Monday, March 22, 2010

Charlie Gillett, Disc Jockey and Historian, Dies at 68

New York Times
Charlie Gillett, who turned his youthful zeal for rock ’n’ roll into an influential career by writing one of the first serious rock histories and, as a disc jockey in London, helping to discover talents like Dire Straits and introduce the new genre of world music, died on Wednesday in London. He was 68.

The British Broadcasting Corporation said he had suffered from an autoimmune disease and died of a heart attack.

As a broadcaster, journalist, author and musicologist, Mr. Gillett (pronounced GILL-et, with a hard G) strove to bring deeper, broader dimensions to people’s appreciation of popular music. His book “The Sound of the City: The Rise of Rock and Roll” (1970) described how rock evolved from more or less authentic regional styles recorded by independent companies to a vast, homogenized business ruled by major labels.

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