Samuel Charters (born Samuel Barclay Charters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, August 1, 1929; his name also appears as Sam Charters) is an American music historian, writer, record producer, musician, and poet. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania ( often colloquially referred to as PA (its abbreviation by natives and Northeasterners is a state located in the Northeastern Events 30 BC - Octavian (later known as Augustus enters Alexandria, Egypt, bringing it under the control of the Roman Year 1929 ( MCMXXIX) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the He is a noted and widely published author on the subjects of blues and jazz music, as well as a writer of fiction. The Blues is a vocal and instrumental form of Music based on the use of the Blue notes It emerged as an accessible form of self-expression Jazz is an American Musical art form which originated in the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States
Charters was born and spent his childhood in Pittsburgh. He first became enamored of blues music in 1937, after hearing Bessie Smith's version of Jimmy Cox's song, "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out" (Charters 2004). Bessie Smith (July 9 1892 or April 15 1894&ndash September 26 1937 was an American Blues singer He moved with his family to Sacramento, California at the age of 15. California ( is a US state on the West Coast of the United States, along the Pacific Ocean. He attended high schools in Pittsburgh and California and attended Sacramento City College, graduating in 1949. Sacramento City College ( SCC) is a two-year Community college located in Sacramento, California. After being kicked out of Harvard for political activism, he received a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of California in 1956. The University of California ( UC) is a Public university system in the state of California. Year 1956 ( MCMLVI) was a Leap year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar.
In the 1940s and 1950s, Charters purchased numerous old recordings of American blues musicians, eventually amassing a huge and valuable collection.
In 1951, at the age of 21, he moved to New Orleans, Louisiana, where he absorbed the history and culture he had previously only read about; he lived there for most of the 1950s. New Orleans (nʲuːˈɔrliənz nʲuːˈɔrlənz French: La Nouvelle-Orléans) is a major United States port city and the largest city in Louisiana The State of Louisiana ( or, État de Louisiane, pronounced) is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America He served for two years in the United States Army (1951-53) and began to study jazz clarinet with George Lewis, but soon acquired an interest in rural blues. The United States Army is a military organization whose primary mission is to "provide necessary forces and capabilities. The clarinet is a Musical instrument in the Woodwind family The name derives from adding the suffix -et meaning little to the Italian word George Lewis ( 13 July, 1900 &ndash 31 December, 1968) was an American Jazz Clarinetist who achieved his greatest fame and Country blues (also folk blues, rural blues, backwoods blues, or downhome blues) refers to all In 1954, he and his wife began conducting field recordings (initially for Folkways Records throughout the United States, and then in the Bahamas in 1958). Folkways Records is a Record label that documents folk and world music The Bahamas, officially the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, is an independent sovereign English -speaking country consisting of two thousand Cays and Their 1959 recordings of the Texas bluesman Lightnin' Hopkins proved instrumental to Hopkins' rediscovery. Sam "Lightnin’" Hopkins ( March 15 1912 — January 30 1982 Houston's poet -in-residence for 35 years Hopkins
Charters began his writing career in 1959 with The Country Blues. Since that time, his writings have been influential, bringing to light aspects of African American musics and culture that had previously been largely unknown to the general public. African Americans or Black Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have origins in any of the black populations of Africa His writings include numerous books on the subjects of blues, jazz, African music, and Bahamian music, as well as liner notes for numerous sound recordings. The music of Africa is as vast and varied as the continent's many regions, nations and Ethnic groups Although there is no distinctly pan-African The Music of The Bahamas is associated primarily with Junkanoo, a celebration which occurs on Boxing Day ( December 26) and again on
From approximately 1966 to 1970 he worked as a producer for the anti-war band Country Joe and the Fish. Country Joe and the Fish was a rock band most widely known for musical protests against the Vietnam War, from 1966 to 1971. He became thoroughly disenchanted with American politics during the Vietnam War and moved with his family to Sweden, establishing a new life there despite not being able to speak the language at first. The Vietnam War, also known as the Second Indochina War, or the Vietnam Conflict, occurred in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia "Sverige" redirects here For other uses see Sweden (disambiguation and Sverige (disambiguation. He divides his time between Sweden (where he has a residence permit to live, though maintaining his U. S. citizenship) and Connecticut. Connecticut ( is a state located in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. He has translated into English the works of the Swedish writer Tomas Tranströmer and helped produce the music of various Swedish musical groups. Tomas Tranströmer (born April 15, 1931) is a Swedish writer poet and translator whose poetry has been deeply influential in Sweden as well as around
Charters is married to the writer, editor, Beat generation scholar, photographer, and pianist Ann Charters (b. Ann Charters was born on November 10, 1936 in Bridgeport Connecticut 1936), whom he met at the University of California, Berkeley during the 1954-55 academic year in a music class; she is a professor of English and American literature at the University of Connecticut. The University of California Berkeley (also referred to as Cal, Berkeley and UC Berkeley) is a major research university located in Berkeley The University of Connecticut ( Connecticut or UConn) is the State of Connecticut 's Land-grant university.  The two have collaborated together on many projects, particularly their extensive field recording work.
Charters is a Grammy Award winner and his book The Country Blues was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1991 as one of the "Classics of Blues Literature. The Grammy Awards (originally called the Gramophone Awards)—or Grammys —are presented annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences The Blues Hall of Fame is a listing of people who have significantly contributed to Blues music " In 2000, Charters and his wife donated the Samuel & Ann Charters Archive of Blues and Vernacular African American Musical Culture to the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center of the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut. Storrs is a Census-designated place and part of the town of Mansfield, Connecticut located in eastern Tolland County. The archive contains materials collected during the couple's decades of work documenting and preserving African American music throughout the United States, the Caribbean, and Africa. The archive's materials include more than 2,500 sound recordings, as well as video recordings, photographs, monographs, sheet music, field notes, correspondence, musicians' contracts, and correspondence. 
Charters' most recent book, New Orleans: Playing a Jazz Chorus, is scheduled for release in September 2006.