John B. Hall -
Charlie Gracie's 2008
British Performance Dates
JULY 3-7 CHARLIE PERFORMS IN GREAT BRITAIN: Charlie headlines the
ULTIMATE 50'S ROCK 'n' ROLL WEEKENDER: Pontins Seaside
Villiage, LOWESTOFT, ENGLAND. Info:
CHARLIE TOURS GREAT BRITAIN: Nov./Dec. 2008
NOV. 28TH: WELLINGBORO (Northampton) , ENGLAND (Railway Club)
NOV. 29TH: EASTCLIFFE (Bounemouth), ENGLAND (Heathland Hotel)
DEC. 4TH: NORTH YORKSHIRE (Whitby) ENGLAND (Whitby Pavillion Theater)
DEC. 6TH: DERBY, ENGLAND (Rolls Royce Club)
DEC. 13TH: MACCKSFIELD, ENGLAND (Broken Cross Club)
DEC. 14TH: BRISTOL, ENGLAND (Bawa Club)
DEC. 20TH: MELKSHAM (Gloucestershire), ENGLAND (Assembly Hall)
DEC. 21ST: LONDON, ENGLAND (Music Palace)
* MORE DATES COMING - and don't forget to check Charlie's Websites for details on all gigs:
AMERICAN BANDSTAND'S 50TH ANNIVERSARY was held Sat, 4 Aug 2007 from the famous Studio-B:
Charlie and Joan Gracie pose with artist Diane Keller who created the MURAL
which pays tribute to the tv-program that took rock 'n' roll music into the living rooms
of millions of Americans.
Note the images of Connie Francis, Cjarlie Gracie and Cubby Checker in the above
photo. Not seen in this shot are Danny & The Juniors - of "At The Hop" fame.
This celebration was held at the West Philadelphia Enterprise Center - formerly the headquarters
of Philly's ABC-TV affiliate WFIL-TV - and Studio-B, site of the program's national
broadcasts from, 1957-1963. About 300 invited guests jammed into 40 ft.by 80 ft. studio
for the dedication of a mural by Diane Keller portraying Bob Horn, Dick Clark,the fabulous
Bandstand Dancers, Charlie Gracie, Danny and the Juniors, Chubby Checker and Connie
Francis. Charlie Gracie, Philly's Pioneer rock star ... performed "live" at the event which
was shown nationally on ABC-TV's "Good Morning America." The building was declared a
National Historic Site in 1986.
The Rockin' 50's Festival III
at the Oneida Hotel-Casino Complex
Green Bay, Wis., May, 2007
Wisconsin Grandmother Meets Charlie Gracie
CHARLIE GRACIE IS READ THE SPECIAL PROCLAMATION FROM MARGEAUX JONES OF PHILA. CITY
COUNCIL - PAYING TRIBUTE TO PHILLY'S PIONEER ROCKER FOR USHERING IN THE "PHILLY SOUND" on
the anniversary of his Number 1 hit "Butterfly," which he performed on the Ed Sullivan Show -
MARCH 10TH 1957! * YOU CAN SEE THAT APPEARACNE BY GOING TO
AND CLICKING ON THE VIDEO PAGE. Heartfelt thanks to all who made the concert at the
TIN ANGEL a sellout March 10th!
AL KOOPER To Record With CHARLIE GRACIE!
Legendary musician, songwriter, arranger, AL KOOPER has entusiastically agreed to record with
Philly's First Rocker, CHARLIE GRACIE on his new rockabilly album in for LIST RECORDS due out in 2007!
KOOPER is a long time fan of Charlie's - joining the ranks of the late George Harrison, Paul
McCartney, Graham Nash and Van Morrision. KOOPER has written a slew of hit songs and played on
recordings with BOB DYLAN, THE ROLLING STONES, CREAM, THE WHO and B.B. KING. He founded BLOOD,
SWEAT AND TEARS and discovered LYNYRD SKYNYRD! Charlie Gracie will now join that illustrious
group! STAY TUNED FOR MORE DETAILS! (Pic: AL Kooper with Teri Landi Of ABKCO Records who
confirmed the news October 18, 2006)
CHARLIE GRACIE ROCKS 70!
May 14, 2006 - Dozens of family, friends, musicans and fans of Philly's first rock star turned out
for a surprise 70th birthday bash at Marrone's Restaurant in Ardmore, Pennsylvania!
THE Fabulous ORLONS led by Stephen Caldwell led the singing of "Happy Birthday" for Charlie
who beamed, but seemed a bit stunned by it all.
