Dexter (Deck) Cline
We call Dick Mr. Congeniality.
You can see his positive presence at every CBS Blues Sunday, and our Taste of Charlotte Beer/Wine Tent would not happen without his devoted energy every year.
We cherish and salute our CBS Bluesman, who has more "get up and do it" than those 1/2 his age.
Betsy has the distinguished record of being the one member of CBS who has attended more IBC than any other member, and also the longest running member at the IBC every year, with 18 years under her belt.
Always wearing a smile, a great attitude and the life of the party, Betsy is a valuable At Large member we absolutely love.
I dare you to say "no" when Betsy brings the raffle tickets around.
She is found at many outside events volunteering to work our merch & membership table.
Ken may be one of the first people you meet at an event. Always smiling and willing to do what ever is needed. Ken handles the door, loading/out, printing. He is also our VFW laision.
Ken has stepped away from the VP but not from the team.
A recent transplant from Atlanta, David is a blues lover, musician and business professional. You might find him on the jam stage soon.
He is bringing an outsider's point of view and is helping to find some new corporate sponsorships.
As 2021 came to an end, Blues lover Gregg Saur contacted us and said he had some time to devote to CBS.
We gladly said "YES!" and Gregg joined us in late 2021 to help with the silent auction, and volunteered to become our volunteer coordinator for events.
We have a lot planned, and appreciate having someone take on that responsibility, plus he is learning new skills as he helps to create event postings on social media.
Past board member and current emcee. Simo knows the Charlotte music scene. Look for Simo on stage as he organizes our jams and introduces our events.
Floyd came to us by way of recommendation from our friend Atiba, president of Piedmont Blues Preservation Society.
Floyd was involved with a blues workshop in 2021 in Raleigh/Durham area and Atiba knew we were looking for some good people. Floyd more than fits that bill, as he has brought his skills with teaching to our board and we have tasked him with social media, and Blues in The Schools. Plus he will be actively pursuing bringing a Youth Blues camp to Charlotte within the next year.
Former board member Marty Gunther has moved from Charlotte, but he remains dedicated to the CBS family. A musical nomad who grew up in Rhode Island and attended App State, his baptism to the blues came while listening to Muddy Waters at the 1960 Newport Folk Festival. A longtime member of the Chicago Blues community, he was taught harmonica by Sugar Blue before founding the Nucklebusters, a fixture in South Florida since the late '80s. An in-demand journalist with broad knowledge across the music spectrum, his "Red Hot 'n Blues" column also appears monthly in Chicago Blues Guide and he serves as senior writer at Blues Blast magazine and a contributor to the newsletter of Crossroads Blues Society (Il.), too.
Marty contributes to our board with his vast experience as a musician and knowledge of the genre. He contributes to our monthly newsletter with great articles and blues album reviews.
We are lucky to have several really strong past presidents who are still actively involved in CBS.
Rick Ballew is one of those.
After having served for many years in various capacities, then as Vice President, and then finally President, Rick has continued to be at nearly every single meeting since leaving the office in 2017.
Host of the "Smokin' Bluz" radio show for decades on WRFX-FM in Charlotte, he now can be heard on-line on WYTX FM Sunday nights from 8-10pm
We are grateful to have his guidance and wisdom as we continue forward.
He is also on the committee to help implement our "Blues in the Schools" program.
Jeri Thompson is a past President of CBS. An effective leader, Jeri helped to coordinate many of the fundraising activities for the organization, as well as overseeing the fundraiser for blues artist Robin Rogers.
Jeri has the ability to pull together resources and manpower to make an event successful.
Her busy schedule the past year has not enabled her to be as involved as she would like to be, however Jeri is always accessible and a phone call away, and we are grateful for her past and future contributions.
Beth was instrumental in the formation of Charlotte Blues Society in 1993.
A talented blues vocalist, it was a privilege to hear her at any of the many jam sessions at the end of a Blues night.
Rumor has it the idea for a Blues Society came about after a weekend in the mountains where a lot of moonshine and jamming occurred. Beth, Bill Buck and Bill Arnold then met with Double Door Inn owner Nick Karres, and the rest is history.
