After being discharged from the air force in the mid-fifties, Charlie Rich’s wife, Margaret Ann took some of his tapes to Sam Phillips’ legendary Sun Records, and convinced producer Bill Justis give him work as a session player before he cut his own record and composition, Lonely Weekends in 1959 that became an American top forty hit.
A string of unsuccessful records followed and in 1963 he signed to RCA but the hits still eluded him and he was dropped by the label.
Jerry Kennedy who worked for the Smash label in Nashville, a subsidiary of Mercury, heard some of Charlie’s new material and although allowing him to record some of his own songs, augmented them with the work of other writers.
In the late Sixties, he was groomed by Billy Sherrill at Epic in the early days of ‘countrypolitan’, the easy-listening country style for the MOR market.
His first #1 was Behind Closed Doors and in the same year, The Most Beautiful Girl In The World achieved #1 in both pop and country charts in the US and a #2 in the UK.