- The Money (2014)
- Blackberry Light (2012)
- Like a Bird, Like A Plane (2009)
- Charlie Mars (2004)
- End of Romance (1999)
- Born and Razed (1997)
- Broken Arrow (1995)
Adapted from the original biography written by Krystal Jenkins (SHS) in 1998
Charlie Mars was born in Laurel, Mississippi in 1974 to parents David and Sylvia. He has two brothers, Sam and Chad. Charlie has been interested in music for a long time, and one of his class mates, Mike Jones says, “Charlie could be seen at school with his guitar in hand…” (Jones). Charlie was in his first band in high school – Adley Madidafus – for which he was the lead singer and guitarist. When Charlie was a senior in high school, his family moved to Jackson, Mississippi where he attended Jackson Prep High School, graduating in 1992.
After high school, Mars attended Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, Texas. Charlie started playing with singer/songwriter Jack Ingram in 1992 (“The Charlie Mars Band”).
Charlie Mars, Andrew Hammer, and Andy Sample played in their first show together as The Charlie Mars Band in 1993 at the Stone Pony in Dallas, Texas. They released their first album Broken Arrow in 1995. After their first release, the band’s fame began to rise. In 1996 they moved to Atlanta, Georgia. Here they brought Matt Ulmer into the band and in 1997 produced their second album Born and Razed (“About the Charlie Mars Band”). In 1998, the members of the Charlie Mars Band moved to Athens, GA.
The Charlie Mars Band disbanded and Mars released a self-titled album in 2004. He moved to New York in 2008. From 2009 to 2012, Mars and actress Mary Louise Parker dated. Mars currently lives in Oxford, Mississippi.
By Krystal Jenkins (SHS)
Who in the Charlie Mars Band is from Mississippi?
“Um… okay, let’s see… Matt Ulmer and Charlie Mars are from Mississippi.”
Where and when were they born?
“Matt is [from] Jackson. Charlie is originally from Laurel, but moved to Jackson when he was a senior in high school.”
What are their parents names? Brothers and sisters?
“He [Matt] has a brother Nick, and two sisters, Betsy and Mary. Matt’s parents- Curt and Dolores. Charlie has two brothers, Sam and Chad. Charlie’s mom is Sylvia (don’t know dad’s name).”
Where did they attend high school and college?
“Matt and he both attended Jackson Prep. Matt attended Ole Miss for two years and dropped out before his Junior year to play in the band. Charlie had just graduated from SMU.”
When did they become interested in music?
“Matt has been playing guitar since he was probably 14; our family is very musical and Matt and Nick can almost pick up an instrument and be good at it in a few weeks. Matt’s band in high school was called Southgate. He was the lead singer and guitar player. They made a CD and were together for 3/4 years. Charlie’s band in high school was Adley Madidafus; he was lead singer and played guitar. They were interested in music maybe at first because playing guitar was what their friends were doing, and afterward because they fell in love with music.”
How did they form the band?
“They Charlie Mars Band has been around for a few years; while Charlie and the drummer, Andrew, and the bass player, Andy, were at SMU together. Matt is obviously not the original guitar player but left school upon Charlie’s coaxing him into joining.”
How old were they when they started the band and how old are they now?
“Matt is currently 23 and Charlie is 25, maybe?”
What artist (if any) influenced them the most?
“Matt was influenced a lot be the blues, and also grew up on Led Zeppelin and other classic rock. Southgate (his first band) was very influenced by classic rock and wasn’t as “collegey” as CMB.”
Are they working on a new album at this time?
“They have currently recorded 2 CDs (the second one with Matt) and are working on new music, all of which Charlie writes.”
Have they received any kind of recognition such as an award for their music?
“I know record labels have been looking at them, but nothing has come of it at this time. The band currently resides in Athens, GA, having moved from Atlanta at the beginning of this year.”
