Charles Watkins


Oral History Information

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Watkins Electric Music

Charles Watkins invented the Watkins Copicat, an echo unit introduced in 1958. Mr. Watkins was inspired by the Morino Marini Quartet who made famous the Comi Prima, which contained a special use of repeated phrasings. The Copicat revolutionized the world of music beginning in the United Kingdom, Watkins’ home country, and soon covered the world. The echo unit did not contain any printed circuit boards, just a few valves, a tape loop and as he said “a bit of imagination.” The Copicat was sold by the hundreds of thousands and is still regarded as a standard echo unit for most recording studios and concert halls. Accredited as the major element in the sound of the 60's, many models are still being played nightly over 50 years later.