Taking a tour of Charlie Lamb’s Nashville home is like visiting a country music museum of sorts.
Pictures of Mr. Lamb with famous entertainers, like Loretta Lynn and Elvis Presley,
hang on the walls, but the stories are the main attraction.
“It was crazy growing up with dad,” said Dudley Lamb, the youngest of Mr. Lamb’s
four sons. “The things I remember are Brenda Lee ... and her manager coming over to
the house for fried chicken and Southern comfort food. I was very young and the names
didn’t mean much to me then, but all the A-list names had been there.
“This one time, Roger Miller, the great artist and writer, was at the house crying. I asked
my dad why, and he said, ‘He’s upset because he doesn’t think he’s going to make it in
the music business.’ ”
Mr. Lamb, a journalist, publicist and founding board member of the Country Music Association, died
Wednesday. He was 90.
Mr. Lamb’s lengthy music business career included many firsts. He was the city’s first national
sales executive for Mercury, a national record company, publisher of the city’s first music
periodical, The Music Reporter, the city’s first representative to trade publications
Billboard and Cashbox, the first president of the Elvis Presley fan club
and founder of the Hot 100 chart and the Bullet.
Kay Clary, a publicist at BMI, remembered him fondly.
“He would come by once or twice a year and bring me a candy bar,” she said. “I remember
cracking up because here was this little old man, 88 years old at the time, and he
was still going up and down Music Row talking about his artists. I couldn’t believe it. He
was working with new clients and he was still getting excited about it.”
John Wannamaker, 92, of Nashville, shares a granddaughter with Mr. Lamb. His daughter
married Mr. Lamb’s son and the couple later divorced, but Wannamaker said he kept in touch with
The two would often go to Tunica, Miss. to gamble.
“He usually lost, but he enjoyed it so much, getting out of town,” Wannamaker said. “That was
the only fun he ever had, he told me.”
Wannamaker went on to describe Mr. Lamb as a very honest person who was very religious.
“He read his Bible often and he was a genuinely likeable person,” he said. “He helped a lot
of people get started in the music business, but it was more than that. He was just good company.”
Mr. Lamb is preceded in death by his wife, Frances and son, Gary. Survivors include
his children, Fred Stacy Lamb, Charles Lamb and Dudley Lamb, and five grandchildren. Funeral
services will be held at 11:30 a.m. today at Woodlawn Dignity Hall, 660 Thompson Lane.
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