Charlie Brusco’s early love of rock and roll music has led to one of the industry’s most successful careers in artist management.
In the early 70’s, Brusco discovered and managed The Outlaws, who were the first act signed to Clive Davis’ Arista Records in 1973. His work with this multi-platinum southern rock giant paved the way for his relationship with classic rock radio legend, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and his successful revival of Skynyrd’s career brought other classic rock acts to his door such as Bad Company, Peter Frampton, Survivor, Tesla, John Waite, Thin Lizzie and Styx.
Charlie was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and at 14 formed his own band which won a recording session with RCA Records. After college he moved to Tampa, Florida and founded Southern Bay Productions. After discovering The Outllaws he moved to Macon, Georgia and then to Atlanta, Georgia in 1976. He created High Tide Management, Inc. The company was wildly successful and in 1979 The Outlaws sold out Madison Square Garden. During Jimmy Carter’s victorious run for the White House in 1976, Charlie arranged and produced many concerts for the benefit of Carter’s campaign.
He began to promote concerts in addition to his managerial duties. During that time he promoted the benefit Amnesty International Concert at the Omni in 1986 with Bill Graham and Alex Cooley. Stars such as U2, The Police and Bryan Adams appeared.
Ten years after the tragic 1977 plane crash, Charlie reunited the survivors of Lynyrd Skynyrd and they have successfully toured up to the present day.
In 1996 he also reunited the members of Styx and they had the most successful tour of their 20 some year career. At present, they are even hotter, selling out venues all over the country. They appeared at the Super Bowl twice in recent years.
The day after the heartbreaking events of 9/11/2001 Charlie and Styx decided they could not just stand by and do nothing. During one phone call “Volunteers for America” was conceived. Charlie and his staff put together, in only 3 weeks, two benefit concerts. Appearing at the Atlanta and Dallas concerts were Styx, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bad Company, Journey, REO Speedwagon, Kansas, Peter Frampton, Eddie Money, John Waite, Survivor, Mark Farner and was MC’d by Drew Carey. Charlie got hotels to donate rooms, airlines to give him lower prices, Busses, trucks, sound and lights all donated or did the job at rock bottom prices. The artists and all the crew took no money for their efforts. These concerts netted $575,000.00 and in November, 2001, Charlie, members of his staff, members of Styx, Journey and REO Speedwagon stood at the ruins of The World Trade Center and presented a check for $550,000.00 to the Port Authority Police World Trade Survivor Fund. $25,000.00 was given straight to 2 individuals which included Kelly Lee, widow of well-known tour carpenter Danny Lee who was killed on the flight from Boston going home for the birth of his second child.
In 2002 two concerts were done at the Meadowlands in New Jersey and in Cleveland. Participating in the proceeds that year was the Port Authority Police and The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Educational Fund.
He was honored in 2005 with NARAS’ prestigious Hero’s Award along with Coretta Scott King and Usher. His good friend, Jon BonJovi presented him to the audience and Styx was his musical guest.
Charlie has been active in Grammys in the Schools and currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland.