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Post new topic Charlie Ward
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Author Topic:  Charlie Ward
Jay Coover


From:
Seattle, WA, USA
Post  Posted 28 Dec 2018 7:08 pm    
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I never knew Charlie, but I now know who he is. He posthumously sent me a couple bookmarks for my Winnie Winston book by way of a student who sold it back and then I picked it up used on Amazon, if I'm just guessing how I ended up with it. My google search for Charlie led me straight back to this forum. These bookmarks aren't leaving this book.



Happy new year!
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Mitch Drumm


From:
Frostbite Falls, hard by Veronica Lake
Post  Posted 29 Dec 2018 6:14 am    
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Here's a couple of tracks with a Charley Ward on steel:

I'm assuming it's the same Charley Ward.


Camping with Marie by Werly Fairburn

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpccGAbVxD8


Juke Joint Mama by Jimmy Swan

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfzJ7UZr_BM


Both were recorded in Jackson MS in the early 50s, so I'd guess he was local to that area.
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Roger Rettig


From:
Naples, FL
Post  Posted 29 Dec 2018 8:41 am    
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I knew Charley back when we were living near Asheville, NC. I can't recall now exactly where he lived but it may have been a little south of Asheville - fairly close, anyway.

He was recommended as a steel tech. Come to think of it, I may have met him by chance when I once attended the Saluda, SC steel show. In any case, he did some minor work on my guitar at his home which had to be seen to be believed! Every room was packed floor-to-ceiling with endless clutter. Outside it was like a auto junk yard - how he ever found anything I have no idea!

He rode with me once to Emmons in Burlington - I needed a knee-lever kit and Charley bought up some push/pull parts, I think. That was a long drive for Charley as I didn't want him smoking in my car. He respected my wishes but I could see he was puzzled by them. He was quite a character and I'd forgotten him until I saw this post.
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Roger Rettig


From:
Naples, FL
Post  Posted 29 Dec 2018 8:45 am    
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I've found his funeral notice - he lived in Arden, NC, in Buncombe Country. That rang a bell as soon as I saw it.
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Lyle Bradford


From:
Gilbert WV USA
Post  Posted 29 Dec 2018 1:34 pm    
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Knew Charlie well He was always good to me and his wife was special too!!!
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dlayne


From:
OH
Post  Posted 30 Dec 2018 2:33 am     Ward
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There will never be another Charlie.I knew him for several years & we were quite close,I still think of him often.
Dan Layne
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Jay Coover


From:
Seattle, WA, USA
Post  Posted 30 Dec 2018 8:54 am    
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Have any of you tried to reverse engineer the conversation Charlie was having with his student at the point he etched out these runes of wisdom (ones on the left)? It may remain an unsolved mystery. I'm assuming you have too much time on your hands.
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Clyde Lane


From:
Glasgow, Kentucky, USA
Post  Posted 30 Dec 2018 7:09 pm    
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Jay looks like he was working out the pedal arrangement on an 8 string 4 pedal guitar R=raise L=lower
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Clyde Lane
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Clyde Lane


From:
Glasgow, Kentucky, USA
Post  Posted 30 Dec 2018 7:10 pm    
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Jay looks like he was working out the pedal arrangement on an 8 string 4 pedal guitar R=raise L=lower
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Clyde Lane
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Tiny Olson


From:
Tribes Hill, NY, Mohawk River Valley, USA
Post  Posted 31 Dec 2018 7:44 am    
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I met Charlie in early 1978 when we did a show in Asheville, NC. The show was Gene Watson, Johnny Rodriguez and Johnny Duncan.

Charlie brought a new Webb amp to the arena for us to try. Larry Sasser, who was doing some road gigs with Johnny Duncan back then, and myself both played through the Webb. It sounded fantastic... but quit working half way through the second show. Charlie wasn't happy about that.

I wound up buying several Webbs through Charlie nonetheless after that show. He assured me he'd take care of any issues. I liked Charlie and trusted him. The Webbs sounded great but it turned out they did not like travelling on the bus. I had a few failures with them out on the road. Charlie always kept his word though and took care of the issues at no cost to me.

Charlie was a really good guy. I always enjoyed being around him.

Chris "Tiny" O.
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George Kimery


From:
Limestone, TN, USA
Post  Posted 31 Dec 2018 10:01 am     Charlie Ward
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Charlie was an eccentric genius. He had a degree in mechanical engineering and was a design engineer for General Electric. He only lived about 90 minutes from me. The first time I met him was at one of the Knoxville steel shows run by Stoney Stonecypher. Charlie had an Emmons PP turned upside down on a banquet table in the back of the room. He had an old rusty tool box full of old tools, some of them rusty. My impression was that I sure wouldn't want this old guy working on my steel with those old crummy tools. It was several years later that I found out I was in the presence of a true genius and a ledgend push pull mechanic.

Our fiddle player lived near him and Charlie fixed him up with a 112 amp, but didn't like the stock speaker, so he put another one in it that he thought was better for fiddle. The fiddle player told me that Charlie did not play steel, just had a perfect understanding of the nechanics of PP's.

On the way to gigs, the fiddle player pointed out Charlie's house when we passed it. Regretfully, we never had time to stop. Judging from the messy tool box I am not surprised his house was the same way. His house was just a small, white frame house. I know with his position with GE, he could have had whatever kind of house be wanted. He just saw no need for a fancy house.

The fiddle player told me he was visiting Charlie and the phone rang. Charlie said it's Hank Williams Jr. I have to go meet him at the interstate exit and give him one of his guitars I have been working on. I assumed it was a regular guitar, but it could have been a steel. Charlie was one of a kind. I wish I would have gotten to know him better.
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Paul Redmond


From:
Illinois, USA
Post  Posted 31 Dec 2018 7:42 pm    
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I used to live SW of Black Mountain NC in Broad River Twp. I had met Charlie many years ago in Knoxville. After I moved my machines into the basement of the new house we were building, Charlie started bringing me endplates and changer fingers for push/pulls. Charlie understood push/pulls better than anyone on earth. When I moved back to IL in 2002, Charlie and his son bought my Wells-Index vertical mill and moved it to his son's workshop. I never saw him play a steel guitar, but others told me he was a cracker-jack 6-string electric player. Never saw him play one of those either.
He was a one-of-a-kind guy. And his word was a written contract for sure. He was more or less the steel guitar godfather of the entire southeast. If you needed something, Charlie was the guy to see. If he couldn't find it, it was probably never made!!! He didn't like those long drives to Saluda, so he would ask to ride along with me whenever I went down there. I had moved to NC in August 1989 and in October '89, Charlie invite me to play at the Powdersville Opry in a tiny town near Greenville. That was in a old pre-Civil War schoolhouse with vintage autographed portraits on all the perimeter walls....Jimmy Dickens, Roy Acuff, Ernest Tubb, and a kazillion others. After one of the jams, the guy who ran the kitchen forgot to unplug the deep frier and it got to boiling and ignited. The whole place burned to the ground pictures and all.
We each got to play four songs. I played Farewell Party, I Fall To Pieces, and two others I don't remember. I was playing my keyless Whitney S-12. Some of the people came up to me after my set and asked how a Yankee from IL could play that country stuff. I had to explain to them that there was more country music in rural IL than there was in Nashville. If you couldn't play country in IL back then, you might as well have packed it all up and gone to the house.
Charlie introduced me to a lot of musicians back then. He was a people person and liked to get people together and knowing each other. He opened a lot of musical doors for me.
PRR
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Craig A Davidson


From:
Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin USA
Post  Posted 3 Jan 2019 6:42 am    
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I never met Charlie but once spent two hours on the phone with him as he helped me with a couple changes on a push-pull I owned. When I explained my problem he knew just what to do to fix it.
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Phillip Ogle


From:
North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 4 Jan 2019 8:45 am     Charlie ward
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Charlie was a personal friend of mine. Lived on Long Shoals rd in Arden n,c. He was an Emmons push pull guru. Traded guitars several times. He couldn't play a lick, but knew an Emmons like the back of his hand. Good fellow. I miss him a lot . Lived about 20 min. From me.
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Jack Stanton


From:
Somewhere in the swamps of Jersey
Post  Posted 4 Jan 2019 8:19 pm    
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Talk about timing... I was talking to Mark Tulbert about Charlie today. Back around 77 or 78 I saw an add in a little Pedal steel magazine ( it was a booklet with a yellow cover, I think it was put out by Mike Ihede) for an brand new black Emmons push pull that Charlie was selling. I bought it and it was great. I lost it in a wreck out in Wyoming along with all my other equiptment. I called Charlie looking for a new Rosewood PP that I wanted set up 9+8. Charlie said he had an 8+4, but he could put the other changes on it for me. When I got the guitar I saw the serial number was scratched off.It was obviously a brand new guitar. I questioned Charlie about it an and he told me it was because he didn't want Ron Lashley knowing he was doing work outside of the factory, which made me thing he worked for Emmons at the time. Reading the other posts in this thread I'm getting the impression that wasn't so.
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Jack Stanton


From:
Somewhere in the swamps of Jersey
Post  Posted 4 Jan 2019 8:20 pm    
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Talk about timing... I was talking to Mark Tulbert about Charlie today. Back around 77 or 78 I saw an add in a little Pedal steel magazine ( it was a booklet with a yellow cover, I think it was put out by Mike Ihede) for an brand new black Emmons push pull that Charlie was selling. I bought it and it was great. I lost it in a wreck out in Wyoming along with all my other equiptment. I called Charlie looking for a new Rosewood PP that I wanted set up 9+8. Charlie said he had an 8+4, but he could put the other changes on it for me. When I got the guitar I saw the serial number was scratched off.It was obviously a brand new guitar. I questioned Charlie about it an and he told me it was because he didn't want Ron Lashley knowing he was doing work outside of the factory, which made me thing he worked for Emmons at the time. Reading the other posts in this thread I'm getting the impression that wasn't so.
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Mark Robinson


From:
North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 6 Jan 2019 10:55 pm    
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I went to Charlie’s house on Long Shoals Rd several times. He was a kind and generous person and was willing to share his knowledge and love for the pedal steel with anyone!
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