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Vocalist Charles Johnson, along with Music Serving the Word Ministries founder Bob Ravenscroft, conceived the concept of music that serves the Word following many conversations shared during ten years of traveling together, presenting improvisational programs based on favorite hymns to congregations across the U.S.
Charles began formal vocal study in Chicago, Illinois, at the age of seven when Arthur Silhan, a member of the Lyric Opera of Chicago chorus and music director of the Lutheran church he attended, convinced Charles’ parents of his special talents and the necessity to train his exceptional voice.
At age 15, during his second year of high school, Charles became Director of Music at a local Presbyterian church. This began a choral directing career serving Presbyterian, Methodist, Disciples of Christ, Roman Catholic, and Lutheran churches that lasted over forty years.
Charles joined the Lyric Opera of Chicago chorus while still a senior in high school. He later went on to enjoy a fulfilling operatic solo career. Meanwhile, Charles attended the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago where he continued his vocal study under Theodore Harrison. He then went on to further vocal training with the great Romanian tenor, Dimitri Onofrei.
Following a move to Nashville, Tennessee, Charles joined The Four Guys, who were stars of the Grand Ole Opry. The quartet had been asked to open for Hank Williams, Jr., on his road show. Touring with that show for over two years, the “Guys” combined their rigid road schedule with their regular Grand Ole Opry performances.
In the ensuing years, Charles’ vocal skill and interpretive versatility allowed him to pursue his interests in many facets of music: from the operatic stage to the showrooms of Las Vegas, Nevada, from leading nightclubs across the country to the concert stage and into the music business as well. Charles is the co-founder of Limeliters, one of Nashville’s most successful talent agencies.
Throughout his life, Charles has been encouraged by pastors, nuns, priests, vocal teachers, and friends to continue to use the voice with which he has been blessed, to God’s glory through contemporary and classical sacred music, centered on Scripture that leans upon faith’s heritage and lifts the human spirit.
Charles lives in San Diego, California, with his wife, Patricia. They are active sailors and skiers.