Bassist Charlie Bilello

Bassist Charlie Bilello

Bassist Charlie Bilello
Charlie Bilello (foreground) playing w Bert Sommer and Ira Stone at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair.
Bassist Charlie Bilello

Bert Sommer’s band

Here is another Woodstock Music and Art Fair performer for whom little can be found. And if you know anything, please let me know.

Charlie Bilello played bass with Bert Sommer that Friday 15 August in Bethel, NY.  Woodstock fan, blogger and autograph hound Jake Lokensky wrote that he has not been able to locate Bilello, but did seek out Ira Stone, the other musician with Sommer that day.

Bassist Charlie Bilello


According to Jlokensky, Stone and his wife Max were part of a fund-raiser the day he met Ira. Their [the Stones’s] set was dedicated to the memory of Bert Sommer. Three of the four songs they played were played by Mr. Sommer as part of his ten song set. “Jennifer”, which was a song written about fellow “Hair” cast member, and future singer, Jennifer Warnes, opened the set. Max then told a story about how Tim Hardin borrowed and made of with Bert Sommer’s guitar just prior to Mr. Sommer’s set. They then played Tim Hardin’s “If I Were a Carpenter”. They played a cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “America”, a song which allegedly earned Bert Sommer the first standing ovation of the Woodstock Festival. They concluded with another Bert Sommer original, “Smile”.

Bassist Charlie Bilello

Wade Lawrence

Wade Lawrence, the director and head curator at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts’ Museum, had similar problems finding much about Bilello: Bass player Charlie Bilello hasn’t been heard from for a number of years and is presumed to have retired from the music business or died.

I highly recommend reading Lawrence’s WoodsTALK blog which covers each of the Woodstock performers.

Bassist Charlie Bilello

According to a comment made by a “Les” at the West Virginia Surf Report site, “Charlie died in an accident in 1989.”

According to a Facebook comment by Lynda Galindo: Charlie Bilello died n March 1984 when he was hit ina hit and run n West Hempstead new York…

Bassist Charlie Bilello
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3 thoughts on “Bassist Charlie Bilello”

  1. My name is Ryan Bilello; I am Charlie Bilello’s son. My father died 3/19/1989. I can be reached by email at please share any stories you may have about my father. He was a very talented man; I’d love to learn about him.

    1. I met Charlie around 1979-1980 in a bar in West Hempstead called The Barefoot Girl. He was working as a recording engineer at Bolognese Recording Studio in N. Merrick at that time.

      1. It’s your dad was someone who tried to do a really nice thing for me when I was barely a teenager. I will email you one day

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