Charlie King is a musical storyteller and political satirist. His repertoire covers a century and a half and four continents. He sings and writes passionately about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people.
Charlie has been at the heart of American folk music for half a century and has been writing songs for the past 40 years. In recognition of those milestones he released, in the Fall of 2013, a retrospective album, SO FAR, SO GOOD – 40 Songs For 40 Years. His songs have been recorded and sung by other performers such as Pete Seeger, Holly Near, Ronnie Gilbert, John McCutcheon, Arlo Guthrie, Peggy Seeger, Chad Mitchell and Judy Small.
Charlie has recorded a dozen solo albums since 1976, as well as three albums with the touring ensemble Bright Morning Star, and numerous compilation albums with other artists. Since 2001 he has been recording with his partner, Karen Brandow. Titles include: THE DISTANCE REMAINING; HIGHER GROUND; ON THE JOURNEY; SPARKS & TEARS; PUPPET TOWN; BRILLIANT – Songs of Ireland; REMEMBERING SACCO & VANZETTI; and their premier 2001 Appleseed Recording, I STRUCK GOLD. In addition to a full time career of concert touring, King has sung in support of numerous groups working for peace, human rights, union solidarity and environmental sustainability. Their work has been recognized by the Culture Works Collective, designating Charlie & Karen Brandow “Artists of the Month” for January & February of 2008.
Charlie is a founding member and former Secretary-Treasurer of AFM Local 1000, the North American Traveling Musicians’ Union. He has served as a columnist for the union’s newspaper, International Musician. He is also a member of IU 630, Industrial Workers of the World, and has been singing for labor at conferences, rallies and picket lines since 1970. Honors include an “Indie” award for one of the top three folk recordings of 1984. In May of 1998 the War Resisters League gave their Peacemaker Award to Charlie and to Odetta. Pete Seeger nominated Charlie for the Sacco-Vanzetti Social Justice Award, which he received in November, 1999. In 2008 Charlie shared with Anne Feeney the International Labor Communications Association (AFL-CIO) Special Performance Award for Best Labor History Story.
Charlie was born in 1947, and was raised in Brockton, MA. He cites as musical influences the folk music revival of the 1960’s, the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War era. Folk legend Peggy Seeger says, “If we had more Charlie Kings in the world I’d be less worried,” and Tom Paxton adds, “Luckily, we have him!”
You can visit Charlie’s website: <http://www.charlieking.org>