ROCK & ROLL CLASSICS–CHARLIE GRACIE

Charlie Gracie was born Charles Anthony Gracie on May 14, 1936 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Charlie is a rock and roll singer/guitarist.  His musical career began at 14, when he appeared on the “Paul Whiteman” television show (1950).  Charlie recorded for” Cadillac Records” in 1951.  He appeared on Bob Horn’s “American Bandstand” in 1952, this was 4 years before Dick Clark became the host.  He also recorded 4 sides for “20th Century Records”.

In 1956 the” Cameo Record” label was founded.  Searching for new talent for the label, Charlie was signed later in 1956 and went into the recording studio to record his first sides for Cameo Records.  On February 16, 1957 “BUTTERFLY” made its Billboard chart debut.  Charlie’s first Cameo recording was a huge hit, reaching #1 and holding the top spot for 2 weeks.  Butterfly sold over a million copies and Charlie was awarded a Gold Record.

In May of 1957 Charlie had his second Top 100 hit.  “FABULOUS” made its run on the chart, peaking at #16 and having a 15 week stay on the Top 100.  In August, his third Top 100 record of ’57 made its debut, “I LOVE YOU SO MUCH IT HURTS”, it reached #71 and was on the Top 100 for 3 weeks.  Charlie would not chart another Top 100 record. He is Philadelphia’s first rock and roll singer and is one of the early pioneers in rock music.  His recording of “Butterfly” put the Cameo label on the map.

Charlie toured England in 1957 and 1958, becoming only the second American rock and roller to do so.  On February 23, 1957 Andy Williams on the Cadence Record label, had his version of “BUTTERFLY” debut on the Top 100 (just a week after Charlie’s).  Andy’s record, like Charlie’s went to  #1 and held the top spot for 3 weeks.

Today he is still touring and singing his songs to a new generation, who is finding out just how good Charlie Gracie is.  I guess you can say that he’s “Fabulous”.

Till the next time—Joe

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