What Ever Became Of This Influential Country Star?

Growing up I was SPOON FED Country Music and thanks to my momma I shared her love for one particular singer....She was a SUPER Fan, member of his fan club, we went on vacation to Memphis where he lived at the time in hopes of seeing him (yes, she was harmlessly stalking him) and thankfully, before her untimely death at the age of 28, she was able to go see him live at the Houston Livestock Show And Rodeo!! Everytime I hear a Charlie Rich song, I immediately remember my sweet mom and it brings back so many wonderful memories but ASIDE from that, Charlie Rich was an incredibly talented artist! Singer, Songwriter, Musician who's style is really hard to put into one catergory...Yes, he gained noteriety for Country Music but he encompassed Rockabilly, Blues, Jazz and Gospel in his music. First signed to Sun Records (the label that launched Elvis, The Man In Black and Jerry Lee Lewis) in 1958. He released minimal hits for the label and in 1963 left the struggling label to sign with several other labels over the years and again not really achieving any commercial success. That all changed the 70's when Rich, under the recommendation of the legendery producer Billy Sherrill, "refashioned" himself and went on to release the singles he is best remembered for  "Behind Closed Doors", and the "The Most Beautiful Girl", which achieved crossover success for "The Silver Fox"  He released several hits after that but at the peak of his popularity he began to drink heavily and that was evident during the 1975 CMA Awards where he was to present the Entertainer of The Year Award. ( I was 6 years old and TOTALLY remember watching that "trainwreck")A visibly intoxicated Rich clumisly opened the envelope, mumbling through the names of the nominees and took a lighter and set the envelope on fire (many think this was in rebellion to the "country establishment" while others think it was in protest to who won the award- John Denver) Sad demise for such a talented artist who died on this day (July 25th) 1995 at the age of 62.

Below, one of Rich's lesser known singles (written by his wife Margaret Ann) from 1969, was always my personal favorites. In 1990  Ricky Van Shelton re-released it and his version  reached #4 on the Country Charts

Tammy Daye

Tammy Daye

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