GOOD ROCKIN’ CHARLES

GOOD ROCKIN' CHARLESCharles Edwards played his harp around Chicago for 25 years, backing veteran players like Johnny Young and ‘Smokey’ Smothers, and spent two years in Jimmy Rogers band. Leaving behind his birthplace in Tuscaloosa AL and his given name of Henry Lee Bester, Charles moved to Chicago in 1949. His harp playing owed something to his contemporaries, Little Walter and Sonny Boy II, so he was always able to find club work. Charles joined Jimmy Rogers band in 1955, but when he was due to cut his solo on Jimmy’s recording of ‘Walkin’ By Myself’, he turned studio-shy and was replaced by Big Walter ‘Shakey’ Horton. Shakey’s solo got him a lot of session work when the record was a hit, and he eventually replaced Charles in Jimmy’s band. This reluctance to record led to Charles turning down Cobra Records when they offered him a contract, and he always seemed happiest as a side-man. In 1975, Charles was finally persuaded to record for the Mr. Blues label, and the ‘Good Rockin’ Charles’ album shows an excellent Blues sensibility. Charles has a fine voice and solid technique, and he is joined by The Aces to run through some classic Chicago Blues presented in a 50s style. Sadly, it was not followed up as Charles was slowed by ill-health.

Good Rockin’ Charles and ‘Don’t Start Me Talking’;