Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Charlie Rich - on Sun Records. Sun's Best of Charlie Rich

The Great Charlie Rich - on Sun Records.  It's not on this record - but I really dig his song - Behind Closed Doors.  But this my only LP record in my collection on Sun Records.  I don't usually like to post here about Best of or Greatest Hits albums - but I find myself breaking that rule pretty often.  So maybe I will just permanently rescind it.  OK - done: new rule in effect.

     Also - it was worth it to look this up on wiki:  "Rich was a session musician for Judd Records, owned by Judd Phillips, the brother of Sun Records founder Sam Phillips. After recording some demos for Sam Phillips at Sun Records that Phillips didn't find commercial enough, and too jazzy, legend has it that he was given a stack of Jerry Lee Lewis records and told: "come back when you get that bad."  In 1958, Rich became a regular session musician for Sun Records playing on records by Lewis, Johnny Cash, Bill Justis, Warren Smith, Billy Lee Riley, Carl Mann, and Ray Smith.  He also wrote songs for Lewis, Cash, and others.  His third single for the Sun subsidiary, Phillips International Records, was the 1960 Top 30 hit, "Lonely Weekends," noted for its Presley-like vocals. None of his seven follow-up singles was a success, though several of the songs became staples in his live set, including "Who Will the Next Fool Be," "Sittin' and Thinkin'," and "No Headstone on My Grave." These songs were often recorded by others to varying degrees of success, such as the Bobby Bland version of "Who Will the Next Fool Be."  Rich's career stalled, and he left the struggling Sun label in 1963, signing with a subsidiary of RCA Records, Groove.  His first single for Groove, "Big Boss Man," was a minor hit, but again his Chet Atkins-produced follow-ups all stiffed.  Rich moved to Smash Records early in 1965.  Rich's new producer, Jerry Kennedy, encouraged the pianist to emphasize his country and rock & roll leanings, although Rich considered himself a jazz pianist and had not paid much attention to country music since his childhood.  The first single for Smash was "Mohair Sam," an R&B-inflected novelty-rock number, and it became a Top 30 pop hit.  Unfortunately again for Rich, none of his follow-up singles were successful.  Rich was forced to change labels, moving over to Hi Records, where he recorded blue-eyed soul music and straight country, but none of his singles made a dent on the country or pop charts. One Hi Records track Love Is After Me from 1966 belatedly became a Northern Soul favorite in the early 1970s.

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