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Charlie Gillett

Charlie Gillett

Freelance journalist from 1967, weekly column in UK weekly, Record Mirror and reviews and features for US publications including Rolling Stone, Creem, Fusion, etc. History of rock ‘n’ roll, The Sound of the City first published in New York in 1970, when full-page reviews in Time Magazine and the New York Times led to author's tour of the States and subsequent publication by Souvenir Press in UK in 1971. Included on Reading Lists on many US college courses in Media Studies; in print ever since. Revised Third Edition published in 1996 by Souvenir (UK) and Da Capo (US), with substantial photo section and a guide to compilation CDs. Making Tracks: The History of Atlantic Records published by St Martins Press, New York, 1974. Consultant to the Oxford English Dictionary; Contributing Editor for the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Album reviewer for The Observer Music Monthly since 2002.

From March 1972 produced/presented weekly Sunday lunchtime show on BBC Radio London, "Honky Tonk", playing the "roots" of pop music - R&B, soul, rock 'n' roll, gospel and cajun - alongside whatever contemporary music that seemed to fit. Muddy Waters, Professor Longhair, Bonnie Raitt, Dr John and Ry Cooder were among the many guests. Airplay on "Honky Tonk" for demos by Graham Parker, Elvis Costello and Dire Straits led to record deals. Moved to London’s leading commercial pop station, Capital Radio in 1980 and from ’83 pioneered the first British radio show specializing what came to be called World Music, providing the first UK airplay for Youssou N'Dour, Arrow, Salif Keita and many other African and Caribbean artists in shows successively named "A Foreign Affair", "The City Beats" and "A World of Difference". Sony Gold Award for UK Broadcaster-of-the-Year, 1991. Researched/ presented six one hour specials, "Soul Pioneers", BBC Radio 2, 1998-2000 (Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Curtis Mayfield, Otis Redding).

From 1995 to 2006 produced/presented two-hour "Saturday Night" on BBC London 94.9 FM, introducing the "Radio Ping Pong sessions", playing records with guests including author Nick Hornby, guitarists David Byrne, Mark Knopfler, Chrissie Hynde and Manu Chao. Sony Gold for Best Specialist Music Show, 2002. Also: A World of Music on the BBC World Service (since 1999) and World on 3 on Radio 3(since 2007).

Since 1972, co-director Oval record and publishing company with partner Gordon Nelki, recording first album by Ian Dury (as leader of Kilburn and the High Roads), co-producing first album by Lene Lovich (including international hit 'Lucky Number') for Stiff Records in 1979. Oval published by Paul Hardcastle’s 'Rain Forest' and "19," the latter selling 3 million copies worldwide in ’85. 'Would You...?' by Touch and Go was the Oval label’s first top 3 hit in the UK and a top ten throughout most of Europe 1998-1999. Music consultant to advertising agencies and film companies, selecting songs for many ad campaigns including Levis, and choosing the music for three films written by Hanif Kureishi, including My Son the Fanatic in 1998.

Compilation albums include the seminal collection of cajun and local pop from South Louisiana, Another Saturday Night (originally released on Oval 1974, currently in the catalogue of Ace Records) and world music collections for Polygram's Debutante label - And The World's All Yours (1996) and And This is the World Calling (1998). Other projects: World 2000, 2-CD set for EMI Hemisphere, August 2000; Calling Out Around the World for World Entertainment Network, Fall, 2000; The Sound of the City, five-volume series of 2-CD sets, one each for New York, New Orleans, Memphis, Chicago and LA.

Charlie Gillett died in March 2010.
 

Rock's Backpages writers pay tribute to Charlie Gillett

List of articles in the library by artist

Eddie Floyd, Johnny Adams: Johnny Adams: Heart And Soul; Eddie Floyd Down To Earth

Review by Charlie Gillett, Creem, October 1971

If anybody doubts that this is a poverty-stricken era for popular music, let him name a black solo male singer whose records he looks forward ...

Johnnie Allan: The Promised Land …… And How To Get There: Oval Records

Report by Charlie Gillett, New Musical Express, December 1974

Inside looking out; CHARLIE GILLETT, who has started his own record label, Oval Records, reports from the other side of the fence on the processes ...

Allman Brothers Band, Duane Allman: Duane Allman: An Anthology (Warner/Capricorn)

Review by Charlie Gillett, Let It Rock, March 1973

PEOPLE WHO get this record in order to have a testament to one of the generation’s finest musicians will find that they have taken home ...

