Talented singer/guitarist Charles McKay, best known as the musical arranger and performer with sixties Decca recording trio The New Faces, sadly passed away on November 2, 2007 at the age of 63 after a long illness.
He was born and raised in Clydebank, Glasgow, and by the age of 14 was an accomplished guitar player. He was talent spotted by the Francis Langford Singing Scholars appearing with them in his first professional show Scotland Forever at the old Metropole Theatre Glasgow for the 1957/58 winter season.
Charlie remained with The Scholars until 1961, during which time they were a support act to the top of the bill on many variety and summer shows throughout the country and appeared in cabaret on the United States Air Force bases both in England and Germany.
In 1961 he left The Scholars to team up with fellow scholar Barry Greenway and singer Marie Gordon-Price to form The New Faces, a vocal trio who found much success on TV, appearing as the resident vocal group in the regular peak time show The Saturday Crowd, which starred Leslie Crowther and Peter Gordeno. They also guest starred many times on the Des O’Connor Show, as well as making many other TV appearances both at home and abroad.
Upon rapid closure of the variety theatres, the group turned their sights towards foreign climes, travelling the world performing on the luxury liners including the QE2 during the seventies and eighties, and were also invited to tour the west coast of America with The Liberace Show – this was one of the highlights of their career.
Greenway and Gordon-Price left the act some years ago and were replaced by singers Ian Grant and Sue Morgan who remained with the act until Charlie retired from showbusiness in 1991 to enable him to spend more time with his wife and family at their home in Shorne, Kent. Happily married for 41 years and a great family man, Charlie had a wonderful personality and always had a kind word and a smile for everyone he came into contact with.
The world of entertainment has lost a truly great performer who will be greatly missed by both his family and many friends. He is survived by his wife Phyllis, daughter Samantha, son Nicholas (who now lives in Australia) and their three grandchildren.
Malcolm ‘Mike’ Carmichael
Ex-Francis Langford singing scholar
Malcolm ‘Mike’ Carmichael
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