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Re: Charlie's gone

PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 1:23 pm
by HenryLopezReal
I was very saddened yesterday afternoon to hear that Charlie had passed away & would like to offer my condolences to his family.
I'll rememeber him not only as a magnificent broadcaster but as an unfailingly polite, erudite and generous man.
As a tribute Tom Robinson's show on BBC 6 Music will tomorrow evening repeat, from 8pm-9pm, an hour of Charlie in conversation and playing selections from his recent Radio Picks compilation.
This was originally broadcast in November last year.

Re: Charlie's gone

PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 1:42 pm
by Ian A.
The World Service will be doing a 10 minute piece later today - I've just been asked to go in this afternoon and record it with Mark Coles. They're trying to get some artist involvement too. Though still very shaken, I'll do my best to convey the spirit of all the many things that people have written here, and also on Facebook: a truly incredible but deserving outpouring of love and respect for our departed friend.

Re: Charlie's gone

PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 1:45 pm
by howard male
I really don’t know what to do with myself today, so I’m just sitting here, waiting for the next lovely thing someone has to say about CG to pop up on the forum.

I stayed up late last night listening to a tape of his final Radio 3 show. His final words on the show - while introducing a favourite Zimbabwean track from the 1980s - was “and it always breaks my heart.” What other radio DJ has ever spoken with such openness and candor?

Ralph wrote –

i was fortunate to meet the great man once and i think it said everything about him. i was sat behind a raffish silver-haired gentleman at a gig a few years ago. fortified with dutch courage i tapped him on the shoulder and stumbled out the words "excuse me, aren't you cg?". he was charm personified and put me completely at ease and, i seem to remember, asked me most of the questions!


This is very similar to my first encounter with Charlie. About eight years ago I won a ticket on his show to see a Brazilian film at the Ritzy Cinema, and there he was in his now-familiar raincoat (once admired by Bryan Ferry, he later informed me) talking to Rita Ray. Without hesitation (for hesitation would have resulted in me being too nervous to do it) I went over to say hello.

As soon as I’d said my name, to my astonishment, he said something like “Oh yes, Issa Bagayogo” (recalling an email I must have written to him about Issa.) Then he further put me at my ease by introducing me to Rita Ray with the words “This is my friend, Howard,” and asking me what I did for a living. I told him about my word game for the Mail on Sunday, and he immediately wanted to know how it worked. Then there, on the spot, he started to try to work out what the solution was to one of the words I gave him as an example. It was then that I said “Hey, hang on there – I want to ask you some questions!” But he was having none of it, and so then I found myself talking about how the music I liked most on his show was the non-generic stuff.

90 minutes later, when I came out of the cinema having enjoyed all the edgy Brazilian music on the soundtrack, I heard a voice shout across the cinema foyer, “Was that non-generic enough for you, Howard?”

“Oh yes!” I shouted back, thrilled to bits that I was now on bantering terms with the great Charlie Gillett.

Love to Buffy and all his family.

Re: Charlie's gone

PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 2:13 pm
by Dayna
I stayed up watching the flood of people coming to this forum from everywhere. I am still amazed at all the strange coincedences that happened for me, that ended up leading me to here. I was roaming around the Internet looking for information on Damon Albarn, & just happened to pick Charlie at random to ask. Charlie not only wrote back & answered my question, he invited me here. I was looking for one thing, but ended up with way more than I ever could imagine. Music I never heard before in my life, & friendships with people I never would have known otherwise. Here I am a part of something bigger than I ever dreamed of. I think, "How did this happen?" Thanks Charlie for an amazing adventure. It's just hard getting past the fact that my dream of meeting him won't happen.

Re: Charlie's gone

PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 2:17 pm
by christopher
Charlie, you were that very special friend every artist hopes to find ... you have inspired us, helped us, as you have inspired and helped so many!

Thank you for your love, your thoughts ... and most of all, thank you for caring!

You will always be part of what we do ...

Christopher and the 17 Hippies

Re: Charlie's gone

PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 2:19 pm
by Jill B
We have lost a music genius and a wonderful person with an ability to be open to such a diversity of sound and culture that many people would have closed their doors to unless they stopped for 5 minutes and listened to Charlie Gillet.

I've been listening to Charlie's program on the World Service since it started and discovered so much amazing music. Only recently I finally got around to sending Charlie an email about a music issue that's been close to my heart for many years. I knew Charlie disagreed with me before I wrote the email so I expected the usual BBC excuses ... No ... I was amazed when Charlie sent me a personal reply and uploaded my email to this space for further discussion. The following discussion was lively and enjoyable ... and I discovered another world of knowledgeable conversation on the net - Thanks Charlie.

I have enormous admiration for his commitment to connecting appreciative audiences with wonderful musicians from all over the world. I'm so sorry Charlie is no longer around to continue the task and I hope one of his many disciples will have the support of the BBC to continue with a similar program.

Condolences to his family and the many people who knew him and will miss him.
Jill Bromley

Re: Charlie's gone

PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 2:26 pm
by Nigel w
I keep checking back here, because reading all these tributes and recollections of Charlie's kindness to everyone who encountered him is the only thing that keeps up the spirits.

Lots of lovely words from the forum regulars, as one would expect. But what amazes me (although there is really no reason why it should, as CG touched so many people's lives) is the huge number of people who have never been on here before but have taken the trouble to register and post for the first time.

I've lost count of how many. Thanks to each and every one of them...

Re: Charlie's gone

PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 2:26 pm
by Des
It is only now that the full effect of Charlie's passing has hit me. Few people in any walk of life have had more influence on me - he's right up there with my other heroes, from Tony Benn to David Attenborough!

I only met Charlie once and very briefly, but I immediately got the full measure of the man - gentle, brave, tolerant - everything I'm not.

