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In 1996, Charles Bradley’s mother called him and asked him to move back in with her in Brooklyn so she could get to know him. It was there he began making a living moonlighting as a James Brown impersonator in local clubs under the name “Black Velvet. During this time, Bradley experienced more hard times, including almost dying in a hospital after being given penicillin (to which he has an allergy) and waking to the police arriving to the scene of his brother’s murder just down the road from his mother’s house.
While performing as “Black Velvet,” he was eventually discovered by Gabriel Roth, co-founder of Daptone Records. Roth introduced Bradley to Daptone artist and his future producer Tom Brenneck, then the songwriter and guitarist for The Bullets, and later for Menahan Street Band, who invited Bradley to his band’s rehearsal. Bradley asked that the band simply perform while he made up lyrics on the spot. After writing several songs, with Daptone releasing some of them on vinyl starting in 2002, Brenneck and Bradley chose ten to be released as Bradley’s debut album No Time For Dreaming in 2011.
62 year old soul singer Charles Bradley is finally living his dream as he released his first album No Time for Dreaming at southpaw and Bradley’s second album, Victim of Love came out on April 2, 2013. If you know Charles today, then you know one of the most loving, humble, honest and genuine human beings you will ever know. Charles Bradley spent most of his life dreaming for a better one, and now there is no more time for dreaming, just time for singing, dancing and loving.