Charlie Winkler “Bobby Charles Winkler” is an accomplished Musician with several decades of experience in the music industry spanning from the manufacturing of musical instruments and gear to end user as a musician.
Born in Connecticut, into a family of accomplished musicians, Charlie was one of 9 children. His mother, uncles, four brothers and one sister all played piano. Charlie’s father was an officer in the Coast Guard and his military career required that the family move to many cities in the US; finally settling in Alexandria, VA. Charlie began playing piano at the age of 10 and by age 14 he had joined a band. They played at school dances and parties and landed a job playing at a club in Washington, DC. Charlie later followed a fellow band member, Bob Williams, to his hometown of Grand Rapids, MI, where he then spent the next several years playing at clubs and resorts in Western Mi. It was through the joining of Bob and Charlie that the Bobby Charles Quartet was later formed and Charlie adopted his stage name of “Bobby Charles Winkler”
Charlie’s band recorded their first album in 1963, with five more to follow. The first album brought recognition and opened doors for new opportunities. One of the largest booking agencies in the country heard the album and signed the band. Charlie toured the United States until 1971, when he made a decision to limit travel to be home with his family. He continued to play the local circuit, but also invested in a music store. Through store connections, Charlie’s exposure to the manufacturing side of the music industry lead to a change of direction.
Charlie knew what musicians wanted and needed and brought this knowledge to companies where through innovation, design and marketing, he dramatically expanded their professional audio offerings. He moved from his first corporate position as a marketing manager to owning a highly successful manufacturer’s representative company with multiple locations serving markets throughout the U.S. and Canada, which he later sold to accept a vice presidency role with a major musical instrument manufacturer.
Charlie retired from his career in corporate manufacturing to return to his true love of playing. He now plays for the joy of playing and bringing music to others with his unique style. Life is grand, but always that much grander with music added to the mix. Charlie loves to play the standards and has recently completed a DVD titled “The Bobby Charles Winkler Quartet ~ Remembering The Standards.”
Charlie “Bobby Charles Winkler” plays at clubs, retirement communities, weddings and corporate events throughout Indiana and Michigan.
Call Charlie today to discuss your event musical entertainment needs.
Joe Gyarmati (Guitar)
Having two instruments in a band, keyboards and guitar both playing chords can get very intense. Joe and Bobby listen to each other intensely to sound as one instrument. Joe’s solos are exciting and dynamic.
Rich Dziuminski (Drums, percussion)
Rich and Bobby have played together for almost a decade. It’s been said that Rich listens and plays like a musician. He fills the holes and never gets in the way. He is one of the most musical drummers I have ever worked with.
West Speake (Tenor sax)
Wes has an absolute beautiful tone, and plays exactly what is needed to make each song special. He never over plays.
Samples of Bobby Charles Music:
Past musicians in Bobby’s band: Bennie Carew (Drums) (RIP) Johnnie McCoy (Front man)
Contact: Give us a call so we can find out just what you need for your next event or function. (574) 532-8719
This was a very memorable group that played at the Tiki Lounge on Eastern Ave. for 3-4 years. This group performed for Yamaha at NAMM Shows in Chicago, Toronto, Anaheim, plus did clinics around the country. Note: all the amps, drums and Dennis’s Sax were all Yamaha. It was a fun time. Bobby Charles Winkler “Charlie”
1970, A group called “New Detroit” We played in Detroit quite a bit. Note: on the bottom left is Frank Merlotti Jr. on drums. He followed in his Father’s footsteps and has been President of Steelcase for quite a few years now. Most of the young horn players joined the group right out of college. Since I was a high school dropout, I always thought it important to surround myself with educated people. The little guy on the bottom right is Greg Hopkins. Greg wrote most of the charts for the band. After he left the band, he went with Buddy Rich for 3 1/2 years. ( I guess that was a record since Buddy Rich was known to be a real ass to work for) When Greg left Buddy Rich he became a professor at The Berkley School of Music in Boston, and has been there most of his life. Jerry Kalber was on Sax and went to Disney World after he left the band. Dave Diefendorf on Trombone.. His Brother became Principle of Jenison High School.