Charlie Rich - Charlie Rich (1964)

Charlie Rich was an American singer-songwriter and pianist, best known for his success as a country artist.

Charlie Rich had scored Top 40 hit on Sun Records in 1960 with "Lonely Weekends", but he failed to produce a follow-up and so by 1964 he had been dropped by the label and signed to the Groove label. A subsidiary of RCA Victor, Groove had originally been an R&B label but had recently been relaunched with a focus on country and pop. Rich's recordings for Groove were produced by Chet Atkins, and so it is unsurprising that he was guided in the direction of country. A self-titled album was released in 1964, and though country material was present, R&B-based material still featured heavily, and a few of the songs were notably very jazzy. Atkin's 'Nashville Sound' production tied the whole thing together with heavy doses of backing vocals and strings, and it could be argued that a lot of the material would have worked much better without this treatment. The result was an eclectic fusion of blues, country and jazz stylings somewhat obscured by the overproduction, but at certain high points Rich's soulful vocals and jazzy piano playing broke through and really showed what he was capable of. The songs featured covers of Jimmy Reed's "Big Boss Man" and the old standard "Ol' Man River", but for the most part consisted of originals (and very good ones at that).
Unfortunately he still struggled to produce a hit, and his time on Groove would prove to be short-lived.

Lonely Weekends (1960) <|> That's Rich (1965)
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot for this. Charlie Rich is one of the greatest singers ever. I like his music since I read 'Mystery train' by Greil Marcus and also an article by Peter Guralnick many years ago. He made some great albums in the sixies and seventies, I remember one where he recorded songs by Hank Williams and another one from the label where he recorded 'Mohair Sam'. I would be very happy to find some more music by him here on this amazing blog.

Wolf