It's with a heavy heart that I write about the passing of one of the best voices and personalities of not only the KATS airwaves, but for Washington state and the entire Pacific Northwest. Craig Lutz, aka Charlie Busch.

Charlie rocked the PNW on many stations for over 50 years (including owning 3 of his own: KRVQ, KCNQ and KVLI), and was heard during the mid-day on 94.5 KATS in the early 2000's. His low, raspy, grandfatherly voice mixed with his dry and amazing sense of humor made the "Work Release Program" a staple for many in the Yakima Valley.

Radio DJ with a santa hat, pretending to pee in a gas tank
Charlie Busch

From his obituary (, Charlie passed away peacefully at his home in Wofford Heights, California, on Thursday, July 13th, 2023  He was 70-years-old. He leaves behind a wife, daughters, grandchildren, and many, many people all up and down the West Coast that his life had touched in one way or another. From community activity (Kernville Chamber of Commerce, Kern River Valley Rotary Club, and board of directors for Kern Valley Healthcare District) and hosting public events to playing you a song and telling you a joke on the radio. There are very few like the late, great Charlie Busch!

After the first conversation I ever had with him, I just started laughing. He asked what was so funny, and I told him that our interaction reminded me of a scene from The Simpsons. He laughed and agreed!

His voice and personality was so infectious, you couldn't help but hang on every word that came out of the self-proclaimed "Round Mound of Sound." We'll miss you Charlie, if there's a rock-n-roll heaven,  they have one hell of a DJ.

A post from his Facebook Page from this past February says a lot of about the guy!

More details on a celebration of life can be found on its Facebook Event Page.

94.5 KATS logo
Get our free mobile app

LOOK: 25 must-visit hidden gems from across the US

From secret gardens to underground caves, Stacker compiled a list of 25 must-visit hidden gems from across the United States using travel guides, news articles, and company websites.

LOOK: Baby boomer baby names that have gone out of style

Using info from the Social Security Administration's baby name database, Stacker compiled a list of baby boomer baby names that have declined in popularity.

Report a typo or correction

Got a news tip? Email us here.




More From 94.5 KATS