Born in Vineuil-Saint-Firmin, Oise, the son of painters Robert Delaunay and Sonia Delaunay, Charles Delaunay was one of the founders of the Hot Club de France. Together with Hugues Panassié he initiated the Quintette du Hot Club de France with Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli. He also organised concerts, for example with Benny Carter.
In 1935, together with Panassié he founded Le Jazz Hot, one of the oldest jazz magazines. In 1937, he started Disques Swing ("Swing Records"), the first record label dedicated exclusively to jazz. During World War II Delaunay was a member of the Resistance, but continued leading the Hot Club. In 1948 Delaunay founded the record label Disques Vogue. He is author of the famous Hot Discography with five editions in England, France and the US (the first jazz discography) and also worked as an artist.
Delaunay died in Paris of Parkinson's disease in 1988.
- Django Reinhardt- Souvenirs, Paris 1954, Editions Jazz-Hot, English London 1961
- Hot Discography, 1936, latest as New Hot Discography 1982
- Hot Iconography (lithographies of jazz musicians)
- with Robert Goffin Jazz 47
- Django mon frère, Paris 1968
- De la Vie et du Jazz
- Delaunay's Dilemma (autobiography, also title of a John Lewis composition) 1983