April 29, 2011

I first met Charlie Fach in 1962 when I was 19, hanging out in songwriter Paul Vance’s office. While waiting for Paul to return from lunch, Charlie played me his new release on SMASH, “Hey Baby”, by Bruce Channel and made me feel like I was really part of the music business!

From then on, whenever I had a hot master, Charlie was always the first one I’d show it to. Even when a couple of records I sold him bombed, he would encourage me to come back and say, “Don’t worry, your next production could be your first hit!”

Over the years Charlie signed me as an artist to Smash a couple of times, and when he started his label Intrepid records, I produced a few acts for him. Although we never had any hits together, I consider myself lucky to have learned so much from him, and most of all to have been his friend.

When promotion man Herb Rosen told me of his passing he said, “I have known Charlie Fach for over 50 years and have never met a better record man or a truer friend. Charlie lived the record business day and night. I will miss him.”

Here are some comments other friends have made.

When promotion man Herb Rosen told me of his passing he said, “I have known Charlie Fach for over 50 years and have never met a better record man or a truer friend. Charlie lived the record business day and night. I will miss him.”

Here are some comments other friends have made.

“Charlie Fach had great ears and was an early role model for me. Everything a great A &R man should be. I was 16 and he didn’t know me, but answered my calls when I had a master to play for him. I was very nervous going to see a major label guy, especially at Mercury/Smash, which was always a hot label mostly because of Charlie, but he was so warm and friendly. He would really listen, and had a way of turning you down that still left you feeling good about what you had created. He was right so many times with so many hits.

When I become head of A&R at RCA, I often found myself thinking about how Charlie would handle a specific problem I was having. I knew that I didn’t have his gift or his kindness. It was interesting to watch the Mercury/Smash slide when they moved him to the sidelines. Obviously he was the difference.

One of the nicest and most professional people I’ve ever met. My life is a better life for having known him.”

Warren Schatz

So sorry Artie, another good guy bites the dust. Rest In Peace my Brother.”

 Jerry Heller

“Sorry to hear about his passing. Was it expected?”

Steven Machat

“I remember him; he was always nice to me.”

Billy Vera

Charlie Fach with Bachman -Turner overdrive obviously “Takin’ Care of Business”



“As my buddy Wavy Gravy is fond of saying when pals pass, “Good Grief.”

Lee Housekeeper

“A brilliant record man!”

 Steve Cropper

“My thoughts go out to the family”

Rick Garvin

“I’m very sorry to hear this, Artie.”

Bill LaBounty

“He’s sadly passing to another calling…respect!”

Kenny Young

“Wow.  I remember Charlie from 1650 Broadway when I had my office up there and he had his own small label (Intrepid records) Sad”

 Seth Greenky

Charlie Fach with Kool and The Gang

“Sad to hear about Charlie. I did some early producing for him in the old West 57th Street studio. It was a great old four track board, but eventually wound up at the Warner studio in the Newsweek building instead.”

Jim Nash

“Charlie was a huge influence in my decision to make record production and the music business my lifelong career I found a very talented male singer and cut a single on him in 1965 I didn’t know Charlie and made a cold call to Mercury He was very gracious and spent close to an hour advising me on how to navigate the music waters This in turn led to my bringing the track to Art Talmadge And Gene Pitney and producing Gene and being hired as a staff producer/a&r At the lable Thank You Charlie RIP”

George Tobin

Charlie was a mentor for me for thirty years and was one of the most willing people to share knowledge than I ever met. I’ll send you some more tomorrow if it’s not too late. Charlie was a good man. I never heard an unkind word said about him.

 Bob Kirsh

“I reped Smash records in the early 60’s working for JK Distributing in Detroit. Alan Mink (deceased) was the Smash regional guy and I remember the company being very successful during Charlie’s tenure”

 Harvey Cooper

“I will always remember Charlie promoting me on Roger Miller’s “Chug-a-Lug” in 64 right in the middle of the English Invasion….”If for no other reason, give an American artist a break”….we did at KQV and the record broke in Pittsburgh, picked up by Gavin and started a career for Roger nationally.  Charlie presented me with a gold record….”it all started right here” he said. Good guy…”

John Rook

“Charlie Fach was the king of understanding low rent/low fi/under financed record productions. He acquired most of the great one hit wonders that appeared on Smash Records. He told me more than once that he understood my production technique of the first Runaways album. He got it. Thank You, Charlie. You will be missed.

Sincerely, Kim Fowley”

When my old friend, Artie Wayne, told me about the passing of Charlie Fach, I was/ am sadder than the usual sad we feel when someone passes on…’cause Charlie was the real  deal. Mr. Fach did it all- and did it all with such class.

When I first met him, he was playing sax at a charitable event. Charlie having been a musician himself gave him even more credibility. He had great ears and camaraderie with songwriters and singers and he could sell others better than he could sell himself. He was instrumental in Making Jerry Lee Lewis, Roger Miller, Vern Gosdin and a host of others household names.  

There weren’t a lot of females writing song like there are now when I first started. He treated this girl–and all the ladies i knew, for that matter, with such respect. He was refreshing. Now even in death he teaches us yet another priceless lesson. Simply put, we don’t have forever so when someone has enhanced our lives even in some small way we must make it a point to at least make a phone call to say “hello” and pay a personal tribute while we still can.

