The first annual Country Up benefit, featuring Jimmy Charles, will benefit ALS and is an all-day indoor/outdoor music festival. The festival will be held Sunday, August 14 starting at Noon at the Willowbrook Wedding Venue in Bridgeville.
“I was born in Delaware and grew up in Ocean City and Berlin, Maryland,” Charles said. “I moved to Nashville in 2009 and was on American Idol in 2010. My recent release “It’s a Maryland Thing You Wouldn’t Understand,” is becoming an anthem for Marylanders and even playing in stadiums like the Baltimore Orioles, Baltimore Ravens and the University of Maryland will start playing it next year at all their sporting events. I am premiering the music video for the song at Fager’s Island on Wednesday, August 10.”
Charles wrote a song called “Superman,” which became an anthem for cancer survivors of all types and was chosen as the official anthem for “Zero the End of Prostate Cancer.” He feels the song brings strength to those who are battling and encourages early detection. The subsequent music video trended number one on CMT for over a week with almost 5,000 shares on the first day. The song was co-written by Goose Gossett, Charles’ bandmate, and Phil Shulka, a mentor and cancer survivor.
“I just released “Country Up,” a rocking fun country rock song that everyone is loving,” Charles said. “In light of the theme, we decided to name the festival Country Up Fest benefitting ALS. We are hoping everyone comes out decked in their country attire. I have another release coming very soon called “Fish” which I wrote for the White Marlin Open and they are embracing it as their official song of the 2022 WMO. You can hear the song on YouTube now and it will be available next month on all digital outlets.”
Charles chose ALS as the beneficiary of the event as his first drummer when he moved to Nashville, Tommy Mastro, was diagnosed and eventually passed away with ALS, often called Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
“I was inspired by the movie Gleason about the Saints linebacker who got ALS and they made a documentary of his life,” Charles said. “ALS is a terrible disease, and I was moved to bring more awareness and raise funds for additional research because, as of right now, there is no cure for this torturous disease. There are still tickets available and we will be accepting admission at the door. For those that cannot make it, you are encouraged to make a donation to our fundraising efforts by reaching out to myself or the Country Up ALS group page.”
Over the past years, Charles has toured with his band, opening for such acts as Lady A, Montgomery Gentry, Kip Moore, Travis Tritt, Josh Turner, Merle Haggard and more. He tried out for Nashville Star and made the Top 50. Even though he did not win that contest, it gave him the confidence to believe he could make music a career. Charles spent many years paying his dues in the honky-tonks of Nashville, playing in bars around the country as well as festivals and other venues. His first single “Whatever It Takes” thrust him into the spotlight when it was picked up by iHeart Radio. His video “Hard Way to Go” premiered on CMT and climbed to number one on The Country Network. The video was partnered with National Partners American Addiction Centers, Vertava Health and other addiction awareness organizations to bring attention to the addiction crisis. To date, the video has helped over 60 people commit to the road to recovery.
In 2017, Charles was named Outstanding Young Tennessean for his philanthropic gestures. He was also awarded the National Ten Outstanding Young Americans (TOYA) honor in 2019. He was also recently awarded the International Singer Songwriter Association (ISSA) award as Best Male Entertainer. He also formed his own non-profit #IAMNOTALONE, which focuses on the strength and well-being of all cancer survivors.
“I’ve learned so much from these survivors and I want to help them anyway that I can,” Charles said. “Their stories break my heart, but our journey together makes me whole.”
The benefit will start with a corn hole tournament presented by DE Baggers. There will be food trucks and Mispillion River Brewing and Mobile Bar will be providing beer and libations. The benefit moves inside for a 21 and older concert performed by Charles and County Line. Tickets are $25 for general admission. There are also VIP tickets available for $50 which include free alcohol, a private roped VIP area next to the stage, a Meet and Greet with Charles and County Line as well as other prizes. All proceeds will benefit the ALS Association of Greater Philadelphia and the Rehoboth Walk to Defeat ALS!
The ALS Association of the Greater Philadelphia Chapter serves people living with ALS and their families in eastern and central Pennsylvania, central and southern New Jersey and all of Delaware. Tickets can be purchased at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/country-up-fest-to-benefit-als-tickets-385939404147?fbclid=IwAR30x_rIf-IgYQTE0-ddRxV-GeSYwyvsfLxr5qHw7zfq89P_N-RIYxEGJ2Q.
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