OCEAN CITY – A former Ocean City local will return to his hometown later this month to open for country singers Josh Turner and Mo Pitney.
On March 23, rising country singer and resort native Jimmy Charles will share the stage at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center with headliner Josh Turner and special guest Mo Pitney.
Charles, whose hits include “Whatever It Takes” and “Bout Summertime,” said he is excited to perform in front of those who have supported his career from the beginning.
“There is so much love and support back home, and I try to get back as much as possible,” he said. “It’s definitely that love that has brought me to this stage to perform in front of thousands with someone I’ve looked up to in my career, Josh Turner.”
Charles, accompanied by a fiddle player, will kick off the concert at 8 p.m. and will debut several new songs.
“Moving forward I’ve been doing a lot of writing in Nashville with some amazing songwriters,” he said. “I’ve never been more excited about the music I have coming out right now. I’m going to be singing some of my favorite songs for them that are brand new. I want them to have the first listen.”
Despite moving to Nashville, Charles said much of his music is inspired by life experiences and time spent near the beach.
“I’ve had a lot of influences,” he said. “The things that influence my music the most I think are life experiences. When I sit down and write a song, normally it’s what’s going on in my life that pulls me to whatever I’m writing.”
Charles said it was his father who taught him his first chords on the guitar.
While his school friends were learning to play the day’s most popular music, Charles said he was playing songs by classic crooners like Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson and George Jones, among others.
“The kids at school weren’t playing those songs,” the Stephen Decatur High School alumnus joked. “That’s where I got my country roots.”
In addition to being a season nine contestant on American Idol and top 50 finalist on the show “Nashville Star,” Charles has opened for country artists Lady Antebellum, Montgomery Gentry, Kip Moore, Kacey Musgraves and more.
Charles is also the spokesman for Zero Cancer, a national nonprofit with a mission to end prostate cancer. His song “Superman” is used by the organization to bring awareness to the disease.
“They adopted the song as their anthem song and we made a music video,” he said. “The music video was presented to CMT and GAC and a number of other outlets. All of them picked it up. So I made my CMT debut and GAC debut, which put me on a national stage and put the video, message and song out to millions of people.”
Recently, Charles was named “Outstanding Young Tennessean of the Year” for 2017. He attributes the recognition to his work with Zero Cancer and other nonprofits.
“I had a million dreams when moving to Nashville, but a Maryland guy from Ocean City winning ‘Tennessean of the Year’ wasn’t anything that crossed my mind,” he said. “It was cool to know that other people I don’t even know are recognizing [our efforts]. That lets me know we are making a difference.”
Tickets to see John Turner, Mo Pitney and Jimmy Charles are still available and can be purchased at the Ocean City Convention Center or online at oceancityconcerts.com.
Since his debut in 2003, Josh Turner, whose hits include “Your Man,” “Why Don’t We Just Dance,” “Would You Go With Me” and more, has garnered multiple GRAMMY, CMA and ACM nominations. His song “Time Is Love” was the most played country song of 2012.
Turner will be joined on stage with Mo Pitney, whose hits include “Country,” “Clean Up On Aisle Five” and “Boy And A Girl Thing.”
“I am taking the very stage they will be on in front of thousands of people in my own hometown,” Charles said. “It doesn’t get much cooler than that.”
Charles said a Fan Club Meet and Greet VIP after party at Seacrets will immediately follow the concert. Individuals can use their ticket stub or VIP bracelet from the team for free admission and entrance.
On March 24, Charles will perform at the Shore Craft Beer Fest: Beer at Bethany Beach from 12:30-4:30 p.m. with openers Dan Hammrick and CJ Garton of Nashville. Later that night, he will perform at Dry Dock 28 from 8 p.m. to midnight.
“I’m excited to see everyone,” he said.
Charles said he will return to the area with a full band later this year. In addition to local performances July 4-8, Charles will also be the headliner for Berlin’s second annual Small Town Throw Down in September.
“I have been working very hard for years in Nashville and touring the country,” he said. “The seeds I have planted are beginning to bloom and I want my hometown to be excited for the future. My dream is to one day stand before my own sell out concert in the hometown and yell out, ‘Ocean City we did it.’”