Chris Willett

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Chris Willett, English Gipsy singer.

"Chris Willett was the son of Tom Willett.  He had recorded an LP of family songs with his father and brother for Topic Records in the 1960’s (The Willett Family - Topic 12T84) and I rediscovered Chris by accident one afternoon near Paddock Wood when I was diverted onto a Kentish side-road to avoid road works.  Having seen some trailers, I stopped and asked about singers and was promptly sent to Chris’s door.
Chris, like his father before him, was extremely reticent to talk about his background.  When I asked if I might take his photograph Chris told me that he would rather I didn’t.  Later he said that the question of photographs had also come up when the family made their Topic LP.  The family had suffered persecution throughout their lives and they decided that their children should try to find jobs away from Gypsy society.  Accordingly, they had not wanted to be photographed in case it became known that their children were from Gypsy stock, thus prejudicing the children’s chances in the world.  It is hard to describe how sad I felt on hearing this story."
Part of the booklet notes, written by Mike Yates, to the Musical Traditions Records CD Here's Luck to a Man ... (MTCD320)

Chris Willett also appears on The Voice of the People