“How a Blues Man Scores”
While Jerry Lee Lewis vented his pent-up frustrations on the piano, Charlie Rich caressed the keys with the smooth tones of jazz and R&B. Following his stint in the Air Force, Rich returned to Arkansas and tried to make a living as a farmer, while moonlighting as a supper-club pianist in Memphis. Charlie’s wife, Margaret Ann, was his biggest supporter and changed their lives completely when she took one of his home recordings to Bill Justis, a producer at Sun Studios. Bill and Sam Phillips were impressed with Rich’s talent and signed him as a songwriter and session pianist. Charlie Rich played on sessions for a host of Sun artists, and he wrote memorable songs like Johnny Cash’s “Ways of a Woman in Love” plus Jerry Lee Lewis’s “Break Up” and “I’ll Make It All Up to You.”
It wasn’t until 1958, however, that Rich recorded his own first sessions as a Sun artist. “Lonely Weekends,” cut in October 1959, was a hit that peaked just outside the pop Top-20 but is long remembered as one of the best Rockabilly recordings of the 1950s. “Who Will the Next Fool Be” was also recorded during this period with success. “Big Boss Man” showed his inner abilities for rhythms that move you. It would be another decade, however, before the world would finally realize the true greatness of this talented “Silver Fox,” when he recorded “Behind Closed Doors.” Charlie was simply one of the best piano-playing blues singers in the world, and with “The Most Beautiful Girl,” he proved that he would leave a rich legacy forever. Charlie Rich is the epitome of southern blues excellence and in the most intimate musical setting, the “Fox” gives you every emotion he possesses with his one-of-a-kind, down-deep, soulful delivery.