Morgan City: It all started when…

At the young age of 11, Charles Champagne had already established a notable reputation as a professional rock and roll artist. Playing with his brothers Robert Jr., 15, Wendell, 13, Gerald, 10, and Don, 8, Charles was the lead vocalist for ” The Champagne Brothers Rock and Roll Band.”

As a Morgan City newspaper article recounts, the boys got their start in music when they received instruments as a Christmas gift. As the brothers recall, the gift was a true blessing. They had desperately wished for guitars, drums, and horns, but their family “had nowhere near” the resources to offer such lavish gifts. However, their careers sprang forth when their mother entered a local drawing and won the instruments.

In just a few months, The Champagne Brothers Rock and Roll Band was regularly playing live shows and making radio appearances. In Louisiana, before they had even pressed their first record, they were heard on WJMR, WWL and seen on KLFY-TV.

In 1963, The Champagne Brothers released their first number one record, Stranger to You, on Typhoon Records, a label owned by Huey P. Meaux. The flip side of the 45 featured a popular original tune: Chickawawa, written by Charles.

Chickawawa is also the title track for Charles’ first solo release. The updated version of the song is reminiscent of Charles’ youthful exuberance, but it is enriched by a soulful deepening of his voice.  A sneak peak of the new release of Chickawawa is coming soon.  But, while you wait, check out the original hit release of Stranger to You.

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