John Charles Music finds its Way Back Home

by Beacon Staff • March 1, 2006

Known on stage simply as John Charles, the 22-year-old singer, songwriter and guitarist from Watertown, Conn. is a former Emerson student and will be playing two shows on campus this month.,With the help of a few Emerson College students, Jeff John Charles Schmidt has launched a musical career.

Known on stage simply as John Charles, the 22-year-old singer, songwriter and guitarist from Watertown, Conn. is a former Emerson student and will be playing two shows on campus this month.

The first is on March 22 with his band, John Charles Music, in the Cabaret at 7 p.m. The second, which is scheduled to be a solo performance, will be on March 30 in the Student Union.

Schmidt attended Emerson during the 2003-04 academic year, majoring in media studies and playing on the Emerson men's basketball team.

Schmidt said he did not seriously start practicing guitar until the summer before he came to Emerson and didn't think about starting a professional career in music until last summer, when he lived with William "Jay" O'Connell, now Schmidt's producer and the founder of the John Charles Fan Club.

O'Connell, a senior marketing communication major, said that even though he doesn't have a great ear, he recognized Schmidt's talents from listening to his original songs. He convinced his friend to get them recorded.

The band's songs, written by Schmidt, are a mixture of folk and rock-and-roll tunes, several of which have sentimental themes and others that Schmidt calls "sappy love songs."

Schmidt and John Charles Music have played many times at The Red Door, a live music caf