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Obituaries & Guest Book

Charles Lane McCardell



Saturday, June 5, 2021 at 11:00 am

St. John's Episcopal Church


Charles Lane McCardell, 69, died suddenly of a pulmonary embolism on Tuesday, April 20, in Hagerstown, MD.

Charles was born in Frederick, MD, on January 24, 1952. He was the son of the late John Malcolm McCardell and Susan Lane McCardell, who survives him. He was a graduate of North Hagerstown High School and Washington and Lee University. He received an MFA degree in Musicology from Carnegie-Mellon University.
The entirety of Charles’s career was spent in the music business. He served as a producer, writer, and editor at Time-Life records. Throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s he was one of the main classical music reviewers for the Washington Post and other publications. In 2001 he edited Classic Country: The Golden Age of Country Music. He wrote extensive and detailed liner notes for more than 100 various projects. He was a founding member of the Record Academy (Grammy) Washington DC chapter and served as an officer and a committee member for nominating finalists for Grammy Awards.

His love of all types of music built friendships that went well beyond his home base in Washington DC. One such friend in Austin, TX, comments, “Charlie had an encyclopedic knowledge of music, incredible curiosity, a great sense of humor and was a genuinely well-rounded and respectful human being.” Another describes him as “a legend in the music industry.”

Also surviving are two brothers, John Malcolm McCardell, Jr. (and spouse Bonnie) of Sewanee, TN, and Stephen Gambrill McCardell (and spouse Susan) of Redding, CT. In addition “Uncle Charlie” is survived by nephews John Malcolm McCardell, III (spouse Kate) of Charlotte, NC; James Benjamin Lee McCardell (spouse Jennifer) of Alexandria, VA; Samuel Maddox McCardell of Boulder, CO; and Claire Cameron McCardell of Stamford, CT.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 5, 2021 at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 101 South Prospect Street, Hagerstown, MD. The Rev. D. Stuart Dunnan and the Rev. Todd Young will officiate.
Because of COVID restrictions, service attendees must register in advance at the following site:  (No ticket required)

Interment will be private in Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Frederick, MD.

In lieu of flowers the family suggests a memorial donation be made to the charity of your choice.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the Douglas A. Fiery Funeral Home, 1331 Eastern Blvd. North, Hagerstown, MD.

Online condolences may be expressed at

Guest Book

So very sorry to hear of Charlie's sudden passing. I have a lot of good memories from our high school days together, working together one summer during college driving back and forth to DC to a construction job, and Charlie and I living together in Kensington when we both moved to the DC area to start our careers. Charlie had a great sense of humor and a love of music. He was an exceptional writer. One of the funniest things he talked me into doing was taking three Jordanian soldiers who came for a short work trip and first visit to the western world and spoke little English to a James Brown concert in the heart of DC. That was an interesting evening and typical Charlie! We will miss you, rest in peace. Gunter

Gunter Glocker

Charlie was my best friend from the ages 5-12. We took our first guitar lessons together and playing is still my great joy. In our early lives together, we learned how to be a friend. Although we drifted apart with meetings few and distant, Charlie and the entire McCardell family will always be an important influence in my life. Jack Sclar

Jack Sclar
Frederick , MD

May your loving memories of your son, Brother, Uncle and Friend keep his spirit alive in your hearts forever.

Ann Shipley Adams
Frederick, Maryland

Mrs. McCardell —. My deepest sympathy to you and your family. Judy Myers Bohner (daughter of Charlie Myers)

Judy Myers Bohner
Hagerstown, Maryland

My deepest condolences go out to the McCardell family.

Tom Borum

Charlie was the dearest of friends. We were worked closely together at Time Life for years, attended shows, traveled together for business and to attend SXSW and were pretty close to what you would call "brothers." Charlie was welcomed into my home countless times for meals and holidays and just plain fun. I cannot remember a time when it wasn't fun and informative to be with Charlie. I learned much about music from him and I was only scratching the surface of his seeming endless knowledge. And he genuinely loved all kinds of music. I can see him now with, as always, a smile on his face.

Joseph Sasfy
Asheville, NC

To John, Steve, and Mrs. McCardell, Please accept my most sincere condolences at this suddenly sad time. I just talked with my brother, Bill, about Charlie, and, his passing is so sad. The last time I saw Charlie was when he came to Hagerstown to see after Mom. I will remember that kindness and caring. He has left us too soon. We will miss him so much. Kirk Grooms

W Kirk Grooms
Hagerstown, MD

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