August 15th 2016 - 40th anniversary of Charlie Gillett playing Elvis' demo tape

Pretty self-explanatory
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August 15th 2016 - 40th anniversary of Charlie Gillett playing Elvis' demo tape

Postby johnfoyle » Sat Aug 05, 2006 11:13 am

Thirty years ago this summer Elvis was finally, after a few years of unrewarded playing with Flip City , about to get his break. This Aug.15th it'll be the anniversery of Charlie Gillett playing his early demos. on his BBC Radio London show, 'Honky Tonk'. A day later Elvis dropped his tape into Stiff Records and , eventually , things got rolling.

This time in his life has , possibly, recently been uppermost is Elvis' mind. His work with Allen Toussaint would have reminded him of Allen's work with The Band and others from that time. The 'definitive' re-re-issues of the early albums will involve, one presumes, listening to them a lot. If he is working on his books about his songs he may be listening to songs he wrote then. The use of such songs late last year and in Australia in Jan.'06 indicate so. In his private life, it was the last time he was a expectant father and so on.


Weatherwise , the summer of '06 has been , in London , a repeat of the 'heatwave' of 1976. These BBC accounts explore many parallels-

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/5173526.stm



http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/features/u ... ught.shtml

Such heat etc. , combined with frustrated ambition , the deadend job with the 'vanity factory' and so on must have been forceful element in making Elvis really make that extra effort to break through.

I'll continue this thread with archive stuff to explore this subject. Maybe others here might like to contribute thoughts , relevent memories (from us more more elderly types!) of the period , photos etc.

I have only the haziest of memories of '76, being that I was eleven that year. Family trips to the beach, Soda Stream etc. My maternal grandfather died in Sep.'76 so the many trips to see him as he deteriorated must have been a part of that summer. An episode where I nearly choked on a hastily eaten egg roll between swims at Brittas Bay might date from that summer.

Incidentally , Maureen Duffy's Capital ( 1975) has been recommended as a book of the period that evokes London of the time ; has anyone here read it ?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1860 ... F8&s=books

2009 comment - I read and enjoyed Maureen's book ; a evocative account of a city and it's time.
Last edited by johnfoyle on Wed Mar 17, 2010 6:22 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Postby johnfoyle » Mon Aug 14, 2006 2:28 pm

The first musician to knock on Stiff’s door was former
Flip City front man, Declan MacManus, aka D.P.
Costello. Two songs from his demo tape — ‘Lip Service’
and ‘Wave A White Flag’ — had been aired on Charlie
Gillett’s Honky Tonk radio show on 15 August.


No Sleep Till Canvey Island: The Great Pub Rock Revolution
by Will Birch

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0753 ... s&v=glance

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tomorrow, Aug 15th , being the 30th anniversery of Charlie Gillet playing Elvis' early demos on his BBC London radio show , here , with permission, is a extract from Graeme Thomson's account -

Image
Palgrave House , Cypress Avenue, Whitton, London where Elvis recorded the 'Honky Tonk ' demos .


[i]No matter how much Declan later dismissed the tape,
in the main the songs were undeniably impressive.
‘Cheap Reward’ was a breezy uptempo country tune with
a sly lyric, while one could imagine a band taking
hold of the short, sombre ‘Poison Moon’ and twisting
it into something remarkable. Only ‘Jump Up’ was a
misfire, veering off into a disjointed, rambling jazzy
structure, with very little resembling a verse or a
chorus.

‘Wave A White Flag’ was the pick of the litter, a
caustic, Randy Newman-esque tale of two lovers in love
with their domestic disharmony. It pointed to a
soon-to-be enduring lyrical obsession of the dark
discord that goes on behind closed doors, admitting
that ‘something deep inside me wants to turn you black
and blue’. He sings it sweetly, with a smile in his
voice, but given the tempestuous nature of his
marriage, the listener can only hope that it’s a
character study.

The combination of the carefree vocal, happy tempo and
nasty lyrics was undoubtedly commanding, and it’s not
hard to see why it was this track that pricked up a
few ears. The opening coda in particular sounds so
musically sophisticated and vocally rich that it could
have turned up on Spike or Mighty Like A Rose without
sounding out of place. However it was clearly too
strong a brew for My Aim Is True. The rest of the song
skips into a neat, pre-war jazz-guitar styling, which
only just fails to avoid falling into pastiche with
its final, tongue-in-cheek lament of ‘gee whiz,
baby!’.

The demo finally prompted some genuine interest in
Declan and his songs. Most significantly, it got him
played on the radio, courtesy of Charlie Gillett, a
highly influential DJ on BBC Radio London whose Sunday
afternoon Honky Tonk show had recently brought Graham
Parker to public notice and would later break the
career of Dire Straits. Charlie had been aware of the
existence of Flip City through his acquaintance with
Ken Smith, who sometimes helped out on the radio show
by volunteering to answer phones. Indeed, Charlie had
plugged Flip City gigs on his show and had once made a
specific effort to see the band in 1975, which ended
in vain when he couldn’t find the venue. Perhaps
fortuitously, having failed to hear the band, when
Charlie received Declan’s tape in the post he made no
connection between Flip City and D.P. Costello. ‘I
knew nothing about [him],’ he recalls. ‘This little
three-inch reel-to-reel tape came through with D.P.
Costello written on the outside, which — when I
played I just liked the sound of.’

Interestingly, for someone who would be lauded
primarily for his songwriting and his lyrical
invention, what struck Charlie most immediately about
Declan was the voice. That ‘desperate’ sound which had
attracted Declan to the likes of Van Morrison, Bruce
Springsteen and Rick Danko now immediately drew
Charlie Gillett to D.P. Costello. ‘The strongest vocal
association I made at the time was that he sounded a
bit like Tim Hardin, which is not a name I’ve ever
heard mentioned in association with him. Hardin had
that slight quaver in his voice of somebody on the
edge of crying.’

And just because Declan’s voice was the immediate
hook, it didn’t mean that Charlie didn’t also
appreciate the songs and the intellectual craft behind
them as well. His particular favourite was ‘Wave A
White Flag’. ‘It was a fantastic song,’ he says.
‘Everything about it: the use of words, like when he
sings “Til you ca-pit-u-lateâ€

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Postby migdd » Mon Aug 14, 2006 6:33 pm

Fond memories!
Thanks for this thread, JF!!

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Postby johnfoyle » Tue Aug 29, 2006 6:41 am

bump!

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Postby bronxapostle » Tue Aug 29, 2006 10:45 am

1976 BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN AND THE E STREET BAND @ WEST POINT!!!! MAY 27! maybe that day E was writing THE BEST early "gem" of his......IMAGINATION IS A POWERFUL DECEIVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Postby johnfoyle » Thu Aug 02, 2007 12:58 am

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jh ... rld102.xml

Daily Telegraph Aug 2 '07

Image
Charlie Gillett: makes no claims to musical infallibility


This is the World Service - of global music

02/08/2007

Listened to by millions, from Uganda to Iraq, Charlie Gillett may be the most influential DJ on the planet. Interview by Peter Culshaw

Charlie's world music hot properties

At last weekend's Womad festival in Wiltshire, a lot of the movers and shakers of world music - the record company bosses, promoters and media types - were absent, put off by the floods and severe weather warnings.


Wags had dubbed it Womud. But it would take more than that to put off Charlie Gillett, the 65-year-old DJ and hugely influential world-music enthusiast, who I watched playing a DJ set at the small but appropriately titled Under A Tree Stage on the Sunday.

For his weekly programme on the BBC World Service, Gillett has a considerably larger audience than the Womad crowd - it runs into millions. "One guy emailed last week from Uganda," says Gillett, "to say he woke up from a nightmare, put on the radio and heard me playing Ali Farka Touré - he included his phone number, so I called him back." Other recent emails have come from US military personnel and ordinary citizens in Iraq.

I met Gillett the day after Womad, in the South London house, where he has lived with his family and his massive record collection since 1969. He bought the place for £5,000. "The mortgage was less than my weekly paper bill," he says, which has helped him pursue his often poorly paid adventures in global music.

Next week sees the release of what has become the essential annual overview of the world music scene, his Sound Of The World compilation series. The two-CD set mixes better-known bands such as Tinariwen, Gotan Project and Ladysmith Black Mambazo with his latest discoveries. "One change in the last few years is the number of exciting new women singers," he says. "This compilation is two-thirds female."
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Gillett first had the notion that he might have an ear for discovering music in 1962, when he became a Bob Dylan fanatic after hearing a track in a record store in the US "months, at least, before anyone back home". His Masters thesis for Colombia University, a history of popular music, was published to acclaim as a book, The Sound Of The City, in 1970 and is still in print.

