Charles Ball, Founder of Ork and Lust/Unlust Records, Passes Away After Heart Attack

Influential label owner Charles Ball passed away on Tuesday after a heart attack.

Robin Crutchfield, who played in DNA and Dark Day, wrote on his Facebook:
I just received word from Andy Schwartz, old editor of New York Rocker, who received word from writer Roy Trakin, that Charles Ball died of a heart attack last night in St. Petersberg, Fla. I am passing the word along. It's too bad Charles didn't receive his proper due in his lifetime. His contributions to the DYI culture are massive in importance. --Robin

I'd heard he was ailing and been rumored dead for a couple of years now. He had a storage unit that was being dispersed piecemeal online. He and I lost touch for a long time, then had a couple of really nice phone calls, but the last one about a decade ago, we had a falling out, and haven't been in touch since. He was generally a pretty nice and decent guy, but always a bit problematic in business. And it's odd that his tastes gravitated towards conservative preppy sweaters and slacks, Lou Reed, Elvis Costello, and Saturday Night Live, but he put out all that edgy radical no wave stuff. I wish his creditors hadn't outrun him on his vision. Who knows where it might have lead him. He really didn't get all the credit due him. I wonder if now that he's gone, he will. So many aren't appreciated while they're here, but are glorified once they pass. I expect to end up among that crowd.
Ball first co-founded Ork Records in the mid-70's with Terry Ork, recording such artists as Television, Richard Hell and Alex Chilton. In the late-70's, he started his own label, Lust/Unlust Records, recording such No Wave acts as DNA and Mars.

2 comments

Craig Ball said...

His wardrobe wasn't so odd when you consider that he went to Mercersburg Academy and was a genuine preppy from birth. Charles was indeed a terrible businessman; but, he never purposefully hurt anyone. It wasn't in Charles to do so. He was as sweet and gentle a soul as anyone who ever lived--something else you'd never glean from the music. Thanks for the kind thoughts in his memory.

Unknown said...

Charles Ball did not co-found Ork Records! It was started by Terry Ork as an avenue to release Televisions first single. Ball came aboard shortly after the Richard Hell single was released and left to start his own label. Terry was the visionary to start the first DIY "punk label" and recorded some of the most iconic artists to come out of the NY scene!

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