Big Joe Turner, Chuck Willis, The Clovers, The Coasters, The Drifters, LaVern Baker: Joe Turner/LaVern Baker/The Clovers/The Coasters/The Drifters/Chuck Willis: Greatest Recordings

Review by Charlie Gillett, Rolling Stone, February 1972

IN 1967, ARETHA Franklin moved from Columbia to Atlantic – in what soon proved to be one of the most important moments in the history ...

The Band, Canned Heat: Canned Heat: Livin' The Blues (Liberty) The Band: Music From Big Pink (Capitol)

Review by Charlie Gillett, Times Educational Supplement, March 1969

IF YOU'RE A young white man who digs the blues and who likes to make music, what do you do about it? Your decision used ...

Harold Battiste: All for One – A Study in Frustration and Black Organisation

Interview by Charlie Gillett, Cream, September 1971

HAROLD BATTISTE has worked on a lot of very big hits, but although you probably have some of them, it's unlikely you'll be able to ...

Chuck Berry and those who influenced him

Essay by Charlie Gillett, Let It Rock, April 1973

ONE THING everybody agrees about: the 'forties was a bad time for music. The big bands of the thirties got sweeter and sweeter before falling ...

Chuck Berry Can't Be Followed

Profile by Charlie Gillett, Alternative, The, October 1970

AT THE TIME of his greatest popularity, 1955-59, there were several other singers who had more hits, were more often copied, and commanded higher fees ...

Chuck Berry part 2: How Many Comebacks?

Interview by Charlie Gillett, New Musical Express, February 1973

AS WE TALKED, Berry looked over a copy of Golden Decade Vol. 2 and ran his eye down the sleeve discography, commenting on some of ...

Chuck Berry: Go Chuck Baby Go

Report and Interview by Charlie Gillett, New Musical Express, February 1973

CHUCK BERRY. To a fan, the name sparks off a warm smile. After that depending on how old he or she is, the first song ...

Big Brother & The Holding Company, Janis Joplin: Janis Joplin: Pearl/Big Brother and the Holding Company: Be A Brother (CBS)

Review by Charlie Gillett, Cream, May 1971

THEY ALL AGREED, the people who went to see her on stage, that Janis had something special. The effect of her personality didn’t come over ...

Bloodstone: Natural High

Review by Charlie Gillett, Rolling Stone, June 1973

THE MORE I listen, the less I understand. A year ago Bloodstone was just one of any number of black groups who could excite a ...

Bill Justis, Booker T & The MGs: Bill Justis: The Baldest Rock'n'Roll Star

Interview by Charlie Gillett, Record Mirror, March 1970

THE PRESS reception is for Booker T and the MG's. They introduce themselves through the mike on a stage at one end of the room, ...

Brinsley Schwarz: The Lost Weekend

Report by Charlie Gillett, Record Mirror, April 1970

Charlie Gillett's impressions of Brinsley Schwarz, the Fillmore East, and night life in New York ...

James Brown: Telling The Natural Truth

Interview by Charlie Gillett, Record Mirror, September 1969

'SAY IT LOUD – I'm Black and I'm Proud' sold 20,000 copies in Britain, although the BBC played it only once. Is James Brown surprised? ...

Roy Brown

Retrospective by Charlie Gillett, Record Mirror, August 1970

THE MOST influential singer of the last 25 years was Roy Brown. ...

Carla Bruni: Quelqu'un m'a dit (V2)

Review by Charlie Gillett, Observer, The, 2004

MAYBE YOU KNOW her name. I didn't when I first played songs from this album several times on the radio last year,, until a ...

J.J. Cale: J.J.Cale: Really (A&M)

Review by Charlie Gillett, Let It Rock, May 1973

If J.J. Cale were told to climb a mountain, he’d probably ask to be blindfolded and then start walking up backwards. He likes to make ...

Camille: Le Fil (Bout du Fil)

Review by Charlie Gillett, Observer Music Monthly, April 2005

AT THE TIME of receiving this record, I had never heard of Camille before, and knew only that she is French. The photo on the ...

Captain Beefheart: Lick My Decals Off, Baby (Bizarre)

Review by Charlie Gillett, Cream, May 1971

INSIDE CAPTAIN Beefheart is a corny old ballad-singing crooner, aching to sing those same old songs of sorrow and devotion. But the knows that kind ...

