Charlie Rich Facts


Arden Lambert


December 7, 2022


December 7, 2022


December 7, 2022

Charles Allan Rich, famously known as Charlie Rich, had his fair share of life’s ups and downs. The challenges were evident during the later years of his career, but that didn’t stop him from pursuing his passion–singing country music.

Let’s take a quick look at some facts about Charlie Rich and his career.

1. He was born in Colt, Arkansas.

The American country music singer and songwriter Charles Allan Rich (famously known as Charlie Rich) was born to rural cotton farmers in Colt, Arkansas, on December 14, 1932. Rich’s genres encompass jazz, blues, rockabilly, country, gospel, and soul, which listeners and experts often classify as “too difficult to understand.” 

2. He was dubbed the Silver Fox.

Rich earned the nickname Silver Fox later in his career because of his silver hair, evident in some of his album covers like Behind Closed Doors, Set Me Free, and Pictures and Paintings.

3. He had strong musical influences.

Rich’s parents were Landmark Missionary Baptist Church members, where his father sang in gospel quartets while his mother played the piano. Rich was also taught to play the blues piano by a sharecropper from the family farmland.

4. He played the saxophone during high school.

Rich was a graduate of the Consolidated High School in Forrest City. There, he played the saxophone in the school’s band. 

5. He joined the United States Air Force.

Charlie Rich went to Arkansas State College with a football scholarship but left after acquiring an injury. He became a music major at the University of Arkansas but left after a semester. Rich then decided to enter the United States Air Force in 1953.

6. He married one of the band’s vocalists.

The Velvetones was a jazz and blues band founded by Rich when he was assigned to Enid Oklahoma. One of the band’s vocalists, Margaret Ann, whom he eventually married. Rich left the Air Force in 1956, moved to West Memphis, began farming, sometimes performing in local clubs, and started writing songs.

7. He had nine #1 hit singles.

Charlie Rich is a talented country music singer because his songs topped the US Billboard Country charts. His songs were on the charts for 20 weeks, the shortest being 13. 

“The Most Beautiful Girl” were among Charlie Rich’s songs that peaked at #1 on the chart for almost three weeks.

8. He has 2 Grammy Awards under his name and more.

In 1974 and 1998, Charlie was awarded the Best Male Country Vocal Performance and the Grammy Award Hall of Fame for Behind Closed Doors, respectively.

Rich received multiple awards, such as the Album and Single of the Year in 1973.

9. He announced the winner at an award show while drunk.

Rich’s drinking problems spawned in 1975, which led to an incident at the CMA Awards of the same year. He presented the award while visibly drunk; he tore the envelope with the winner’s name on it and lit the paper. He announced his friend, John Denver, as the category winner. Since the incident, Rich’s fame started to decline.

10. He had a pulmonary embolism.

Charlie Rich experienced severe coughing problems when he went to Florida with his wife. They went to see their son, Allan, perform at a Casino with Freddy Fender. They visited a doctor in Louisiana and were given antibiotics to take.

The family stopped at a motel to rest, where Rich died. The cause of his death at 62 years old was revealed to be a pulmonary embolism. 

We hope you liked reading facts about Charlie Rich! Stay tuned for more of these.


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