RIP- Grouchy Chuck

Sad news from Madison, courtesy of Jake Stockinger and the Well-Tempered Ear (read more here).

Charles S. Lunde, the longtime and beloved record seller at Victor Music and then the Exclusive Company, has died.

Charles passed away quietly on Dec. 13 at age 86.

Charles had deep knowledge a of classical music and a ready sense of humor. He brought both to State Street, where he worked for more than 50 years selling classical music.

Charles or “CS”  (as he was known)  made buying records — and I mean back in the vinyl days as well as the digital CD days — fun and adventurous. He had wonderful stories to tell about meeting Rubinstein and others. Seeing him became a social outing, an occasion.

And he was nothing short of an institution to generations of University of Wisconsin School of Music students and to Madison area residents and classical music fans.

Here is a link to his obituary as listed in the Wisconsin State Journal, complete with a biography and suggestions for a memorial donation:


I spent hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars at Charles’ various shops. He sold me my first Bruckner symphony (the 9th with Karajan).  His endearing lack of patience for nitwits led us to nickname him “Grouchy Chuck” but he was endlessly patient in helping musicians and music lovers find what they were looking for. He was a legend in the business and in Madison.

I’ll always be grateful to him for using the term “moosetracker” in reference to a famous conductor. I’ll be smiling about that when I’m 90.

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About the author

American conductor, composer and cellist Kenneth Woods is Principal Conductor of the English Symphony Orchestra, Artistic Director of the Colorado MahlerFest and cellist of the string trio Ensemble Epomeo. He records for the Avie, Somm, Nimbus, Signum, MSR and Toccata labels.

Learn about Kenneth at

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