Charlie Rich, Conway Twitty, Johnny Cash, Ronnie Hawkins: Johnny Cash, Conway Twitty, Charlie Rich and Ronnie Hawkins: Arkansas Rock Pile

Overview by Charlie Gillett, Record Mirror, June 1969

ROCK AND roll was the victory of regional locality over the world, of precise beliefs over general theory, of particular feelings over universal philosophies. ...

Chairmen Of The Board, Mary Wells: Motown: Still Making It?

Comment by Charlie Gillett, Record Mirror, November 1970

FOUR years ago, there were a lot of people who made a point of going into their local record shops and asking, can I hear ...

Bobby Charles: Bobby Charles (Bearsville)

Review by Charlie Gillett, Rolling Stone, November 1972

BOBBY MADE THIS RECORD lying flat on his back, with his eyes closed and his dog licking his feet. He was tired, it had been ...

Ray Charles: 25 Years In Show Business (Atlantic)

Review by Charlie Gillett, Cream, March 1972

FOR MOST OF US, Ray Charles is a singer. Asked if he does anything else, we'll probably be able to rattle off a few other ...

Jimmy Cliff: Unlimited and Wonderful World, Beautiful People

Review by Charlie Gillett, Rolling Stone, September 1973

PUT THE NEEDLE on Jimmy Cliff's Unlimited, and the grooves writhe like a poised snake, the record grows hot with anger, and the air fills ...

Jimmy Cliff: It’s A Hard Road to Travel, Yes It’s a Rough, Rough Road to Ride

Interview by Charlie Gillett, Let It Rock, November 1972

Why is there no Jamican International superstar? Despite providing the world’s pop music with the only genuinely new dance rhythm since rock ‘n’ roll, and ...

Jimmy Cliff: Various Artists: The Harder They Come

Review by Charlie Gillett, Let It Rock, October 1972

HOW TO GET into reggae in two easy stages. First you go to see the film The Harder They Come, which will engross you with ...

Derrick Morgan, Desmond Dekker, Jackie Edwards, Jimmy Cliff, Jimmy James & The Vagabonds, Johnny Nash, Max Romeo, Root & Jenny Jackson, The Skatalites, Tony Tribe: Desmond Dekker, Johnny Nash et al: Reggae Festival, Empire Pool, Wembley, London

Live Review by Charlie Gillett, Record Mirror, October 1969

Jamaica triumph ...

The Coasters: Atlantic Masters (Atlantic).

Review by Charlie Gillett, New Musical Express, March 1973

HOW CRUEL fate is. At the very moment that Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller are proving themselves to be perfectly tuned in to 1973, with ...

Rita Coolidge: The Lady's Not For Sale (A&M)

Review by Charlie Gillett, New Musical Express, February 1973

ONE OF the bright young kids in the NME office played 10 seconds of each cut on side one, heard not a sound, and chucked ...

Don Covay: Super Dude #1

Review by Charlie Gillett, Rolling Stone, November 1973

Super Dude? It sounds like this year's version of Muddy Waters' 'Hoochie Coochie Man' or Pickett's 'Midnight Mover' but where those men defined love as ...

Desmond Dekker, Errol Dixon: Reggay: Son of R & B

Overview by Charlie Gillett, Record Mirror, May 1969

THERE WERE two kinds of reaction when Desmond Dekker's 'Israelites' started up the hit parades in March: blimey, I heard that before Christmas; and, the ...

Detroit Emeralds: Smooth-Cut Emeralds

Report and Interview by Charlie Gillett, New Musical Express, April 1973

"I DON'T THINK we're what people expect us to be," James Mitchell of the Detroit Emeralds explained after receiving a lukewarm reaction from a music ...

Dire Straits: Dire Straits Revisited

Sleevenotes by Charlie Gillett, Phonogram Records , 1998

FROM THE START, Dire Straits was a classic case of wrong time, wrong place. In the summer of 1977, Britain was ablaze with the aggression ...

Fats Domino: ‘Fats’ Domino: A Free Ride For The Fat Man

Report by Charlie Gillett, MOJO, March 1995

Antoine ‘Fats’ Domino is making a killing from a song he had nothing to do with. Charlie Gillett tells the story of a bizarre credit ...

Fats Domino: Fats Domino

Review by Charlie Gillett, Rolling Stone, March 1972

Fats goes to college, all his big hits and more, decked out in a double album that has a 12-page insert of pictures, information, analysis, ...

Allen Toussaint, Fats Domino, Lee Dorsey: Made in New Orleans: Record Production Techniques and the Land Of Dreams

Overview by Charlie Gillett, Record Mirror, May 1969

THERE WAS a time, not so long ago, when almost all the writing about popular music was descriptive or informative. ...

