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 http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/53813

Special thanks to Charlie Fach jr, Herb Rosen, Mike Edwards, and Sally Stevens http://rockphiles.typepad.com/ for helping to put this tribute together.

For the obituary and information on the memorial service www.hermitagefh.com

Copyright 2011 by Artie Wayne 

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