Popular musician and bandleader of the Chicago jazz scene of the 1920s.
He began in vaudeville in 1909 where he accompanied singer Gene Greene. He was hired to record piano rolls in 1916 by Chicago's Imperial Piano Roll Company.
His Charley Straight Orchestra was enormously popular in Chicago throughout the 1920s, especially at the Rendezvous Café.
He grew up in Chicago. His untimely death in 1940 came while he was working his shift as sanitary inspector for Chicago and was hit by a car as he climbed out of a manhole.
He was among the pianists of his time who were working to popularize ragtime as personified by George Gershwin.