Some patients of Dr. Charles P. Capito might be surprised to discover there's a softer singer-songwriter side to this orthopedic surgeon who has offices in Steubenville and Weirton.
And that his curt bedside manner belies a man who can write and sing sentimental songs, ultimately for a worthy cause no less.
"God, Country, Family... " is the title of Captio's CD that was produced at Studio L in Weirton owned by Rick Witkowski and represents a collection of 12 original songs Capito wrote over the course of five years.
PROJECT?COLLABORATORS — Dr. Charles P. “Chuck” Capito, left, collaborated with Rick Witkowski, owner of Studio L in Weirton, to produce “God, Country, Family...,” a collection of 12 original songs written over a five-year period. All proceeds from its sale for $10 benefit the Make A Wish Foundation. So far, Capito has raised more than $10,000 since its December release.
All proceeds from its sale at $10 a pop benefit the Make A Wish Foundation, a charity apparently near to his heart.
Since its December release, the CD has generated more than $10,000, helped along, Capito points out with a chuckle, thanks to a lengthy Christmas card list where he "encouraged" donations, though he playfully uses the word "extortion."
Few would know from the CD jacket that it is Capito, who's wearing a cowboy hat and sunglasses, pictured with his family - his wife, Debbie and their three children: daughter Isabella and sons Chase and Cameron. An American flag waves in the background.
"Chaz" is the name used to identify the performer.
There's no connection to Capito, the born-and-raised Weirton resident whose professional goal is "to provide specialized service to the community in sports medicine, anthroscopy and total joint replacement," according to pamphlets in his office.
As the guts of the CD make note, however, "I had to come up with something a bit cooler than Dr. Chuck Capito." Hence the "Chaz."
The liner also explains: "This was not a planned project."
Capito has dabbled in songwriting for years, he says. "I must have 300 of them where I would just write a first verse or the melody of the song or a phrase but never finish a song. 'Isabella' was the first song I finished," Capito said of the title of the first song on the CD.
It was written when his daughter was 18 months old. 'I had heard a hundred times 'Her eyes are so blue.' She truly was a miracle baby, and she and the boys brought more meaning to my life than I can express," reads the description for the song.
Each of the songs has a story behind it, which the CD acknowledges, and all of them have a God, country, family threaded theme.
The songs are titled "Chase," "Cameron Cole," "Debbie's Song," "Daddy Dance," "Freedom's Call," "Tuckin," "Counting Numbers," "Heaven," "Semper Fi," "Lucky Man" and "Make A Wish," the latter in dedication to the foundation that sales are benefiting.
"I wrote a song for my daughter Isabella about 5 years ago. This song just came out of me, and I went to Rick - I barely knew him - and asked if he thought he could produce it, and he said 'yes,'" Capito said.
It turned out well.
Capito got the bug to write a song for each of his sons, his wife, and before long had 11 songs he decided to compile as a CD with Witkowski's help and collaboration as well as from Pete Seibert, Mike Simmons and Anthony Rankin.
Capito sings all the songs on the CD though he dismisses any reference to being one.
"Don't call me a singer," he cautions. "I sing the songs - I can barely carry a tune - but I think I can write good songs or co-write songs," he said during a recent interview involving Witkowski, who was surprised when Capito first approached him about listening to some of his work for an honest critique.
Witkowski, a well-known seasoned producer, songwriter and performer, was impressed by Capito's songwriting ability and encouraged him to sing his own songs, asserting that he could hold his own in the vocals department.
"No one sings the song like the writer," Witkowski said. "They're heartfelt. He has a very creative mind."
Capito likes better the lyrics though.
"I think there's a couple songs that a country guy could take to a hit like 'Daddy Dance' or 'Lucky Man.' but it's hard to get them to them," Capito said.
"Country music is a medium where you don't have to be the singer. They look for songs. It's a songwriter's market," Witkowski said.
"Daddy Dance" is a song Capito said would be perfect as a wedding song, a father-daughter song for, say, Billy Ray Cyrus and daughter to sing.
Witkowski likes that one, too.
"I have teared up on the 'Daddy Dance' song. I wasn't able to have kids, and I hear that song and there's certain times it hits me, and I'll well up. I do think it's really good," Witkowski said.
While most of the songs are family songs, Capito said he also wanted something that would convey gratitute to the troops, so he wrote two in that vein. "Semper Fi" is in honor of his father-in-law, Dick Sakara, a Marine, and "Freedom's Call" is for his father, the late Emil Capito, who was a World War II veteran.
"I wanted songs that acknowledge, thank and honor the military," he said.
The two have enjoyed working together.
"I have to say, working with him - he has a reputation of not having a good bedside manner - I think doing this project has made him a kinder, gentler doctor," Witkowski chuckles.
"We have become close friends, and he's a great guy," added Witkowski, who appreciates that donations are being made to Make A Wish. "I think it's a big deal."
"I had a good time," Capito said of the project.
Capito said the music side of him constitutes a hobby. "It's fun," he said.
Plus, making a CD of original songs is a project for prosperity.
"I wanted something the kids could remember me by, too. I just think it'd be something cool for them later in life."
The CDs are available at the Weirton office at 703 Colliers Way and the Steubenville office at 2315 Sunset Blvd. It's also available at Tri State Pharmacy in Weirton Medical Center.
(Kiaski can be contacted at email@example.com.)