True to form, Charlie got involved in music rather unexpectedly. Whilst at Her Majesty's Pleasure he learnt to play the keyboard and found the subsequent band in demand on his release. Similarly at the end of his famous appearance in 'I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!' he teamed up with two fellow celebrities and to Charlie's great surprise, and amusement, both their songs charted as top twenty hits - something that no other peer has ever done!
The Jungle Boys
Before entering the jungle all contestants have to nominate a chosen charity to benefit from the ITV donations raised from each call placed by the public to vote for contestants. The longer the contestant survives the greater the contribution to the chosen charity. Despite being the Ladbrokes hot favourite to win, Charlie was voted out of the jungle after ITV mischievously screened a recording from the week before of Charlie referring to one of the female contestants by her equally mischievous camp nick name used the men. Despite leaving two days before the end, Charlie was able to present to his children's charity, Click/Sargent, a cheque for £168,000 thanks to the public votes and generosity.
After a celebratory drink, Charlie, the DJ and music supremo Mike Read, and Razor Ruddock the ex-Liverpool player decided to re-work the classic song 'Jungle Rock' to give all proceeds to charity. 'Jungle Rock' was written in 1958 by Hank Mizell but only hit the charts in 1976. This unlikely trio performed on chat shows and at events and were amazed to find that the song was a top twenty hit. The following summer they recorded their version of 'In the Summertime' with the same result! Although Charlie's children view the videos with some embarrassment they acknowledge the fun had.
In the Summertime
'The Time Lords were formed in Her Majesty's Prison Springhill. A group of inmates, organised by Dave Mumford, regularly practiced in the dining hall. Dave, doing time for allegedly selling cannabis, was a notable musician and brilliant guitarist who backed PJ Proby, The Walker Brothers and the Love Affair and even had his own number one UK hit called 'Love Maker'. The governor asked if they could put on a concert which they duly did but the band thought it would be amusing to make a recording because it was strictly forbidden and it would be a first. Charlie had a word with a friend on the outside who was a sound engineer. Wearing the same clothes as prison guards, he was waved through the barrier and delivered the mixer and full recording equipment straight to the dining hall, hence the 'Prison Live' tracks on the CD.
Once out of prison others joined the band, including the wonderful Eddie King, keyboard player and vocalist with 'Osibisa' and 'Assagai' producing hits such as 'Sunshine Day', and the crazy but brilliantly talented brass players, the Tisbury brothers. One of the first engagements was to play at a private party at which ex-Beatle George Harrison played with them for over two hours on stage. It was to be his last performance before he tragically died of cancer. However the pull of everyday life proved too strong and a year later the band members went their own way. But it was fun while it lasted and the prison CD is unique!