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Charlie Gracie

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Charlie Gracie (born Charles Anthony Graci on May 14, 1936 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American rock pioneer and singer.

His father encouraged him to play the guitar. Charlie’s musical career started at the very early age of 14 when he appeared on the Paul Whiteman television show.

Gracie performed at weddings, local restaurants, and parties, and on local radio and television. He also won many regional talent contests. The little money and prizes he received were turned over to his mother to help support the family.

The owner of Cadillac Records heard one of Charlie’s early radio performances, contacted the young musician and signed him to a contract. This association yielded the single, Boogie Woogie Blues backed with I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter. The record led to Charlie’s first appearance on Bob Horn’s “American Bandstand” television program. (This was four years before Dick Clark became the host)

After cutting two more singles for Cadillac, Charlie moved on to 20th Century Records, a subsidiary of Gotham, where he put out another four sides, including Wildwood Boogie. The discs he made embraced a wide variety of styles: jump blues, gospel, and country boogie with the influences of Big Joe Turner, B.B. King, Louis Jordan, Roy Acuff, and Hank Williams.

Between 1951-53, Charlie Gracie was experimenting with many types of music, years before many rock heroes had ever set foot inside a recording studio.

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