He began his first weekly radio programme, Honky Tonk, in 1972 on Radio London, where he stayed till 1978. While punk didn't much interest him - "the rhythms were too boring" - he did discover numerous artists, including Dire Straits. "I played the demo of Sultans Of Swing and seven record companies had rung before the end of the programme." Other acts he brought to public notice included Ian Dury, who he managed for a while, Graham Parker and Elvis Costello ("the only one who rang in to thank you for playing his demo").

He joined Capital Radio in 1980 but "left before I was pushed" in 1983. Listeners complained, and he was offered another show. "I told the radio station I was getting a lot of response to what I called at the time 'tropical' records" and he began A Foreign Affair, the first world-music radio programme.

"I knew from experience that not only would there be an audience, but they would put me right if I made mistakes, and introduce me to music I didn't know about." He was the first British DJ to play Youssou N'Dour and Salif Keita.

The conservative nature of British radio disappoints him. "If you think of how other aspects of life have changed - the number of foreign players in the Premiership, the diverse range of global restaurants in the high streets - radio here is pretty xenophobic." He is puzzled that multi-million selling artists such as Spain's Manu Chao or Cesaria Evora from Cape Verde are so rarely played on Radio 1 or 2.

Gillett makes no claims to musical infallibility - he saw one of the first Velvet Underground gigs and "didn't understand them", and he has of a blind spot for Brazilian music: "a lot of it is a bit too much like lounge music for me." But he follows his enthusiasms wherever they lead "regardless of what is deemed hip or fashionable".

A bout of illness caused him to resign last year from his popular BBC Radio London show - he hopes to "come back with something maybe next year" - but the internet means his World Service show is more heard than ever, and his website soundoftheworld.com has an impressively lively forum.

With the demise of John Peel ("I didn't like most of what he played - but he was great to listen to anyway"), Gillett must be the most universally admired veteran broadcaster in the land - and his enthusiasm remains infectious. I saw him as the sun went down on the last night of Womad listening to the Portguese fado singer Mariza, who he, of course, has helped immeasurably.

"Where does she get that amazing voice from?" he asked, thrilled by yet another great global singer.

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Re: Charlie plays Elvis, 30 years ago this week.

Postby johnfoyle » Fri Aug 08, 2008 4:03 pm

Charlie has recently posted some comments on playing Elvis on his radio show in '76-

http://www.charliegillett.com/phpBB2/vi ... php?t=7654

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Re: Charlie plays Elvis, 30 years ago this week.

Postby johnfoyle » Sat Aug 22, 2009 7:39 am

No Elvis , but a taste of what the show was about -

http://www.spincds.com/product.asp?id=9021532

Various Artists - Charlie Gillet's Radio Picks From Honky Tonk

Release Date: 28 Sep 2009




Description

Charlie Gillett presented Honky Tonk on BBC Radio London from March 1972 until the end of 1978. This CD includes 25 favourites from the show, both oldies and then-contemporary tracks. The compilation and in-depth sleevenotes are by Charlie himself. Includes a wide variety of styles, from the Wild Tchoupitoulas to Mac Gayden, and a Dire Straits demo, which gets its first ever release on this CD.

TRACKLIST
1. HOW FAR TO THE HORIZON - Jesse Winchester
2. DOWN ON THE FARM - Big Al Downing
3. HONKY TONKIN' - Delbert McClinton
4. MARY LOU - Young Jessie
5. GAMES PEOPLE PLAY - Joe South
6. THE WAY I WALK - Jack Scott
7. CALL ME THE BREEZE - J.J. Cale
8. SHOPPIN' FOR CLOTHES - The Coasters
9. SMALL TOWN TALK - Bobby Charles
10. LET'S HAVE A PARTY - Amos Milburn
11. MORNING GLORY - Mac Gayden
12. SUSIE-Q - Dale Hawkins
13. BACK TO SCHOOLDAYS - Graham Parker
14. WHO DO YOU LOVE? - Ronnie Hawkins & The Hawks
15. READ THE SIGNS - Bruce Channel
16. RUBY BABY - Dion
17. LA BELLE DE LA LOUISIANNE - Eddy Raven
18. MEET THE BOYS ON BATTLEFRONT - Wild Tchoupitoulas
19. WHAT'CHA GONNA DO? - Clyde McPhatter / Drifters
20. THIRD RATE ROMANCE - Amazing Rhythm Aces
21. WE GOT A GOOD THING GOING - Barbara Lynn
22. SULTANS OF SWING - Dire Straits
23. NO MORE DOGGIN' - Rosco Gordon
24. HONKY TONK (PART 2) - Bill Doggett
25. NEW YORK CITY (PARTS 1 & 2) - Tabou Combo
(Ace/PHD)

See also -

http://www.charliegillett.com/phpBB2/vi ... hp?t=11608

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Re: Charlie plays Elvis, 33 years ago this week.

