Charlie Gillett, RIP
Celebrated radio presenter and journalist Charlie Gillett has died at the age of 68.
Although known in recent years for concentrating on world music, through shows on BBC Radio 3 and the World Service, Gillett was also among the first DJs to champion Graham Parker, Ian Dury (whom he briefly managed) and Elvis Costello.
He also is credited with giving Dire Straits a massive boost by playing a demo version of Sultans Of Swing on his Honky Tonk programme on BBC Radio London in 1976. Legend has it that half the A&R people in the city were on the phone to Gillett to get the band’s details before the song had even finished!
Gillett also ran Oval Records and wrote for The Observer, Record Mirror and Rolling Stone, as well as penning the celebrated 1970 book The Sound Of The City: The Rise Of Rock And Roll. This is regarded as a seminal work on the subject.
Gillett was honoured by the Radio Academy with the John Peel Award For Outstanding Contribution To Radio in 2006.