Sonny Charles (b. 1940) is a veteran soul singer from Fort Wayne, Indiana who became famous beginning in the 1960s. He was the lead singer of the Checkmates, Ltd., an R&B group whose members also included Bill Van Buskirk (bass), Jimmy Milton (vocals), Marvin "Sweet Louie" Smith (drums, vocals), Bobby Stevens (vocals), Calvin Thomas (drums), and Harvey Trees (guitar). With the Checkmates, Ltd., he had several hits that include the soaring Phil Spector-penned and produced smash, "Black Pearl" (1969).
Sonny Charles began a solo career in the early 1970s, scoring a hit in 1982 with the uptempo "Put It In A Magazine," and reunited with the Checkmates a number of times over the years. He also served for a time with the Steve Miller Band (2008-2012).
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Sonny Charles And The Checkmates, Ltd.
- Black Pearl 1969
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