Charles William Ashworth (born August 10, 1956) better known by the stage name Charlie Peacock is an American singer, songwriter, pianist, record producer, session musician and author. His albums include the instrumental jazz recordings Love Press Ex-Curio and Arc of the Circle and his latest vocal project No Man's Land (2012). He has been part of the creative team for several successful songs and albums including Amy Grant's "Every Heartbeat" (1991), Switchfoot's "Dare You to Move" (2003) and both of the The Civil Wars' studio albums — the Gold certified Barton Hollow (2011) and the self-titled follow-up (2013) which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album sales chart.
After leaving California State University, Sacramento in 1976, Peacock began playing jazz piano in the band, The Runners. He met author Frank Kofsky at California State University in Sacramento and through him met various jazz artists such as Andrew Hill. In 1978, songwriter Stephen Holsapple recorded Peacock's vocal compositions and they began writing songs together. He began performing at Maurice's American Bar and his song "So Attractive" was placed with a music publisher. Vocalist and songwriter Sal Valentino asked Peacock to join his band and gave Peacock's music to his industry friends. In 1980 A&M Records signed Peacock for a demo recording with producer David Kahne.
Peacock formed The Charlie Peacock Group with Erik Kleven (bass), Jim Caselli (drums), Darius Babazadeh (tenor saxophone) and guitarist, Mark Herzig. He also recorded with David Kahne at the Automatt and at Moon Studios with Stephen Holsapple during this period and those recordings became the album Last Vestiges of Honor, released in 1998. Peacock contracted with a production imprint company called Exit Records in early 1983 and released his own debut solo album, Lie Down In The Grass, in 1984. Later that year he began touring as an opening act for The Fixx, Let's Active, General Public, Missing Persons, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Peacock moved to Island Records and recorded a self-titled album that was released in 1986. During this period Peacock also began playing jazz in an electric improvisational band called Emperor Norton. The band consisted of Peacock, Brent Bourgeois, Larry Tagg, Bongo Bob Smith, Henry Robinett, and Aaron Smith. After being released from Island records in 1988 Peacock joined Jimmy Abegg and Vince Ebo to form an acoustic trio that toured the USA and Europe.
In 1987, Peacock's song ("Down In The Lowlands") was recorded by contemporary Christian artist Russ Taff with Peacock singing background vocals. That same year Peacock produced the Christian band, The Choir. He then co-wrote songs with Margaret Becker in the fall of 1988 and the subsequent album, Immigrant's Daughter was nominated for a Grammy award. Peacock moved to Nashville in the Summer of 1989 and received a recording contract with Sparrow Records. His recording, The Secret of Time was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1990 (Best Rock Gospel) as Peacock continued to perform production and session musician work with Al Green, Twila Paris, and Amy Grant. He co-wrote Grant's No. 2 single "Every Heartbeat".
From 1990 to 1999 Peacock produced over fifty albums in the Christian and gospel music genre and founded the record company, re:think (EMI/Sparrow) and signed the artists Sarah Masen and Switchfoot. Peacock's book, At the Crossroads, a commentary on the genre of contemporary Christian music, was published by Broadman & Holman in 1999.
On March 9, 2004 Peacock released Full Circle: A Celebration of Songs and Friends commemorating his 20-year anniversary as a solo recording artist. In 2005 Peacock released his first commercial jazz/improvisational music CD, Love Press Ex-Curio, short for Loves Pressure Exhibits Curiosity. According to jazz critics, "while Peacock has consistently pushed the boundaries of pop and gospel music by adding elements of alternative rock, dance music and jazz, he has never before delved into jazz as unabashedly and wholeheartedly as he does on Love Press Ex-Curio".
In 2008, Peacock recorded the Arc of the Circle (Runway) with saxophonist Jeff Coffin and the album peaked at No. 2 on the CMJ Jazz Charts. The album's original tracks, were recorded at Peacock's Nashville home. The album also featured guitarist Marc Ribot, drummer Derrek Phillips, electronica player Tony Miracle, percussionist Ken Lewis, keyboardist/percussionist Chad Howat, and tuba player Joe Murphy. A review in Abstract Logix said the album contained "high-risk improvisational music" with "eclectic influences" that kept the sound "bluesy and essentially American." A Jazz Times review described it as “an improvisational blend of modern classical and ECM-like influences”.
In 2009, Peacock was the executive producer of music for the documentary Any Day Now. In 2010 he and businessman David Kiersznowski co-founded an artist development and music publishing company, Twenty Ten Music. Peacock wrote, directed and produced the film The Legend Hank Cochran and music producer/film producer/director for Brooke Waggoner's concert DVD And the World Opened Up. He executive produced and performed on Jon Foreman's EPs Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer.
Peacock, who had been in the audience during The Civil Wars' first ever concert, began producing the duo's music during this period. He helmed The Civil Wars' 2011 debut album Barton Hollow, which reached No. 10 on the Billboard 200 chart and No. 1 on the Billboard Digital Albums chart, sold over 800,000 copies, and won the 2012 Grammy Awards for Best Folk Album and Best Country Duo/Group Performance.
In October 2012, Peacock released No Man's Land, his first vocal project since 1999. He reunited with The Civil Wars to produce their self-titled 2013 album. Upon its debut, it became the best-selling album in America, topping the Billboard 200 chart as well as Billboard's Digital Albums and Canadian Albums charts, among others. On January 8, 2014, he began production on American Idol Season 8 winner Kris Allen's third album at his studio in Nashville. Allen's third studio album "Horizons" will be released August 12, 2014. In late 2015, Peacock was appointed the Director of Contemporary Music and Industry Outreach at Lipscomb University's College of Arts and Entertainment in Nashville, under his given surname, Ashworth.