Charlie Rich, one of the most successful country-pop crossover acts of the early Seventies with hits that included “A Very Special Love Song” and “The Most Beautiful Girl,” had a recording and performing career more than a decade before those genre-bending tunes earned him numerous awards. But until now, much of his output from the early Sixties has remained relatively obscure. Rich will get his due this fall with the October 14th release of Feel Like Going Home, a tribute disc featuring performances of Rich tunes from Jim Lauderdale, Shooter Jennings, Will Kimbrough, Keith Sykes, Charlie Rich Jr. and more.
With more than four million copies of his 1973 LP, Behind Closed Doors sold, the Epic Records release and its seductive title cut earned Rich a Grammy, in addition to several ACM and CMA awards. While it may have seemed like overnight success, Rich had already been shuffled from label to label having first recorded for Phillips International, a subsidiary of Sam Phillips’ Sun Records in the early Sixties with limited success. Flirting with country, rockabilly, jazz and pop, Rich first earned a Top 30 pop hit with 1960’s “Lonely Weekends,” which featured an Elvis Presley-inspired lead vocal from the Arkansas native. Singer-songwriter Jim Lauderdale opens the tribute LP with his version of that tune.
Although not a huge hit, Rich’s 1970 single, “Who Will the Next Fool Be” hinted at the smooth country balladeer he would become in the next few years. Previously covered by Mark Chesnutt, Jerry Lee Lewis and Bobby Blue Bland, that track is included here in a version by Holli Mosley. Recorded at Phillips Recording Services in Memphis, where Rich originally recorded most of the original tracks covered on the tribute album, Mosley’s version was produced by Halley Phillips, granddaughter of Sam Phillips and Rodney Hall, son of FAME Studios founder Rick Hall, and was mixed at FAME in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. On his version of “Break Up,” Charlie Rich Jr. plays the same piano that his father played on his original recording.
Feel Like Going Home: The Songs of Charlie Rich is the first new album from Memphis International Records since the imprint’s acquisition by Jeff Phillips, a third generation member of the Phillips family.
Feel Like Going Home: The Songs of Charlie Rich track listing:
1. “Lonely Weekends,” Jim Lauderdale
2. “Caught in the Middle,” Malpass Brothers
3. “Whirlwind,” Juliet Simmons Dinallo
4. “Sittin’ and Thinkin’,” Will Kimbrough
5. “Time and Again,” Susan Marshall
6. “Break Up,” Charlie Rich Jr.
7. “Who Will the Next Fool Be,” Holli Mosley
8. “Rebound,” Shooter Jennings
9. “Midnight Blues,” Anita Suhanin
10. “Easy Money,” Preston Shannon
11. Don’t Put No Headstone on My Grave,” Johnny Hoy
12. “Everything I Do Is Wrong,” Keith Sykes with Grace Askew
13. “Feel Like Going Home,” Kevin Connolly