The Charleston music scene lost an extraordinary man yesterday. Charlie Tee, singer and saxophone player with The Carpenter Ants and many other local bands passed away from COVID following years of poor health. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more beloved man than Charlie, and my heart is breaking for his wife, Lynn Rosseau, and his bandmates in The Carpenter Ants.
I was fortunate enough to get to hang out with Charlie a couple of times, and he was one of those people you just become friends with immediately. I came away thinking, “I really need to spend more time with Charlie.” It is a major regret that I didn’t get the chance.
I first met Charlie when I recorded The Carpenter Ants for Radio Free Charleston. He was not well enough to perform with the band that day, but he still came out to support his bandmates, and we stuck around The Charleston Bazaar afterword and got to know each other a little. Charlie was just such a sweet, supportive guy, And it’s truly tragic that the world didn’t get to enjoy his presence longer.
I apologize for the sparseness of this post. I’m more than a little gutted. I had been following Charlie’s struggle with COVID on social media all week, and found out that he’d passed while returning home from a quick weekend trip. Charlie and Lynn (another very supportive friend and a wonderful person) got together late in life, and while I’m certain that they treasured every second they had together, I still wish that they’d had more. Theirs was a true love story.
The videos you see above and below are from Bud Carroll’s “Live at Trackside” series, from about ten years ago. You’ll see Charlie with his Carpenter Ants bandmates performing a couple of great songs, that give you a hint of what a cool guy Charlie Tee was.
The header image is a photograph by KD Schuman Photography which was shared by The Carpenter Ants on social media. The digital painting is by Rudy Panucci.