Amos Milburn, Fats Domino: Jump Boogie and Shuffle

Retrospective by Charlie Gillett, Record Mirror, 1969

IT WOULD BE nice to be able to point to a man, a record, a year, and say, "There! Rock and roll started with him, ...

Lee Dorsey: Yes We Can (Polydor)

Review by Charlie Gillett, Cream, May 1971

LEE DORSEY's one of the easiest singers to underestimate: he seems to be completely unassuming, apparently equally prepared to sing good blues like 'Get Out ...

Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show: Dr. Hook: Sloppy Seconds

Review by Charlie Gillett, Rolling Stone, March 1973

IF YOU LOOK at the pictures and read the stories, you’ll have guessed that Dr. Hook is a bunch of lascivious layabouts dedicated to carrying ...

Dr. John: Dr John: Anytime, Anyplace

Review by Charlie Gillett, New Musical Express, May 1974

Chance discovery yields delightful work ...

Dr. John: Dr John: In The Right Place

Review by Charlie Gillett, New Musical Express, March 1973

Out of the swamp, into the chart? ...

Dr. John (1971)

Interview by Charlie Gillett, Rock's Backpages Audio, 1971

From scuffling in the clubs and studios of late-'50s New Orleans, to his reinvention as Dr. John in mid-'60s L.A., Mac Rebennack tells the whole story - the gangsters, the drugs, the hard times and the high times. And, of course, the music, always the music.

File format: mp3; in 6 parts, total file sizes: 157.1mb, total interview length: 2h 51' 32" sound quality: ***

Dr. John: Gumbo

Review by Charlie Gillett, Rolling Stone, June 1972

WIPE YOUR MIND clean of all you have ever heard and read about Dr. John the Night Tripper. If you knew that once he was ...

Dr. John: The Dr. John Story

Retrospective and Interview by Charlie Gillett, Let It Rock, June 1973

BY THE TIME you read this, Dr. John's 'Right Time, Wrong Place' will probably be in the American Top Ten. Which will be mighty gratifying ...

Dr. John: The Dr. John Story part II: Los Angeles, The World

Retrospective and Interview by Charlie Gillett, Let It Rock, July 1973

"It's O.K. Mac, you can come out now" ...

Ian Dury, Kilburn & The High Roads: Ian Dury 1942 - 2000

Obituary by Charlie Gillett, Observer, The, March 2000

THE FIRST TIME I saw Ian Dury was at the Tally Ho in Kentish Town in 1972, when he had just started to play in ...

Bob Dylan: John Wesley Harding

Review by Charlie Gillett, Anarchy, May 1968

THE PARABLE ON the sleeve of Bob Dylan's new LP should have dissuaded me and all the others who've presumed to discuss the songs on ...

Bob Dylan, Randy Newman: Hyped By Your Heroes: Bob Dylan, Randy Newman

Comment by Charlie Gillett, Record Mirror, July 1970

THE SUMMER of 1970 will go down in the history books as the time when the music of the period finally let loose the truth ...

Snooks Eaglin

Retrospective by Charlie Gillett, Freedom Anarchist Weekly, August 1968

That's All Right (Xtra 5051)Blues From New Orleans, Vol. 1 (Storyville 670119) ...

El Mamouni, Rajery, Sissoko: Sissoko, El Mamouni, Rajery: 3MA (Contre Jour)

Review by Charlie Gillett, Observer Music Monthly, August 2008

GIVEN THE CHOICE of listening for the first time to new albums by two unknown artists, one instrumental, the other vocal, I instinctively opt for ...

Donald Fagen Spins His Favourite Records

Book Excerpt by Charlie Gillett, Capital Radio broadcast, 1982

After the release of The Nightfly, Donald Fagen visited the U.K. to promote it, and one of the few "interviews" he permitted was with Charlie ...

Family Entertainment?

Profile by Charlie Gillett, Times Educational Supplement, January 1969

I'D NEVER SEEN The Family before, but the girl next to me had at Woburn Abbey and the Albert Hall, where she said they'd been ...

The Flamingos, The Jive Five: The Jive Five: Where Are You Now

Comment by Charlie Gillett, Record Mirror, September 1969

To the editor, R 'n' B World, New York. ...

Don Gibson: Lonesome Number One: Profile of Don Gibson

Profile by Charlie Gillett, Record Mirror, March 1970

DON GIBSON is the most original country and western singer of the past 15 years, and that's been his problem. While everybody else has been ...

