Charles Richard Chisholm, 91. of Bridgewater lost his battle with cancer on
Sunday, July 23, 2023 at the VA Boston Healthcare System in Brockton.
Charles was born on October 8, 1931 to parents John and Helen in Bridgewater, MA.
He had a brother, John, and two sisters, Arlene and Carol Anne.
While Charlie grew up listening to Gene Autry records on an old Victrola player,
he and John began performing together when they were 12 or 13, singing at church
and school functions with their father. As a trio, they finished second in a
Ted Mack Amateur Hour contest; Charlie learned to play the guitar from his dad.
Both Charlie and John answered the call to serve their country in
the U.S. Air Force: Charlie in Greenland, John in Korea. Following their
discharge, they both bought Martin D-18 guitars at the Central Music Store in
Brockton and formed the Chisholm Brothers band which would subsequently record
albums for the Rustic, Musicor and Banff labels.
Among Charlie’s possessions was a rare Martin DVM Veteran’s Model commemorative
guitar. One of only 600 manufactured by the C. F. Martin company of Nazareth, PA,
it was his favorite. Meanwhile, in a 2020 interview, he cited the work he and John
did for charitable causes as his proudest memory.
In 1972, they were part of a group of entertainers who staged a fundraising
concert for the daughter of a New England performer. They provided the entertainment
for the “Ace of Clubs” – an educational, cultural, social and charitable organization
that was founded by Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy and Miriam Finnegan in 1911.
And, in May 1984, they were among the local performers in “Country Music for
a Good Cause,” benefitting the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
Charlie was also a Master Mason. He was initiated in 1966, joined the Fellowship
Lodge in 1989 and was the recipient of the Veterans Medal in 2016.
Charlie always ensured veterans were honored as well as remembered.
On Veterans’ Day in November 2008, after a parade wagon pulled by a truck
quickly suffered a flat tire, the vets showed their can-do spirit by walking
the entire route. 10 years later, the town of Bridgewater, MA created a
“Hometown Heroes” project, placing 24” x 48” banners on utility poles along
Bedford Street that featured the faces of veterans from World War II to the present
day. Charlie served as the event’s Master of Ceremonies - and so began a tradition
which runs from every Memorial Day through the Fourth of July.
Down the years, the Chisholm Brothers shared the marquee with many country music
acts passing through the New England area: Elton Britt, Dick Curless, Ernest Tubb,
Dave Dudley, Faron Young, Ferlin Husky, Kitty Wells and, later on, his daughter
Melodye who joined them onstage at local venues. In 1982, they were
inducted into the Massachusetts Country Music Awards Association Hall of Fame.
Charles Chisholm is survived by Melodye and her husband Richard Buskin; and longtime
friends and caregiver Robert "Bobby" Van Deusen and his wife Kerry.
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