Chuck Day is an American country music singer, songwriter, and guitarist. He was born in Birmingham, Alabama on September 17th, 1959. His debut album The Man I Want to Be was released in 1996.
When guitarist Chuck Day joined vocalist Johnny Rivers for the 1966 hit “Secret Agent Man,” he created one of rock & roll’s most recognizable and lasting riffs. Day, who was born in Chicago on August 6, 1942, began playing guitar at the age of seven, drawing inspiration from legends such as Hank Williams and Jimmy Reed. At the age of 15, he auditioned for King Records and was signed the same day, releasing his debut single, “Pony Tail Partner,” under the alias Ford Day, in 1957. Following the success of “Rain Silver Dollar,” he signed with Mercury for “Poor Stagger Lee,” released in 1958. Day’s second Mercury single, the jazz-inspired “Mama’s Place,” made the Billboard Hot 100, but he never charted again, and the label let him go after 1960’s “How Do I Do It.”
Day joined with Rivers, the earthy singer/songwriter known for a series of crossover R&B songs including “Memphis,” “Mountain of Love,” and “Seventh Son,” after moving to Los Angeles in 1965. Rivers’ move toward more personal, emotional songs coincided with Day’s entrance, resulting in the chart-topping 1966 ballad “Poor Side of Town.” P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri collaborated on “Secret Agent Man,” the theme song for the TV show Secret Agent; Rivers’ cover is the definitive version, powered by Day’s ringing, memorable riff (influenced by composer Monty Norman’s famous James Bond theme). Day joined the Mamas & the Papas as a guitarist and bassist in 1967, and was featured on hits including “California Dreamin’” and “Monday, Monday” — Day also fathered Mama Cass Elliot’s daughter Owen, but the singer never acknowledged him as the girl’s father publicly or privately before her death in 1974, and he didn’t find out until she sought him down decades later.
Day moved to Fairfax, California, in 1969, and while he continued to be in demand as a session musician, contributing to the soundtracks of films such as Fritz the Cat, Switchblade Sisters, and Blacula, he devoted the majority of his creative energy to live performances, becoming a fixture in the Marin County club scene. Day led the Blue Monday Jam at Fairfax bar 19 Broadway for 15 years before forming his own Chuck Day Band in 1987, which was subsequently replaced by the Burning Sensations, who produced the CD Desperate Measures in 1997. Day’s health started to deteriorate around the time he self-released Live at Peri’s in 2007, which was recorded at the Fairfax bar Peri’s Silver Dollar, and he was subsequently too sick to attend a tribute festival in his honor — he died March 10, 2008, with a Fairfax memorial procession following on March 22.
Chuck Day is a singer-songwriter from Nashville, Tennessee. He released his first album in 2004 and has since released six more albums. His most recent release was The Homecoming which came out on October 12, 2017. Reference: chuck day images.
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