Al Green, Sly & The Family Stone, Van Morrison: Soul Brothers: Al Green, Sly Stone, Van Morrison

Review by Charlie Gillett, Cream, January 1972

IS THE REVIEWER supposed to come to each record as an objective analyst? Or, if he isn’t one, must he pretend he is? Impossible for ...

Sugarcane Harris

Guide by Charlie Gillett, Fusion, February 1973

An appreciation in the form of a letter from Charlie Gillett to — I.C. Lotz c/o The Mad Peck Flash Burn Funnies Fusion 909 Beacon St. Boston, Mass. 02215 ...

Wilbert Harrison: Bring Back The Fifties

Column by Charlie Gillett, Record Mirror, 1970

EVERY YEAR, the manager of the Apollo Theatre in Harlem stages an 'oldies' show, in which almost forgotten stars of R&B relive their past for ...

Buddy Holly, Buddy Knox: Buddy Holly and Buddy Knox: Texas Buddies

Discography by Charlie Gillett, Record Mirror, 1969

LIKE THE rest of society, pop music isn't fair. The most successful singers earn more than they know what to do with, and the majority ...

I Roy, Toots & The Maytals: The Maytals: From The Roots (Trojan)/I ROY: Presenting... (Trojan)

Review by Charlie Gillett, Let It Rock, November 1973

THIS STUFF IS even harder to understand than Jethro Tull's Passion Play, but nobody's going to stop singing because some dumb reviewer can't work it ...

Carole King, Joy of Cooking: Joy of Cooking: Joy of Cooking, and Carole King: Tapestry

Review by Charlie Gillett, Ink, June 1971

Joy of Cooking get better every time their record plays; they have no stylistic similarity with Van Morrison or the Band, but have the same ...

Salif Keita, Youssou N'Dour: Various Artists: Golden Afrique, Vol 1

Review by Charlie Gillett, Observer Music Monthly, February 2005

MOST OF THESE wonderfully atmospheric, seminal recordings were made in West Africa during the 1970s, a decade when a regime change was happening in recording ...

Carole King

Comment by Charlie Gillett, Record Mirror, January 1971

THERE must be about four generations of pop music fans reading this paper, and to each of them Carole King means something different. ...

Jerry Lee Lewis: London Sessions (Mercury).

Review by Charlie Gillett, New Musical Express, March 1973

IN SOME ways, it hardly matters what this record sounds like. It's the idea that counts. If everything works out more or less to plan, ...

Jerry Lee Lewis: The Start of It All

Comment by Charlie Gillett, Record Mirror, 1970

I PLAYED 'Great Balls Of Fire' to some college students last week. And while it played, and while they listened, I closed my eyes and ...

Charlie Rich, Jerry Lee Lewis: Jerry Lee Lewis: Live At The International, Las Vegas; Charlie Rich: Boss Man

Review by Charlie Gillett, Rolling Stone, February 1970

BOTH PIANO-PLAYING singers who started out singing rock and roll with Sam Phillips in Memphis and who have since moved into country and western, Jerry ...

Little Milton and The New Black Blues

Overview by Charlie Gillett, Record Mirror, September 1969

THROUGH THE 1950's, men with loud voices, amplified guitars and a few noisy accompanists made a modest but sufficient living out of singing the blues ...

The Lovin' Spoonful: The Urban Villagers

Comment by Charlie Gillett, Record Mirror, July 1969

POPULAR music is sentimental, trivial or melodramatic, and therefore need never be listened to by people who care about real feelings. ...

Lonnie Mack, Tony Joe White: The Real White Blues: Tony Joe White/Lonnie Mack

Review by Charlie Gillett, Record Mirror, August 1969

TONY JOE WHITE may well be the most sympathetic man making music today. His records show a man who cares about people, a Southerner with ...

Bob Marley & the Wailers: Bob Marley & The Wailers: Catch a Fire (Island)

Review by Charlie Gillett, Creem, May 1973

WELL I SUPPOSE it serves you — America — right. For five years some of the best music has been coming out of little studios ...

Clyde McPhatter (1968)

Interview by Charlie Gillett, Rock's Backpages Audio, 1968

From Harlem in the '50s to London in the late '60s: Clyde McPhatter on Billy Ward and the Dominos, The Drifters, Atlantic Records, Alan Freed and the usual trials and tribulations of an R&B artist.

