A GREAT NORTH WEST MUSICIAN
by Rick Asbury, Head of Expressive Arts
I first met Charlie Taylor in September 1968 in a bar at the Kings Hall, Belle Vue, Manchester. He was talking to my dad about Gilbert Vinter and John O’ Gaunt. I was twelve years old. Since that moment, fate played a hand in combining our musical paths for the next forty-eight years.
Charlie had a passion for teaching and for musical potential. He ran the school band and taught the more advanced young players every Wednesday evening at Fred Longworth High School, Tyldesley. He also organised Tyldesley Band and taught local kids in his kitchen at home. In 1979, after I was appointed as a Music Teacher at ‘Freddie’s’, I sat in his band every Wednesday for many years watching him teaching Freddie’s kids from music he kept in a battered brown suitcase that lived in the back of his campervan.
Charlie’s strong spirit motivated and captured kids’ imaginations, kept them safe, made them into great musicians and even kept one or two out of prison. His patience and love of music were both infinite. His calm spirit and sense of humour, coupled with his musicianship, meant he had the loyalty and respect of all those who knew him either as a friend, a band member or a student.
His love of all genres of music meant that he appreciated all styles including ‘pop and rock’. I remember going to watch our school rock band play at the ‘Buff’s Club in Tyldesley. Charlie was sitting at the bar and shouted me over saying, “That singer’s a belter!” and “The lead guitarist is fantastic!” He regularly corrected local bands playing the Mort Arms, stating, “Those drums are too loud!”
Charlie was a very lucky man. He loved his life and lived it surrounded by the things and people he loved the most; his wife, children, grandchildren, great- grandchildren, his friends and fellow bandsmen and women, not forgetting his beloved Tyldesley Band with its timeless musical legacy.
His spirit will live on forever in the lives and music of all those who he worked with, mentored and befriended.
Head of Expressive Arts
Fred Longworth High School