Charles Wayne Day

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Chuck Day
Birth nameCharles Wayne Day
Also known asBing Day
Born(1942-08-05)August 5, 1942
OriginChicago, Illinois, U.S.
DiedMarch 10, 2008(2008-03-10) (aged 65)
Healdsburg, California, U.S.
GenresSoul-blues, rhythm and blues
Instrument(s)Guitar, vocals, bass guitar, piano
Years active1957–2007

Charles Wayne Day (August 5, 1942 – March 10, 2008), also known as Bing Day, was an American guitarist and baritone bluesman from the South Side of Chicago.


His musical talents began to develop at age 3, and at age 15, he recorded the single "Pony Tail Partner" under the name "Bing Day" at Federal Records (1957). Day recorded several singles over the next ten years as 'Bing Day' and, also, 'Ford Hopkins'.

He moved to Los Angeles, California, in 1965 and began a career as one of the most listened to "unknown" artists in rock and roll. He became bassist with Johnny Rivers' Band.[1] Day invented the signature lead guitar riff afterward used by Rivers in "Secret Agent Man".[2][3][4][5]

Day worked with the Mamas and the Papas in 1967, again as bassist, also playing as second guitarist on "Monday, Monday" and "California Dreamin'".[4]

During the 1970s and 1980s, Day played on numerous recordings including Shel Silverstein's Freaker's Ball. He also wrote for the soundtrack of Fritz the Cat and performed with musicians Luther Tucker and Merl Saunders.

Day formed his own band in 1986.

Day resided in Fairfax, California from 1969, and continued to play locally in the San Rafael area of California until he was taken ill in January, 2007. After three months of care at Marin General Hospital, he was admitted to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital before being relocated to District Hospital in Healdsburg, where he remained until his death on March 10, 2008.

A memorial and parade were held in Fairfax for Day on March 22, 2008.[4]

After his death, it was revealed that he was the biological father of Owen Vanessa Elliot, the daughter of singer Cass Elliot of the Mamas and The Papas.[6]



Solo releases[edit]

  • "Pony Tail Partner" / "Since You Left Me" - Federal Records (1957) as Bing Day[8][9]
  • "Rain Silver Dollar" / "Dancing Puppets" - Fraternity Records (1958) as Bing Day With Danny Bell And The Bell Hops [9]
  • "Poor Stagger Lee" - Mercury Records (1958)
  • "Mama's Place" / "I Can't Help It" - Mercury Records (1959) as Bing Day[9][10][11]
  • "Mary's Place" / "How Do I Do It" - Mercury Records (1959) as Bing Day [9]
  • "Ya Fine, Fine, Fine" - Apex Records (1959) as Ford Hopkins
  • "How Do I Do It" - Mercury Records (1960)
  • "She Was Not My Kind" - Apex Records (1961)
  • "Memphis Tennessee" - Cameo/Parkway Records (1966)
  • "We Gotta Get Outta this Place" - Fraternity Records (1967)

With Johnny Rivers (1965)[edit]

  • "Here We GoGo Again"
  • "Rivers Rocks the Folk"

With The Mamas & the Papas (1965-1966)[edit]

With The Young Gyants (1968)[edit]

  • "Tom Dooley" / "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place" - Parkway
  • "Memphis" / "It Hurts So Bad" - Cameo-Parkway (1964)

With Shel Silverstein (1971)[edit]

The Chuck Day Band (1997)[edit]

  • Desperate Measures

With Steven Wolf (2006)[edit]

  • 20th Century Wolf, Volume I
    • Day co-wrote "You Don't Love Me Anymore" with Steven Wolf and Annie McIntyre; played lead guitar on the 2006 recording of the song.


