Charlie Applewhite, singer, was born in Fort Worth on November 25, 1932. He performed in public at a Fort Worth movie theater when he was ten years old. After graduating from Paschal High School, he moved to New York in search of work as a professional singer. Applewhite reportedly marched into the office of Milton Berle and demanded an audition. The tactic worked. Berle signed Applewhite to a contract, and he soon appeared regularly on The Milton Berle Show.
Known as “the little man with the big voice,” Applewhite was lauded for his rich baritone and scored a number of hits during the 1950s, including “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “I Love Paris,” and “Ebb Tide” on the Decca label. His television appearances included The Ed Sullivan Show, General Electric Theater, and Toast of the Town. He also performed for President Dwight D. Eisenhower. From 1956 to 1958 he served in the United States Army and also hosted a radio program out of New York during that time.
By the early 1960s Applewhite owned the Gaslite Club in Dallas. He survived a plane crash at Midland, Texas, that killed his second wife. In 1965 he moved from New York to Lafayette, Louisiana. He retired from the entertainment business in 1967 and returned to Fort Worth. He went on to start his own office supply business. Applewhite died in a nursing home in Plano on April 27, 2001. He was survived by two daughters and two sons.
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Dallas Morning News, May 2, 2001. Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com), accessed October 1, 2009.
Dallas/Fort Worth Region
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Laurie E. Jasinski,
“Applewhite, Charles Edwin,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 21, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
July 25, 2014
Most Recent Revision Date:
October 15, 2020
This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: