Friday, August 25, 2006
Following Amanda Acuff over at Flop Eared Mule we have a Friday Cat blog. This Friday Amanda's choice of cool cat is The Silver Fox, Charlie Rich.
Although often pigeon holed as a popular country singer / writer because of his 40 or so country hits Rich was a person who understood and used jazz, blues, gospel, R&B, rockabilly and country. Starting off as a jazz and R&B performer, influenced by Dave Brubeck and Ray Charles, he absorbed country, became a session player on Sun Records, playing behind Jerry Lee Lewis and wrote songs that were recorded by Cash and Presley.
When he was on top with hits and acclaim Charlie got stuck into the grog. Regarded by many of his fans (well me) as a highlight, but seen by the country establishment as a low light, was the 1975 Country Music Awards where Charlie was the presenter of the CMA Entertainer of the Year Award. He opened the envelope and instead of reading the name of the award winner, Charlie set fire to the paper onstage. The winner's name that year was John Denver.
Charlie was then shunned by mainstream country pop so he removed himself from the country scene and performed only occassionally but on his own terms.
In 1992 he re-emerged with the late night country jazz masterpiece Pictures and Paintings, produced by Peter Guralnick. Do yourself a favour and go out and buy it. File it on the shelf alongside Sinatra's In the Wee Small Hours.
Born in 1932 Charlie Rich died from a blood clot in his lung in 1995.
The Silver Fox, Mohair Sam - Cat of the Week.
Posted by FXH at 1:27 pm