Charlie Watkins (audio engineer)
Charlie Watkins (28 June 1923 – 28 October 2014) was a British audio engineer and musical instrument maker, and was the pioneer of loud PA systems for outdoor rock festivals. His company Watkins Electric Music was founded in 1949, but it was in the 1960s and 1970s that "WEM" PA systems in the kilowatt range became standard for British festivals, such as Stones in the Park on 5 July 1969 at the Isle of Wight Festival (with Dylan in 1969 & Hendrix in 1970) and Glastonbury.
Watkins was the first to build PA systems with multiple slaved solid state amplifiers driving various loudspeaker stacks, beginning with the Windsor Festival in 1967.
- Charles Watkins Interview NAMM Oral History Library, May 16, 2008.