Professor Charles Knowles is the director of the National Centre for Bowel Research, a trustee of Bowel & Cancer Research and Professor of Surgery at the Royal London Hospital.

Now he has revealed his new sideline – as a country singer and songwriter.

His first single, ‘The Man You Take for The Worse’  is released February 8th with all proceeds from downloads coming to Bowel & Cancer Research.

The song was written by Charlie and recorded in LA and will be followed by the release of his EP and a possible showcase tour in the USA.

It was in the US that he got the country music bug. At the time he was in a four-piece punk band in London.

“We decided that playing the Clash and the Stranglers was great fun but it was almost impossible to find paying gigs in London,” said Charlie.

“If there was a light-bulb moment, it was in Austin, Texas in about 2011. I went to the Continental Club where the house band called Heybale were playing with Red Volkeart on lead guitar. They were fronted by Gary Claxton – and I thought ‘I could do that’.

“Then my lifelong friend and fellow musician Dr Frank Cooke decided to learn the lap steel guitar and that pushed us into doing some old Nashville classics.”

His foray into pop music began at the age of 16. “I bought a really cheap Hohner electric guitar and tortured those around me with really bad playing on a really bad instrument,” said Charlie whose musical heroes include Buddy Holly, Elvis and Gram Parsons.

“My country band in London started in 2016 after Frank and I met a keyboard player we had been with in a band at school. Remarkably, after 30 years we were still making the same mistakes!

The story-telling simplicity of country music (it’s just three chords and the truth) suited my song-writing and many songs followed.

Chief Executive of Bowel & Cancer Research Deborah Gilbert thanked Professor Knowles for his support. “Charlie never ceases to amaze. Not content with an extraordinarily demanding day job, as well as his commitment to Bowel & Cancer Research over nearly a decade, he manages to follow his passion and won’t do half measures.

“We wish him all the very best for the release and thank him for supporting the charity through his music. Let’s hope it goes platinum!”

The Man You Take for Worse is available through iTunes, Amazon and Spotify. The video, shot in East London, is available on YouTube from February 8th.

Download now!

Watch a clip of the music video here: