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Charles Miller (July 2, 1939 - 14 June 1980) was an American musician best known as the saxophonist for multicultural Californian funk band War.


Miller was born in Olathe, Kansas, moved with his family to Los Angeles two years later, and eventually settled in Long Beach, California.

Charles was always interested in music; he played woodwinds, piano, guitar, school bands and school orchestras.

In 1967 Charles interest in music was supplanted until, when at Long Beach City College he sustained a football injury.

Charles recorded with various groups such as: Senor Soul on the Double Shot Records: “Senor Soul Plays Funky Favorites” and “It’s your thing.” He did recording sessions with The Ray Charles Band, and toured with the Debonaires, Brenton Wood, Senor Soul and Afro Blues Quintet + 1.

In the summer of 1969 Charles was in Hollywood at the first “Studio Instrument Rentals” (located on Santa Monica and Vine) when he heard Harold Brown practicing with Howard E. Scott and Papa Dee Allen. He joined and the Night Shift was created.

Charles Miller was performing at the Rag Doll in North Hollywood with the Night Shift, when Eric Burdon and Lee Oskar came into the Club. Lee Oskar went to the bandstand and that’s when that magical sound came together, the blend of his sax and Lee Oskar’s harp.

Charles Miller’s voice can be heard on the classic War song, “Low Rider”. It was recorded at Wally Hieders studios in San Francisco, California in 1975.

In 1980 Charles Miller was murdered in Los Angeles. To this day, no one has been brought to justice for his murder. At the time of his death he was living in Hollywood, California with his family.


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