Photo montage below shows (clockwise) Charlie with the ORLONS, with daughter Angela,
wife Joan, son Charlie, Jr. and daugther-in-law Kim ... and more with Joan and some very devoted
fans! Charlie's made for PBS documentary will air locally on TUESDAY, JUNE 6TH ON WHYY TV-12 AT
8:00 p.m. Tune in!
NEVADA GOVERNOR KENNETH GUINN ATTENDS
CHARLIE GRACIE Concert at the Carson City NUGGET ... proclaims Saturday March 25th, 2006:
"Charlie Gracie and Wanda Jackson Day!"
Charlie and Joan Gracie take some time out with rockabilly legend WANDA JACKSON and her
husband Wendell in the lounge at the Carson City, Nuggett. Gracie and Jackson
were part of a 5-day rockabilly festival with shows in the ballroom at the Nevada casino!
ABKCO To Release CHARLIE GRACIE cd-set WORLDWIDE!
March, 2006 -
MORE GOOD NEWS TO REPORT FOR CHARLIE GRACIE FANS ... not only is his made for PBS documentary
debuting in the Philadelphia region next month. ... but ABKCO RECORDS IN NEW YORK ANNOUNCED
that it plans to release a "very special" Charlie Gracie cd-set this SEPTEMBER --- just in time
to coincide with Charlie's month-long concert tour of the UNITED KINGDOM and the NETHERLANDS!
I, (Charlie, JR.) returned a cell phone call from MR. JODY KLEIN (Executive Vice President
of Abkco) today when he informed me of the news. The Abkco people did a fine job with the release of the CAMEO-PARKWAY BOX SET in 2005--plus some individual sets of the label's legendary artists. Always gracious, MR. KLEIN stated:"it is our pleasure to do this as a tribute to your dad's great talent and to the man himself. We want this cd to be very special and I wanted you to be the first to hear the news!"
On behalf of my dad and his legion of devoted fans around the world, I humbly thank you,
Mr. Klein! We look forward to seeing you at the premiere of dad's documentary on April 27th.
- VERY SINCERELY, Charlie, JR.
(PHOTO ATTACHMENT: JODY KLEIN AND TERI LANDI AT A CHARLIE GRACIE
PERFOMANCE IN NEW YORK CITY, 2005)
CHARLIE GRACIE ... Original CRICKETS
Albert Lee, Narvel Felts and The NELSONS (yes, Ricky's sons) are set for the Big BUDDY HOLLY
TRIBUTE WEEKEND at the SURF BALLROOM in CLEAR LAKE, LOWA: Feb. 2 - Feb. 5, 2006!
FOR INFO GO TO www.surfballroom.com.
The last venue played by Buddy, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper before that infamous
plane crash that took their lives!
CHARLIE GRACIE NEWS!
CHARLIE and JOAN GRACIE Celebrate 48th Wedding Anniversary!
*Phooey to all who say show-biz marriages cannot last! Philly's first rocker Charlie
Gracie and his bride Joan celebrated their 48th Wedding Anniversary today-February 15. 2006!
Soon after their wedding in 1958, Charlie and Joan embarked on Charlie's 2nd highly successful
concert tour of the United Kingdom and they still travel the world today!
Their marriage made headlines across the U.K. where Charlie's artistry made a lasting impact!
"JAMBOREE!" The classic Warner Brothers' rock 'n' roll musical is now available on DVD
format ... as of August 16th 2005! Go to AMAZON.COM to order your copy and witness once again,
in vividly clear quality, some of the greatest perfomers in rock 'n' roll history including:
CHARLIE GRACIE, JERRY LEE LEWIS, FATS DOMINO, CARL PERKINS, BUDDY KNOX,
LEWIS LYMON AND THE TEENCHORDS, SLIM WHITMAN, THE FOUR COINS, COUNT BASIE AND HIS ORCHESTRA
with Joe Williams AND MANY OTHERS ... 17 recording stars and 21 hit songs in all!
Charlie performs the Otis Blackwell classic: "Cool Baby" ... and yes, that is Charlie's
image armed with his Guild guitar on the dvd peering out of the box.
FLASHBACK PHOTO: Private Showing of Warner Bros. "JAMBOREE!"
CHARLIE GRACIE, DICK CLARK, songwriter KAL MANN, record producers BOB MARCUCCI and
PETER DE ANGELIS and singer JODIE SANDS gather at the STANTON THEATER in downtown
PHILADELPHIA - late 1957, for a PRIVATE SHOWING OF THE CLASSIC ROCK'N' ROLL MOVIE:
"JAMBOREE". Charlie, Jr. gave Dick Clark a copy of the photo in 1997 and Clark, in turn,
signed a copy for Charlie Jr.
A SCENE FROM "JAMBOREE."
The Sounds of Philly Legends Concert
... at the ITALIAN MARKET in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: May 22, 2005!
CHARLIE GRACIE, JOHNNY MAESTRO and the Brooklyn Bridge and THE BLUE NOTES shared the stage
before many thousands at the annual Italian Market Festival--hosted by WOGL FM disc jockey,
BOB PANTANO. PURPLE REIGN opened the show--providing fine backing for most of the acts.
Photo: CHARLIE signs a personal photo for JOHNNY MAESTRO... as the two recall some
nostalgic moments. JOHNNY actually recorded a doo wop version of Charlie's smash "Butterfly"
on one of his earliest albums! Catch a glimpse of the soulful BLUE NOTES on stage as BOB
PANTANO poses with CHARLIE--both beaming on a fun filled afternoon!
(March, 2005) It's been about a 30 year wait, but ABKCO Records will finally release
its first box set of Cameo-Parkway material on May 3rd 2005.
Over 200 songs are contained in this edition that kicks off with
"Butterfly" and "Fabulous" released in 1957. These two classics lead the 4-cd set!
Individual CDs are sure to follow ... and we are told a Charlie Gracie set is forthcoming
within a year. Collectibles Records will be among the first to offer distribution and
they are reported to be selling the set for about $50!
The above photo shows Charlie in the original CAMEO studio in Philadelphia with his dad Sam
Gracie attending that session.
CHARLIE GRACIE, THE CRICKETS AND ALBERT LEE will be the live performers paying tribute
to BUDDY HOLLY AT THE 2,100-CAPACITY SURF BALLROOM in CLEAR LAKE, IOWA ... the site of
Holly's last performance before he was killed in a small plane crash with RITCHIE VALENS and
THE BIG BOPPER on FEBRUARY, 3RD, 1959. Charlie will perform on FEB. 2ND, 2006!
The annual 4-day event is generally attended by hundreds of Holly Fans from around the GLOBE!
Over the years, Charlie has shared the bill with dozens of r&r legends such as, Bo Diddley,
Chuck Berry, Eddie Cochran and the Everly Bros., but never Holly, whom he's always admired!
Charlie looks forward to paying tribute to the late great artist from Lubbock.
Charlie Gracie performs in Wilmington:
"To me the biggest accomplishment is I never had to work a day job,"
the South Philly native says.
Important Dates ...
CHARLIE GRACIE BORN: MAY 14TH, 1936
MARCH 10TH, 1957: CHARLIE GRACIE SINGS "BUTTERFLY" ON THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW.
MARCH 26TH, 1957: Charlie Gracie's original version of "Butterfly" hits Number
One on the US Billboard Charts.
AUGUST 5TH, 1957: Charlie Gracie becomes the FIRST SOLO AMERICAN rocker to tour
the UNITED KINGDOM (10-wk tour) WHEN HE OPENS AT THE LONDON HIPPODROME.
Charlie Gracie, a chart-topper back in 1957, has never stopped rocking.
The influential guitarist is set to receive a Philly Music Award.
By Tom Moon Inquirer Music Critic (posted May 7, 2004) -
Charlie Gracie doesn't much care whether people who come to hear him know what happened in 1957.
Sure, it's nice if they recognize the hits he had that year - "Butterfly," which sold three million
copies and knocked Elvis Presley's "All Shook Up" from the top of the charts, then "Fabulous" and others.
But he doesn't go around telling people how he was the second American rocker, after Bill Haley,
to perform in Europe, how guys like Graham Nash revere him, how George Harrison, in a 1996
Billboard magazine interview, described Gracie's guitar technique as "brilliant."
Gracie will receive what some say is a long-overdue tribute at the sixth annual Philly Music
Awards on Tuesday night at the Electric Factory. Yet, to him, the important part of the Charlie
Gracie story is that after a decades-long odyssey of rags to riches to a long stretch of semi-obscurity,
he's still rocking.
"I'm just out here trying to let my candle shine, that's all," says the animated South Philly
native, who now lives in Drexel Hill and performs an average of 100 times a year here and in Europe.
