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Don Charles

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. ~ Jason Ankeny
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Joe Meek: Portrait Of A Genius - The RGM Legacy

Disc 1

2. Yellow Rose Of Texas

3. The Next Train Out Of Town

4. It Feels So Good

5. Robin Hood

6. No Other Love

7. Bad Penny Blues

8. Lullabye

9. Lay Down Your Arms

11. Green Door

12. Petite Fleur

13. Don't You Rock Me Daddy-O

14. Garden Of Eden

15. Rock And Roll King Cole

16. Putting On The Style

17. Last Train To San Fernando

18. Sizzling Hot

19. Sail Away Lady

21. A House A Car And A Wedding Ring

23. Rock Around The Mailbag

24. Blackout

25. Sea Of Love

26. Mr. Blue

27. What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For

Disc 2

4. Just Too Late

6. Heart Of A Teenage Girl

7. Angela Jones

9. My Baby Doll

10. Once Upon A Time

11. My Baby's Gone Away

14. Johnny Remember Me

15. Sweet Little Sixteen

18. The Outlaws

20. Husky Team

22. Tune For Short Cowboys

24. Crazy Man Crazy

Disc 3

2. Telstar

4. Telstar

11. Globetrotter

16. A Fool In Love

20. Just Like Eddie

24. Sky Men

27. Please Let It Happen To Me

Disc 4

8. Have I The Right

15. Little Baby

17. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right

23. Movin' In

x

Track List: Joe Meek: The EP Collection

Disc 1
Disc 2
Disc 3
Disc 4

1. Wild Wind

2. You Took My Love For Granted

3. Johnny Remember Me

4. There Must Be

Disc 5

1. Lone Rider

2. Son, This Is She

3. Lonely City

Disc 6

1. Ridin' The Wind

2. Dreamin' On A Cloud

3. Red Roses And A Sky Of Blue

4. Earthy

Disc 7

1. Telstar

2. Popeye Twist

3. Love And Fury

4. Jungle Fever

Disc 8

1. Tribute To Buddy Holly

2. It's Just A Matter Of Time

3. My Little Baby

4. You'll Do It You'll Fall In Love

Disc 9

1. Walk With Me My Angel

Disc 10

1. Packabeat

2. Dream Lover

3. The Traitors

4. Evening In Paris

Disc 11
Disc 12

1. Live It Up

2. Don't You Understand

3. Dreams Do Come True

4. When Your Loving Goes Wrong

x

Track List: Joe Meek:The Alchemist Of Pop

Disc 1

1. What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For

2. Be Mine

3. Green Jeans

5. Angela Jones

6. Sunday Date

7. Paradise Garden

8. Can't You Hear My Heart

10. Ambush

11. You Got What I Like

12. Johnny Remember Me

13. Tribute To Buddy Holly

15. Wild Wind

18. Son This Is She

20. Walk With Me My Angel

21. Lonely City

22. Telstar

23. Stand Up

25. Can Can 62

26. North Wind

27. Don't You Think It's Time

Disc 2

1. Ridin' The Wind

2. Jack The Ripper

3. Robot

5. Only The Heartaches

6. Hobbies

7. Wipeout

8. Just Like Eddie

9. Sky Men

10. My Friend Bobby

11. Country Boy

12. All My Loving

13. You Were There

14. Have I The Right

15. Questions I Can't Answer

16. I Can't Stop

17. Little Baby

19. Diggin' For Gold

20. That's The Way

21. Crawdaddy Simone

22. What'cha Gonna Do Baby

23. Something I've Got To Tell You

25. You're Holding Me Down

26. I Take It That We're Through

27. Singing The Blues

28. It's Hard To Believe It

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