He was born Robert Charles Davis on April 22, 1953 in Jackson, Mississippi. When he was ten years old, his family moved to Detroit. His parents were both music lovers. His mother sang in a church choir and his father was a guitar player. Blues and gospel music were his love, and he and his brothers were motivated to pursue music at a very early age.
Charles attended Southeastern High School before joining the United States Navy from 1969 through 1971, serving in Vietnam. Upon his return, Charles turned to music.
Inspired by such groups as The Temptations, The Originals, The Dells, and The Four Tops, Charles and his two brothers, Moses and Leonard (Pee Wee) started a group called The Chosen Few. Alonso Mason, Reggie Royster and Ron Stafford (who later sang with C.P. Spencer's Originals and Detroit's Own Dynamics). were the other members. They won some local and high school talent shows. About 1972, the group turned professional. Sadly, within months, Moses was killed by street violence which was very common on the streets of Detroit at that time. By 1974, the group broke up and Charles returned to military service. He joined the Army and went on to start a group while stationed in Wurzburg, Germany. This group played all the major clubs and also worked for the U.S.O.
After leaving the service he returned to Saran Industries, where he had worked before he enlisted. He also went back to school, majoring in Chemistry (paint formulation). Even though he became the plant manager at his day job, he still managed to sing at parties, but not as often as he would have liked.
One day while sitting around with some friends singing different songs he met a young man named Martin (Bennie) Upshire who, at the time, was the lead singer for THE CONTOURS. They became good friends. Shortly afterward, on November 11, 1984, Bennie invited Charles to audition for THE CONTOURS to replace Arthur Hinson, who was leaving the group. He accepted and found himself sharing the stage with Joe Billingslea, an original member of THE CONTOURS that had inspired him as a young man.
Charles continues to tour with THE CONTOURS worldwide and as a solo artist performing an incredible tribute to Lou Rawls in addition to being the newest member of The Shades of Blue!