"I'm lucky I can still play the guitar, and still sing a little bit," he adds with a twinkle in his
eye, changing clothes backstage after a recent performance at Kahunaville in Wilmington. There,
working with a band called Full Blown Cherry from South Jersey he had rehearsed exactly once,
the 67-year-old entertainer lit up a "Rock N' Rods" hot-rod car gathering with an hour of
music that was nothing like your father's oldies set.
Wielding his Guild electric guitar like a blowtorch, Gracie sent a jittery twitch through "Go
Man Go" and interpreted "Shake, Rattle and Roll" with the barely contained hip-moving
frenzy that first made rock- and-roll such cultural dynamite.
He played a slithering lead on "Tequila" that far surpassed the tiki-bar kitsch of the original.
He whispered the vocals of "Fabulous" while maintaining a brisk giddyupp backbeat on the guitar.
He sang a song he dedicated to the late Eddie Cochran that includes the line "You know
you gotta go but you don't know when, so you keep on rocking till the very end."
Here, on an early spring Saturday night in 2004, was some of that wildcat energy and runaway
exuberance that was so prevalent during the early days of rock. Here was somebody still believing
in the animating ideal of the music, who was not content merely to dust off classics but
determined to shoot new life through them.
"Hey, look, it's rock-and-roll," Gracie says after the set. "This is all I know how to do.
I'm a survivor, for whatever reason. And to me the biggest accomplishment is I never had to
work a day job. I supported my family playing music... now sometimes it was in joints
you'd be scared to go into. But it was work."
Charlie Gracie has reason to be bitter. Though his success happened before the Frankie
Avalons and the Chubby Checkers and the Bobby Rydells, he's rarely mentioned in the same
breath as the city's rock pioneers. He doesn't have the name recognition, doesn't have
the deep discography. Although Abkco Records is planning to reissue the hits he recorded
on Cameo-Parkway, he's not exactly waiting around for a full-scale revival.
But Gracie, who grew up around South Eighth Street and attended Southwark elementary school
and Southern High, also knows he made a contribution. When he recorded "Butterfly" in
December 1956, the 5-foot-4 Gracie was already a young artist on the rise, a visible part
of the Paul Whiteman revue who'd won the family its first refrigerator in a talent contest,
and was developing a reputation via rockabilly-tinged singles recorded for Cadillac.
At that time, Cameo was one of a bunch of fledgling independent labels trying to break
into rock-and-roll; it hadn't had a hit of any consequence yet.
"We opened the door," Gracie says flatly. "If we don't have that hit, none of the other
things that came along at Cameo-Parkway would have happened." Including, later stars such as
"Butterfly" rocketed up the charts. By March 1957, it had displaced "All Shook Up" at No. 1,
and inspired a copycat version from pre-rock star Andy Williams (whose recording also went to
No. 1). Gracie followed that with the B-side, "99 Ways," and then other singles, including "Fabulous"
and "Cool Baby".
Pretty soon, Gracie was making money: He bought a Cadillac with his first royalty check,
and moved his parents to a house in Havertown.
The whirlwind landed Gracie on Alan Freed's rock-and-roll revues, American Bandstand, and
The Ed Sullivan Show, where he performed several times. Then, it took him to England and Europe,
where Gracie made his most lasting impression.
Rock-and-roll was just beginning to spread, and when an American rocker visited venues such
as London's Hippodrome, it was an event. Gracie recalls being swarmed by fans as soon as he arrived.
In Gracie's audiences that year were some youngsters who would change rock-and-roll: Paul McCartney,
Van Morrison, Harrison and Nash. Years later, Nash surprised Gracie by producing a Camel
cigarette butt from his wallet that he said Gracie, who still smokes, had flicked outside a
club in Manchester when he performed there in 1957.
What happened next was all too predictable. Gracie discovered he wasn't getting the
royalties he felt were due him from his singles. Cameo disputed this. There was a
long legal battle, and eventually Gracie settled out of court for $50,000.
He left Cameo, and though he made records for other labels, he never again had hits.
He doesn't think it was a coincidence, given the old-boy character of the music
industry in those days: "Word went out that I spoke up for my rights," Gracie says,
with no trace of animosity. "Once I left Cameo, I could never get my records played anymore."
When the fame faded, Gracie didn't wallow in self-pity. He played gigs on the nostalgia circuit
for a time, set up a summer residency at Moore's Inlet in North Wildwood that's been going for more
than 20 years, and went back to being an often-anonymous journeyman musician.
Still, every now and then there would be a call from Europe, a promoter or record producer
wondering if the guy Melody Maker called "a Northern rocker with a Southern soul" was still active.
