Western Music Icon Guy Porter Gillette, son of Doris and famed photographer Guy Gillette, and brother of Pipp Gillette, whom he performed and co-owned Camp St. Café & Store, passed away on Monday, Sept. 2, 2013.
Guy, and his brother Pipp, grew up in Yonkers, NY, and spent their summers on their grandfather, V.H. "Hoyt" Porter's ranch in Lovelady, Texas. In their teen years, they put together a band called the Roadrunners that featured a young Diane Keaton as the lead singer. Guy met Diane while studying at The Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theatre in Manhattan, NY, under the direction of Sanford Meisner. After graduation from The Neighborhood Playhouse the brothers continued to play the coffeehouse circuit up and down the East Coast and throughout the Midwest from 1968 to 1983. They made two albums and a few singles. In the early 1980s, Guy and Pipp, who had been leasing their grandparent's ranch in Lovelady that they had inherited, decided to move to Texas and refurbish the family homestead. Not long after, Guy met and married Cathi Stas from Wheeler, TX, and in 1995, the couple was blessed with a daughter, Dorcie.
The Gillette Brothers also refurbished the historical Camp Street in Crockett and created a "listening room" out of a former pool hall and barbershop that was built and owned by their grandfather. Their new venue became known as Camp Street Cafe & Store. Together they continued to entertain crowds at Camp Street and across the nation, with their own brand of blues, cowboy ballads and Celtic folk songs. Their shows often included vaudeville and old minstrel show comedy routines that featured the two playing anything from guitars, banjos, harmonicas, tambourines, kazoos and even the bones at which Guy Porter Gillette was fantastic. The brothers continued to record as well and were the recipient of the Western Heritage Award for Best Traditional Western CD of 2010 with their Cowboy Minstrel and Medicine Show CD. They also received the Wrangler Award for Best Original Composition of 2012 for Waddie Mitchell's song "Tradeoff." They also won awards for their chuck wagon cooking, Guy's sourdough biscuits were legendary. Guy and Pipp were also two-time recipients of the Cowboy Culture Award from the Cowboy Symposium in Lubbock, TX. These awards are among their many honors and praise for their preservation of the traditional cowboy lifestyle and music.
Guy Gillette has been battling cancer for the last year and succumbed to that illness at 5 a.m. on Sept. 2, 2013. Camp Street will never be the same without Guy's pure tenor voice that blended perfectly with Pipp's strong baritone. Guy and Pipp's father, Guy Gillette passed away just two weeks ago on Aug. 19. Guy is survived by his wife, Cathi; daughter, Dorcie; brother, Pipp; and sister-in-law, Jessica.
A celebration of the life of Guy Porter Gillette has been set for Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013, at 5:00 p.m. at Camp Street Café. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations to the Guy Gillette Memorial Fund at First National Bank in Huntsville and the Crockett Bank. The fund was established as a college fund for his 17-year old daughter. Contact Judy Thiele at 936.294.1002 with any questions concerning the fund..
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