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Re: Charlie's gone

PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:00 pm
by Rob Hall
What a loss. I have no words apart from to express my condolences to Buffy and the family.

Re: Charlie's gone

PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:13 pm
by jayne
Much love and condolences to Charlie's family. Thank you Charlie for everything you have been and will be to me.

Your blue eyes will always twinkle.

Love, Jaynexxxx

Re: Charlie's gone

PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:15 pm
by Tonie
What devastating news. I can't believe I won't hear his voice again on any new radio shows. I was just wondering when he would start posting again, with his insightful, self-deprecating, gentlemanly and witty style. I had the privilege of meeting him a few times, and he seemed like a lovely man. All my condoleances to his wife, children and other friends and family.

Re: Charlie's gone

PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:28 pm
by Leon Parker
I been out most of the day looking for music and then at the charity shop. I did not find out about Charlie passing till I got a call from a my friend Sacha who had dinner at Charlies just the other night. Garth has just returned from Australia and we have spoken briefly but we he had phone connection problems. A sad day indeed and my thoughts are for his families loss. Only really got to know Charlie in his later years and spent many hours
helping him go through his record collection which we both had fun doing. I can sum Charlie up in two words a 'True Gent'. I shall treasure my signed vinyl copy of the Sound Of The City/New Orleans it just leaves to say thanks for all the music you brought us on disc and air.

Re: Charlie's gone

PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:35 pm
by Hugh Weldon
So sad. I was only thinking earlier today that we hadn't had any update recently and wondering how he was, and now this.

I was quite a latecomer to his programmes, only started listening in 2001 after I returned to London after a year in France, but 'another Saturday night' soon became something of an addiction. Although to be honest I still can't say I'm a big world music fan, his enthusiasm and genuine interest in the range of artists he presented, mixed with occasional doses of the older rock and soul stuff, became an unmissable weekly pleasure.

I'd encountered his writing of course, but it's as a great DJ I'll remember him, not only for the recent programmes but, at a distance, for Honky Tonk, whose compilation CD has been a pretty permanent fixture on the CD player over the last few months.

I only met him briefly and exchanged a few words at a couple of the SOTW DJ nights, but he was kind enough to send me a short email saying hello to me and Lily, and complimenting my choice of Betty Wright's 'Shoorah Shoorah'.

I think I'm going to have to play it now. Very loud.

Re: Charlie's gone

PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:57 pm
by Alan
Some thoughts about our friend

To be part of his radio programmes, even in a small way, was a complete joy. It was impossible not to be affected by his honesty, integrity, sense of humour, spontaneity, intelligence, kindness, wisdom, warmth and humility.

For two hours on Saturday night on BBC Radio London, Charlie would set the barrier impossibly high – often there were two live sets, sometimes with artists turning up halfway through, usually having to sound-check during the news. It felt like Charlie’s party once a week but the listeners were not only invited but felt part of it too. Charlie would be chatting and laughing with a guest, reminiscing about something or other and then almost without thought, he’d be live. There was no change in persona.

Despite having a clear sense of what he liked to play, Charlie would freely allow his guests the chance to choose four or five tracks with no prior discussion. I couldn’t imagine another DJ being prepared to give up so much precious airtime. Sometimes I could see him wince at his guest’s choices but at other times the unexpected listening treat would make him dive into his box to find something appropriate to play back. The conversation would then leap off at a tangent. Nothing was predictable. Often he’d change his choice of record 20 seconds before the track was due to end. I’d desperately try to keep up, so that everything could be logged for the website and PRS. And of course, all of this was live. Occasionally things went a little awry, but Charlie would steer things back on course with good humour and self-deprecation.

I have many special memories of those Saturday nights. When Yasmin Levy first came to the BBC London studio as her song ended, Charlie sat back in his chair with his eyes closed. There was a hushed silence in the studio before he spoke. A magical moment - Yasmin’s stunning voice allowed to breathe by a truly wonderful broadcaster completely at ease with live radio. And when Seasick Steve came in for the first time when he’d finished his set, he built himself a little hobo’s nest with various bits of studio furniture. He curled up in the corner and said to Charlie, ‘man, I’m having so much fun, I ain’t going nowhere, I’m staying right here forever!’

