Thursday, 18 March 2010

Tribute to Charlie Gillett (1942-2010)

Charlie Gillett sadly passed away yesterday.

He was my absolute favourite radio DJ, and he opened my ears (and everyone else's in this country who heard his shows) to the best of world music, not "world music" as a genre, but real music from around the world. Almost all the great artists I've heard were thanks to him, people like Ali Farka Toure, Mahmoud Ahmed, Mariza, Gal Costa, the list goes on, and Lucha Reyes (the Peruvian - because there are two Lucha Reyes!) one of whose songs I have posted in another video. And of course Manu Chao.

Here is Charlie Gillett talking to Manu Chao about some book describing the latter's adventures touring his music over Columbia. "The Train of Ice and Fire". (Manu Chao is an epitome of cultural diversity, born in France of Spanish descent and singing in a mixture of French, Spanish, English, Arabic, Portuguese, etc..)


  1. May this wonderful soul rest in peace... in God's place...

  2. Amen. Thank you, Jach.

    They say he introduced Dire Straits to the world. What they don't say anywhere, but I believe to be the case, is that he was also the inventor of radio ping-pong where he and his guest would take turns choosing records to play, often which the other might never had heard before. So the guest artist would bring along a pile of records of musicians who had been an influence or admiration, maybe describe a little bit about it, and for each record Charlie Gillett would come up with a record in reply which it reminded him of, or which he wanted to share, which was connected in some way. It made for a very entertaining and educational game for both him and his guest, and of course fascinating for the audience to learn more about world music. You might have also noticed me playing that game myself here on Multiply! ;^)

  3. Wow, dude! That was really 'something'. Not everyone would find the time and heart to play and enjoy music this way. And dude, that's the 'coolest game' you've ever played... hahahahahh!

  4. You won't believe this... I turned on the radio last night, and they were re-playing an old programme by Charlie Gillett... this programme!!! in which he was talking to Manu Chao. Oh, and guess what point in the show I happened to tune in at? About 20 seconds before the clip I posted above started. How about that for coincidences.

    Manu Chao was saying how his English teachers were Chuck Berry & Lou Reed, because he wanted to know what they were singing, and then he sang his song about Bob Marley.

  5. Really? Then that was the closest (coolest) coincidence! Maybe your eager waves met halfway with the radiowaves and made that possible to happen.
    What a very interesting video you got there!.... hahahahahhah!