We will always be grateful for the leadership she has shown, and are never afraid to call and ask her for advice.
Musician and music lover, Ray joined our board in 2017. He was our Membership AND Merchandise Chairman, no small task, and one he embraced with gusto. His photos from music events are found throughout this site as he was never without a camera and he always found a way to capture the moment. HAs a guitarist himself, his enthusiasm and knowledge of the instrument made him one of the most interesting people to sit down and have a conversation with.
Ray was a generous spirit, with a great sense of humor, an intelligent wit, and a team player. He wrote some great music reviews, they are sprinkled throughout our newsletters over the past two years. If you were looking for a good show to attend, all you had to do was ask Ray what he had tickets for. You were guaranteed to hear outstanding guitarists in every genre.
. We lost Ray to pancreatic cancer in April 2019 and we continue to miss his presence.
Ray's generosity extended to donating our 2019 raffle guitar. The Candy Apple Red Fender Squier Strat is a beauty, and it was from his personal collection. Feel free to purchase a raffle ticket from our online store: you could win it for yourself. It is collecting autographs from blues artists all year long, and some of the names now include Robert Cray, Samantha Fish, Ana Popovic, CoCo Montoya and Tinsley Ellis, to name a few.
One of the longest running members on the Board, Nick Polyzos has been with us since our early days.
When he wasn't enjoying music, he was traveling, with many adventures with family, or you would find him on the lake with one of his best friends fishing, rafting or boating.
He was dedicated to Charlotte Blues Society and as a Board Member at Large, we called him "The Keeper of the Big Bang" Nick made sure our Drum & Cymbals are available for every Blues Sunday event, helped to work the door on our Blues Sundays, and was one of the first to volunteer for outside events, whether it was Taste of Charlotte, or our merch/membership table at Blues shows around town. He was also our official time-keeper for our Blues Challenge every year.
His smiling face was always visible and Nick lived with gusto and was doing what he loved up until the last.
We will miss him.
Robin Rogers was not just a gifted blues singer, songwriter and harp player, she was passionate about spreading the word about Charlotte Blues Society and the Blues Foundation.
Her love of the music and outgoing personality on and off stage was legendary. Her passion was kinetic and it carried over into her involvement with Women in The Blues and many charities.
She won the first Best Self-Produced CD during the IBC in 2002, was signed to Blind Pig Records, where her last album "Back in the Fire" debuted on the Billboard Blues album Charts in the Top 3.
Robin lost her battle with cancer in 2010, only days after she was told she was nominated for Best Female Contemporary Blues Artist award. Her husband and band partner Tony Rogers fulfilled his promise to go to Memphis the following May for the Awards ceremony.
Tony was accompanied by a huge contingency from CBS for moral support. The CBS loyalty to Robin never waivered. At the ceremony, the room erupted in cheers when the envelope was opened and her name was read. Robin was not just a favorite with fans, she was loved by her peers and had gained their respect over the years.
A recipient of multiple Blues Blast Music Awards, Robin was an ambassador of the blues to the end.
Her legacy continues to inspire performers young and old.
Her absence on the stage and within the blues community is distinctly felt.
Robin was one of a kind, a precious light in the music world who continues to glow in all who knew or heard her.
An 8"x 8" brick in front of the Blues Hall of Fame in Memphis TN has her name on it, donated by members of Charlotte Blues Society.
We love you Robin Rogers, Unconditionally.
A more enthusiastic audience member and CBS Member could not have been found anywhere.
Marie Rink was at every event, and laughter followed her onto the dance floor, where she spread smiles throughout the room.
Marie's spirit was infectious. She loved to see everyone enjoying themselves, and when one music event was over, it was not uncommon for her to grab a few people and encourage them to join her at another performance just down the road.
Marie was the epitome of the phrase "young at heart" , exuding boundless energy that was fully charged by music.
We were blessed by her presence in our group. We strongly believe those who dance, laugh and make the most of each moment, may have been lucky enough to stand or dance with Marie at least once and a bit of her vibrant personality rubbed off.
We lost Marie in 2016, but her spirit lives on.