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Bobby Charles Quartet

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Bobby Charles

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.

Band Members:

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


Bobby Charles Band 1973     

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”




New Detroit – Bobby Charles

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.















13 Responses to Bobby Charles Quartet

  1. Diane Dykstra says:

    What ever happened to Nancy Westbrook?

  2. Russell Williams says:

    Hi Laurie,

    A little update: I just got ahold of June and am hoping to finally touch base with my father. Thanks for your help. I really appreciate it it!


    Russell Williams

  3. Ronnie Fray says:

    (A fellow musician) whom I never really got to know well, has been on my list of friends for some time now. We communicate in ‘e’ mails now and then…Big band ‘swing’ has always been a favorite of mine. My only wish is/was to sing with his musicians while in Grand Rapids….which I did manage to do a few times in the (distant) past. I have a lot of respect for him and I do hope he is happy and comfortable in Florida. I still may wind up on your doorstep sometime. (LOL) … ”Best of Luck to you B.C.”

  4. Laurie Winkler-Cull says:

    “Bobby Charles” is my Dad. It is cool to read about my Dad and see the photos. Thank you for acknowledging his role in West Michigan Music History! I also read the biography of Del Shannon. I posted a link to this site on my facebook page for all those that have an interest.

    • Laurie, I just talked to your dad last week to tell him of our pick. Your father truly earned this, as he put his time in, you could say. I surely grew up listing to your dads music every chance I got. Doug Taylor

      • Laurie Winkler-Cull says:

        Thank you so much Doug. I know he felt honored to be recognized as one of many great musicians to play in West Michigan.

    • Bob Williams is my dad. Is he still around?

      • Laurie Winkler-Cull says:

        Hello Russell,
        I don’t check this site often and just saw your message. As far as I know, your dad, Bob Williams, lives in California. He had a stroke several years ago. His wife has been caring for him. His speech is quite limited. His sister Linda, your Aunt, passed away. Your Aunt Nanette is doing well and lives in Caledonia. I’m sorry you lost touch with your Dad. If you want to locate him. I can ask my dad for his number.
        All the best to you.

      • June Williams says:

        HI RUSTY!!! This is June Williams, your dad’s wife. I have been trying to find you and Andrea for years!!! This is Dec. 9, 2018. I hope you are still around!!! I see your post was May 15, 2015.

      • June Williams says:

        Hi Rusty. This is June Williams, your dad’s wife. I have been trying to find you and Andrea for years!!!

  5. Charlie Winkler was one of my favorites. He played piano in a dixieland band on Friday afternoons (or was it Saturday) at the Shamrock Lounge with Mr. Peepers on clarinet.
    After that he went to Hamond organ during the time when the organ groups were big.
    Years later I was on the road in Ohio and I stopped and had a good visit with him.

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