On May 29, 1975, Charlie Russo was killed al Ye Olde Fireplace Restaurant on South Pleasantburg Drive.
Shortly after midnight two robbers entered through the kitchen door affer the restaurant was closed for the night. One robber was wearing a brown floppy hat, a red and while bandana over the lower part of his face, with a tan long sleeve button-up shirt with the shirttail out, blue jeans and tennis shoes. He had a blue steel automatic pistol.
the second robber was in his twenfies, weighed abouf t60 pounds and was abouf 5-9 in height. He had dark curly hair. .He wore a blue and white bandanna across his face, a light brown floppy hat with the brim pulled down, a yellow and black T-shirt, gloves with the fingers cut out. Both robbers were Caucasian.
“lt‘s a hold up, now get on the floor," one robber said. They ordered the cleaning crew to get down on the floor as one robber struck one of the crew with his pistol while saying “This is a holdup." “Don’t look at me," he added.
They put a gun to the head of chef, Edgar Taylor. The robber hit Taylor in the head ordering him to get on the floor. He then proceeded into the restaurant and ordered several waitresses to crawl on the floor to the restroom.
The ofher robber went to the band room where Russo and Buddy Jett sat talking. The robber pushed Jett to the floor. Russo extended his hands in a questioning gesture and was shot in the chest. The robber shouted. “Ralph, this guy went for it." Russo died immediafely.
The other robber ordered Richard Eskew to open the safe. Stalling the robber as long as he could, Richard eventually opened the safe and all the money was taken. He ordered Charlie Grubbs, the owner, to crawl to a men's restroom nearby.
They stole Grubbs Cadillac. lt was later found at the Howard Johnson Lodge on South Pleasaniburg Drive.
The robbers were seen in a blue pickup with a tan camper.
Charlie Russo played in Charlie Spivak's band and was Spivak's personal friend for over 35 years.
Larry and Less Elgart and Nelson Riddle were members of Spivak's band at one time.
My wife, Marian, and I would sit for hours listening and laughing with Russo as he told tales of the band traveling around the country.
Grubbs would call us the "Four Charlies:" Charlie Grubbs, Charlie Spivak, Charlie Russo and Charlie Aiken.
If anyone has any hint that may help the solving of this murder, please come forward by contacting the Greenville County Sheriff or the Greenville Chief of Police.