Fritz the Cat[edit]

  • "House Rock"
  • "Winston"

Switchblade Sisters[edit]

  • "Full Track"


  • "Black Girl"

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest[edit]

Television and video[edit]

  • Sleazy Arms Hotel with Jim Gabbert (1998)
  • Pacifica Public Access (1998)
  • Zone Music Local Showcase (1998)
  • Boney Maroni Promotional - Lifesigns Photo (2000)
  • various Lifesigns Photo video (2000 to present)
  • numerous commercial voice-overs including "Fall into the Gap" and "Member FDIC"

Other projects[edit]

  • Chuck Day and the Burning Sensations
  • Fairfax Tavernacle Choir
  • The Dori Green/Dave Bergman Show
  • The 19 Broadway Swing Band
  • The Chuck and Sam Duet


  1. ^ Jones, Mickey (21 September 2007). That Would Be Me: Rock & Roll Survivor to Hollywood Actor. AuthorHouse. p. 107. ISBN 978-1-4343-0834-4. While working in Chicago, we found a great blues guitar player, Chuck Day. Chuck could play and sing just like Ray Charles. Chuck sounded more like Ray than Ray did. We talked Chuck into playing bass for us, something he was not used to, but he was more than willing to give it a try. He gave it a try, all right. Well, now we had the bluesiest bass player in town.
  2. ^ Pelkey II, Stanley C.; Bushard, Anthony (11 December 2014). Anxiety Muted: American Film Music in a Suburban Age. Oxford University Press. p. 149. ISBN 978-0-19-993615-1. The electric guitar is prominent in this genre, evoking the danger and "electricity" of the spy lifestyle, as in the "Peter Gunn Theme" and especially the "James Bond Theme." Composed by Monty Norman and arranged by Barry, the Bond theme features reverb and staccato picking by Vic Flick, whose riff appears in every Bond film and came to define the lifestyle ethos of the spy. The riff most likely had an influence on the one played by Chuck Day in Johnny Rivers's "Secret Agent Man," the theme for "Secret Agent's" broadcast in the mid-1960s.
  3. ^ Meyer, Guy (20 December 2003). "Chuck Day Talk re: Johnny Rivers Band Mamas and Papas". YouTube (Interview). 19 Broadway Niteclub, Fairfax, California. Archived from the original on 2021-12-19. Retrieved 3 February 2015. Section starts at 02:22. 'So I just came up with that lick. That's all. That's the whole story. I invented the guitar intro; that's all.'{{cite interview}}: CS1 maint: location (link)
  4. ^ a b c Liberatore, Paul (11 March 2008). "Fairfax rocker Chuck Day, the 'soul of the music scene,' dies at 65". Marin Independent-Journal. Archived from the original on 24 October 2008. Retrieved 4 February 2015. Mr. Day is credited with creating the distinctive guitar riff on Rivers' 1966 hit "Secret Agent Man," earning him the distinction of being one of the most listened-to unknown musicians in rock.
  5. ^ Guy Meyer (10 July 2005). "Chuck Day -- Georgia On My Mind" (Video). YouTube. San Anselmo, California. Archived from the original on 2021-12-19. Retrieved 6 March 2015. People said I co-wrote this song; I did not. If anyone ever tells you that, it's a lie. I just wrote the guitar lick, for which I got union scale.
  6. ^ "Chuck Day | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved January 9, 2020.
  7. ^ Bush, Tim. "Chuck Day and the Burning Sensations Discography". TumbleWeed Pacific. Archived from the original on July 19, 2014. Retrieved 2014-07-11.
  8. ^ Day, Bing (1957). "Bing Day: Pony Tail Partner". YouTube. Federal Records. Archived from the original on 2020-11-11. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  9. ^ a b c d Gordon, Terry E. (18 December 2003). "Rockin' Country Style: Day, Bing". Archived from the original on January 27, 2004. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  10. ^ Day, Bing. "Bing Day: I Can't Help It". YouTube. Mercury Records. Archived from the original on 2021-12-19. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  11. ^ Day, Bing. "Bing Day: Mama's Place". YouTube. Mercury Records. Archived from the original on 2016-03-11. Retrieved 4 February 2015.

External links[edit]