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For the Love of Charlie
     

For the Love of Charlie

by Charlie Gracie
 
In the United States, Charlie Gracie's career peaked in 1957 with the single "Butterfly," which rose to the top of the charts and earned him appearances on American Bandstand and The Ed Sullivan Show. Gracie enjoyed longer-lived success in England, where he was only the second American rock act to tour the U.K., and he remains a legend in his hometown of

Overview

In the United States, Charlie Gracie's career peaked in 1957 with the single "Butterfly," which rose to the top of the charts and earned him appearances on American Bandstand and The Ed Sullivan Show. Gracie enjoyed longer-lived success in England, where he was only the second American rock act to tour the U.K., and he remains a legend in his hometown of Philadelphia, where he's celebrated as the city's first rock star. While Gracie's well-scrubbed sound and style seemed pale compared to the likes of Elvis Presley or Gene Vincent, he was a far more exciting singer than such Philly-bred teen idols as Frankie Avalon or Fabian, and he was an agile guitar player to boot. Gracie has continued to record studio material for small labels over the years and has issued a handful of live albums, but rather remarkably, For the Love of Charlie is the first proper album from Gracie to receive a nationwide release. Time has worn a bit of the sheen off Gracie's voice, but he still sounds commanding and energetic, and his skills on the guitar are impressive. However, Al Kooper produced and arranged ten of the album's 12 tracks, and considering his well-deserved status as a legendary studio hand, it's surprising to report that he inarguably drops the ball. Kooper appears to have relied on an especially cheesy-sounding synthesizer setup to provide much of the accompaniment on these sessions (including some egregiously clanky electronic percussion), and this album doesn't sound like a throwback to the 1950s or an effort to bring Gracie into the 21st century -- For the Love of Charlie most closely recalls a set of demos cut in the mid-'80s, a sound that does Gracie no favors at all. On the tracks where Gracie sounds like he's working with a real band (particularly the last two songs, produced by Quentin Jones and Tom "T-Bone" Edmonds), he delivers the goods as an aging but eager rock & roller who still has some good miles left in him, and they make one wish that someone else had been behind the boards for the rest of these sessions. Despite the presence of some other high-profile Gracie fans (including Graham Nash, former Herman's Hermits leader Peter Noone, and Jimmy Vivino, the leader of Conan O'Brien's band), For the Love of Charlie doesn't give this veteran rocker (who was 75 when this the album was released) the showcase he deserves; let's hope he ends up in the studio with more sympathetic handlers before he wears out his rock & roll shoes.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/08/2011
Label:
Abkco
UPC:
0018771888222
catalogNumber:
88822

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Charlie Gracie   Primary Artist,Banjo,Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Background Vocals,Hand Clapping
Kooper   Organ,Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Clarinet,Harmonica,Mandolin,Percussion,Piano,Pedal Steel Guitar,Strings,Tuba,Castanets,Conga,Drums,Electric Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Horn,Keyboards,Marimbas,Tambourine,Background Vocals,Musette,Hand Clapping,cowbell,Soloist,Guitar (Baritone)
Graham Nash   Background Vocals
Peter Noone   Background Vocals
Dennis Diken   Drums
Craig Ross   Guitar,Hammond B3
Jimmy Vivino   Guitar,Slide Guitar,Soloist
Eddie Angel   Guitar
Jay Sorrentino   Drums
Tony Breit   Bass
Ralph Miller   Organ,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Dave Ferrara   Drums
Quentin Jones   Bass,Guitar,Electric Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Background Vocals,Hand Clapping,Shaker
Steve Patton   Drums
Mike Fisher   Rhythm Guitar
Amy Banks   Background Vocals
Ken McCoy   Horn
Caroline Jones   Background Vocals
Ace Filipini   Background Vocals
Tommy Leanza   Drums
Sam "Lugar" Rawhauser   Background Vocals
Robin Church   Trumpet,Horn
Charlie Gracie   Background Vocals,Hand Clapping
Kenneth McCoy   Saxophone
Ashlee Jones   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Kooper   Arranger,Producer,Horn Arrangements,Instrumentation
Graham Nash   Liner Notes
Louis Jordan   Adaptation
Charlie Gracie   Composer
Tom Edmonds   Producer,overdub engineer
Dave Roberts   Engineer
Brian Fitzpatrick   Art Direction
Rick Bell   Composer
Jeff Tamarkin   Liner Notes
Quentin Jones   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Engineer
Teri Landi   Cover Photo
Ace Filipini   Composer,Concept
Maurice Nugent   Composer
Thaddeus Pasierb   Art Direction

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