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Biography

Charles Nicholas Hodges (28 December 1943 – 22 September 2018) was an English singer, and lead vocalist of the musical duo Chas & Dave.

Hodges was born at the North Middlesex University Hospital, and raised in north London. Before founding Chas & Dave, Hodges had worked with the producer Joe Meek, as a session musician, backing Jerry Lee Lewis, Bill Haley and Gene Vincent, and had also played with Mike Berry and The Outlaws along with Ritchie Blackmore, and Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers. During this time, Hodges became known as "Sleepy" after his habit of falling asleep during the recording process. He originally played bass guitar in groups, before switching to piano in the 1970s. Hodges claimed that he learnt the instrument by watching Jerry Lee Lewis whilst backing him.

He then joined Heads Hands & Feet, who supported Blackmore's subsequent band Deep Purple on tour. He played bass with Purple for one show on 8 March 1971, substituting for the regular bassist, Roger Glover who was ill. Following Heads Hands & Feet, he joined Albert Lee and Dave Peacock in Black Claw. He also played piano for a short-lived band called the Rockers, which featured Roy Wood, Phil Lynott and John Coghlan. In 1975 Hodges and Dave Peacock played on Labi Siffre's Remember My Song album. Eminem sampled a riff from the song "I Got The" (featuring Hodges on guitar and Peacock on bass) on his hit "My Name Is".

Hodges was popular amongst supporters of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club owing to singles he had released as half of the duo Chas & Dave (with Dave Peacock). These include "Glory Glory Tottenham Hotspur", "Hot Shot Tottenham", "When the Year Ends in One", "Spurs Medley" and "Ossie's Dream" also known as "Spurs are on their way to Wembley".

In 2009, following the death of his wife Sue, Peacock announced his retirement from performing with Chas & Dave however, he changed his mind the following year and announced a tour for 2011.

They also played their "Christmas Jamboree" at the IndigO2 in December 2011 and December 2012. They undertook a 'Back By Demand' tour of the UK between February and May 2013. In 2012, Hodges wrote and recorded a charity single with his band and 2012 Premier League Darts players called "Got My Tickets for the Darts". The video featured Hodges, his band, the 2012 Premier League Darts players, and walk-on girl Jacqui Adams. It was released on 18 May, the night after the play-offs at the O2 arena in London, where it was premiered, and proceeds from the single were donated to the Haven House Children's Hospice, in Woodford Green, Essex.

In 2010, he guested on an album by Vince Eager (Western Star Records) called 788 Years of Rock n Roll, the following year Hodges returned to the label to record a solo album titled Together We Made Music. In 2014, Hodges also guested on Simon Fowler's new band Merrymouth's album, Wenlock Hill, contributing piano on the song "Salt Breeze".

Hodges was a keen gardener. In 2014, he started his Rock n Roll Allotment column in the British newspaper the Daily Express.

On 6 February 2017 it was announced that Hodges had been diagnosed with esophageal cancer. A statement on social media said the illness had been caught "at an early stage", and that he would be undergoing treatment immediately. The pair stated that they hoped to be "back out on the road" soon.

He died in his sleep in the early hours of 22 September 2018, from organ failure aged 74.

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