Gracie returned to Europe in 1979, after 21 years, and discovered that there were still record-collecting
fans carrying the torch. He recorded with a band in Italy, and began to meet some of the now-famous
rockers he inspired long ago. He recorded a song with Nash singing backing vocals, "Little Too
Soon To Tell," did the tour with Morrison, and gradually began to understand that though his
fame didn't last long, his influence, remarkably, still endures.
"Having Paul McCartney say how important I was to him, that was amazing," Gracie says. "I
had no idea. That's what's most amazing about this business. It's hard work and there's
bad breaks, but it's also like going on a honeymoon every night."
Asked if he really still thinks of it that way every night, even playing the slow gigs for
the nostalgia set, Gracie pauses for a minute. "God doesn't owe me a thing," he says. "I've
been lucky all my life, and that's how I feel now. I can still play... I might not be the world's
greatest guitar player, but I'll put my right-hand rhythm up against anyone's."
NEW ... CHARLIE GRACIE E-MAIL DISCUSSION GROUP.
Join by simply send a blank email to this address.
Charlie Gracie to Receive "Philly Music Award"
02/14/04 - Philadelphia Music Impressario, AL GEARY announced Friday that our city's first native rock 'n' roll success
(Charlie) will be honored in May along with the 80's rock band, The HOOTERS! 2004 marks the 6th year the award will be
given. The program, currenly being planned, will include tributes to Charlie by Graham Nash, Van Morrision
and Paul McCartney. A video montage is also being put together.
The "Butterfly Guys"
12/12/2003 - Charlie Gracie and Andy Williams reunited at the Sovereign Center in Reading, Pa.
where Andy headlined his legendary Christmas concert. Andy invited Charlie and his family to the show.
The two enjoyed a reunion backstage after many years. Charlie holds an original copy of Andy's cover
version on the Cadence label, while Andy clasps the original version by Charlie on Philaelphia's
famous Cameo Label. Both performers reached the coveted Number One position on the
Billboard Charts in 1957 - a rarity in pop music history. Both versions sold well over a
million copies each! Charlie and Andy are old friends and actually appeared together on
two tv shows back in the 50s. Charlie and Andy delighted several backstage visitors -
including Jerry Green President, of Collectibles Records when they sang a few bars of "Butterfly!"
Charlie Gracie Review: Helsinki
Hello Friends: This review is nice, plus the writer speculates on who might have recorded the first real rock 'n' roll records.
According to him, my dad's is in the ballpark as well. He and my mom are still in Finland, but will return to
England to finish another week of touring before returning home. The tour began Oct. 3rd! READ ON ...
Hi everyone! It was a great show!
Charlie visited Goofin' Records shop earlier on Saturday with his wife. It seemed that Charlie was really enjoying
all the fans and it was great to see him in good shape. He is a real nice, down to earth person, with good sense of
humour. Charlie chatted with everyone and autographed everyone's records like there was no hurry at all. He told
us how close friends he and Eddie Cochran were and how Eddie used to visit their home when he was on the
east cost. Charlie had a scheduled rehersal session with the band so he couldn't stay more than half an hour,
but I'm sure that when he left, everyone was eagerly waiting for the evening.
Slap Sally Combo started the evening at Stella Star club around 9:30pm. They have just released a new record "Darkest
Days" and they are heading to New York next week where they will be playing at Continental Club "CMJ Music Marathon"
(Oct 25) http://www.continentalnyc.com/ and Finnish Chuch of New
York (Oct 24). There were lots of songs from the new album and many orginals written by the band. SSC is a
good hillbilly trio with rockabilly flavour, if you have a chance to see them, don't miss it. More info
The club was sold out and it was great to see so many people there. DJ's Hound Dog Man & Sax were spinning
wax and everyone was waiting for the next band. It was a surprise when they announced that Charlie Gracie
would be the next artist. In 1981 when Charlie played in Helsinki he was backed up by Johnny & The Roccos.
This time the backing band was the Barnshakers/Hogs of Rhythm plus Kekka of the Silver Bullets on backing vocals.
It was a dynamite combination, Charlie was GREAT and everyone was enjoying the show. ITS AMAZING HOW FAST
HIS FINGERS CAN BE, I told him at the Goofin' shop that his live version of "Guitar Boogie" from 1957 is my
favorite version, Charlie's answer was that nowadays he plays the song three times faster, and it was true.