Email to Krystal Jenkins (SHS) from Michael Chadwick Mars, brother of Charlie Mars
Date: Thu, 28 Jan 1999
I think it’s great that your [sic] interested in the band, so here’s some of the story. Since Charlie was fourteen, he has been interested in the guitar. He took piano lessons as a kid , but when he got his guitar for his fifteenth birthday he was sure it was his favorite instrument. We grew up in Laurel, Mississippi, and that is where charlie formed his first band. They were called Adley. They practiced in the garage a lot, and when charlie was fifteen he had written about six songs which were recorded on tape. Then in 1991, charlie’s senior year in high school, we moved to Jackson, MS. The band then decided to break up due to the distance between them.
By this time Charlie had gotten very serious about his music. He was writing songs in his spare time. I remember waking up at 3:00 a.m. sometimes and hear him in the other room playing away. He graduated from jackson prep and decided on going to Southern Methodist University. Sometimes Charlie and Jack Ingram would get together and play.
Charlie started to form the band his second year of college. Within a year thy had a pretty solid group consisting of Charlie, Andy, Andrew, and that was it. The saxophone player was never really in the band. Then they decided on ten of their songs they wanted to put on record, and that became the first c.d. Broken Arrow. They played at places like the Stone Pony and the Green Elephant.
When Charlie graduated, he majored in marketing and english. With a major in English, charlie learned how to form songs better, and his writing vocabulary increased. All in all, he became a better artist for it. The band decided they would stay together. Although andrew was not finished in college, he made the tough decision of leaving school, and moving with the band to atlanta. They decided on atlanta because of its many resources, and its good east coast location. During charlie’s summer out of college, the band recruited matt ulmer. Originally from Jackson, Matt was the first choice of the band for his outstanding playing ability. Matt also had to decide to not finish college and travel with the band. They toured a lot and released their second album Born and Razed. The album was a symbol of charlie’s own personal feelings about life. The album’s symbol is the phoenix, which is a mythological bird that was burned and then raised from its ashes. Charlie’s explanation is that a lot of the feelings that he was having during the writing of all the songs was of the troubles he was having in life. All the pressures of being an artist and having to produce good work. The record is charlie’s resurrection from all his pain and troubles, and it symbolizes the hard work in a triumphant success.
Now the band is living in Athens, Ga.. They plan on coming out with a new album this year. There are already enough new songs. The guys are getting bigger everyday, and it is my prediction that this is their big year. Hope this is enough info, and if you ever want to come see charlie at ricks let edward kemp know, and I’ll get you on the guest list. GOOD LUCK!
- 1991- Charlie moved to Jackson from Laurel, Mississippi
- 1992- Charlie graduated form Jackson Prep
– Charlie started off playing for singer/songwriter Jack Ingram
- 1993- Charlie Mars Band played their first show
- 1995- Released first album Broken Arrow
- 1996- Band moved to Atlanta, Georgia
– Brought Matt Ulmer into the band
- 1997- Released second album Born and Razed
- 1998- Began working on album to be released in 1999
- 1998 – Band moved to Athens GA
- circa 2000 – The Charlie Mars Band disbanded
- 2004 – Charlie Mars was released
- About Charlie Mars (MTVartists)
- Charlie Mars website
- Charlie Mars facebook page
- Charlie Mars YouTube
- AllMusic’s Biography on Charlie Mars (accessed 2017)
- “About the Charlie Mars Band”. Online. 27 October 1998. Available http://www.charliemarsband.com/about.html.
- “The Charlie Mars Band”. Online. 28 October 1998. Available http://www.tourdates.com/artist/104412.html.
- Jones, Mike. “CMB Questions”. Online. 11 November 1998. Available [email protected]
- Mars, Michael Chadwick. “Re: Project about your brother.” Email to Krystal Jenkins. 28 January, 1999.
- Ulmer, Mary. “Project about your brother”. Online. 23 November 1998. Available [email protected]
- Ulmer, Mary. E-mail interview by Krystal Jenkins. 19 November 1998.