chuck’s personal bio.
I was born in Hazlehurst, Mississippi, the first child of Cecil and Polly Cliburn. As the son of a Methodist pastor, we moved quite often but always lived near Meridian, Mississippi except for two years in Dalton, Georgia while dad attended Emory University.
I always loved music and would endlessly listen to the radio as a young boy long before I began to play. Two of the first songs I particularly loved were I Can’t Stop Loving You by Ray Charles and Last Date, a piano classic by Floyd Cramer. My all-time favorite song is Get Together, made famous by the TheYoungbloods, and my favorite group is The Beatles – with no close second. The best “local band” I ever heard was the Six Soul Survivors a teen band in Meridian in the mid and late ‘60s. The keyboardist and lead singer was Paul Davis, who went on to have a successful career as a recording artist and songwriter. His songs included I Go Crazy, ’65 Love Affair, and Cool Nights – may God rest his soul.
At 13, my dad bought me a Ventures “learn to play guitar” album and I learned to play four songs on my dad’s Silvertone electric guitar. Soon after that, a friend of mine, Kenny Suire, and I formed a group called the Vikings later changing our name to The Mad Hatters. We played at local teen dances around Meridian until we disbanded in 1968 when my family moved to Fort Walton Beach, Florida.
I returned to Mississippi after graduating from Choctawhatchee High School in Fort Walton Beach to attend college and to be near my girlfriend Madelin Pratt. Madelin and I married after our sophomore year in college and have been married now for 38 years. She was a terrific light operator for the Mad Hatters and still patiently listens to and critiques all of my songs before I complete the final recording.
After starting my career and my family, there was little time left for my music except to pick up my guitar or sit at my piano and play when I could find time. It wasn’t until 5 or 6 years ago that I began to write songs and record them – mostly in my home studio.
Madelin and I live in Tallahassee, Florida and have two wonderful children, Brian and Jamie. We also are blessed to have the world’s most beautiful and smartest granddaughter, Karis. Karis and I recorded Oscar and the Cat together. The concept of the song was hers!
I hope you enjoy my songs.