Charles Walker was born in Nashville July 12th, 1940. He was nicknamed 'Wig' by his mother because of his full head of hair as a kid. Like so many others from Charles background his singing began in Church and school.
His professional musical journey began in his hometown with his first recording 'Slave To Love' released in 1959 on the Nashville 'Champion' label. He relocated to New York shortly afterwards and met record entrepreneur Bobby Robinson who cut some demos with Charles for his 'Fury' label. Soon afterwards, a chance meeting with the J.C Davis Band, who had played the famed Apollo Theatre, opening for Jackie Wilson led to Charles becoming their lead singer.
During his time with the L.C Davis band he toured the country opening for many of the greats of the era, including Jackie Wilson, James Brown, Etta James, Wilson Pickett, and Little Willie John. With Charles as lead singer they recorded 'Sweet Sweet Love' and 'The Chicken Scratch' for Chess records. These cuts never become hits at the time, but their quality has endured that over the years they have become highly collectable.
By 1965 Charles had split with the J.C Davis band and taking some of the key players with him formed 'Little Charles and The Sidewinders' . Through the help of Lloyd Price the group recorded 8 sides for Decca, but they didn't chart. The Sidewinders continued to record for more outre labels with names like Botanic, Drum and Red Sands. At one time Charles even had his own label, P R Gallery. If that's an odd name for a record company it's because it was named after a New York art gallery which Charles owned in the eighties.
The Sidewinders and a solo album recorded for Lloyd Price in the 70s remains unreleased. Throughout much of the 70s Charles' music career was on hold as he threw his efforts into his gallery, until he took a short stint as a songwriter for Motown in 1979. He then decided to relocate to Europe, with writing partner Barbara Perrie. Some of his earlier recordings had been reissued in Europe that created a demand for 'live appearances '.
Charles spent most of the eighties in England and Spain with his career mostly in once again in limbo before returning to Nashville in 1993.Although reluctantly and not in the best of personal circumstances Charles found that he'd returned to a thriving blues/soul scene and quickly slipped back into the live circuit. Other legendary Nashville soul/blues recording artists were also making comebacks and Charles would often sit in on sessions with the likes of Earl Gaines, Roscoe Shelton, Johnny Jones, Al Garner appearing on Garner''s "Leavin' Tennessee" album on Black Magic; followed by his own disc for the label in 1999. It was picked up by Cannonball in early 2000 and retitled "Leavin' This Old Town".