I couldn't belive my eyes. I don't remember all the songs, but we heard these and many more: "Wandering Eyes", "Heart
Like A Rock", My Babe", "I'm All Right", "Fabulous", "Butterfly", "I Love You So Much It Hurts Me", "Just Lookin'",
After the show Charlie was at the Goofin Records stand and signed autographs again. I really enjoyed his show
and I sure hope it won't be another 22 years before we'll see him back in Helsinki. This man really shold have been
bigger than guys like Elvis--he certainly has as much talent and probably more. No doubt he's still here, alive
and breathing amoung us becasue he is a real person--obviously contented and sincere.
The Silver Bullets had a hard job to follow Charlie Gracie on stage, but they did it well. Kekka is the best
rock'n roll singer in Finland today and the band was real hard driving on Saturday. My favorites were "Baby
Lee" and superb cover of Dale Hawkins' "Take My Heart". It was a pleasant evening, all three bands were truly great.
I talked with other Charlie Gracie fans during the evening and there's one interesting fact that it's not so well
known. I even mentioned this to Charlie and I don't think he was aware of it.
It's a well known fact that Bill Haley recorded "Rocket 88" on June 14, 1951 and many think that particular
record was the first rock and roll record, at least Bill Haley fans do. Of course there were many records
before that which weren't so far away from rock and roll, the music was in transition, so it didn't happen
at once. However, Charlie's first recording session in New York was in May 1951, the result was six
songs that were released on Cadillac label. Two singles in 1951 and one in 1952. The first record was "Boogie
Woogie Blues" and there's a great rock and roll solo by fifteen year old Charlie Gracie. So, this recording
pre-dates Haley's "Rocket 88".
Tapio (October, 2003) - Tapio.Vaisanen@beveric.com
Charlie Gracie's "Honeymoon"
February 15, 2003
"DEAR FRIENDS: thought you'd get a charge out of this: my parents were
married 45-years ago today and the Philly-metro area was socked with a huge snow storm (another is coming tonight).
My dad was scheduled to begin a 6-week concert tour of the British Isles the following week and so it would have
to double as a "Honeymoon." Turned out well though: my parents flew out of La Guardia on the same plane
(12-hour jaunt then) with Pat and Shirley Boone, Mort Lindsey, Patricia Neal, the Hilltoppers and Florian Zabach!
What a combination--huh??? The circus British Press made a big deal of of it the next day: "CHARLIE GRACIE
HERE WITH 'SECRET BRIDE!" ... "SO, CHARLIE IS MARRIED NOW?" My poor mom was a bit overwhelmed by the
raucous reception they got at the London Airport - hundreds of fans, press people, camera lights and flashes
going off! One reporter even shouted the question: "Are you taller than Charlie?" Hey, this was still
nothing compared to the arrival two months later of JERRY LEE LEWIS with MYRA! As they say ... the rest is history!
SOME INTERESTING FACTS FROM THE GRACIE ALMANAC - oy vey!" --Charlie, JR.
Visit Charlie Gracie's Web Site
Charlie Gracie is one of a diminishing number of rock-n-roll innovators, who continues
to actively perform. A native of South Philadelphia, he became the first successful recording
star of the "Rock Era" to emerge from that neighborhood. In 1957, Charlie's 'Butterfly' topped
the American and British music charts, selling over 3 million copies. His other late fifties big
sellers include: 'Fabulous', 'Ninety-Nine Ways', 'Wanderin Eyes' and 'I Love You So Much It Hurts'.
These hits bankrolled Philly's famous Cameo-Parkway record label, making it a dominant force in the
music industry for nearly a decade! At the height of his fame, Charlie frequently appeared on 'Dick
Clark's American Bandstand', 'The Ed Sullivan Show', and 'Alan Freed's TV Specials'. He headlined
shows at the Brooklyn Paramount, the Casino Royale in Washington, The 500 Club in Atlantic City,
and Old Connie Mack Stadium in Philadelphia. Charlie's star burned even brighter in Great Britain
where he became the second American artist to bring rock-n-roll to the English concert stage.
Preceded only by Bill Haley, Charlie headlined the London Palladium and Hippodrome receiving
outstanding receptions from the press and public. To this day, Charlie Gracie, is a much
loved and respected performer the length and breadth of the United Kingdom.