Postby johnfoyle » Thu Oct 22, 2009 1:15 pm

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Charlie-Gillett ... =8-2-fkmr0

Image

Charlie Gillett's Radio Picks From Honky Tonk
~ Various Artists

October 26, 2009

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Re: Charlie plays Elvis, 33 years ago this week.

Postby johnfoyle » Wed Mar 17, 2010 6:21 pm

Very sad news ; Elvis talked about Charlie as recently as last Nov.-

http://www.wnyc.org/shows/lopate/episod ... nts/144585


I sent , via his forum, Charlie this link ; he humorously responded -

'It took me a while to navigate to the radio show - I kept getting a trailer for Elvis's TV show. But I finally found it. Curiously, when he talks Elvis sounds disconcertingly like Cliff Richard. How did that happen?'


http://www.charliegillett.com/


http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/ ... t-obituary

Charlie Gillett obituary

Radio DJ, champion of world music and author of a major history of rock'n'roll

Richard Williams

Wednesday 17 March 2010


Few people can have opened so many ears to such a variety of music over the last four decades as Charlie Gillett, the author and radio disc jockey, who has died aged 68 after a long illness. Charlie wrote the first serious history of rock'n'roll and went on to become a central figure in drawing together the confluence of international sounds that became known, to the benefit of many artists whose work might otherwise have remained in obscurity, as world music.

The radio was Charlie's medium, and from Honky Tonk, his 1970s Radio London show, to his weekly BBC World Service broadcasts in recent years, he nurtured an audience whose loyalty to him and belief in his integrity were unshakeable. He was never polished in his presentation – "I'm not very good at reading scripts," he once said, "and I wouldn't be very convincing introducing a record that I didn't personally like" – but his listeners knew that if Charlie had chosen to play a piece of music, it would be worth hearing.

His discoveries were numerous, from Johnnie Allen's Cajun version of Chuck Berry's Promised Land in the early 1970s, through Youssou N'Dour and Salif Keita to Mariza, the young singer of Portuguese fado music who went from appearances on Charlie's show in 2001 to sellout concerts at the Royal Albert Hall, London. Throughout the last decade he compiled CD anthologies, presenting the best of new music from around the world. The most recent, last year's Otro Mundo, included contributions from Armenia and Mallorca.

The best-known story, however, concerns a recently formed south London group who approached Charlie with their demo tape one day in 1976. He liked what he heard, and chose one of the songs, Sultans of Swing, to play on Honky Tonk that Sunday. By the time the tune had finished, his little studio had taken calls from half the A&R men in London. Dire Straits were on their way the global success, and they never forgot their debt to his willingness to trust his instincts.

Charlie was born in Morecambe, Lancashire, and brought up in Stockton-on-Tees, Cleveland, where, at the age of 16, he saw Buddy Holly and the Crickets on their only British tour. Educated at Grangefield grammar school, he excelled as a quarter-miler on the athletics track and as a footballer, and his love of sport never left him. While camping in north Wales one summer, he met Buffy Chessum, then 15. Some years later, after he had studied economics at Peterhouse, Cambridge, they made contact again, and in 1964 they were married.

They spent the following year in New York, where Charlie studied for his MA at Columbia University. The history of rock'n'roll became the subject of his thesis, long before popular music became an acceptable topic for academic study. Returning to England in 1966, he taught social studies and film-making, another lifelong enthusiasm, at Kingsway College of Further Education, now Westminster Kingsway, in central London, while Buffy gave birth to their two daughters (followed later by a son) and he spent the evenings turning his thesis into a book.

Attempting to find a niche in journalism, he wrote for New Society, Anarchy and the soul music magazine Shout before securing a column in Record Mirror, in which he could express his enthusiasm for rhythm and blues and early rock'n'roll. But it was when The Sound of the City was published in the US in 1970, to great acclaim, that his reputation was established. The book looked beneath the surface of the first 15 years of rock'n'roll, tracing its antecedents and making thoughtful, typically unpretentious assessments, not just of the musicians but of the fledgling industry and its visionary hustlers. Its avoidance of received wisdom inspired countless authors to pursue its themes in the subsequent decades.

