Charity Brown Bio


Charity Brown grew up in Kitchener, Ontario, as Phyllis Boltz. She graduated from Eastwood Collegiate and began singing in Landslide Mushroom, and other sixties bands, while still a teenager. Under the name Phyllis Brown, she finally broke through with Kitchener group, Rain, and stayed with them into the early seventies. They released one album and several singles, including the Canadian hit, “Out Of My Mind,” for Greg Hambleton’s Axe Records.

After leaving Rain in 1973, and with the help of producer Harry Hinde, Brown secured a recording contract with A&M Records as a Motown-flavoured solo artist. Her first releases were credited to Phyllis Brown but she soon changed her name to “Charity Brown.” In 1974, Brown charted with remakes of “Jimmy Mack” and the top 10 hit, “You Beat Me To The Punch.” Upon hearing her sing, Dionne Warwick commented, “That lady has a big voice!”

Brown’s first album, 1975’s Rock Me, contained the earlier hits, as well as the number 5 single, “Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me A Little While),” and excellent cover versions of “Dancing In The Street,” “Playboy” and “Our Day Will Come,” earning Brown a Juno nomination for Most Promising Female Vocalist of the Year. “Any Way You Want,” written by Chicago’s Peter Cetera and included on Brown’s 1976 Stay With Me LP, struck gold, reached number 6 on the singles chart and lead to three consecutive Juno nominations for Female Vocalist of the Year. The Best Of Charity Brown album followed in 1977, and featured several new songs which were all minor hits.

Brown continued touring the night club circuit, and made several television appearances, including guest spots on Anne Murray’s Ladies Night Show in 1978 and on the Gerry and Ziz CBC variety show out of Winnipeg in 1979. A new album’s worth of material was recorded but remained in the vaults (until 2007). She finally retired in 1980, restored her surname to Boltz, and set up a recording studio with husband Ted Purdy (of Canadian rock group Mainline). Her voice was heard again on several animated features, including Rumpelstiltskin and The Velveteen Rabbit, both in 1985.

After a twenty year hiatus, Charity Brown returned with a number of live appearances in Southern Ontario, just as her son, Mike Boltz, entered the music business as drummer with Kitchener’s, Alex Tintinalli Band. She also issued the 2-track Wings of Time album sampler in early 2007, and plans on releasing the full album later in the fall.

T H E   R A I N   A L B U M
1972 Axe Records

1. Out of My Mind (2:26) 
2. Let the Love Begin (3:03) 
3. Child of Mine (4:21) 
4. Got to Get Away (5:11) 
5. Reason for Living (3:18) 
6. Caught Right in the Middle of It (2:59) 
7. Here With You (3:18) 
8. I'll Write You a Letter (3:11) 
9. Sad Colours Blues (4:57) 
10. I Don't Want to Leave You (2:53) 


Axe Records (LP: AXS 501)
#49 peak position on the RPM charts.

Produced By:

Greg Hambleton

Album Notes:

Lead vocals & piano: Phyllis (Charity) Brown.
Lead vocals, piano & bass: Ron Hiller.
Drums: Chris Woroch.
Guitar: Bill McLaughlin.
Organ: Charley Hall.

Engineers: Greg Hambleton, Terry Brown & Bob Lifton.
Cover Design: Michael Clasby.
Photography: Murry Wilson & Michael Clasby.



R O C K   M E

1975 A&M Records

1. Take Me in Your Arms (Rock Me a Little While) (2:52) 
2. Playboy (2:43) 
3. Jimmy Mack (2:53) 
4. Going Down for the Third Time (2:41) 
5. Dancing in the Street (2:52) 
6. Saving All My Love (2:57) 
7. You Beat Me to the Punch (2:55) 
8. Our Day Will Come (2:48) 
9. Family Man (2:21) 
10. No Way to Treat a Lady (2:25) 


A&M Records (LP: SP 9019)
#52 peak position on the RPM charts.

Produced By:

Harry Hinde

Album Notes:

Making records and performing have always been foremost in Charity's life. With Rock Me, her first album, you'll not only hear her three powerhouse hits, “Jimmy Mack,” “You Beat Me to the Punch” and “Take Me in Your Arms,” but you'll feel her power and her sensitive rapport with a song.

Arranged by Tom Baird.

Recorded at RCA Studio “A” Toronto.
Hayward Parrott: Engineer.
Dave Balan and Kevin Fuller: Assistant Engineers.

Mixed at Sound Labs, Hollywood.
Don Gooch: Engineer, except for “You Beat Me to the Punch” and “Jimmy Mack” which were mixed by Hayward Parrott at RCA, Toronto.

Tom Baird: keyboards.
Brian Russell: electric & acoustic guitars.
Jack Zaza: bass guitar.
Barry Keane: drums, percussion & congas.
Background vocals: Sara Kane, Billie Barnum, Julia Tillman Waters, Diane Brooks, Sharon Lee Williams & Colina Phillips.

Julia Tillman Waters appears courtesy of Blue Note Records.

Album concept and design: Colin MacDonald.
Front and back photographs: John Rowlands.

Special thanks to Dick Wendling, John Rowlands, Pete Beauchamp, Charlie Prevost, Doug Chappell, Bob Roper and the A&M promo staff and all the fine musicians and singers.

A very special thanks to Harry Hinde and Gabibothe for their devoted friendship and support.

And thanks to Gerry Lacoursiere for signing me to A&M.

Charity Brown

S T A Y   W I T H   M E

1976 A&M Records

1. Since I Fell for You (3:16) 
2. Dancing (On the Soul of My Feet) (2:39) 
3. I'm Going Left (2:34) 
4. Ain't No Hurt Love Can't Heal (2:51) 
5. Stay With Me (3:52) 
6. Ben (3:06) 
7. Any Way You Want (2:44) 
8. Rock Me Sweet (2:30) 
9. Love is Burning (2:30) 
10. Cry Just Like a Baby (2:52) 
11. I Won't Be a Party (2:56) 


A&M Records (LP: SP 9022)
#76 peak position on the RPM charts.

Produced By:

Harry Hinde

Album Notes:

Arranged by Eric Robertson.
Recorded at RCA Studios, Toronto.
Engineer: Hayward Parrott.
Assistant Engineers: Dave Balan, Kevin Fuller, John Curl and Colin Murphy.
Mixer: Don Gooch, Hollywood, California.
Mastering: George Graves, J.A.M.F., Toronto.

Eric Robertson: keyboards.
Barry Keane: drums and percussion.
Brian Russell: guitar.
Paul Zaza: bass.
Paul Sabu: guitar.
Brian Leonard: percussion.
Bert Hermiston: saxophone solo.
Don Harris: piano on “Love Burning”.
Background vocals: Stephanie Taylor, Colina Phillips, Debbie Fleming.
Graphics: Hugh Syme.
Photography: David Street.

Special thanks to R. Dean Taylor, Mark and Eddie, Paul Sabu and Dick Wendling.

This album is dedicated to the memory of Tom Baird – a dear friend, musician, trusted advisor and a truly fine man.

T H E   B E S T   O F   C H A R I T Y 

1977 A&M Records

1. Take Me in Your Arms (Rock Me a Little While) (2:52) 
2. No Way to Treat a Lady (2:25) 
3. Stay With Me (3:52) 
4. Saving All My Love (2:57) 
5. Hold On Baby (3:20) 
6. Playboy (2:43) 
7. Any Way You Want (2:44) 
8. All the Things You Told Me (2:51) 
9. Jimmy Mack (2:30) 
10. Ain't No Hurt Love Can't Heal (2:51) 
11. You Beat Me to the Punch (2:55) 
12. Forecast (Heartbreak, Pain and Tears) (3:59) 


A&M Records (LP: SP 9029)
Did not chart.

Produced By:

Harry Hinde

Album Notes:

Album Co-ordination: Michael Godin.
Photography: David Street.
Direction / Design: Colin MacDonald.

1. Night Rider (3:23) 
2. Let's Talk It Over (3:11) 
3. Written in the Wind (4:03) 
4. Creatures of Habit (3:16) 
5. Look to the Rainbow (3:03) 
6. Life is Loving You (3:31) 
7. Nothing You Can Do About It (4:15) 
8. Black Alley (4:45) 
9. One Man Woman (4:29) 


Sweet Home Records (CD)

Produced By:

Chad Irschick

Album Notes:

Mixing & Mastering: Chad Irschick at Inception Sound, Toronto.
Cover Design: Vision Global Media Group, Debra Tieleman & Mary Burge.
Reel-to-reel Transfer: Studio-A Mirador.

