Nov. 21, 1950 – Sept. 14, 2013
Charles J. “Chuck” Madden, of Buffalo, a recording engineer who worked on the debut albums by Spyro Gyra and Rick James, died Sept. 14 in Sevier County Health Care Center, Sevierville, Tenn., after a six-month illness. He was 62.
Born in Buffalo, he began his lifelong love of music at age 8, playing along on pans and cardboard boxes to songs on the radio. As a teenager, he was a drummer in several bands and played studio sessions in the old Act One/Howell Recording Studios in North Buffalo, where he was introduced to musical production.
After studying in the Recording Workshop program at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, he worked as an engineer at the original Mark Studios barn in Clarence Center, recording numerous artists, including Spyro Gyra’s self-titled debut and Rick James’ first album with the Stone City Band, “Come Get It.”
He did additional engineering work on James’ later albums and often was hired as engineer for major projects by local artists. He engineered the album Talas recorded for Metal Blade Records and was chief engineer when rapper DMX recorded in Select Sound Studios in Kenmore in 2001.
“If it wasn’t a serious project, he wouldn’t get involved,” said Robbie Konikoff of Audio Magic, a Buffalo studio where Mr. Madden also worked. “Chuck was the engineer who set the bar really high. He was an extremely talented guy. The only thing bigger than his talent was his heart.”
“He was extremely easygoing and incredibly patient,” said guitarist Dick Bauerle, who recorded with Mr. Madden. “He was into letting us musicians work to our fullest capacity.”
He was inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame in 2003.
Survivors include his wife of 40 years, the former Diane A. Schwippert; a daughter, Jennifer McIntyre; and two sons, Brandon and Christopher.
A memorial service was held Monday in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. A musical tribute in the Sportsmen’s Tavern, 326 Amherst St., will be arranged.