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Remembering Charlie

PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 1:35 pm
by NormanD
Even after four years (20 February 1942 – 17 March 2010) his departure is a great loss to us here.

Charlie Gillett left us a great musical legacy, and I've no idea what he would be enjoying now. He took too many swerves to be predictable, and the only thing I'd feel confident to say is that he'd have upset some of us by his unexpectedly new tastes, yet gained even more supporters in the process. He was never a musical opportunist, that's for sure. And I'm not sure if he'd feel any more disposed towards English folk music. But he did play John Martyn a couple of times

Re: Remembering Charlie

PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:05 pm
by Rob Hall
Thanks for this Norman.

Re: Remembering Charlie

PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:11 pm
by Jamie Renton
Thanks Norman

Charlie Gillett: still very much missed and always will be.

I remember hearing Charlie say that, as a teen, he used to play Little Richard and Count Basie records back-to-back (a kind of early personal ping-pong):
Long Tall Sally:
Every Day I Have the Blues:

Re: Remembering Charlie

PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 6:14 pm
by Pete Fowler
Nice thought, Norman....and thanks for the reminder. I'd forgotten the date this time ; but I certainly will never forget Charlie.

Re: Remembering Charlie

PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 7:30 pm
by Chris P
Much missed indeed

Re: Remembering Charlie

PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:55 pm
by will vine
NormanD wrote:Even after four years (20 February 1942 – 17 March 2010) his departure is a great loss to us here.

I've no idea what he would be enjoying now.

He is ever present. I don't know what he'd be enjoying now musically but I often find myself hearing something new and I think Charlie'd really like that.

Re: Remembering Charlie

PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 9:25 pm
by Adam Blake
When he died Errol and I were busy in the studio cooking up what would be the "Mama Said" album. I remember thinking, what's the point now? Charlie won't hear it.

Re: Remembering Charlie

PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:16 pm
by NormanD
But you and Errol got to play some of it for many of us at the Bread and Roses commemoration a year or so later. And maybe for him too.

Re: Remembering Charlie

PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 11:08 pm
by Alan
Exchanging emails with Buffy earlier this week - "Jody has a web radio show! Brazil Music Exchange.... following her own passion for that Music. can't describe how it resonated, hearing her on air as it went live on Charlie's Birthday! (20th Feb)

Catch up here ... change-01/


And here's the playlist from Charlie's show from 17 March 2008. 6 years ago now.
Really miss the man and the music.

World on 3 on 17 March 2008
Charlie Gillett with another selection of sounds from around the world.

Kobo Town: Corbeaux Following (4.29) album: Independence KOBO.001

Yael Naim & David Donatien: Levater (3.22) album: Yael Naim & David Donatien Tot ou Tard promo

DJ Click featuring Leontina Vaduva: Pana cand nu te lubeam (4.40) album: Flavour No Fridge CDNO9

DeVotchKa: Head Honcho (2.45) album: A Mad And Faithful Telling ANTI 6940-2

Umalali - The Garifuna Women's Project: Yunduya Weyu (3.53) Featuring Sofia Blanco
album: Umalali - The Garifuna Women's Project Cumbancha CMB-CD-6

Iva Nova: Dream of a Farmer (4.13) album: Chemodan GEO 011 CD

Nortec Collective: El Fracaso (3.20) album: Mariachi - The Sound of Hysteria & Heartache
Trikont LC 04270 Originally appeared on the album Tijuana Sessions vol.3 (Nacional Records)

Li'l Millett & His Creoles: Rich Woman (2.35) album: Theme Time Radio Hour with your host Bob Dylan Ace Records CDCH2 1202

Batman Samini featuring Amingo: Do Something (4.09) album: Black Stars - Ghana's Hiplife Generation Out Here OH008

Soha: C'est Bien Mieux Comme Ca (4.10) album: D'Ici et d'ailleurs Opendisc 5099950318124

DJ Dolores: Mutant Child (Run, Run, Run) (4.15) album: 1 Real Ziriguiboom ZIR 31

Ashkhabad: Yaman Ykbal (5.53) album: City of Love Real World CDRW34

Yael Naim & David Donatien: Paris (3.05) album: Yael Naim & David Donatien
Tot ou Tard promo

17 Hippies: Wann War Das? (3.02) album: Heimlich Hipster Records HIP 012 LTD Distributed by Proper Records

Awadi: Sunugaal (4.00) album: Sunugaal Mr. Bongo Records MRBCD059

Melingo: Pequeno paria (5.58) album: Maldito Tango Manana MM425009

Nassim Maalouf: Ceremonie de Noces (Irak) - Son de Cloches (4.36) album: Improvisations Orientales Club du Disque Arabe CDA 401

Karima Nayt: Maksoum (Fathy Salama remix) (4.12) album: Karima Nayt Deremusat promo

Devendra Banhart: Samba Vexillographica (4.22) album: Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon XL Records XLCD 283

Son of Dave: Nike Town (2.56) album: 03 Kartel KCDL013

Re: Remembering Charlie

PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 5:14 pm
by Garth Cartwright
Yes he is missed. Some people say that world music died with Charlie. Not true but his passing certainly torpedoded a scene that desperately needs a champion. Cerys has inherited Charlie's mantle as the BBC roots music dj and does a great job but only a tiny percentage of what she plays is not in English while most of what Charlie played was in native tongues. I wonder what he would be picking up on these days? He did get too enamoured with big production stuff and fusions for my liking over his last few years but then we always disagreed on the more raw stuff, Charlie having no taste for punk or rap or rough blues or field recordings. He didn't ever like Hound Dog Taylor or Junior Kimbrough!!

There are far fewer world music CDs released these days. If he was still on the radio would he simply dig thru his library or perhaps check out Americana albums? I can't really see him digging thru You-Tube to find tunes to download and play.