Four years later Charlie produced Making Tracks, a serviceable history of Atlantic Records. But writing books, it turned out, was not his true vocation. Honky Tonk was heard for the first time in 1972, and over the next six years it became compulsory Sunday listening for the kind of music lover to whom the intimate music of JJ Cale or Bobby Charles spoke louder than the pumped-up sounds of Led Zeppelin or Yes, and who were thrilled when Charlie played demos by Elvis Costello or Graham Parker.

Wisely, he turned down an offer to present BBC2's The Old Grey Whistle Test, realising that he would have little to say to musicians for whose work he cared nothing. The intimacy of radio suited him better, and he became a series consultant to Radio 1's well-received The Story of Pop. In 1972 he was also part of the writers' collective that founded Let It Rock, a monthly magazine.

It was in the mid-1970s that he and his dentist, Gordon Nelki, formed a partnership which led them to manage Kilburn and the High Roads (whose lead singer was Ian Dury) and to start a label and publishing company, Oval Music. Their successes included Lene Lovich's Lucky Number, Paul Hardcastle's 19 and Touch and Go's Would You...? Later he acted as a music consultant to film companies and advertising agencies.

In 1979 he moved from BBC Radio London to Capital, the city's commercial station, and began to feature music from around the world. Sacked in 1983, he was brought back by public demand and stayed until 1990. In May 1995 he returned with a show on GLR, Radio London's successor, and began his World Service series in 1999. He was also a regular presenter of Radio 3's World on 3.

In recent years he contracted a disease of the autoimmune system that forced him off the air and finally ended his Sunday-morning kickabouts on Clapham Common with players from an assortment of African and South American countries. It was followed by a stroke and, last week, a heart attack outside his home. He is survived by Buffy, their daughters Suzy and Jody, their son Ivan, and two grandchildren.

• Charles Thomas Gillett, radio presenter, author and music publisher, born 20 February 1942; died 17 March 2010

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Re: Charlie Gillett - 1942 -2010

Postby johnfoyle » Thu Mar 18, 2010 12:57 pm

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/art ... QD9EH4PL00

(extract)

He also played unreleased tracks by Elvis Costello, who said Thursday that "it seemed like some kind of magic trick when Charlie made the first broadcast of my home-produced demo tape on his show, in 1976."

Costello said "I will always be grateful for those few curious minutes when I sat with my head cocked like Nipper the Dog at the improbable sound of my own voice coming out of a radio speaker

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Re: Charlie Gillett - 1942 -2010

Postby Top balcony » Thu Mar 18, 2010 1:10 pm

Big shock to read the obit in today's Guardian.

On top of the Honky Tonk demos I'll remember fondly Charlie's contribution World Music.

Rest in peace.

Colin Top Balcony

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Re: Charlie Gillett - 1942 -2010

Postby johnfoyle » Fri Mar 19, 2010 7:45 am

Elvis writes -

http://www.elviscostello.com/

19 March 2010

While reading the sad news of Charlie Gillett's passing, I had a vivid memory of being in a darkened kitchen in 1975 and tuning in his "Honky Tonk" radio show to hear Tommy McClain's "Sweet Dreams" or Bobby Charles' "Small Town Talk", records that I could neither obtain or afford.

Anyone in his radio audience can probably think of a song that they would not have heard without his help.

Truthfully, it seemed like some kind of magic trick when Charlie first broadcast my home-produced demo tape on his show, in 1976.

After all, it was the same tape that had been rejected by just about every music publisher in England. Perhaps its very obscurity was attractive to him. It was even the same tape which lead to me recording a couple of those songs for Stiff Records, when Charlie's Oval label shilly-shallied over a plan to cut a couple of sides.

I will always be grateful for those few curious minutes when I sat with my head cocked like Nipper the Dog at the improbable sound of my own voice coming out of a radio speaker. Charlie would routinely play such songs as Dan Penn and Chips Moman’s "Dark End Of The Street", sung James Carr or Charlie Rich’s version of “"A Woman Left Lonely". A short time later, I was seeking out Peter Guralnick’s great book, "I Feel Like Going Home", to read more about such artists. That’s the way the trail leads.

When Charlie famously championed Johnnie Allen’s great Louisiana version of "The Promised Land", the very next spin might be great record from Senegal, back when it was just a great record from Senegal and not something safely filed away in the "World Music" racks.


