Ambassador of Good Will
November 7, 1949 – January 2, 2016
Charlie Brooks’s final curtain call came on Saturday, January 2, 2016, after a long, hard battle with liver cancer.
Survivors include children Shawn Okelley Taylor (Terry), DJ Brooks (Heidi), Angelo Brooks (Melissa), Brittany Townsend (Xavier Sr.); grandchildren Jerry Okelley, Jordan Okelley, Amariona Okelley, Desi Cruz Brooks, Ca’maya Townsend, Xavier Jr. Townsend, Kali Townsend, Isaiah Jensen and Xavier Emanuel Hansen; great grandchildren Javae Taylor, Amirria Taylor, Michelle Taylor and LaMaya Taylor; siblings Barbara Jean Brooks, Zellastein Brooks, Sheila Brooks-Nash, Terry Horton, Billy Brooks (Victoria), Victoria Brooks and Albert Brooks (Brenda). Charlie was preceded in death by parents Emanuel and Emma Lou Brooks.
After graduating from Riverside High School Charlie attended MATC for Computer Science. However, Charlie’s true passion was music. His musical career was launched at Riverside High School alongside lifelong friends: Fred Bliffert, Warren Wiegratz, Randy Byrd, Jack Feldstein, Jim Gaskell, Sam Friedman, Pete Leshin, Jeff Irwin, John Baldus, Phil Stolz, Mike Betz and Craig Kolberg. Their musical group became the regionally successful band Freddie and the Freeloaders.
The next stop was Motown where Charlie was groomed into a top-billing entertainer. Charlie and his brother, Billy, combined their talents and took Las Vegas by storm as the singing duo The Brooks Brothers.
Upon returning to Madison, Charlie became one of the best R&B and Blues singers in the Midwest, teaming with legendary James Brown drummer, Clyde Stubblefield. Together they became one of the most renowned residencies in the city of Madison. Some accomplishments of which Charlie was most proud include opening and playing for artists such as Sly and the Family Stone, Percy Sledge, Chicago, Ray Charles, The Esquires, Harvey Scales, The Supremes and The Temptations.
The family extends a special thanks to Charity Hanson for her loving devotion to Charlie and for being at his side when the final curtain closed.
The family would also like to thank Terry Horton and the team at Agrace for their exceptional care and compassion during their father’s final days. Please join the family for a celebration of Charlie’s life on Saturday, January 16, 2016, from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon at Abundant Faith Church of Integrity 7830 W. Good Hope Rd., Milwaukee, WI 53223.
The Knuckledown Saloon will be hosting a celebration jam with some of Madison’s top musicians Friday, January 15th starting at 8 pm. Please drop in and share the love at 2513 Seiferth Rd, Madison, WI 53716.
Family condolences can be directed to Charlie’s son, DJ Brooks, at 4314 W. 4th Street Appleton, WI 54914. Thank you.