TEXAS (CelebrityAccess) — Manuel “Manny” Charlton, producer, guitarist, singer, and founding member of the legendary Scottish rock band Nazareth has died. He was 80.
His death was announced by his grandson, Jamie Charlton, who broke the news via social media, with a photo of his father that was captioned “RIP Grandad.”
Additional details about the cause of death were not immediately available.
A native of Andalusia, Spain, Charlton emigrated with his family to Scotland shortly after his birth.
Charlton got his professional start in music performing with regional Scottish bands, such as the Red Hawks and Mark 5 before he joined the Shadettes, who would eventually become Nazareth in 1968, drawing inspiration for the name from The Band’s hit song “The Weight.”
Charlton served as the band’s lead guitarist and backup vocalist through their most successful period, with his distinctive blues guitar style contributing to the success of hits such as “Broken Down Angel,” “Bad Bad Boy,” and “Love Hurts,” which peaked at #1 in multiple international markets.
In addition to playing with the band, Charlton also frequently stepped into a producer role for Nazareth, stepping in for Deep Purple’s Roger Glover, when the band decided to move in a different direction.
Charlton’s production work for Nazareth brought him to the attention of Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose and Geffen Records, who tapped him to produce the band’s seminal debut studio album “Appetite For Destruction.”
While production pressure from his band eventually led Charlton to step back from the GN’R project, much of his work was featured on the 2018 reissue of “Appetite.”
Charlton stepped away from Nazareth in 1990 to pursue a solo career, eventually releasing his debut album “Drool” on the Scottish label Red Steel.
He later relocated to Texas where he formed the Manny Charlton Band who released a pair of albums before parting ways in 2003
Through the later part of his career, Charlton continued to release solo and collaboration projects, including 2013’s Hellacious and Sharp and Sharp Re-Loaded in 2014.
“I knew Manny Charlton quite well,” says Larry LeBlanc, senior writer of CelebrityAccess. “Nazareth was a major band in Canada during the 1970s. Their version of Joni Mitchell‘s “This Flight Tonight” was deemed Canadian content, and was a Top 30 radio hit. Also a hit was their version of Boudleaux Bryant‘s “Love Hurts,” first recorded by the Everly Brothers in 1960.
“As well, I met him during sessions at Le Studio in Morin Heights Quebec when he produced “Under Heaven Over Hell,” the second studio album by Canadian rock band Streetheart, released in 1979. The band’s covers of “Under My Thumb” (The Rolling Stones), and ‘Here Comes the Night’ (Them), both charted in Canada” In 1979. ‘Under Heaven Over Hell’ was certified Canadian platinum (100,000 units),” LeBlanc added.