Charlie Gillett: your memories

You’ve already been writing to us this morning to pay your tributes to BBC music presenter Charlie Gillettwho has died.

His World Service programme, World Of Music, brought an eclectic mix of artists from around the world beyond their national audiences to reach a global one.

“His postbag was one of the biggest, most affectionate and diverse in Bush House,” says World Service director Peter Horrocks,” which confirmed his special place in listener’s lives.”

“He was a very special broadcaster and he will be sorely missed.”

Leave your tributes to Charlie Gillett here.

16 Responses to “Charlie Gillett: your memories”

  1. 1 T
    March 18, 2010 at 12:31

    Unfortunately I never had a chance to listen to him. Yet, I totally support the format.

    Sadly, now it’s 99% corporate cookie cutter radio. Can presenters pick their own tunes? In one of my first radio jobs I could. But now it’s all pre-printed playlists (sent in from the home office).

  2. 2 @guykaks
    March 18, 2010 at 12:46

    Rest in peace buddy,we will miss bad

  3. 3 Linda from Italy
    March 18, 2010 at 14:52

    Dear Charlie, he will be sadly missed. I have to admit a lot of the stuff he played on his WM show was not exactly to my taste, I get very frustrated listening to songs when I can’t understand the lyrics, but some of the instrumental music was fantastic and encounters with unfamiliar musical forms is always interesting.
    Having said that, what a broadcaster! Highly intelligent, knowledgeable and with the kind of warmth that beat a path straight to your heart, even through the crackles and pops of SW in the past.
    It seems like we had to say goodbye to John Peel only yesterday, although I now realise nearly 6 years have gone by, how sad now to lose Charlie, but his legacy will never die.

  4. 4 Linda from Italy
    March 18, 2010 at 15:10

    A memory, only about 6 months ago, I heard a song called Tom Hark, by Elias and his Zig-Zag Jazz Flutes, on Charlie’s WS show, and it whizzed me back well over 40 years to when, as a teenager, I’d found this gem of exuberant joy among a load of second-hand 78s I’d bought for next to nothing at a jumble sale. Since this was the mid-60s, the era of overblown psychedelic rock, it was just about the uncoolest thing you possibly admit to liking, but then I never ran with the crowd.
    I wrote to Charlie to say thank you for this wonderful journey in time, glad I did now.

  5. 5 Ronald Almeida
    March 18, 2010 at 15:27

    Charlie Gillet

    Forget the BBC, will the Western world itself in general find a replacement for one who really understood and felt music beyond all borders?

  6. 6 Mohammed Sameer.
    March 18, 2010 at 17:41

    Mr. Gillet can actually be called a Teacher in History, Geography and Culture. Once he posed the question ‘From which place does the song ‘Chaje Shukariye’ originate. Some listeners responded Pakistan and some West Asia. Turned out that the song was by a Bulgarian singer. I myself was confused. The song had West Asian style Clarinet and the words ‘Chaje Shukariye’ which I thought related somehow to mean in Urdu ‘Thank You for the Tea’ . There is many a closed mind which got opened by the music of Charlie Gillet.

    I do not believe in God, but may You serenaded in heaven by a Kora orchestra.

  7. 7 garth
    March 18, 2010 at 18:54

    every week charlie transported me to distant lands and times through his wonderful programme. one of my favourites was the “best of world music”. another was about songs sung in made up languages. he was truly a global soul.

    i hope his family finds comfort knowing he is in the arms of angels.

    rest in peace my friend.

  8. March 18, 2010 at 20:07

    We will sadly miss the well known voice of Charlie Gillett in his world music time on Saterday mornings at our breakfast table and the interesting and sometimes strange choice of music. In this way we were visiting the whole wide wonderful world with him. Rest in peace now Charlie ….. Anneki and Jurgen from Berlin

  9. 9 claudine
    March 19, 2010 at 01:37

    I was shattered hearing about his death.
    I was already wondering why his forum was suddenly off line.
    We exchanged a lot of e-mails.

    so sad…..

    R.I P.

  10. 10 Subhash C Mehta
    March 19, 2010 at 06:17

    I had heard about Mr. Gillett’s fame, but never had a chance to hear any of the music programmes presented by him for the BBC. May his good soul merge with the universal music of the hyperspace. I send my condolences to his berieved family and friends (especially his friends in the BBC).

  11. March 19, 2010 at 09:09

    I’m deeply shocked by the sad news that Charlie Gillett died Wednesday after a long illness. His death’s a big loss for both BBC and we listeners all over the world!
    Charlie Gillett’s a legendary British DJ, musicologist and author. As a loyal world service listener, I’m familiar with his mellow voice – to certain extent, Charlie Gillett’s The Sound of the World’s my spiritual food at weekends!
    I emailed Charlie Gillett many times. He always replied to my emails with kind words….
    Please convey my condolence to his family.
    Chun-Quan Meng, China

  12. March 19, 2010 at 11:09

    I can’t figure out a world of music without Charlie.
    You’ve been inspirational,i vividly remember the day you played a change gonna come by Robin Cook.
    May a legacy gonna live.
    Rest in peace.

  13. 13 BBC Fan
    March 19, 2010 at 17:52

    Tears in my eyes when I think about what is happening, Mr. Gillett is the man who has a caring heart and lead me to feel what other people feel with the world of the music. I will miss his voice on the radio. Please leave his picture on the BBC website.

  14. 14 nora
    March 19, 2010 at 18:01

    Who is the point person at BBC who will take over the archiving of Charlie’s vocal invitations to the world? Done right, he can speak to more generations. Keep his picture up.

  15. March 20, 2010 at 02:28

    Charlie’s death has come at a time when i was totally unprepared! I am a loyal listener to his music programme on BBC and i will definitely miss his programme. I love his global trotting from culture to culture. One thing i will miss is his eclectic taste of music selection and how he allow budding musicians the opportunity to break into the music industry. I remember one particular episode, when he retold the life story of Shalif keeta and his royalty that was taken away from him due to his skin condition. This type of reporting allowed listeners to enjoy music while learning about various cultures, and sets Mr. Gillet a part from other radio hosts. He will be sadly missed and will be forever remembered as a luminary. R.I.P. Charlie.

  16. 16 Richard Saddington
    March 20, 2010 at 18:19

    What sad news; but what a wonderful life!

    I’ve been listening to Charlie since 1972; & always tried to never miss a show.
    He introduced me to so much sublime music from such unexpected sources; which I happily pass on to all who want to listen.

    My compilation cassettes in the past, & CDs now have always been 70% Charlie inspired; indeed wouldn’t exist without him.

    Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou Charlie; most recently for Lhasa & Chava Alberstein, the Boxing Day show with Mavis Staples & the one with Pat? Lenox ; but also for that glorious Sat. morning on Radio London in ’76 when you played a fantastic country track; that had me rocking out of bed; & then you revealed it was “The Girl with Faraway Eyes” by the Stones!

    No one can ever replace you; & you leave a gaping hole in radio all over the world.

    Ars longa, vita brevis.

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