Team Member

Charles Colbert


Meet Charles Colbert


Charles Colbert is best known as the bass player with American Breed but his musical history is deep!

Colbert performed with the Daylighters through 1964, at the same time he was moonlighting with Gary and the Knight Lites throughout most of that period. As Gary and the Knight Lites they released five singles. But when they signed a record deal with Acta/Dot Records in January of 1967, “They told us Gary and the Knight Lites sounded a bit dated,” Loizzo said in a story in the Chicago Tribune. “So, we put a bunch of names in a hat and pulled out American Breed.”


Colbert and fellow bandmate Lee Graziano, split off to form and started the band Rufus. Colbert also spent 14 years as a producer for Proctor & Gardner Advertising creating content for clients including Sears, Kraft Foods, Jewel – Osco, Boones Farm wines, Schlitz Malt Liquor and others.

During that time, Colbert’s career continued as a studio vocalist, ranging from work with jazz legend Ahmad Jamal’s album Ahmad Jamal ’73 (20th Century) to the Tyrone Davis 1979 single “In the Mood” (Columbia) to Peabo Bryson’s 1982 album Don’t Play with Fire (Capitol). In the late ’70s.


Maintaining his involvement in the music industry, Colbert served as the President of the Chicago chapter of NARAS (National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences) and presided on the national board of directors for 10 years. From 1981- 1989, Colbert was involved with the Ethnic Communications Outlet, producing award winning radio and television material aimed at African – American and Hispanic viewers and listeners.

In 1985 he got involved with rapper Kurtis Blow, creating Rap to the Wise. “The goal was to present a positive motivational message in rap music style to reach the teen and young adult audience,” says Colbert.