Chic Street Man

Born in Augusta, GA, Charles Streetman moved to the Roxbury section of Boston with his family when he was three months old. He got his first guitar when he was seven.

"I didn't know how to play it but it was mine. We didn't get too many things back then and when we did it would belong to all of the children. But, for some reason I got a guitar and it was all mine. It would just sit there in the corner and I'd look at it and marvel over it. Then one day our house was burglarized and somebody put their foot right through it. I couldn't understand why anybody would do that. Why they didn't leave it alone or take it with'em. Why put their foot through it? It didn't make any sense. Of course, that's when mama said, "Son, sometimes things just don't make no sense. They call that nonsense. But, out of nonsense...you make sense." Mothers are good like that sometimes."

A decade passed before Chic got another guitar. By then, however, he showed enough athletic ability to play semi-pro baseball and subsequently ended up at Northeastern University in 1964 under the auspices of a program intended to expose promising young blacks to higher education.

Chic's interest in music was growing, however. "My older brother brought home a guitar one day and showed me a couple of chords." Still unsure about his calling, Chic placed music on the back burner and eventually earned a degree in psychology from UC Santa Cruz in 1971.

After these tentative forays into sports and psychology, Chic had come full circle and was ready to channel his energies. He took off for Paris, France where he met Pierre Barouh of "A Man And A Woman" fame (Pierre had written the lyrics to the theme song for this film. He'd opened his own recording company "SARAVAH" and later, upon meeting Chic, invited him to do his first recording). Chic recorded that year and toured all over France. The standard blues he played in France earned him continual appearances on national TV and radio. But, "the music," he said, "wasn't serving my total person. There were spiritual and social and political issues going on in the world that weren't being addressed in my music and I wanted to learn how to integrate it all." It took a while, but that one year stint in France in 1975 helped Chic determine a direction for his music.

Listen to a track from Chic Street Man

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