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William Kelly

Charlie Grace Invades England

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A friend of mine from Philly, guitarist Charlie Gracie, is now in England and will be there for the next three or four weeks, performing a number of shows.

Charlie is a grandfather of Rock n' Roll, having a hit song "Butterfly" in 1957, after which he was blackballed for not paying djs to play his records and blew the whistle on the practice.

He never stopped performing however, and I hooked up with him one summer Saturday afternoon at the old Inlet bar in North Wildwood where he played seasonally for many years.

Like Bill Haley's Original Comets (aka The Jodimars), from the same neighborhood, Charlie Gracie was always remembered and recognized in Europe more so than in his own backyard. They play bars in Philly and the Jersey Shore but do major music festivals in Germany and England every summer.

Charlie told me that when he first went back to London after a few decades, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Van Morrison and Grahm Nash came to the show. Some audience.

I don't know how old Charlie Gracie is but he must be in his seventies, and still rock n' rollin'.

Let me know if any of you Brits get a chance to catch Charlie's act.

- BK

Charlie sent his friends this note and pictures from London:

R 'n' R ROYALTY at CHARLIE GRACIE's U.K. CONCERTS! Frank Allen (Searchers) and Bruce Welch (Cliff Richard's Shadows) were in attendance last night at Charlie Gracie's sold out show in London (Twickenham) at the Winning Post R'n' R club. All smiles are Charlie and Joan Gracie with Frank Allen (left) and Bruce Welsh (right) before Charlie's show last night. Charlie--the guitarist has long been a huge influence on many British Artists...ranging from McCartney and Harrison of the Beatles to others like Grahan Nash, Ray & Dave Davies, Peter Noone and more! Facebook Fans can go to my site to watch a 3-minute clip of Charlie "on fire" last night! Quoting FRANK ALLEN (of the Searchers): just got back from seeing your dad...he had a great night...the band behind him sounded perfect and Charlie was terrific---he sang and played up a storm!" (Email came in this morning) THANKS FOR SHARING WITH US FRANK!

SHARING MORE PICS!

CHARLIE GRACIE'S 5-wk. BRITISH TOUR:

CHARLIE GRACIE, JOHN LEYTON and MIKE BERRY

Enoying the moment, the music and the memories are Charlie with British Actor/Pop Star: John Leyton--remember him from Von Ryan's Express (with Frank Sinatra), The Great Escape (with Steve McQueen) and many others? Plus Musician/Actor: Mike Berry--known to Americans as 'Mr. Spooner' in Are You Being Served? which still airs on PBS from time to time. All three joined forces at a sold out concert... paying tribute to the late British record producer--Joe Meek, who recorded the likes of Petula Clark, Lonnie Donnegan and Tom Jones. Charlie's tour continues through the end of April--and includes a big tribute concert for the late

Eddie Cochran!

Pics of Charlie John & Mike with The Flames--backing band: Amersham, England.

Edited by William Kelly

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