Charlie Gracie (born Charles Anthony Graci on May 14, 1936 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American rock pioneer and singer. His father encouraged him to play the guitar. Charlie's musical career started at the very early age of 14 when he appeared on the Paul Whiteman television show. Gracie performed at weddings, local restaurants, and parties, and on local radio and television. He also won many regional talent contests. The little money and prizes he received were turned over to his mother to help support the family.