Sunday, May 11, 2008

I've Been Listening To Your Show On The Radio...

Female singer/songwriter Charlie Dore only scored one mainstream hit single, that being 1980’s ‘Pilot Of The Airwaves’. The song was an easy listening country tinged pop-ballad, telling of a listeners fondness for a medium that was still at that time the pre-eminent avenue to access your favourite songs. Which begs the question, might a current day version be called ‘Pilot Of The Broadband’ instead?

It was one of those songs that I remember liking at the time (it reached #28 in Australia, US#13, UK#66) but I never purchased a copy and so it was relegated to being a faint melodic ghost at the fringes of my memory. In 1998 ‘Volume 2’ of a CD compilation series called ‘Living In The Eighties’ was released, and I was stoked to find the first track on CD1 was this long lost gem. It sounded as good to me as I had remembered from 18 years previous. I also learnt something from the liner notes as well, Charlie Dore was from Britain. Maybe it was the country tinged style of the song but I always thought she was American.

The English born former drama student had been involved with music since her school days, and by the time of her moment of pop stardom in 1980, then 24 year old Dore had already been playing in her own band Charlie Dore’s Back Pocket around London for several years. It was there that she was spotted by Chris Blackwell and signed to his Island Records label. ’Where To Now’ was her debut album, and it was actually recorded in Nashville (hence the American sound I guess). A second album ’Listen’ was less well received, though the title track was a minor Australian hit (#85) in early ’81, largely on the back of Dore touring there at the time. The song did feature an impressive backing group including several members of Toto.

Dore then returned to her first love acting and has appeared in many stage, TV and movie productions over the last 25 years, working with Eric Idle, Tim Curry and Robin Williams to name a few. But she did maintain connection to her musical roots, her compositions recorded by the likes of Celine Dion, Tina Turner, George Harrison and Barry Manilow. She recorded a third album ’Things Change’ in 1995, with two more independent releases since.

You can 'view' the airwaves first hand here:

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