. old) on keyboards and changing drummers we really started to take off. We were now good enough to play in the places we had always hoped to. (If you are from St. Joe that would have been the Breezeway, the Hilltop, and the Frog Hop Ballroom.) We had a couple of guys who took an interest in promoting us locally by the names of Ken Williams and Terry Minick. They owned a printed T-shirt store, and were the promoters in the first concert we played at with the band Missouri in Phil Welch Stadium.

We were now ready to take that step and quit our jobs to play full time. We got hooked to the premier booking agency for that time (1978) and with me being the old man at 21 years of age, off we went. The following four years with that band showed me many things and many wonderful times. We were very popular and traveled throughout about 10 states in the mid-west. But things change and in 1982 we parted ways.

I then, as a favor to a friend of mine who was managing an act called "The Kidd Band", went right back out on the road as their sound-man. Also to help them polish the rough edges a little. It was supposed to be for a few weeks. I finally left two years later and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I ran sound, lights and sang from the sound console. The band was great and I had some of the best times in my life with the people I was associated with in that band and some have been life long friends. But I couldn't stand to live in hotels any longer so I left in 1984 to work at United Entertainment as a booking agent and as an assistant in the recording studio.

After a year of listening to local and regional bands, I began to have a strong desire to get back on the stage. I saw a couple of bands that really gave me an itch and a direction I thought I wanted to go. They were the "Crayons" and "Mr. Smith". And so in 1985, with the input and help from all of the original members I formed Charlie & the Stingrays.

From here my story continues under Stingray History.

My thanks to all of my friends through the years who kept my ego stroked enough to make me believe I really was good enough to do this. My love and thanks to my parents who have always supported my life with music, never making me feel that a real job was more important than the happiness music has brought me. My brother John and his wife Joni who have always been there for me. To my sister / second mom / and guardian angel, JoAnn and her husband (my other brother) Dick who in life were two of my biggest fans and best friends, I miss you both. Their son Kevin (my nephew) and his wife and 4 children who remind me that 2 is enough. And of course to my 2 sons and buddies, Austin and Dylan who have helped me get through some tough times and keep me focused on what's most important in life. Love.

Charlie



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