What suggestions do y'all have that might be stuff Charlie liked? I think last year's Fat Freddy's album Blackbird would have been right up his street. The Mauritian female singer who has the new acoustic album out also (sorry can't think of her name).

Re: Remembering Charlie

PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 6:42 pm
by Alan Balfour
The mention of Kimbrough reminded me of something I sent to Charlie in 1997. For what it's worth here it is - originated on an internet discussion group. make of it what one will.....

Junior Kimbrough by Tom Freeland 15/01/1997

There is a new/old Junior Kimbrough recording just out; I'm going to
use it as an occasion to update some posts that I did on this list in
May of 1995. The subject, then, was Junior Kimbrough's output prior
to Deep Blues. His Highwater single is more-or-less well known; his
other work is pretty obscure and hard to run down. I've since
obtained a few more pieces of information, and even heard some of the
recordings. It seems that he has had the following recording

2 in the sixties, one involving Charlie Feathers and one at Phillwood that did not. The latter, in 1966 according to Sylvester Oliver, may have involved Scotty Moore. These are very interesting connection because they are *serious* connections to Memphis’ rockabilly era. According to Quentin Claunch, Feathers recorded five songs with Junior in the predecessor to American Studios; they were never released. Claunch stated that the sound on these tapes was substandard, and he still has them. The songs were "Ain't It Lonesome" "I Feel Good, "I'm Sorry" "I Done Got Old," and "Meet Me In The City." Claunch let Goldwax have a copy of those tapes in the early 1990s.

1 in the seventies involving Charlie Feathers, plus an interview broadcast on the BBC.

1 in the eighties involving Highwater.

and then Deep Blues and Fat Possum.

The releases prior Fat Possum were all either on compilations or singles. In the 60s, he put out a Phillwood single from the
non-Feathers' session. The Phillwood single was "You Can't Leave Me"
b/w "Tram", which is a typo-- it should be "Tramp", the Lowell
Fulson song.

In the 70s, he put out an English single from the 70s Feather’s session. According to Oliver, this was in 1975 or 1976. The song was called "Meet in the City" (I do not know what the other side was). In 1972, he was interviewed by Geoffrey Haydon for the BBC TV series "The Friendly Invasion" as a result of an interview with Feathers. The series did not include the interview, and Haydon allowed Charlie Gillett to broadcast it on a BBC radio show, Honky-Tonk. Included in the broadcast was a performance of "Meet In The City;" I've heard from someone with that performance on tape, who says it is wonderful.

In the early 80s, Gillette made an album (on a Dutch label) of musicians who had career breaks on Honky Tonk; it included a
Kimbrough track along with Ian Dury, Lena Lovitch, Graham Parker, Mark Knofler, Elvis (then D.P.) Costello, and others.

Sylvester Oliver produced the Highwater sessions. Oliver says that
 there are 10 unreleased sides from those sessions (plus two that were
 released); he says they were in 1982 (Evans said to me they were from

In the late 80s/early 90s, Quentin Claunch sent Goldwax Records (then in Nashville) the 60s Charlie Feather's session tapes, which Claunch considered substandard from technical standpoint. Goldwax was supposedly considering licensing them, but didn't. This seems to have lead to a release by a label called ADVENTURE IN MUSIC on a compilation called COTTON PATCH BLUES, AIM-028 (copyrighted in
1991). It included 3 Junior Kimbrough tracks: "I Feel Good", "Ain't It Lonesome" and "I'm Sorry." The liner notes states that Goldwax is going to put out a CD of Junior's material; also on the compilation
are some Frank Frost tracks ("Midnight Prowler" and "I Got Jane On
My Mind." The former is not the same as the Earwig version). I had access to it for literally about 15 minutes last summer; I was very impressed with Junior's singing on the tapes, but found his band less interesting than on his more recent material. The CD implies that a full-blown release by Junior is forthcoming, but I have seen no credible evidence that such a release exists (I think at one point Vincent was convinced it did, but I also think he doesn’t think that anymore).

Finally, a Nashville label is has just released a 78 (!) which consists of one side of Junior Kimbrough on electric guitar and Charlie Feathers acoustic, with Junior singing, titled "Feel Good Again". The otherside is a Feathers song, "Now, Little Girl." It is on the Perfect label, a reproduction of an old 78 label. I do not know whether it is "I Feel Good" from the 60s Feathers session for from some other session; it is virtually impossible that it is a more recent recording.

The information in this post comes from telephone interviews with Quentin Claunch, Sylvester Oliver, Dave Evans and Eliott Clark at Goldwax in Nashville. Additionally, information about the BBC radio programs and subsequent released came from Alan Balfour and 
Chris Smith, and about the AIM release is from blues-list's very own Vincent.

Re: Remembering Charlie

PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:12 pm
by Leon Parker
Walking along Great Portland Street to the BBC today to do a slot brought back the memory of going to see Charlie at his Radio show for the first time. I got my Wife along as see had never been to a BBC studio. Happy memories.

Re: Remembering Charlie

PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 5:45 pm
by alister prince
Coincidently, (or was it?)I've been playing lots of Charlie's SOTW compilations over the past few weeks. They're an excellent reminder of how good he was at putting comps together, how varied were his tastes and most importantly a bloody good listen. Like all good music they still sound fresh, interesting and exciting. I'm a fan of Cerys, but nobody in UK broadcasting can match him for his breadth of choice, his openness to new stuff, his championing of a wide variety of performers, the always high standard of his shows. On top of that, a really nice person.

Re: Remembering Charlie

PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 2:17 pm
by Graham G
Among the many artists that Charlie introduced me to was Lhasa de Sela. I'm reminded that during the summer of 2009 Charlie interviewed her for broadcast on 'World On 3'. Both had died within 9 months.