Professor's 'Naked Seminars' help relieve stress

August 14, 1997


Staff Writer, Martinsburg

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Charles Frederick wants everyone to know the Naked Truth. He might even tell you about it with a song.

Frederick, 58, of Hedgesville, has been a songwriter and singer, a professor, football coach and drug counselor among other things. The Naked Truth seminar series, he explained, "is an effort in assisting people with the increasing stresses in their lives."

"Whatever is happening - in nature or in government - is having an impact in their lives, whether they're aware of it or not," Frederick explained Tuesday at his rustic home. Those stresses include substance abuse, racial tensions, government policies, even mankind's effect on the environment.


Frederick said people can't protect themselves from the societal and physical ailments of these stresses unless they have the knowledge to keep from being overwhelmed by them. He and others are available for free lectures and seminars on substance abuse, planning community action coalitions, consulting and other services to communities and civic groups.

He also offers the services of his band, Dr. Charlie Frederick and The Pills. The singer and his sidemen, some of them counselors and therapists at East Ridge Health Systems Inc. in Martinsburg, perform this Saturday at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Arden for the Peach Festival.

Frederick, who returned to West Virginia five years ago, mixes a message with his country music. One he penned in 1975, "There's a Pill for Everything," charted in the Midwest and was used in a Canadian National Film Board film on prescription drug abuse, "An Easy Pill to Swallow.

"I have over 25 years invested in the substance abuse field," said Frederick, an adjunct professor on substance use and abuse at Shepherd College. He earned his doctorate in science education at the University of Iowa.

"I came out of a family that was riddled with substance abuse, particularly alcohol," said Frederick. The Berkeley Springs native said his father was an alcoholic and his sister was killed in an alcohol-related car accident.

He confessed to his own problem years ago with "America's number one drug, alcohol."

The first of his family to graduate high school, Frederick played football at Shepherd while earning his bachelor's degree. He was later an assistant football coach at North Hagerstown High where he taught biology.

After earning his doctorate, Frederick taught at the University of Minnesota and California State University in Los Angeles. He left Cal State in 1979 and began working "with the street people and in the missions." That led to nine years as a substance abuse counselor with Padre Inc. in Los Angeles.

During that time, through work and music, he met a number of well-known people in the entertainment industry, some of whom he counseled.

Through their common interest in country music he struck up a friendship with John Agar, a co-star in six John Wayne films, including "Fort Apache," and a number of 1950s horror movies, such as "Revenge of the Creature."

Agar and Frederick performed together at clubs and military bases and remain in touch to this day.

Frederick's interest in music also led him to become involved in the Appalachian Music Foundation with John Newbraugh of Berkeley Springs, chronicling the singers, songwriters and musicians of the region.

For more information about The Naked Truth seminars, contact Deloris Winstead, 404 Charles Michael Road, Berkeley Springs, W.Va. 25411.

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