Charles Earland (1941-1999) came into his own at the tail end of the great 1960s wave of soul-jazz organists, gaining a large following and much airplay with a series of albums for the the Prestige label. Earland was born in Philadelphia and learned to play the saxophone in high school. He played tenor with Jimmy McGriff at the age of seventeen, and in 1960 started his first group. The group that he led from 1970, including Grover Washington, Jr., was successful, and he eventually started playing soprano saxophone and synthesizer. His hard, simmering grooves earned him the nickname, 'The Mighty Burner'.