WITH his long grey hair and cowboy hat you would think that country music star Charlie Landsborough would get recognised all the time.
“I have a degree of anonymity if you can have a degree of anonymity when you look like me,” laughs the 72-year-old.
“I wouldn't want to be a superstar – all I ever wanted was a life in music and I've got that at a level which is great.”
Despite his modesty, Charlie is one of the UK’s top country acts with sales of his albums exceeding 700,000. He’s also had two number ones singles in the Irish pop charts, and several of his albums have topped the British country charts.
But all this success came late for the Birkenhead balladeer and it was not until 1994 that the former teacher was able to begin a career as a professional musician.
Charlie’s fame soon spread and the UK, America and even as far afield as Australia took him to their heart.
“When I first played the big theatre in Southport a bloke asked me how long it had taken me to get here, and I said 35 years!
“I remember playing in the bar next to the theatre and a couple of pubs in the town so it was a long haul.
“Back then I’d get booked in Southport and think that's a hell of a way to go for a gig. Now I'm often off to Australia!”
Charlie is about to release his 26th album, Silhouette, next week with the accompanying tour visiting Southport Theatre on Saturday, March 2.
The new album features Charlie’s usual mix of heartfelt ballads and up-tempo country tunes with a few surprises thrown in.
“It’s got one which is a bit weird for me,” says Charlie.
“It's sort of Ravi Shankar meets Riverdance and has this lovely Indian flute flowing over the track.
“Playing in the pubs for 20 years I played a whole variety of stuff.
“I did blues, folk and Irish songs and only started writing my own tunes out of frustration but my real love was singing.
“I had a stockpile of stuff I used to love and would delight in finding songs that no one knew and bringing them to people's attention.”
As for influences, Charlie believes living on Merseyside was the biggest help.
“I love Merseyside and don't think I could ever move away. All my brothers were Merchant Navy men and they came back with country songs from the US.
“The Irish influence is massive as well and people from the West Indies brought their influences too and Liverpool became a melting pot.”
Charlie’s relationship with his fans is important and next month’s gig will be dedicated to Southport woman Rita Foster who passed away last year. “Someone once said that Charlie Landsborough hasn't got fans, he's got friends and that's a nice way of putting it,” adds the humble singer.
“Sometimes I expect someone to say 'Charlie we were only joking' and then bring me back to reality with a baseball bat.”