Not before time in my opinion – but it has been reported that Charlie Watkins Accordionist and sound system guru from the sixties, has at last received a life time achievement award for his services to the music industry. Charlie, known more these days for his work in the Accordion industry, has won the award from Audio Pro International (API) for his pioneering work in live concert sound systems.
With Watkins Electric Music (WEM) – a company he established in the 1940’s – he developed the Kilowatt range of sound systems and provided the sound at venues like the Isle of Wight festival and the original live concerts held in London’s Hyde park. During this time, Charlie worked with many prominent bands and musicians including the the likes of the Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd. He pioneered the modern sound system and as a result is often referred to as the ‘Godfather’ of modern PA!
Amongst his many inventions were some of the first live mixing desks ever to be seen, the now collectable WEM ‘Copycat’ tape echo machine and various other amplifier and speaker systems. Today he is still developing his ideas with his popular Song Bird range of amplifiers and the ‘Midi Partner’ expander both of which were designed specifically for the accordion. More recently, he has been working with some of Italy’s leading accordion reed makers to develop a new ‘Super M’ range of hand made reeds, so he’s not run out of ideas yet!
Congratulations Charlie – You have earned it!!