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7pm - Midnight Madness Show - 9/29/2020 - Jimmy Charles

Published September 29, 2020
A great voice, good looks and a magnetic personality have long been the minimum standard for those striving for stardom in today’s Country music market. Only a few entertainers reach the top: the bold, the extraordinary, the lucky; those with the undefinable “it” factor that marks them for success. Jimmy Charles easily meets those requirements with his rugged good looks, soulful voice, and empowered performance style. He’s made a national name for himself with his compelling originals, and he’s toured the country opening for Lady Antebellum, Montgomery Gentry, Kip Moore, Kacey Musgraves, Josh Turner, Merle Haggard, and others.

Jimmy’s succeeded in a business where great singers are a dime a dozen and your good looks won’t buy you a cup of coffee. “I was always focused on baseball and football, but I fell in love with the ‘3-chord and the truth’ songs my dad played,” the Ocean City native recalls. “I learned from him and the memories of us just sitting around together playing are some of my favorites.” After graduating from Towson University, Jimmy began playing at clubs across Maryland. “I woke up one day and realized that the days of shoulder pads and helmets were over, and I made the decision to pursue my music seriously. I never looked back,” Charles reflects. “I moved to Nashville after getting my degree, tried out for Nashville Star along with 40,000 other people and made it to the Top 50,” he says. “Even though I didn’t win, getting that far made me believe I could do this.”

A Season 9 American Idol contestant who earned his ticket to “Hollywood” via unanimous vote, Jimmy proved again and again that he had the ability – and the drive – to make it as a member of a very exclusive club; successful entertainers with the power to change lives. And that’s exactly what Jimmy is banking on as he gives his all to his music every day. Unlike most who strive for stardom, it isn’t money, glamour or ego that motivate him; Jimmy is propelled forward by the desire to make a positive difference in people’s lives. A national spokesman for ZERO Cancer since 2014, Charles is melding music and mission to spread the message of cancer prevention/early detection, using his talent to amplify his reach. “They’re focused on prostate cancer and are a huge voice for men,” Jimmy notes of ZERO. “They want to conquer the disease through research, advocacy and education. It is an amazing organization with a fantastic mission and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.”

While the singer/songwriter found early success in 2014 with his first single, “Whatever It Takes,” the power of “Superman” earned him a solid national presence. Written specifically for ZERO to promote prostate cancer awareness with friend and bandmate Goose Gossett (who also produced) and cancer survivor/mentor Phil Shulka, the song’s companion video premiered on CMT, trending in the #1 spot for over a week. The clip also aired on GAC, ZUUS (now known as The Country Network) and Heartland, putting the newcomer front and center before hundreds of thousands of fans.

“We got over 5,000 shares the first day on CMT,” Charles recalls. “That’s not views, it’s shares. When I started getting emails and Facebook messages from folks who’d lost a loved one, or who were struggling with cancer themselves, and it hit me how much difference a song could make. When you know you can have that kind of impact, it seems incredibly selfish not to give it your all.” Giving it his all is the norm for Jimmy. He is still heavily involved with ZERO, performing at runs/walks across the country and helping to raise millions for the organization. He was named Outstanding Young Tennessean (2017) for his work against the disease and is nominated for Ten Outstanding Young Americans award this year. In addition to his work for ZERO, Charles recently formed his own non-profit, #IAMNOTALONE, which focuses on the strength and well-being of cancer survivors. “It’s not limited to one type of cancer patient,” Jimmy notes. “There’s an old saying that ‘to be inspired is great, to inspire others is amazing’ and that’s so true,” he admits. “We’ve all been touched by this disease – I’ve lost my grandmother and two uncles and have one uncle who’s a survivor. We should all be willing to do whatever is in our power to do to change that.”

“Superman” put Jimmy in the spotlight and his next single, “Bout Summertime,” showcased his more adventurous and carefree side, and landed him on the MusicRow Chart. “It’s just a fun song about the beach,” Jimmy admits with a laugh. “I wrote it based on my own memories of growing up around the ocean.” The bouncy, feel-good number’s companion video was filmed while Charles was in the U.S. Virgin Islands to perform during the renowned Texas Society of the Virgin Islands festival in Brewers Bay Beach. The clip continues to enjoy play in Margaritaville locations, casinos, and other Country-oriented outlets.

Jimmy’s current single is the passionate “I Am Not Alone” a song he co-wrote with C.J. Garton and Rich Fehle. Produced by Grammy Award-winner Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell (Rod Stewart, Al Green, John Mayer), the song’s compelling message of hope and strength offers Jimmy’s best vocal performance to date. “The single is already getting enormous early response from my fans, and it will be on my upcoming EP, TEN,” says the humble singer/songwriter. The project is due out in November and Charles believes its truly defines him as an artist. “I’m a guy who writes and sings and loves music,” Jimmy states. “I wanna share that love. I’ve learned so much from these survivors and I want to continue to help them anyway that I can,” he says. “Their stories break my heart, but our journey together makes me whole.”


The Midnight Madness Show can be heard live on WFMC Jams every Tuesday from 7-9pm central

Last modified on Tuesday, 29 September 2020 21:25
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