Musical Background – Charlie Gracie
So, having waited what seemed like an age for the phone to ring (actually it was only a few months but it seemed like an age!!) I decided that if I wanted to play with a “Name” I’d have to organise it myself! So after hearing that legendary Rock ‘n’ Roll Pioneer Charlie Gracie (“Fabulous”, “Butterfly”, “Wanderin’ Eyes” etc.) was touring the UK in November and had a few spare dates – I determined to book him myself and build a show round him!
Having made that decision I gave up my playing career in various line ups and concentrated on Charlie Gracie’s set. I decided to make the event a Charity concert in aid of The Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust and put a band together to back him. Thankfully my friend and possibly the finest 50s guitarist Ron Barrett was available, as was Andy Pascoe a fine bassist and proprietor of Modern Music in Truro.
Support acts were No Apologies…acapello ladies singing 50s & 60s numbers and The Pistoleros who got the audience dancing with their versions of R ‘n’ R standards and 60s classics. Legendary BBC Radio Cornwall DJ Freddy Zapp compered the show and the BBC’s Matt Shepherd auctioned a guitar specially built by my friend Trevor Williamson.
Charlie Gracie Live in Cornwall 2014 backed by The Guitar Collections very own Guy Mackenzie on drums, with Andy Pascoe on bass and Ron Barrett on guitar:
“At the Hop”:
The evening was a “Fabulous” success (far beyond my expectations) and the concert was sold out and raised over £2,000 for the Trust! Charlie Gracie was an absolute delight both as a man and as someone to play with and it was an evening I’ll never forget. I’ve achieved my ambition to play with an internationally known star.
Following the success of the concert starring Charlie Gracie in 2014, I rebooked Charlie Gracie again in 2015 and this time I included, on the bill, Graham Fenton of “Matchbox”. However, tragically Ron Barrett had passed away in March and so backing was provided by the “Sugar Bullets”.
Support was again provided by the fabulous “No Apologies”. Joint comperes were Matt Shepherd and Freddy Zapp and, once again, the Concert was sold out – a week beforehand! And, as a consequence, over £3,000 was raised for the Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust!