Reverend Charlie Edmonds
Charlie Edmonds made his popular music debut as a solo acoustic
blues act at Chubby's Club LaSalle in Indianapolis, where he was
held over for 14 consecutive months, performing weekend matinees.
The son of a sharecropper, Charlie Edmonds was born into a family
of rich musical tradition. Both his parents were musicians, and
Charlie began playing the piano at age 8 and the guitar at age 11.
He spent his childhood singing spirituals and playing with gospel
quartets. Stationed in Europe and Vietnam, while serving a four
year stint in the army he sang and entertained fellow soldiers until
his discharge in 1969.
He was the single solo act chosen from a field of over 400 entrants
to be one of 24 semi-finalists nationwide for the 1993 National
Blues Talent Search Contest, held in Long Beach, California. He
also finished runner-up in a regional contest featuring twenty bands
from the tri-state area of Indiana, Michigan and Ohio, sponsored
by the Blues Society of Indiana.
The list of artists with whom he has either performed or opened
for is both extensive and impressive. They include such personalities
as international touring & recording artist B.B. King, Chubby
Checker, Ko Ko Taylor, Saffire - The Uppity Blueswomen, Gary Primich,
Sugar Blue, Lonnie Brooks, Dorothy Moore, Bobby Womack and Latimore
to name a few.
He has performed in some of the nations great ballrooms and music
halls. Grand Geneva Resort & Spa (former Playboy Club) Lake
Geneva, WI; The Indiana Roof Ballroom, Indianapolis, IN; Abbey Springs
Yacht Club, Fontana, WI; Bessie Smith Hall, Chattanooga, TN, the
Riviera Ballroom, Lake Geneva, WI, Lakelawn Lodge Resort, Delavan,
WI, and the Monte Carlo Room, Elkhorn, WI.
the list of community-based fairs, and Blues festivals which he
has played include Kentucky State Fair (Louisville, KY); Blues,
Brew & Bar-B-Que Festival (Indianapolis, IN); River City Blues
Festival, (Marietta, OH); Crossroads '96 (Memphis, TN); Chocolate
City Festival (Burlington, WI); Memorial Day Blues Festival (Huntsville,
AL) the Corn & Brat Festival & Christmas Parade (Elkhorn,
WI); Winterfest (Lake Geneva, WI); and Taste of Geneva Lake Concert
Series (Fontana, WI).
There is a long list of schools that he has performed in from grades
K- 12, and universities such as Indiana State University, Terre
Haute, IN; and Alabama A & M University, Normal, AL, where he
appeared with guest lecturers Tony Brown (Tony Brown's Journal),
and Lyn Martin (Anchorwoman CNN Atlanta).
In addition to playing guitar and singing, he has also developed
and facilitates a workshop/ demonstration on "The Birth of
the Blues," a historical, panoramic overview of the emergence
and development of blues as a music art form in the United States,
from the turn-of-the century to Post WWII. The presentation involves
group dynamics and participation at certain points. There are also
demonstrations of guitar techniques and of various regional styles
of blues music and lots of discussion. The award winning workshop
has invariably been well received, and is currently in the preliminary
stage of being filmed and produced for PBS Television, and under
consideration for a "Cable in the Classroom Program" by
a major national cable television company.
Edmonds also hosts two weekly radio broadcasts, "Blues After
Dark," from WBSD, 89. 1 FM from 5-8 PM in Burlington, WI, and
the other at W. L. K. G. 96. 1 FM from 10- 11 pm in Lake Geneva,
Wl. In addition he has been elected to be the Educational Coordinator
for two of the nation's Blues societies (Blues Society of Indiana,
Indianapolis, IN. / Madison Blues Society, Madison, WI), to coordinate
their Arts in Education -Blues In the Schools Programs.
Charlie plays a variety of music in concert from gospels &
spirituals to traditional Delta Blues, original songs which he composes
with inspirational spontaneity as well as classic cover tunes by
pioneer Blues artists.
He is equally at ease in large or small groups, indoor or outdoor
settings, casual or formal occasions, young or mature audiences
or in inter -generational groups, in a classroom, lecture hall,
theatre, auditorium, coffee house or ballroom.
He is interested in performing as an opening act, featured artist
or headliner. In events which require a larger sound, he will back
himself with a rhythm section large enough for the occasion, although
he primarily and customarily performs alone as an acoustic solo
Whether he is belting out the Blues in a gravelly voice, singing
the soulful tune of a favorite standard or crooning a sentimental
ballad in smooth mellow tones, you're sure to be impressed when
you experience his radiant, friendly and charismatic stage presence.
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