God bless you CG.

Re: Charlie's gone

PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 2:27 pm
by NormanD
BBC London: right now

Robert Elms show, tribute to Charlie.

Re: Charlie's gone

PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 2:38 pm
by Alan Balfour
It's astonishing how events like this awaken memories. I vividly recall one evening in 1967 at Charlie and Buffy’s Macaulay Court flat in Clapham when Charlie attempted to make a “writer” out of me. I had produced a lengthy and enthusiastic appraisal of bluesman Lightnin’ Hopkins, one that I was very proud of. This I passed to Charlie. Whilst I was engrossed in Charlie’s American music magazines he patiently read my gushing screed. He handed it back to me and the horrified look on my face must have been a picture. Charlie had thoroughly “blue pencilled” it. “Less is best” he said. He went on to explain that he had removed all the “flowery language” and excessive over use of “adjectives” on the grounds that, rather than adding authority to my writing, exactly the opposite was happening. Although my youthful ego had taken a huge dent I put a “Less Is Best” sticker on my Olivetti portable typewriter. This was still in place when I moved into the Gillett’s basement flat in 1969. It brought a wry smile from Charlie.

Re: Charlie's gone

PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 2:40 pm
by Dayna
NormanD wrote:BBC London: right now

Robert Elms show, tribute to Charlie.



I can't get this to open!

Re: Charlie's gone

PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 2:41 pm
by Nigel w
A thought : in the fullness of time I do hope we get to read the memoirs that we all know Charlie was writing.

I'm not sure how close he was to completion. But if he wasn't quite there, hopefully there are enough notes that can be edited into shape by the family, in the same way that Peel's unfinished memoirs were worked up by his wife Sheila and others for publication...

That's all for another day. But if anybody deserves to have their memoirs published, it's CG.

Re: Charlie's gone

PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 2:47 pm
by zee
From BBC News

Our deepest condolences to Buffy and Charlie's family. He was such a special person, someone who opened doors, not closed them, someone who inspired musicians and fans of music from all corners of this planet, a man who left this world profoundly richer than when he entered it.
Jason and Ruth, London, UK

Sad to read that Charlie Gillett has died. Loved listening to his World Service programme in the early hours introducing me to music I normally wouldn't hear - superb, magical, extraordinary, spine-tingling. His deep appreciation of the artists always came across in his voice. A loss.
Breda, UK

I used to listen to Charlie's cocktail of music from around the world. Thanks for the wonderful times on air and may you rest in eternal peace Charlie.
Tobias Oker, Delft, The Netherlands

At the very least, thank you for discovering Dire Straits without whom music would be far poorer. RIP.
Raj Lal, Rainham, Kent, UK

What a tragedy. I just heard the news on the BBC. It's in the middle of the night but I had to get up. I've been listening to the show here in Sweden. Since I have a hard time sleeping, I turn on the radio and sometimes I'm lucky; I get to listen to all that wonderful, wonderful music. I keep a list in a notebook next to my bed, scribbling down some of the artists' names that I want to know more about. I'll hold on to that list now as a kind of tribute, thinking that Charlie's inspired so many lists of must-have music. To me he came across as a very sweet, interesting, interested, giving person.
Lisa Svensson, Danderyd, Sweden

I was an avid listener of his weekend programme and often listened to his programme after midnight while I was getting ready to sleep. His careful selection of world music was without bias or favour. From China to Russia to St Lucia, he selected music that captivated the imagination of the world. RIP Charlie.
Junior, Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Charlie was a lovely bloke with an encyclopaedic knowledge of world music - a pioneer of the genre and an essential part of its current success. Rest in peace Charlie.
Seth Jordan, Sydney, Australia

Sad to hear the news. I was a very casual listener of his World Service show, but was always amazed by his enthusiasm for such varied musical types that he showcased each week. He also possessed a wonderfully calming voice. Condolences to his family.
Gaby, Jerusalem, Israel

I used to listen to Charlie on the World Service when I lived in Singapore in the late 90s. I remember listening to some of the great music he played on his show and then emailing him to get the details of a particular track and receiving an immediate response. His passion was obvious.
Manoja Ranawake, Sydney, Australia

I first met Charlie in 1994/95. We had many conversations over the years on the phone and subsequently via email regarding music. I found him very down to earth, normal. I included him in an email just a week ago. To sing or to run was my question. His answer was: "How fast can you run?" I had no idea he was ill. May his soul rest in peace.
Elizabeth Young, Middlesex, UK

What a great loss to us, the listeners of his programmes on the World Service! May his soul rest in peace, Amen.
Ali Sallah, Serekunda, The Gambia

Re: Charlie's gone

PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 2:59 pm
by mike gavin
Nigel w wrote:A thought : in the fullness of time I do hope we get to read the memoirs that we all know Charlie was writing.


I was privilaged to get a look at a couple of chapters Charlie was working on last year and, as Alan has described above, the less is best principle was well to the fore. I think my comment was 'more of the same, please'!

Let's hope these get published, as Nigel says, when the time is right.

Re: Charlie's gone

PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 3:17 pm
by signed
As the chair of the EBU World Music Workshop, I know that I speak on behalf of all our members when I say that the news of Charlie's death has deeply moved us and made us feel emptiness, sadness and helplesseness. Charlie was a good colleague, a long time member of our group, contributor to the World Music charts Europe, and one of the most respected braodcasters in World Music. We will all miss him, but we are also thankful for having got to know him and have him as our colleague. We know that he will be remembered as one of the most important broadcasters in his field, and a person who always had a sure sense of discovering quality and originality in music as well as in people! Thank you Charlie, we will miss you, and after we have lived through the shock and the sadness, we will fondly remember you, and be inspired by you and your work.

Sigbjørn Nedland, Chair of EBU World Music Workshop