, Oregon , United States
|| April 17, 1921
|Died||September 30, 2012
|Last Modifed||Thomas Walker|
Nov 13, 2012 01:12pm
|Info||1921 - 2012 |
A Celebration Of Life was held October 3rd, 2012, at the Actor's Cabaret for Charles "Chuck" Nathan, who passed away peacefully on September 30th, 2012, from kidney failure and other complications. He was 91 years old.
Chuck was born on April 17th, 1921 in London, England. He and his family arrived in the US by boat when he was age three. He grew up in Los Angeles, California, where he became a naturalized citizen. At age fifteen he quit high school to work playing the jazz trumpet. Chuck studied trumpet under Lloyd Reese and Louie Maggio. He became an accomplished jazz trumpet player and big band arranger. Chuck served in the US Army Air Corps during WWII, was assigned to several prestigious US Army Air Corps Bands, and in addition, lead a band of his own.
In 1942, he married singer Tonie Nathan (yes, her maiden name was also Nathan) at the age of 21. She was 19. Tonie
would often say that she married Chuck for his sense of
humor, and Chuck would add "...and our marriage has been
one big joke ever since!" Chuck and Tonie were happily married for 70 Years. They had three sons: Paul, Larry, and Greg.
Chuck and Tonie moved to Sun Valley, California
in 1951, where, at the age of thirty one, Chuck studied how to play the piano with pianists Harry Fields and Larry Green, and took advance studies in music theory instructed by Ed Loe at the American Operatic Lab in Los Angeles.
In 1953 Chuck's interest in songwriting led to the successful recording of "Say You're Mine Again" by Perry Como, (music by Charles Nathan and words by Dave Heisler).
It climbed to number six on the nation's Hit Parade.
Soon after Chuck's success with "Say You're Mine Again", the new popularity of Rock & Roll and Country Western music shrunk the market Chuck so dearly loved. The wide acceptance of these new music markets ended his dreams for continued success as a songwriter following in the footsteps of such Tin-Pan Alley greats
as the Gershwins, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Learner and Lowe, and so many other songwriters that he admired. Chuck also loved the music of Tchaikovsky and Chopin, the arrangements of Michel Legrand, and especially the volumes of jazz piano works by Art Tatum which Chuck collected.
Needing a new career, Chuck entered the interior decorating business and soon established Mr. Charles Interiors. In 1962 he moved his family and business to Hacienda Heights, CA. After six years of decorating the San Gabriel Valley and Orange County with custom draperies and decorative shades, they sold everything, retired, and moved to Eugene.
In 1971, at age 50, Chuck changed his focus back to his first love, music. He then composed a fresh big band arrangement of his song "South of the Blues," and two new big band arrangements entitled "Number One," and "Charlie's Theme." All three were performed by the South Eugene High School Stage Band at The Reno
Jazz Festival, and were later recorded by Gene Aitkin and the Lane Community College Stage Band.
At about this time, Chuck began to assemble some
select songs from the many dozens he had written over the years, for the purpose of writing a new musical comedy, "The Foursome." It would be 30 years before the work reached production.
During this period, Chuck also became an investment adviser. He believed in real money, gold and silver, and was a staunch advocate of individual rights, free markets and capitalism. He was an excellent advisor, making well-researched recommendations that almost always turned out right. Chuck saw the current currency crisis coming decades ago and wrote hundreds of articles for family, friends, and clients.
In September of 2001, his musical "The Foursome" was produced at The Actor's Cabaret of Eugene and, thanks to Chuck's sense of humor and musical talent, it was a local hit. "The Foursome" would be produced at the
ACE again in June of 2010. ACE also produced a
musical review of Chuck's work entitled "All About Love", which grew out of his second musical entitled "Girls and Poise." Then came a totally new musical, "Where the Heck's the Plot," which Chuck began in his eighties. ACE produced "Where the Heck's the Plot" in 2009.
Chuck was active with his musicals until the very end. He struggled to stay alive because he said he had about three more weeks of musical arrangements to finish. He was laid to rest at Sunset Hills on October 3rd .
Survivors include his wife Tonie, sons; Paul Nathan (Diane) of Palm Springs, CA; Larry Nathan (Judy) of Eagle Point, OR; Greg Nathan (Edna) of Springfield, OR; and former daughter-in-law Donna Courtell of Eugene. Donna has been like a daughter to Chuck and Tonie: Her mother was Matron of Honor when Chuck and Tonie were married in
1942. Chuck is also survived by grandchildren Charlie, Randall, Annamarie and Benjamin, nieces Doré, Susan, and Patricia, and nephew Ronnie. He was preceded in death by his brother Joseph Nathan of Chicago, IL, and granddaughter Melissa.
A memorial fund, "The Music of Charles Nathan" has been established at Pacific Continental Bank for the purpose of continuing Chuck's work. One goal of this fund will be to finance a local production of one
of Chuck's musicals to be performed on his birth date, April 17. Contributions will be graciously accepted by Pacific Continental Bank in care of "The Music of
Charles Nathan Memorial Fund", 255 Coburg Road, Eugene OR 97401.Please sign the guest book at www.registerguard.com/legacy
Published in Eugene Register-Guard on October 14, 2012