He also seemed to have a prescient view of the dissemination of music that the Internet age would confirm.

Needless to say we disagreed about his entitlement to later issue some of my demo tape simply because it had found its way into his hands but the line between "opportunity" and "opportunism" was, to say the least, a little bleary back then.

Just as people have their virtues, so they can also have their blind spots and biases. Oft-times, a puritan streak is found running through the heart of even the most widely versed musical theorist.

Perhaps some unimagined fate or an unfortunate career undoes all that lonely evangelism and embarrasses early advocacy. On the other hand, the path of noble failure and the embrace of decent obscurity are not conditions to which many musicians aspire.

Some say songs last forever, just as the voices and options that attend them fade from memory. I don’t know if that is true. These days, everyone has an opinion to broadcast and hardly a soul seems to have a decent song to sing.

For myself, I'm still glad that I caught hold of records that might have otherwise escaped my notice because I was listening to a radio show. It’s not something you get to say very often.


Three weeks ago, I was in a Nashville studio making some new recordings with T Bone Burnett. Over the nine days we were working, a number of songwriters, producers and singers stopped by to visit.


They included, Donnie Fritts, Dan Penn, Cowboy Jack Clement, Delbert McClinton and Hank Cochran.


I'm pretty certain that I heard songs by most of these gentlemen come over the airwaves, courtesy of a Charlie Gillett radio show, a long time ago, in another country.

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Re: Charlie Gillett - 1942 -2010

Postby Mikeh » Mon Mar 22, 2010 5:00 am

I was just thinking about what a debt of gratitude we owe to this man. He played a few tracks on his radio show and here we all are 30+ years later still getting excited about Elvis's next show, next album etc.

I am sure that EC would have made it without that exposure on the Charlie Gillett show but we should spare a thought and a few words of thanks to the man.

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Re: Charlie Gillett - 1942 -2010

Postby alexv » Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:27 pm

Hey, JohnF, you know much more about the Gillett/Costello relationship than I do, what do you think EC is referring to in the below comments taken from his note on Gillett's passing? Seems kind of odd to throw this stuff into a posting on the guy's passing.

Are the comments just EC generalizing about a type of person that is the opposite of Gillett (musical theorists who, unlike Gillett, have blind spots, puritan streaks that undo early advocacy of the fresh and new), or was there some rift between them in recent years that you've been able to unearth?

The first paragraph seems straightforward, in that EC balked at Gillett's release of the demos, but what's with the "blind spots and biases", "puritan streak" "lonely evangelism", "noble failure" stuff?

EC writes:

"Needless to say we disagreed about his entitlement to later issue some of my demo tape simply because it had found its way into his hands but the line between "opportunity" and "opportunism" was, to say the least, a little bleary back then.

Just as people have their virtues, so they can also have their blind spots and biases. Oft-times, a puritan streak is found running through the heart of even the most widely versed musical theorist.

Perhaps some unimagined fate or an unfortunate career undoes all that lonely evangelism and embarrasses early advocacy. On the other hand, the path of noble failure and the embrace of decent obscurity are not conditions to which many musicians aspire."

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Re: Charlie Gillett - 1942 -2010

Postby johnfoyle » Wed Mar 24, 2010 3:03 pm

Elvis 'n Charlie seem to have had a civil enough relationship. Considering how driven both of them were/are in very different musical areas it's to be expected that they wouldn't necessarily have had much time or need for contact in recent years. Elvis' comments last Nov. show he still followed and admired Charlie's broadcasting work.

Elvis' comments last Thursday seem to have been hurried. Even though it's dated March 19th , the Associated Press were quoting from it on March 18th. As other reports tell Elvis was at a Broadway premiere that evening so maybe he hadn't time to re-write and tidy up. Words are missing ( 'by' should be before 'James Carr' etc.) and the wording is rather convoluted at times. The line On the other hand, the path of noble failure and the embrace of decent obscurity are not conditions to which many musicians aspire. may seem dismissive. Careful reading tells us that Elvis is saying that Charlie was admirable in his intentions , 'puritan streak' 'n all, unlike some others , in this case musicians.

Thought provoking but that's to be expected with Elvis and Charlie would have, I'm sure, appreciated it.