File format: mp3; in 2 parts, total file sizes: 40.1meg, total interview length: 43' 48" sound quality: ***

Clyde McPhatter: Atlantic Masters (Atlantic)

Review by Charlie Gillett, New Musical Express, March 1973

WELL, IS SINGING coming back or not? The signs are, maybe yes. Billy Paul, for instance, and the Chi-Lites, Stylistics, and Detroit Emeralds. ...

Van Morrison: Hard Nose The Highway

Review by Charlie Gillett, Let It Rock, September 1973

WHAT'S HE BEEN DOING, listening to Brahms? If that title is a riddle that holds the answer, I give in, and the cover doesn't help ...

Johnny Nash: I Can See Clearly Now

Review by Charlie Gillett, Rolling Stone, October 1972

AT LAST, REGGAE as all-around entertainment, whose rhythms will still generate movement in a crowded basement discotheque but whose arrangements and moods shift often enough ...

Johnny Nash: My Merry Go Round (CBS)

Review by Charlie Gillett, New Musical Express, June 1973

LISTENING TO this record the first time through is as frustrating as trying to see a beautiful woman through a steamed-up window. But the third ...

Youssou N'Dour: Egypt (Nonesuch)

Review by Charlie Gillett, Observer, The, July 2004

THIS BEAUTIFUL record is a new album by Youssou N'Dour, but it is not 'the new Youssou N'Dour album'. We have had one of those ...

Randy Newman: In Praise of the Ten Second Song

Comment by Charlie Gillett, Record Mirror, December 1970

THE MOST influential record of 1970 was the Edwin Hawkins' Singers' 'Oh Happy Day', which came out in 1969. It takes a while for people ...

Johnny Otis (1970)

Interview by Charlie Gillett, Rock's Backpages Audio, August 1970

From Little Esther to Big Mama, "The Duke Ellington of Watts" takes us back to Central Avenue: the shysters, the talent, the clubs and record labels; the hits, the misses and the rip-offs.

File format: mp3; in 2 parts, total file sizes: 45.6meg, total interview length: 49' 49" sound quality: ***

Johnny Otis: The New Johnny Otis Show

Review by Charlie Gillett, Record Mirror, November 1969

"I'm gonna lay right here on this wall, And drink this beer, And watch her walk. You heard me call a while ...

Junior Parker: Junior's Last Stand

Obituary by Charlie Gillett, Cream, January 1972

WHILE I WAS in New York for a short time last April, I noticed some billposters up near Columbia University on the upper West Side, ...

Wilson Pickett: In Philadelphia (Atlantic) and If You Need Me (Joy)

Review by Charlie Gillett, Cream, May 1971

IT SEEMS AS if Wilson Pickett's been the number two soul singer ever since the term was coined. Ray Charles, James Brown, Otis Redding, and ...

Professor Longhair: New Orleans Piano (Atlantic)

Review by Charlie Gillett, Rolling Stone, September 1972

ALL RIGHT, ALL RIGHT. Gather round, all you fans of the Shuffling Hungarians, the Four Hairs, the Blues Scholars, and the Blues Jumpers, 'cause 'Fess ...

Otis Redding: Phil Walden on Otis Redding and more (1971)

Interview by Charlie Gillett, Rock's Backpages Audio, 1971

It's 1971, and the Allmans are on the rise, Jimmy Carter is in the Governor's Mansion, and Otis is four-years-dead: Capricorn man Phil Walden and pals look back at Otis, the MGs, and discuss race and the South with remarkable frankness.

File format: mp3; in 4 parts, total file sizes: 96.1mb, total interview length: 1h 44' 59" sound quality: **

Lou Reed: Lou Reed

Review by Charlie Gillett, Let It Rock, July 1972

IF I WERE thirteen, or Lou was, or better still if we both were, this would be great, everything I wanted to think about life, ...

Charlie Rich, 1932-1995

Obituary by Charlie Gillett, MOJO, September 1995

Charlie Rich, who died in Memphis on July 25, was the ultimate square peg in a round hole: a jazz pianist promoted as a rock ...

Smokey Robinson & The Miracles: Do You Really Know What Soul IS?

Comment by Charlie Gillett, Record Mirror, October 1970

I BELIEVE that the sudden rash of hit records by black singers is a flash in the pan, and doesn't mean anything in the long ...

Smokey Robinson, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles: The Miracle of Smokey Robinson

Profile and Interview by Charlie Gillett, Record Mirror, September 1971

ABOUT twelve years ago, Berry Gordy told Smokey Robinson how to write songs: "Every song should have an idea, tell a story, mean something." Smokey ...