While Charlie has earned a place in rock music history, this is only one dimension to
a career that spans forty years. His versatility makes him the consummate music man! Today,
Charlie enjoys a strong following at clubs and resorts along the northeast corridor of the
U.S. Twice, annually, he performs to large audiences in countries such as: England, Italy,
Germany, Austria, Finland, Spain and Holland. His superb guitar playing elicits the highest
of praise from music legends like George Harrison. The ex-Beatle referred to Charlie's
guitar work as 'brilliant' in a March 1996 interview with Billboard Magazine. Paul McCartney
paid tribute to Charlie by Recording an updated version of 'Fabulous' in his new 1999 CD
series entitled: "Run Devil Run". McCartney honored Charlie again that fall by inviting
him to the album's premiere party in London.
The year 2000 found Charlie on the road with Irish blues rocker, Van Morrison. Van,
another Charlie Gracie admirer, commissioned him to open his shows at the Wiltern in
Los Angeles and The House of Blues in Las Vegas. A short time later, Graham Nash of
Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young fame, declared that Charlie inspired him to a musical
career. Nash then proceeded to contribute vocally on Charlie's latest CD release-his
first of the new Millennium.
It is obvious why Charlie Gracie has lasted the course longer than most. He is an
accomplished musician and an exceptional talent - a devoted family man who conducts
himself as a gentleman both on stage and off. He is a credit to his industry. *Charlie
was voted into Great Britain's Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame (1998) founded by "Now Dig
CHARLIE JUNIOR SPEAKS:
I CAN RECALL a few years ago driving into downtown Philadelphia to see my father perform. I had
watched him on stage literally a hundred times before, but this evening would be something special.
Charlie Sr. was scheduled as the premier entertainer in the Ballroom of Philly's resplendent new high
rise hotel. It was a 'Grand Opening' of sorts and the proprietors had booked one of the area's best
known and most beloved performers for the occasion. Charlie Sr.'s programme that evening was as diverse
as his audience - a mixture of Pop, Country, Rhythm 'n' Blues and, of course, Rockabilly. Whatever style
of music he played, it was always hot and grinding. Shortly into the performance, I was joined by two
friends, both missionaries, who were visiting their families on a holiday. The Reverend Fathers were awed
by the energy and vitality put forth by a 'Fifty Something' Charlie Gracie. Indeed, the powerful flood
lights, which illuminate Philadelphia's famed Independence Hall and Liberty Bell, a few streets away,
were no match for the fire blazing from that stage in the Hotel Ballroom.
Equally astonishing to my friends was the effect my father's music had on the multitude, which gathered
to see him that evening. For a few hours at least, all seemed joyous and carefree. The good folks had cast
aside their concerns and unburdened their spirits from the wear and tear of life's pilgrimage. Charlie Sr.'s
capacity to entrance an audience is a phenomenon I have witnessed countless times but when the programme
ended, the Clergymen confessed to my father that his Musical Performance 'had done more good than 1,000
great sermons'. He was 'The Consummate Music Man', they said, doing exactly what the Creator put him on this
Planet to do.
Perhaps that is what Sam Gracie, my Grandfather, had in mind, when he encouraged his son to 'Take up the
guitar and be a One Man Band'! The elder Mr. Gracie saw Show Business as a noble profession. After all, it
was the musicians, singers, actors and dancers, who provided a psychological lift for Americans during the
gruelling years of the Depression and World War Two. If Music is a 'Ministry' then Charlie Gracie has become
one of it's 'High Priests'. Even Elvis was once quoted as saying, - 'Without a song, a man ain't got a friend....
Without a song, the road would never bend'. While Sam Gracie knew and understood the value of music, he could
not have forseen the important contribution his son would later make to a new art form called 'Rock 'n' Roll.
My grandparents, however, with their love for Swing, Blues and Country, provided my Father with a healthy
exposure to various musical styles, which served him well.
By 1951/1952, Charlie Gracie was one of a few teenagers anywhere in the USA to be making records. He
was experimenting with different musical styles in a studio before Presley, Holly, Vincent, and other 'Legends'
had even gotten started!
01. "Butterfly" was America's #1 record (over 3 million copies sold!)
02. "The Ed Sullivan Show" - (awarded gold record).
03. Alan Freed TV specials (headlined at the Brooklyn Paramount).
04. Dick Clark's American Bandstand - (numerous appearances).
05. "Fabulous" and "Ninety-Nine Ways" reached America's Top 20.
06. Starred in Warner Brothers' movie "Jamboree" in 1957.
07. London Palladium and Hippodrome - (Charlie headlined both shows).
08. Latin Casino - (Cherry Hill, NJ.)
09. Palumbo's - (Philadelphia, PA.)
10. New Jersey Shore engagements: Moore's Inlet - 16 consecutive years
(1980 to the present); Club Avalon,
Bolero, Club Hurricane and the 500 Club (Atlantic City.)
