The seed of what was to become Handshake Management germinated in 1968 when two neighbors played at Charles Stewart's 2nd birthday party. It was also the first time he heard folk music. Stewart discovered the genius of Pete Seeger in 1973 while watching Sesame Street. His parents thought it might be one of those stages. To their dismay that was not the case. He was the only kid in 3rd grade to know the lyrics to City of New Orleans. In the 80s, a local rock station dedicated 2 hours each Sunday to Acoustic music. Stewart would call the DJ, Steve Coffman, and absorb himself in all of the music and music history information he could.
While in college he had the opportunity to program and produce his own folk show on the campus radio station, meeting and befriending some of the best singer/songwriters around. It was at this time that one of Charlie's listeners gave him the opportunity to book the stage at a small coffeehouse. By now Stewart was refered to only as Charlie. After gaining first hand experience at booking, Charlie again crossed paths with the by now the infamous Coffman who he used to bug. Coffman offered him a job and a paycheck at a commercial radio station in San Antonio, Texas and followed with a show placed in syndication.
After seeing the biz from several different perspectives, including induction to the Kerrville folk festival tribe, Charlie founded Handshake Management, a consulting and management company. Handshake has helped independent acoustic and Folk artists remain that way, independent, far from the noose of major labels. Terri Hendrix, Dave Carter and Tracy Grammar have sought his help in various endeavors. Charlie is also a regional showcase coordinator for the Southwest Regional Folk Alliance and is now developing another project by pitching songs to TV and movie productions. The reputation of Handshake Management is steadily growing due mostly to fact that it looks at the talent and timber of people rather than the almighty buck. Charlie does not work in the music biz, he eats, breaths and sleeps it. As long as the icebox is full and the bills are paid, he is content, everything else is just gravy. As one of his mentors says "money may be the bottom line but not the only line" which serves as one of the mantras Handshake Management was founded on.