Photo courtesy of Nancy Harbach
Songwriting has always been a lifelong passion for Chuck, beginning in the early 1970's when he composed his first original tune, "Good Old Mountain Music," while pursuing a bachelor's degree at the University of Idaho. His trusty Gibson J-40 acoustic guitar that he purchased in 1969 for $240 has been his faithful companion during most of his songwriting endeavors. While residing in Salmon, Idaho after college graduation, he composed an original song entitled, "Salmon River Valley," about the beauty and the people of the place he called home. The local radio station caught wind of the song, and used it during their opening and closing credits for many years. He credits several brilliant singer/songwriters with helping shape his interest and love for songwriting, including John Fogerty, Tony Joe White, Merle Haggard, Bill Anderson, Gordon Lightfoot, and Don Gibson. Drawing on his life experiences involving family, friendships, love, ramblin', and even moonshine, he has woven together hand-penned lyrics with unforgettable melodies to bring the stories to life.
Chuck also uses his experience as a songwriter to conduct Songwriting Workshops for other musicians who are interested in creating original pieces of music. His first full-length CD, "Midnight Run," was completed in 2014 with the support and assistance of the other members of The Purdy River Band, and has been well-received in the bluegrass community. It was also selected as the "2015 Vintage Bluegrass CD of the Year" by the Rural Roots Music Commission. Chuck is a recipient of several awards at the 2017 and 2018 Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America's annual midwest awards conventions held in Jefferson City, Mo. The 2017 awards are "Songwriter of the Year," "Male Vocalist of the Year," and Entertainer in Bluegrass Music." The 2018 awards are "Songwriter of the Year" and "Male Vocalist of the Year."
When he's not writing music, Chuck enjoys spending time with his family, especially his grand-daughter, Gracie. He is an avid WWII history buff, and Clint Eastwood fan.
Chuck with his daughter, Kathy, and his grand-daughter, Gracie
The Chuck Lahr Band, 1981