C a n a d i a n   S i n g l e s
(#Peak positions reached on the RPM singles chart.)


1971 Out of My Mind    
You're the One
(London 17410) #22
1972 Stop Me From Believing  
Caught Right in the Middle of It 
(AXE 1) #71
  Find Our Love    
I Don't Want to Leave You 
(AXE 5) (did not chart)
1977 Out of My Mind    
Here With You 
(AXE 43 reissue) (did not chart)
1974 Jimmy Mack  
(AM 371) #75
Elijah Stone   
  You Beat Me to the Punch   
Jimmy Mack 
(AM 375) #9
1975 Take Me in Your Arms (Rock Me a Little While)   
Our Day Will Come 
(AM 391) #5

  No Way to Treat a Lady   
Touch Me Babe 
(AM 397) #54
1976 Saving All My Love   
Family Man 
(AM 1759) #61

  Any Way You Want   
Rock Me Sweet 
(AM 410) #6
  Stay With Me   
Dancing (On the Soul of My Feet) 
(AM 421) #6
1977 Ain't No Hurt Love Can't Heal   
(AM 425) #72
  Forecast (Heartbreak, Pain and Tears)  
Rock Me Sweet 
(AM 439) #53
  Hold On Baby  
(AM 445) #57
  All the Things You Told Me   
Reach Out for Me 
(AM 453) #39 (Adult Contemporary)
2007 No Talk Talkin'   
Guardian Song 
(Charity Brown)

Faith, hope and Charity Brown


August 09, 2007

(Aug 9, 2007)
It's been a long, tough road that's brought Charity Brown back home, but when she takes the stage Aug. 12 at the Kitchener Blues Festival, it will be a triumphant first step in getting into a business she hasn't seriously been a part of for nearly 30 years.
With a resume that includes three albums on A&M Records that brought five Juno nominations, it's fair to say Brown is one of Canada's forgotten stars of the 1970s. But in an unusual twist, her final recordings from that time are paving the way for her future. She will have available at the festival The Lost Tapes Of '79, which she hopes will generate interest in her first album of new material since then, Wings Of Time, due in the fall.
"I'd recorded (The Lost Tapes) in Toronto, after I'd left A&M, with the intention of getting a new record deal, but they never got released," she says from her home in downtown Kitchener, which she shares with her son and drummer Michael. "The tapes were put in a basement and I had to rescue them when it flooded. After that I forgot about them when we moved to Kitchener, until one day I was in the attic looking for something when I saw an open box in the middle of the room and the masters were in it. To this day, I have no idea how that box got into the attic."
The story gets even spookier when Brown relates how, after the sessions, she and her partners had just enough money left to fly to L.A. to meet with record label heads. The day they landed was also the day John Lennon was killed. She says in the immediate aftermath, the entire recording industry temporarily shut down out of shock, leaving her with no choice but to come back to Canada and try to rebuild her career here.
It turned out to be a much more difficult process than she could have ever imagined, for many reasons, but Brown says that now, through the support of her family and fans in the area, she's ready to have her music heard again. "The irony was that the '79 tapes were the first time I'd ever recorded my own songs. On the A&M albums, they'd sort of pigeonholed me into recording Motown-type material, so I'm most excited now about getting those songs out along with some of the many more songs I've written since then. I think the '79 stuff stands up, and I know a lot of people have been waiting to hear it."
With her son currently taking care of tasks such as setting up her website, along with last-minute details for the release of both records, Brown speaks of her immediate future with the quiet confidence of a true survivor. And while she is grateful to the oldies radio stations for continually playing her '70s hits, she feels that her best material is only now just starting to come out, thanks to the sweeping changes that have occurred in the music business in the ensuing time.
"Making records in the '70s required a whole team of people, and you basically only had five years to prove yourself," Brown says. "Now you can do everything at home and have complete artistic control. I really love that, and I love the speed with which you can communicate with people. I'm only just beginning to grasp the possibilities of all this new media, and I'm excited to reconnect with all the people out there who have wondered where I've been all these years."