My heart goes out to your family–those who knew you best, loved you longest and carried your name with pride…those who will miss you even more than all the rest of us. They were lucky to have you, and so were those of us who had the privilege of knowing you over all these years. I hope you and my dear husband Ron Anton (he liked you, too!!) are reminiscing in Heaven long about now. Two of the really good guys!

I don’t say “goodbye” I just say” so long….great job…and until we say “hello” again at the gate, please watch over us. We love you, and love is Eternal.”

Dene Hofheinz Anton

l-r Buddy Killen, Burt Reynolds, Bobby Goldsboro, and Charlie Fach

Bless you, Charlie Fach, may you ROCK IN PERPETUITY!

Respectfully, your friend, Artie Wayne

Special thanks to Charlie Fach jr, Herb Rosen, Mike Edwards, and Sally Stevens for helping to put this tribute together.

For the obituary and information on the memorial service

Copyright 2011 by Artie Wayne 




  1. Stephanie Says:

    I am sorry to hear this. I wonder if he worked with the Shangrilas when they were briefly with Mercury?

  2. Michael Rashkow Says:

    Charlie Fach was wonderdful to me when I was in the business. We both lived out along the Jersy shore and often rode the train home together He gave me a lot of opportunity, a lot of freedom and a lot of encouragement and good advice–most of which I didn’t take. Simply a good guy who had some big ears.

  3. Barry Oslander Says:

    Charlie gave me a shot at production when I was a recording engineer at Mercurty and he was head of A&R. Mom’s Mabley was up for recording her next album for the label and Charlie asked me it I fly out to LA and record her at the Greek… No money, no points, just a chance to learn production he told me…That was my first album with her of the six I produced… He gave me a shot and I am greatful he did…Since it lead to so many wonderful gigs. I am sad he went to heaven this early in his life, he will not be forgotten by me and so many others in the record biz or in just plan life…

  4. Trade Martin Says:

    So sorry to hear the sad news about Charlie’s passing. He was a fine man with great recording industry ears. My condolences to his family and friends.

  5. BOB SELF Says:

    MR. FACH,

    THANK YOU, for the lifetime gift you gave me, bachman-turner overdrive. hoirs, years, of great listening pleasure. and then a gtrat gift in 1984, when you signed them to you compleat lablr. and, lrt’s not forget the great ohio players, the bar-kays, and on complete, a great kinks re-issue of obscure music, and THE GUESS WHO live reunion tour. rip, mr.fach, AND THANK YOU. YOU MADE A DIFFERENCE TO ME IN MY LIFE.

  6. Joel Diamond Says:

    Charlie certainly was one of the good guys who was always there when you needed help…I have not seen Charlie for so many years and I just loved seeing the picture of him in your blog which brought back very warm memories of a great music man…

    Joel Diamond

  7. Tom Tom Slocum Says:

    “Thank You…charlie was quite a character, vigoda introduced me to him, oh so long, ago, and then the Nashville days…RIP Charlie”

  8. This is tough reality to confront. My first professionlly released record as a songwriter was signed by Charlie. He was genuine as well as talented and that is a great legacy he has left this life with. Sincere condolences to his family.
    Eddie OLoughlin

  9. Country Paul Says:

    Sad news. Never met him, but I sure played a lot of his records on the radio. Unfortunately, there will be more of these announcements, rather than fewer; it’s that “natural aging process,” darn it!

  10. Paul Vance Says:

    Oh my god. Charlie and I were best friends for over 40 years. He must have put out 3 or 4 dozen records that I wrote and produced. We became friends when I wrote a song called Charlie Wasn’t There which I gave him to release on Mercury or Smash Records. I only spoke to him last March and he was writing his bio and he wanted some help from me in writing a few lines for him. I am writing this with tears running down my face. All I can say is rest in peace Charlie. I love you.
    Paul Vance

  11. What beautiful people ! Sounds like a great man, who promoted goodness in all. I feel honoured to have shared in these memories. Rock in perpetuity. Love and light Heidi Little

  12. From Jacqueline Mink, daughter of Alan Mink.

    Having been born in Chicago, during the good ole days, Charlie Fach was a wonderful man and I know my Dad enjoyed his years spent working with Charlie and Lou Dennis (my “uncle Louie) so much. Charlie had an incredible life and I have no doubt in my mind that my Dad and he are joking, laughing, and exchanging their wonderful memories of the nearly 50 years of friendship!

  13. Michael & Tamara Lang Says:

    This is to My Uncle Charlie Fach,
    He was such a huge influence in my brother Mike and mine dedication to rock -n- roll. I have read the credits here of various artists let’s not forget Uriah Heep,Thin Lizzy, Rod Stewart with Faces, Moxy, BTO, and Chubby Checker along with many more great artists.
    This is a shout out to our Aunt Marcia, his wife our cousins Charles Jr. And Kimberly his grand children too! Sorry for your loss it has really a shocking experience for us too! Love Tamara & Michael Lang of Chicago Illinois his niece and nephew we love you .

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