Re: Charlie's gone

PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 12:08 am
by stanton carlisle
I just the heard the news on the World Service and wanted to express my sadness at Charlie Gillett's passing. Charlie opened my mind over the years to the beauty, the passion, the soul, the artistry, the wit, the brilliance, and the sheer variety and multitude of world music. His breadth of knowledge was unrivalled and his passion for world music was clear to all who heard him. It is truly sad that the world, his audience, will not be able to listen to Charlie's gentle voice bringing us yet more wonders. He will always be with us, in the programmes he recorded and in the music that he enlightened us with; compelling us to go out and explore, to listen, to experience. Charlie, rest in peace.

Re: Charlie's gone

PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 12:10 am
by dogmatique
Can't believe it. Just heard. Gutted.

A unique voice gone. You'll be sorely missed Charlie.

Re: Charlie's gone

PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 12:13 am
by Jamie Renton
Just read this & all i can think of is Charlie's priceless kindness & encouragement.

i was about to contact Charlie, as I've booked Darbucka for the next DJ Relay on 6th May. Part of me feels that I should cancel that now, but another part wonders if we couldn't turn it into some kind of celebration of Charlie ... play the music that he loved, maybe see if we can get a favourite musician of his to play live.

What do you think?

Re: Charlie's gone

PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 12:17 am
by Nigel w
God bless you, Charlie.

You were an inspiration for almost 40 years and a kind and generous friend for many of them, too.

It wasn't just the music. You stood for old-fashioned decency in an amoral world and fought for those values until the end.

The thoughts of both Magali and myself are with Buffy, Suzy, Jodie and Ivan tonight.

Good night, sweet Charlie. Flights of angels sing thee to thy rest...

Re: Charlie's gone

PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 12:23 am
by Jill Turner
"Be yourself and you'll soon develop your own style". Just wanted to say thank you for your encouragement when I started broadcasting and for sharing some invaluable tips and not least for all the different music you turned us on to.

Re: Charlie's gone

PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 12:27 am
by Des
Jamie Renton wrote:i was about to contact Charlie, as I've booked Darbucka for the next DJ Relay on 6th May. Part of me feels that I should cancel that now, but another part wonders if we couldn't turn it into some kind of celebration of Charlie ... play the music that he loved, maybe see if we can get a favourite musician of his to play live.

What do you think?


Charlie would want it to go ahead, Jamie. You might not feel like it at the moment, but it would be the best celebration ever.

...and Womad should name a stage after Charlie.

Re: Charlie's gone

PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 12:35 am
by Chris P
stunned, and deeply saddened. Charlie has been an inspiration for me, as for so many more. His friendliness, warmth, curiousity & integrity to his own musical judgement travelled right across the airwaves & into our rooms, into our lives. So pleased to have seen Charlie up close at Womad a few times. Hope this forum can go forward in his spirit.

Re: Charlie's gone

PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 12:36 am
by Jeremy LJ
Very, very sad. We've lost a legend and a leader.

Re: Charlie's gone

PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 12:44 am
by Jamie Renton
Thanks Des

Memories of Charlie are flooding into my head...

When we 1st met at the Jazz Cafe & how immediately warm & friendly he was.

How he pased on a request to Nick Hornby, asking him to judge a competition I was organising for the charity I worked for at the time (which Nick agreed to do because Charlie was involved)

Many nights at Darbucka when he (well known for retiring early) stayed the whole night dancing & chatting

How he'd insist I'd get paid for organising his CD launch parties, even though I always told him I was happy to do them for nothing.

Hearing his voice on his return to radio back in 1995, it really was like hearing an old friend (even though I'd never met him)

The DJ Soundclash charity event at Cargo in 2004: Charlie was down to do 15 minutes & stayed the whole night, introducing others & filling in when another DJ dropped out.