(1974) Lonely Weekends (CR 300004) Vinyl
(1976) The Original Charlie Rich (CR 30112) Vinyl
(1977) The Sun Story Volume 2 (9330-902) Vinyl
(1985) Original Hits & Midnight Demos (CDX 10) Vinyl
(1998) Lonely Weekends - The Sun Years 1958-1962 Compact Disc

For Biography of Charlie Rich see: > The Sun Biographies <
Charlie Rich's Sun recordings can be heard on his playlist from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <

1974 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 300004 mono

Album compiled by Georges Collange. Cover concept, artwork by Phillippe Morillon. Manufactured and distribution President Records. Printed by Garrod and Lofthouse. Licensed from Sun Record Company.

Allroundsinger-songwriter-pianist Charlie Rich, who is nicknamed the "Silver Fox" was born on December 14, 1932 in Forrest City, Arkansas. There probably weren't many affluent people living in Forrest City during the Great Depression, so the Riches' economic circumstances were hardly exceptional.

By the 1940s, the family finances had stabilized and they settled in Colt, Arkansas. Rich early interest in music was nurtured by contact with C.J. Allen, a black tenant farmer on the Rich family's land. Unlike many bluesmen in the area, Allen made his music on piano, rather than a guitar. The Rich family was very religious, and singing the Lord's praises was an important part of their lives.

Charlie's widow Margaret Ann recalled, ''Charlie played some guitar when he was younger. It was actually his first instrument.

He used to listen to his mother and father sing. They did music in their church, harmonizing with two other people, backed by a guitar. That music had a deep emotional effect on Charlie. He used to listed to it and then go into his room and cry. He and his sister did some singing with the guitar when Charlie was in high school as well''.

While the guitar may have been his first instrument, playing it was not a fully satisfying experience for Charlie Rich. That may have had to do with his lack of technical competence or, more likely, with his associating the guitar with the strong religious values of his family. Charlie searched beyond the guitar for musical expression. The piano was an obvious choice. The trouble was that Charlie Rich took the piano in directions that were unacceptable in the strict Missionary Baptist Rich household. Charlie soon experienced similar problems to those that faced fellow Sun alumnus Jerry Lee Lewis.

''I was an embarrassment to my mom and dad'', Charlie recalled to journalist Alan Cackett. ''I had been brought up to believe that dancing, rhythm and blues and drinking were sinful. They had high hopes for me and were not happy with the direction I was taking''.

The piano wasn't the only path away from the musical fold. When he was 17 years-old in high school, Charlie Rich began to play saxophone and was sufficiently competent to perform with the band. It is little known that while he was still in high school, Charlie spent a summer in Texas. During this time, he had his own radio show, a 15 minute broadcast during which he sang and played the piano.

Charlie Rich went off to Arkansas State College with help from two unlikely sources: a football scholarship and a financial gift from a proverbial rich uncle. Charlie transferred to the University of Arkansas as a music major. Charlie quit school and joined the Air Force. In may, 1952 he married Margaret Ann Greene and they honeymooned in Memphis at the ritzy Peabody Hotel, courtesy of Uncle Jack. While they were in Memphis, they blew the $45 they had between them on records. Music was simply that important to both of them. As Margaret Ann would later recall, ''The first piece of furniture in our house was a tape recorder''.

The Air Force life took them to Enid, Oklahoma, where Charlie combined military duties, such as they were, with musical gigs. Charlie played piano and some sax with the Velvetones. The group featured solo vocals by Charlie as well as some hip duets by Charlie and Margaret Ann. When Charlie returned to Arkansas in 1955, he and Margaret Ann purchased a 500 acre farm near Forrest City. Although they had lived reasonably well on his Air Force salary and music income, the purchase price was largely subsidized by Uncle Jack. Even though a bumper cotton and soybean crop during the first year allowed Charlie to pay back much pf the loan from his uncle, it was clear he was not cut out to be a farmer. It is no accident that most farmers are asleep by 10 and up with the dawn. In that time, Charlie was barely getting into the Memphis' jazz clubs by ten and sometimes got home just in time to see the sun rise. He plainly was not going to be a poster boy for the Farmer's Hall of Fame''.

By 1957 Charlie Rich and Margaret Ann were living in West Memphis, Arkansas with their three children. Charlie was farming by day and hating every minute of it. Several nights a week he'd drive into Memphis and play a gig at a jazz lounge like the Vapors. It was not just the money they needed; those gigs were mental health for Charlie. Margaret Ann realized something had to change.

''I knew that Elvis had gone to Sam Phillips so I thought maybe Charlie could try his luck there also. I left our three children at home with a baby sitter, crossed the river, and went to Sun. I brought a tape of Charlie that we had made at home. I can't remember which tunes were on it, or whether they were even originals. Charlie wasn't doing much writing back then. That came later'', Margaret Ann said.

It was Bill Justis who launched Charlie Rich to Sun Records. They he met him at gigs as well as parties sponsored by the musicians union. Charlie for what he could to at this point, playing and writing to their artist roster, included for Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Ray Smith.

According to Margaret Ann, ''Bill was very very hip. Truthfully, he was way too hip for Sun. I remember him saying right at the start, 'What do you need me for? You're Rich already'. Justis listened to the demos. He finally gave me some Jerry Lee Lewis records and sent me home with the message that Charlie should come in when he could play that bad''.