Smokey Robinson: The Way You Do The Things You Do

Profile by Charlie Gillett, Creem, April 1972

ABOUT TWELVE YEARS AGO, Berry Gordy told Smokey Robinson how to write songs. "Every song should have an idea, tell a story, mean something." Smokey ...

The Rolling Stones: Rolling Stones: Goats Head Soup (RS Records)

Review by Charlie Gillett, Let It Rock, November 1973

THE CONTEST for the title of ‘The Worlds' Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Band’ is like those dance marathons that were held in the States during ...

Linda Ronstadt: Get That Ronstadt Message

Report and Interview by Charlie Gillett, Record Mirror, February 1971

WELL, MY lady took the message, and she wrote it on the wall: "Linda Ronstadt, EMI Press Reception, 4 o'clock tomorrow." ...

Diana Ross: Lady Sings The Blues

Review by Charlie Gillett, Let It Rock, May 1973

YOU'LL HAVE READ by now that Elvis had to cancel his 1973 tour of the UK in order to do location shooting in Las Vegas ...

Doug Sahm: Doug Sahm and Band

Review by Charlie Gillett, Rolling Stone, March 1973

THEY DON'T SAY so on the jacket, but this is The Doug Sahm Showcase, featuring the former leader of the Sir Douglas Quintet paying homage ...

Oumou Sangare: Seya

Review by Charlie Gillett, Observer Music Monthly, February 2009

SO WHY, with more than 50 African countries to choose from, do we keep returning to the music of Mali? Surely there must be other ...

Paul Simon: There Goes Rhymin’ Simon

Review by Charlie Gillett, Let It Rock, August 1973

Paul: middle class rock, O.K.? ...

Slade: Slayed

Review by Charlie Gillett, Let It Rock, March 1973

Rock and roll at its very best, today. Which is not the same thing as rock 'n' roll at its very best in 1956, as ...

Percy Sledge: The Best Of Percy Sledge

Interview by Charlie Gillett, Record Mirror, December 1969

PERCY SLEDGE is here for a three-week tour, and to coincide with it Atlantic have released a single, 'True Love Travels On A Gravel Road', ...

Ike & Tina Turner, Sly & The Family Stone: Soul reviews

Review by Charlie Gillett, Record Mirror, 1971

Ike and Tina Turner: Hammersmith Odeon, LondonSly and the Family Stone: Greatest Hits (Epic) ...

Son of Dave: 03 (Kartel)

Review by Charlie Gillett, Observer, The, April 2008

THERE ARE times, listening to this album, you start to feel guilty – surely, if music sounds this good, it must be bad for you. ...

Joe South: A New, Un-Slick Joe South: A Look Inside

Review by Charlie Gillett, Rolling Stone, March 1973

AT ONE OF Joe South’s infrequent live shows, in some small place in Georgia a year or so back, he wasn’t getting the response he ...

Joe South: The Other White South

Comment by Charlie Gillett, Record Mirror, June 1970

MOST WHITE people in the American South like country and western music. ...

Rufus Thomas: Push and Pull That Funky Dog

Interview by Charlie Gillett, Record Mirror, 1971

REHEARSALS at Top of the Pops. A man who looks close to 50 years old goes up to a taller, younger man in dark glasses. ...

Tammy Wynette, Toni and Terry: Tammy Wynette/Toni & Terry albums

Review by Charlie Gillett, Rolling Stone, April 1973

Toni and Terry: Cross CountryTammy Wynette: My Man ...

Allen Toussaint

Profile by Charlie Gillett, Fusion, July 1971

IF BRITAIN HAD a good system of radio stations, the history of the world might have been at least a little different. ...

Gene Vincent Cuts A New LP: John Peel’s Label Gets A New Version of ‘Be-Bop-a-Lula’

Interview by Charlie Gillett, Record Mirror, September 1969

ROCK'N'ROLL, WHICH HAS NEVER been far away since it made its first appearance in the early fifties, is without much doubt about to become all-powerful ...

The Who: Born to Sing The Blues

Comment by Charlie Gillett, Record Mirror, June 1969

COLLECTORS of rhythm and blues music are doomed to perpetual frustration, as they witness one white singer after another plundering the culture they love. Occasionally, ...

List of genre pieces

Ahmet Ertegün (1971)

Interview by Charlie Gillett, Rock's Backpages Audio, 1971

From his youth as an avid record collector and black music fan, up to signing Ray Charles, Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegün tells the whole story.

