"Charlie Adamson has often been called the Burl Ives of the Bahamas, since his simple sincerity and good-natured humor shine from his singing in typical folk quality. Charlie accompanies himself on the guitar, strumming the chords and simultaneously beating out the rhythm on the guitar case. This manner of playing probably originated in Spain where the guitar was often the only accompaniment for dancing". (Holliday In Nassau, liner notes, 1956).
Little is documented about Adamson, a premier calypsonian that made his mark during the 50's and 60's. His music was extremely soothing and melodious, and his interpretation was second to none. It is evident that the music of the neighboring West Indian and Caribbean communities had much influence on his style. Even down to the inflection of his words his diction is more like that of popular singers from Trinidad and other surrounding territories. It is said that he was a gentle man and was very easygoing. Indeed this is quite evident in his song style. If you were to close your eyes and listen to the voice and music of Charlie Adamson, the peaceful nature of his spirit shines right through.
He played the guitar either left-handed, or upside down right-handed. However this awkward technique did not hamper the smooth rhythmic patterns used in his calypso and goombay that became his trademark. Charlie would thump the body of his guitar while playing in order to create accompanying rhythms for his goombay strum. “The subjects he dealt with were all looking at the community and singing about it” (Rahming, 1996). Most of his songs featured a very simple melodic introduction followed by Adamson's smooth, mellow, and unassuming voice. Whether it was at the live radio shows that he frequently appeared on to perform his original music, or on his breaks at a gas station on Blue Hill Road where he worked, Adamson created and developed a unique sound in his music.
One thing that we do know is that Charlie made an indelible contribution to the Bahamian musical landscape with his compositions, arrangements and rich baritone voice. His music is such that one could listen for hours and be totally relaxed. Said to have been born on Cat Island, a Bahamian island blessed with a rich tradition of good music. Charlie will always be remembered for his pleasing manner and his infectious goombay rhythms.