Tuesday, June 30, 2009
GIVE A MAN A BREAK
The youngest of three brothers hailing from Orangeburg, SC, Charles Mintz would sing together with his siblings for friends and family until a cousin hooked him up with a band called The Majestics. Charles began to sing covers at record-hops, high schools, and college shows. His English teacher got on his case about his developing talent, she said, "If you use all that energy to sing someone else's songs, why don't you write and sing something of your own?" And that's how it all started. Charles wrote a song in school called "There's No Need Crying," and the young ladies would go crazy when he would perform. Charles moved to Philly in the late 60's and in the early 70's he met up with manager and producer Gene Lawson.
Mr. Lawson is best known as Otis Redding's Publicist, and also for recording Teddy Pendergrass, before joining Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes. In fact, Pendergrass sang background vocals on Charles' first recording session. Gene Lawson eventually introduced Charles to Otis Redding who took an interest in Charles's voice, and his writing ability. Otis Redding recorded one of Charles' songs called "Free Me" and wanted to bring him into the Stax record family, but fate would not let it happen. Otis Redding was killed in a plane crash Dec. 10, 1967.
Then Gene Lawson decided he wanted to start his own record label called UpLook Records, and he signed Charlez Mintz as his first artist. The first song was called "Since I Found You" and was written by Mintz. "Give A Man A Break", the second single, was written by Eugene Jones of the Volcanoes. (Courtesy In Dangerous Rhythm)
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