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Charlie Rich

Born in Colt, Arkansas in 1932, Charlie Rich grew
up surrounded by the whole panorama of southern 
music, from the white gospel music he heard with 
his parents at church, to the country music they 
listened to on the Grand Ole Opry, to the blues 
piano he learned from a black sharecropper named 
C.J. on his father's farm.

In the early days Rich was hired as a session player 
at Sun Records in Memphis where he also played local 
bars and wrote songs with his wife Margaret Ann.  
He went on to have big hits with "Lonely Weekends",
"Mohair Sam", "The Most Beautiful Girl" and "Behind 
Closed Doors".  The last two both hit number one 
helping him win a Grammy Award and the CMA's Male 
Vocalist of the Year award.

Such early 70's triumphs were the high-water mark 
for the man who was by then called "the Silver 
Fox".  Troubles followed, caused at times by 
drinking and at times by excessive honesty.  At 
the 1975 CMA awards show, on national television, 
Rich opened the envelope for Entertainer of the 
Year (won by Rich himself in 1974), saw that John 
Denver had  won, whipped out his Zippo and set 
the offending document ablaze.

In his later years Rich settled on a farm near 
Benton and recorded mostly jazz songs at his 
home recording studio.  

Charlie Rich died in 1995.

Arkansas Artists