Luling, Cardwell Cty, Texas: the SARG label (1953-1956)

CHARLIE FITCH

Charles Wesley “Charlie” Fitch was born in Halletstsville, Texas, on October 9, 1918. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1940, serving as a tail gunner on B-17 bombers during World War II, and was a German prisoner of war in 1944-45. He married Bennie Lou Bassett of Luling, TX in September 1945 and they had three daughters and a son. He worked at San Antonio’s Brooks Air Force Base until his honorable discharge in 1950. He then moved to Luling and started the Luling Phonograph & Record Shop, and began Sarg Records in December 1953 with Neal Merritt’s “Korean Love Song.” In 1954 Dave Isbell & The Mission City Playboys featuring Willie Nelson on lead guitar, recorded for the label, and a 12-year old Doug Sahm released “A Real American Joe” in January 1955. Drawing from a talent pool that stretched from Houston to San Antonio and throughout South Texas for more than 35 years, Sarg Records released more than 150 singles in Western swing, country, polka, rockabilly, rock & roll, R & B, and conjunto. Sarg Records’ biggest hit was Cecil Moore’s 1964 instrumental “Diamond Back”. Fitch also served as Caldwell County’s Veterans Services Officer until his death on May 7, 2006.