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Charles Donovan

Writer, journalist, musician, compiler of music reissues

Charles Donovan is a London-born writer and journalist who has contributed to The Sunday Times Magazine, Woman & Home, Attitude, The Evening Standard, The Independent, RnR Magazine, Shindig!, The Sunday Telegraph, Essentials, What's On In London and more. He has written liner notes for work by Melissa Manchester, Chi Coltrane and Maxayn and created online content for The History Channel, The Biography Channel, AETN and others. As an arts commentator, he has appeared several times on TRT World's Showcase. Find out more at

The Dangerous 'Gay Men Are Misogynists' Movement

I grew up bombarded by negative gay stereotypes. They came at me from every angle - the press (particularly the right-wing press), the church, my teachers and elders and my peer groups. No one said a single positive or even neutral thing about gay people, reserving their most pestilential venom for gay <em>men</em> in particular.
25/08/2017 14:59 BST

Let There Be More Melissa Manchester

Back in the early 1970s, when Melissa was a gigging singer/songwriter trying to make a name for herself in New York, a series of events ushered her along. She took a songwriting class taught by Paul Simon, joined Bette Midler's ensemble and met the woman who was to supply words for some of her most enduring songs - Carole Bayer Sager.
01/12/2016 14:47 GMT

Review: I've Always Kept A Unicorn - The Acoustic Sandy Denny

This 40-track compilation, a tie-in with Mick Houghton's well-received biography of the same name, presents the brilliant English singer/songwriter without the full bands, orchestrations and adornments of her studio recordings (all of which are already available in definitive, deluxe editions).
19/05/2016 16:40 BST

The Return Of Catherine Howe

Catherine's songs still have that uncanny quality of sounding, on first listen, like something you've already known and loved for some time but - like many songwriters - she's reluctant to describe her process.
14/10/2015 16:11 BST

Charlie Dore Comes Full Circle

Charlie Dore, singer, songwriter, actress and multi-instrumentalist, brings her tour (in support of <em>Milk Roulette</em>, her most recent album) to The Pheasantry, King's Road, on Wednesday 17th June. It's a chance to watch a master songwriter in an up-close-and-intimate Central London venue.
11/06/2015 12:56 BST

John Howard - Pop's Enduring Comeback Kid

John discovered that his first album had an incipient following in 2002 when a journalist, Mark Luffman, emailed him from Australia after finding the LP in a car-boot sale. "He raved about it. No one had ever said such nice things," says John. "It was considered a complete failure by my record company and management - they saw it as an experience best forgotten".
19/11/2014 14:21 GMT

Pamela Polland's Lost Master Tapes Found!

When I wrote about my friend Pamela Polland last year, in a desperate search for her lost 1973 master tapes, I entertained little hope that we would find them. After all, Sony, the tapes' actual owners, had searched in 2006 without success.
19/05/2014 13:57 BST

Londoners Unfriendly? No We Bloody Well Aren't!

"Born Londoners are actually rather friendly", I typed. "It's the blow-ins that aren't". I was swiftly accused of both xenophobia and elitism, so I had to clarify. Londoners come in every race and creed imaginable.
11/04/2014 12:00 BST

Flailing and Floundering

I keep collapsing into a ball of tears, mourning my father's departure (as far as euphemisms for death go, that one is bearable, don't you think?) back in September. It was followed swiftly by that of a close friend, Kate, an accomplished artist whose personal kindnesses to me had, over the years, become impossible to keep count of.
10/02/2014 13:25 GMT

Look Before You Leap

The conclusion seems to be that the Leap Motion has been released before its time. It's a product that should still be in alpha or beta-testing.
31/10/2013 14:13 GMT

Please Believe Me...I'm Not Back To Normal

Late last year, I leapt into the black night air and broke my back, feet and left wrist. And how am I now? I think of things like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and then I reprove myself sharply. Surely PTSD is for people blown up while doing something valiant in a war. What right have I to it?
06/09/2013 11:30 BST