multi-instrumentalist and vocalist from Brooklyn, New York, who appeared on
1981 album, Mas Hysteria, and went on to join Pat Benatar’s band. They performed on Catch a Rising Star’s 10th
Anniversary special on television in 1982. Albums on which he appeared include Get Nervous and Wide Awake in Dreamland, on which he played keyboards. He can also be seen and heard on the videos,
Choice Cuts – The Complete
Video Collection, Live in New
Haven and Pat Benatar: The Visual Music Collection.
In 1988, his arrangement
of “Brown Eyed Girl” was featured in the Bill Murray comedy, Scrooged. He played accordion on Lucy Kaplansky’s album, The Tide, which was released in 1994 and re-released in 2005. In 1995, he did the same on the
soundtrack of the film, Other Voices,
Other Rooms, then appeared on Madeleine Peyroux’s Dreamland
in 1996. He performed keyboard
duties on Marc Ribot’s ambitious soundtrack
project, Shoe String Symphonettes, in 1997. In 1998, he teamed up with Rebecca Pidgeon on her album, Four Marys.
He made his
splash on the big screen in 1999, appearing as—what else—an accordionist,
in The Cradle Will Rock. The turn of the millennium found him
collaborating with Bucky Pizzarelli on his
folk-opera-swing hybrid, Italian
Intermezzo. He lent his accordion
talents to a short-lived production of The
Spitfire Grill, a musical based on the 1996 movie, in the fall of 2001,
at the Duke Theater in New York.
In 2002, he teamed up with Roma Downey on her album, Castles of Gold: Songs & Stories of Irish
Immigration, and joined the revival version of ?
and the Mysterians.
He turned his
attention to the small screen in the mid-2000s, performing on the
soundtracks of television’s Anytown, USA, Love, Ludlow, and Naked World: America Undercover.
In 2006, he was
hired by The Boss to multi-task on the Pete Seeger tribute, We Shall Overcome, The Seeger Sessions: Charles played accordion, Hammond
B-3 organ, piano, pump organ, and pitched in on vocals. He also took part in the subsequent
tour and Great Performances
concert. The band was received
so well, they released another album in 2007 entitled Bruce Springsteen with The Sessions Band: Live in Dublin. When Bruce decided to get the E
Street Band back together, Charles was invited to fill in for Danny Federici on a temporary basis. Danny was struggling with
complications from melanoma at the time.
his versatility, Charles accompanied cabaret artist Barb Jungr in January 2008 at New York’s Metropolitan
In April 2008,
Danny passed away and was eventually replaced on a full-time basis by
Charles, who continues to tour with the E Street Band to this day. It has not precluded him from
pursuing other projects or working with other artists. He performed with Southside Johnny
and the La Bamba Big Band in October 2008 and
played keyboard on John Phillips’ Pussycat,
released the same year.
months, he has contributed his accordion stylings
to the soundtrack of the children’s TV program, Lomax: The Hound of
Music, on PBS. He also had the
honour to perform with Bruce and the band at
Super Bowl XLIII on 1st February 2009.