Saturday, May 22, 2021

Don Charles [RIP]

Don Charles 

Born: December 10, 1933 - Died: December 4, 2004 
The famed British record producer Joe Meek considered his collaboration with singer Don Charles his greatest creative achievement: "You are my only legit artist," the eccentric Meek told him. "All the others are yugga-dugs." Born Walter Schuffham in Hull, England, on December 10, 1933, he acquired the nickname Don as a toddler, later adopting the surname Bennett from his stepfather. He joined the Navy at 15 and remained in the armed forces for a decade, moonlighting as a singer with local big bands. After settling in London in 1960 and releasing the George Martin-produced single "Paintbox Lover" on Parlophone a year later, he joined Meek's stable of acts at Decca. Fearing confusion with the American crooner Tony Bennett, the producer renamed him Don Charles in time for the release of "Walk with Me, My Angel." Boasting all the otherworldly hallmarks of Meek's finest creations, the single squeaked into the U.K. Top 40 and earned Charles guest appearances on a number of teen television showcases, where his burly six-foot-four frame proved a stark contrast with the rival pop icons of the day. A cover of Ben E. King's hit "The Hermit of Misty Mountain" followed in 1962, and that same year Charles released the country-influenced novelty "It's My Way of Loving You." The BBC banned 1963's "Angel of Love" as a result of the lyric "Everyone has an angel of love/Way up in the heavens above." Combined with the outbreak of Beatlemania, the move crippled Charles' remaining momentum. After the rush-released "Heart's Ice Cold" fell flat, Meek severed ties with Decca, taking Charles with him. In addition to a series of little-heard HMV releases including "Tower Tall" and "Dream on Little Dreamer," the singer also produced several sides himself, including the Tornados' "Space Walk." In 1967 Charles returned to Parlophone for one final effort, the Northern soul favorite "Bring Your Love to Me," before retiring from performing, later entering the used-car business. He even wrote a successful book, How to Buy a Used Car (And Save Money). Charles died in East Sussex on December 4, 2005, less than a week shy of his 72nd birthday.

This is a collection that I have had for many years and sharing after a request. Please enjoy!!


JACK said...

As a keen follower of all things Meek related many thanks for posting this.

Ozzieguy said...

Hello Jack
You are very welcome.

Tom said...

Hello Ozzieguy, that is a wonderful surprise today!!! Many thanks for sharing your Don Charles archive.It s great to hear it.It is sad that there is no official CD on the market from this great singer .So it is good to have your archive!!!!I am full of joy for this offer!!!
Do you have perhaps also something from Geoff Goddard ( also Joe Meek singer)?? Many greetings Thomas

Ozzieguy said...

Hello Tom,
Am glad that your wish came true.
Also, yes I do have a few Singles of Geoff Goddard here somewhere. Once I find them I shall do my usual work and share for you and many others that also enjoyed his music.
Best Wishes

Dusty said...

2 more

Don Charles - Big Talk From A Little Man - 1964 HMV POP 1332
Don Charles - I've Got Everything I've Got You - 1968 Parlophone R 5659

Ozzieguy said...

WOW Dusty, many thanks my friend. I shall share for our people here.
Best Wishes