File format: mp3; in 4 parts, total file sizes: 103.7mb; total interview length: 1h 53' 29" sound quality: ***

Sexy Soulful Women

Overview by Charlie Gillett, Record Mirror, June 1970

I'M NOT sure why, but I'm more often moved by men singing than by women. Somehow I can identify with a much larger range of ...

Tom Dowd (1971)

Interview by Charlie Gillett, Rock's Backpages Audio, 1971

The Land of a Thousand Drifters: Charlie Gillett talks with arguably the greatest recording engineer in rock and soul history about the early days with Atlantic, Leiber and Stoller, The Rascals and Stax.

File format: mp3; in 2 parts, total file sizes: 53.2meg, total interview length: 58' 07" sound quality: ***

Easy Rider: The Rock Generation Takes Over

Film/DVD/TV Review by Charlie Gillett, Record Mirror, 1969

Songs by Steppenwolf, the Byrds and the Band underline the message of EASY RIDER ...

Charles Keil: Urban Blues (University of Chicago Press)

Book Review by Charlie Gillett, New Society, October 1966

MOST WRITERS on popular music and the blues have approached post-1955 music with discomfort, concluding their books with despondent remarks about the commercialised depravity called ...

Charly Records: The Dark Side Of The Sun

Retrospective by Charlie Gillett, Street Life, April 1976

SAM PHILLIPS must be shaking his head in bewilderment that somebody should be issuing his out-takes. ...

Duke/Peacock: 20 Years of Don Robey's R&B Empire

Report by Charlie Gillett, Record Mirror, October 1969

1969 Is the Twentieth Anniversary of Duke/Peacock Records of Houston, Texas, one of the best R & B Soul companies. ...

Gospel: Soul Sources

Overview by Charlie Gillett, Record Mirror, August 1969

ON STAGE at the Apollo, Harlem: standing at one microphone, an immaculately dressed man dramatically insists his love. At the second mike, four men bend ...

Greil Marcus: Top Spin Service!!

Profile and Interview by Charlie Gillett, Rock's Backpages, November 2000

Charlie Gillett, broadcaster and author of The Sound of the City, regularly invites guests to play radio "ping-pong" on his Saturday night show on London ...

How to Build a Bridge Backwards: Life as a Part-time Disc Jockey

Comment by Charlie Gillett, Record Mirror, January 1970

I HAD A STRANGE TIME the other day, playing records at a college party. ...

Nik Cohn: Pop; Paul Oliver: The Story of The Blues

Book Review by Charlie Gillett, Record Mirror, August 1969

Charlie Gillett reviews two books on music: Pop by Nik Cohn, and The Story of The Blues by Paul Oliver ...

R & B in Vogue

Overview by Charlie Gillett, Record Mirror, July 1969

THIS ARTICLE mentions a lot of singers you've never heard of. Why haven't you heard of them? (They're all very good, very important, and have ...

Reggae: A Night at Count Suckle's and Reggae

Film/DVD/TV Review by Charlie Gillett, Record Mirror, 1969

JUST WHEN all hope had been abandoned, the ITV Network surprised us. ...

So You Wanna Be a Rock'n'Roll Writer (Keep a Carbon!)

Guide by Charlie Gillett, Rock File 1, 1972

My favourite music magazine is called Creem. It's published in Detroit, Michigan, and every month the first thing I see is a statement next to ...

Talking The Blues

Report by Charlie Gillett, Shout, October 1968

IF YOU HAD 35/- to spend on the 1st week-end of September, and more than a passing interest in popular music, there was what seemed ...

Various Artists: Balkan Beats (EastBlock)

Review by Charlie Gillett, Observer Music Monthly, July 2005

THIS IS THE ALBUM I needed when I played records at the Big Chill for the first time, two years ago. ...

Various Artists: Nigeria Special: Modern Highlife, Afro-Sounds & Nigerian Blues, 1970-76 (Soundway)

Review by Charlie Gillett, Observer Music Monthly, June 2008

IT WOULD have been difficult to find a way to hear this music in the UK back in the early 1970s – nobody was playing ...

World Music Prophets

Overview by Charlie Gillett, Developments, March 1998

IN 1987, THE owners of several British independent record labels convened a series of meetings in an Islington pub to discuss ways to get their ...

World of Mouth: Mariza and more

Essay by Charlie Gillett, The WOMEX Guide, October 2002

WHEN MARIZA SINGS, time stands still. Every word is sung with intense concentration, every note hit flawlessly. When she pauses for dramatic effect, ...

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