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Re: Charlie Gillett - 1942 -2010

Postby Jack of All Parades » Wed Mar 24, 2010 5:51 pm

I, too have been puzzled by the syntax in the quote. What I take to be ostensibly a kind remembrance of a radio personality takes a wild turn in that quote. I know the definition of 'puritan' as practicing or preaching a purer moral code then that which prevails at a given time but this is an odd choice of a word. Clearly EC is still irritated that this man thought it okay to use music in his later years for profit that EC clearly does not think was his to use in this way. Hence the 'precient' comment about presaging the abuse of the internet as it pertains to music, at least.

One could clearly read the second paragraph as a slap at Mr. Gillett-maybe he had a higher ethical standard as to property rights in his younger days that eroded as he aged. Who knows. Peculiar to see it pop up in a tribute that for the most part is a loving remembrance of what this man clearly meant to many listeners, including EC.

"Perhaps some unimagined fate or an unfortunate career undoes all that lonely evangelism and embarrasses early advocacy. On the other hand, the path of noble failure and the embrace of decent obscurity are not conditions to which many musicians aspire."

The second sentence within this quote makes me harken to Jesse Winchester or the late Alex Chilton. Clearly musicians who did or currently travel the lesser path that EC seems to dismiss.
Funny to notice that among the selection of favorites in his commerative album of artists he admired, no EC but Jesse makes an appearance.
"....there's a merry song that starts in 'I' and ends in 'You', as many famous pop songs do....'

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Re: Charlie Gillett - 1942 -2010

Postby johnfoyle » Sun Apr 18, 2010 5:59 pm

Some downloads of Charlie's radio shows -

http://bootsalesounds.blogspot.com/sear ... %20gillett

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Re: Charlie Gillett - 1942 -2010

Postby johnfoyle » Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:12 pm

A recording of a Charlie Gillett radio show from 1978 , incl. Costello demos -

http://bootsalesounds.blogspot.com/2010 ... -1978.html

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Re: Charlie Gillett - 1942 -2010

Postby johnfoyle » Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:28 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOUp3IO2 ... re=related

Charlie Gillett Plays "Wave A White Flag" (Elvis Costello) 1970's

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migdd
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Re: Charlie Gillett - 1942 -2010

Postby migdd » Sun Nov 27, 2011 9:17 pm

Great clip. Thanks, JF!

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And No Coffee Table
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Re: Charlie plays Elvis, 33 years ago this week.

Postby And No Coffee Table » Tue Sep 16, 2014 12:41 am

johnfoyle wrote:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Charlie-Gilletts-Radio-Picks-Honky/dp/B002KWLUW8/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1256235099&sr=8-2-fkmr0

Image

Charlie Gillett's Radio Picks From Honky Tonk
~ Various Artists

October 26, 2009


There's a sequel coming October 27.

Image

1. Tulsa Telephone Book - Tom T Hall
2. Saturday Night - Roy Brown
3. (Shu-Do-Pa-Poo-Poop) Love Being Your Fool - Travis Wammack
4. Hernando's Hideaway - Archie Bleyer
5. I Can Help - Billy Swan
6. Love My Baby - Little Junior's Blue Flames
7. Sweet Dreams - Roy Buchanan
8. El Paso - Marty Robbins
9. Foolish You - Kate & Anna McGarrigle
10. Walk On By - Leroy Van Dyke
11. Wave A White Flag - DP "Elvis" Costello
12. Ruler Of My Heart - Irma Thomas
13. Such A Night - Dr John
14. Milk Cow Blues - Ricky Nelson
15. The Swan - Jona Lewie
16. Lover Please - Dennis Turner
17. The Promised Land - Johnnie Allan
18. Goodbye, So Long - Ike & Tina Turner
19. Stealing In The Name Of The Lord - Paul Kelly
20. Think - The "5" Royales
21. Clean Up Woman - Betty Wright
22. Red Hot - Billy Emerson
23. Nitty Gritty - Sir Douglas Band
24. Tipitina - Professor Longhair & The Blue Scholars
25. Ramble - Rico

http://acerecords.co.uk/charlie-gillett ... tonk-vol-2
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Charlie-Gillett ... 00NB6P76M/

johnfoyle
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Re: Charlie Gillett - 1942 -2010

Postby johnfoyle » Tue Oct 28, 2014 5:36 pm

Released today - Amazon e-mailed to say they've dispatched it.

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Re: Charlie Gillett - 1942 -2010

Postby johnfoyle » Sun Aug 14, 2016 1:26 pm

August 15th 2016 will be the fortieth anniversary of Charlie Gillett playing Elvis's demos on his radio show.