11. European Concerts - 1980s/present:
Lewisham Theater - London
Fairfield Hall - London
Yarmouth Pop Festival - England
Ezendhoven Rock Festival-Holland
Bussola Club - Rimini, Italy
Bad Sackingen Hall - W. Germany
Rock Legends Fest. - Helsinki, Finland
Plus Venues - Belgium, France, Spain
12. Don K. Reed's "Doo Wop Shop' - CBS-Radio - New York.
WHAT'S ON CHARLIE"S COTTON TOWN JUBILEE CTJCD2 DISK:
"It's Fabulous - It's Charlie Gracie
I'm Gonna sit Right Down & Write Myself A Letter/Boogie Woogie Blues/All Over Town/ Rockin' 'N' Rollin',
recorded in New York, May 1951. Musicians: Charlie Gracie-vocals/Lead Guitar; Luther Henderson-Piano; Bobby Hagget-
Double Bass; remaining musicians unknown.
T'ain't No sin In Rhythm/Say What You Mean, recorded in New York, May 1952. Musicians: Charlie Gracie-vocals/
Lead Guitar; Luther Henderson-Piano; Bobby Hagget-Double Bass; remaining musicians
Rock The Joint, recorded 'Live' for ABC TV on the Paul Whiteman Teen Club in Philadelphia, July 14, 1952.
Musicians: Charlie Gracie-vocals/Lead Guitar; with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra.
My Baby Loves Me/Head Home Honey/Wildwood Boogie/Honey Honey/Frankie & Johnny, recorded in Philadelphia,
1953/54 as Charlie Gracie & The Wildcats. Musicians: Charlie Gracie-vocals/Lead
Guitar; remaining musicians unknown.
Butterfly/Ninety Nine Ways/Fabulous/Just Looking/Wandering Eyes/I Love You So Much It Hurts/Cool Baby/ (You Got A)
Heart Like A Rock/I'm So Glad It's You, recorded in Philadelphia in 1957 with Dave Apple & The Applejacks. Musicians:
Charlie Gracie-vocals/Lead Guitar; Dave Apple-Rhythm Guitar;
Joe Mack-Double Bass; Dan Dailey-saxophone; Bernie Lowe-Piano;
Dressing Up/Crazy Girl Trying recorded in Philadelphia in 1958 Musicians: Charlie Gracie-vocals/Lead Guitar;
Dave Apple-Rhythm Guitar; Joe Mack-Double Bass; Dan Dailey-saxophone;
Bernie Lowe-Piano; Jerry Kilgore-Drums.
ALSO included are previously unrleased alternate takes of Cool Baby/Wandering Eyes/Tryin. I'm So Glad It's You is
previously unreleased. Included also are the original demos, previously unreleased of Butterfly/Ninety Nine Ways
featuring Charlie Gracie-vocals/Guitar; no other musicians - recorded 1957.
Other original releases were as follows:
1951 - I'm Gonna Sit Right Down & Write Myself A Letter/Boogie Woogie Blues -
Cadillac 141 (US)
1951 - All Over Town/Rockin 'n' Rollin' - Cadillac 144 (US)
1952 - T'aint No Sin In Rhythmn/Say What You Mean - Cadillac 154 (US)
1953 - My Baby Loves Me/Head Home Honey - 20th Century TC7 5033
1954 - Honey Honey/Wildwood Boogie - 20th Century TC7 5035
1957 - Butterfly/Ninety Nine Ways - Cameo 105 (US) - Parlophone R4290 (UK)
1957 - Fabulous/Just Lookin' - Cameo 107 - Parlophone R4313(UK)
1957 - Wandering Eyes/I Love You So Much It Hurts - Cameo 111 - London HL 8467 (UK)
1957 - Cool Baby/(You Got A) Heart Like A Rock - Cameo 118 - London HLU 8521 (UK)
1958 - Dressin' Up/Crazy Girl - Cameo 127 - London HLU 8596 (UK)
1957 - E.P. 'The Fabulous Charlie Gracie',
Fabulous/Just Lookin'/Butterfly/Ninety Nine Ways - Parlophone GEP 8630 (UK)
"Go Man Go", written by Jamie Rounds, produced by Richard Gottehrer
(Marshall Crenshaw, Robert Gordon), background vocals by the Jordanaires.
Stoner on bass and Howie Wyeth on drums and piano (Robert Gordon bandmembers).
On Comstock Records.
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