Elvis wrote about it in his book & tells the story regularly as part of the Detour show


http://www.vulture.com/2015/10/elvis-co ... lison.html

(extract from the book )

However, disc jockey Charlie Gillett had a local BBC show at the time called Honky Tonk, on which he played a great selection of old rhythm and blues hits like Jerry Byrne’s “Lights Out,” South Louisiana gems like Tommy McLain’s version of “Sweet Dreams,” and country-soul records such as Charlie Rich’s version of the Penn-Oldham song “A Woman Left Lonely.”

Gillett played records from all over the world, but he would also spin a few homegrown releases. I heard through a friend that Mr. Gillett would listen to my demo tape and, if he approved, might broadcast a song or two.

By this point, I’d started sending different combinations of songs to different record companies, hoping to hit the jackpot. I would send my lyrics to myself by registered mail, leaving the envelope unopened so that I could prove authorship, should anyone try to steal my songs. I kept a note of the contents of each tape in a little notebook. For some reason, I thought A&M might respond to a version of “Radio Radio” called “Radio Soul” and the first draft of “Living in Paradise,” but I didn’t send either of these songs to Charlie.

Whatever the reasoning, I soon got word that the tape was going to be broadcast.

When that moment came, I went into the kitchen and turned out all the lights. I didn’t want anyone to see me listening to my own voice coming out of the transistor radio. The only illumination came from a streetlamp outside the ground-floor window, which cast a vague glow along the linoleum. I was just one storey below where I’d sat as a child, listening to my Dad rehearse for his radio broadcasts.

My voice sounded lower and older than I’d imagined, but I was still finding a way to sing, and the performance was still full of strange affectations, just not all of the strange affectations with which I eventually made my name.

Charlie was complimentary enough about the song, in his deadpan way, but then they went to the weather forecast and the spell was broken.

The world didn’t stop turning, the sky didn’t fall in, and I wondered if there was even more than a handful of listeners tuned in at that hour.

Over the next few weeks, a couple more songs were aired on the show, but still no limousine pulled up outside to dispatch a cigar-chomping impresario to my door with promises of acclaim and riches


Recordings of that show aren't available but some clips of Charlie talking about it , at some point in the late 1970s I reckon, are on youtube -

Cheap Reward" (aka Lip Service)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjdffwYuaIY

"Wave A White Flag" (Elvis Costello) 1970's

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOUp3IO ... re=related

In 2008 Charlie wrote about it -

http://www.charliegillett.com/bb/viewto ... =35&t=7654

I did think he was great, yes, and played all the songs on the demo (four, five? I don't remember now) over a period of several weeks, but I don't think I got a single card or phone call asking me to play him again, and no call from a record label wanting to know his phone number. I was a bit baffled, as Graham Parker had got signed up on just one play and in effect, so did Dire Straits later on. I took the D.P.Costello tape to the A&R man at CBS, who shook his head, couldn't hear it. They were just bedroom demos, him and his guitar, and it was as if nobody could image what it might sound like with a band.

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Re: August 15th 2016 - 40th anniversary of Charlie Gillett playing Elvis' demo tape

Postby erey » Sun Aug 14, 2016 3:58 pm

A much quoted date, but a bit dubious, as:

1.) In his recollection of this happening in UM&DI, EC clearly states he was living his flat in Twickenham at the time:
When that moment came, I went into the kitchen and turned out all the lights. I didn’t want anyone to see me listening to my own voice coming out of the transistor radio. The only illumination came from a streetlamp outside the ground-floor window, which cast a vague glow along the linoleum. I was just one storey below where I’d sat as a child, listening to my Dad rehearse for his radio broadcasts.


It seems very unlikely that this would have been August 15, as by EC's account and other sources, by this time, he'd moved out of that flat, lived with his in-laws for a while near Heathrow Airport (which is how he came to write "Hoover Factory"), and then moved into another flat in Whitton, which is where he lived when he first became famous.

2.) All accounts, including EC's own, Gillet first aired EC's demos somewhat before EC gave his demos to the newly opened Stiff records office, which in turn would have been slightly before August 15.

Are there any sources that claim this is the date that predate this give-away quiz in NME? I'd hesitate to cite it as the authoritative source.

http://www.elviscostello.info/wiki/inde ... r_24,_1979
Last edited by erey on Sun Aug 14, 2016 6:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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