''Bill and Charlie got to know each other better after that. They did some gigs together around town. Bill really encouraged Charlie to start writing. Told him that's where the money was. When Sam finally met Charlie, he told him the same thing. Charlie was so sophisticated in his playing but Sam told him he needed material for his artists''.

In recalling Charlie's initiation to Sun years later, Sam Phillips was struck by the similarity between Rich and Elvis - not in their music or physical appearance, but in the fact that neither would come right in and ask to be recorded. In both cases, the path was indirect and somewhat tortuous.

Margaret Ann said, ''They didn't know what to do with Charlie. They knew they had a very talented musician on their hands, but they had no idea how to use talent''. Setting a pattern that would haunt him for much of his recording career, Charlie followed directions. He went home to '''get bad''.

His first efforts were even worse than Bill Justis had envisioned. Songs like "Little By Little", "Rock And Roll Party", and "Donna Lee" are survey reminders of Charlie's first flirtation with rock and roll. It wasn't a pretty sight. It wasn't simply the age barrier: artists like Carl Perkins and Chuck Berry were turning out credible tunes about teenage angst and hi jinx. Charlie's efforts sounded like an aging uncle desperately trying to sound hip. Both Bill Justis and Sam Phillips shook their heads. Charlie's earliest attempts were really awful.

Charlie continued to work at it. He also took some halting stabs at writing country music, a genre several eons removed from his beloved Stan Kenton. Again, the early efforts, many of which are preserved on self conscious and mannered demos, fell short of the mark. But Charlie got better. In fact, he got a lot better. Within several months, Charlie's name began appearing as the composer credit on Sun records. In April 1958, Charlie Rich wrote both sides of Ray Smith's release, "Right Behind You Baby''/ "So Young". A month later his song "Ways Of A Woman In Love" (co-written with Bill Justis) appeared as one side of Johnny Cash's latest record. Three months later, Rich was responsible for both sides of Jerry Lee's latest outing, ''''Break-Up''/''I'll make It All Up To You''. two months later, he had one side of ray Smith's next single, ''Why Why Why''. Then it was ''I Just Thought You'd Like To Know'' for Johnny Cash a month later. Charlie Rich had finally arrived at Sun Records. His distinctive piano licks were starting to show up on quite a few Sun sessions in early 1958.

Finally, in August 1958, having squandered every excuse he could muster, Charlie Rich entered the Sun studio to record his own debut single for Sun sub-label, Phillips International, "Philadelphia Baby" as an investment in stardom. Member as pianist of the Sun house band as a big happy family has much truth to it. But there was also a glimmer of trouble in paradise.

In February, 1959 Charlie Rich set his mind to recording a second single. Although Charlie's recording career was originally driven by a desire to place his own material, one side of the record somewhat surprisingly featured a non-Rich original. Incredibly, Charlie was unable to capture commercial success again during his tenure at Sun. Charlie continued to record some powerful and memorable sides for Sun, but none of them dented the pop marketplace. part of the problem was undoubtedly the fact that Charlie had never written teen-oriented material. He was, in every sense, an adult artist. His concerns and priorities just did not resonate with adolescents. "Lonely Weekends", had been a fear occurrence - one of those rare instances where kids and adults shared a problem: being alone on a weekend. But from then on, Charlie spoke to people with mortgages, drinking problems and ex-lovers.

In the early 1960s, Charlie Rich left Sun on March 15, 1963 and began his RCA tenure by recording a critically acclaimed album, Rich continued to record RCA in Nashville. Although the RCA recordings were smooth by any reckoning, there are several unmistakable gems.

In 1965, Charlie left RCA and signed w ith Mercury, where he was produced by Jerry Kennedy for their Smash affiliate. In the fall of 1966, Charlie Rich returned to Memphis having again tasted the fleeting kiss of fame and fortune. Directionless, and with dwindling revenues from records sales, Charlie signed with the Hi label.

After three years (and two different record deals), he was back recording in Memphis. The Hi sessions represent one of the more curious periods in Charlie's recording career. At the same time, with almost schizoid abandon, Charlie recorded a series of powerful blues and soul tunes for Hi Records, some of which have, only recently, found their way into release.

In December 1976, Charlie signed with Epic Records for what would turn out to be the longest recording affiliation in his professional life. Charlie's fortunes began to rise by 1973, the quality of his bookings improved as well. In some cases, there was no change in Charlie's onstage manner. Charlie re-signed to Epic Records in 1973 for the next five years, and within a year scored the crossover country hit "Behind Closed Doors" hit, that would stand as the landmark in his career. "Behind Closed Doors" won a Grammy and Charlie was voted Entertainer Of The Year by the Country Music Association in 1974.

Charlie Rich and Epic Records ended their ten year relationship in 1977, at which point he began a brief affiliation with United Artists Records and producer Larry Butler. This period, along with his brief appearance on Elektra in 1980 and 1981, marks the artistic lowpoint of Rich's recording career. Some time during 1979, Rich, along with George Jones, Willie Nelson, Conway Twitty, and a host of country superstars, joined Ernest Tubb for a series of duets that were released on the Cachet label.

Beginning in 1981, Charlie Rich remained essentially detached from the music business for a decade. His earnings, and a series of shrewd investments allowed him that luxury. Charlie was an original invester in the Wendy's hamburger chain, reportedly selling his shares in 1979 for cash installments totalling $4 million.

Even though, Charlie was not involved in the music business throughout most of the 1980s, and Rich was never far from music. During this period Rich paid a group of local musicians to spend time with him jamming in his home studio. These regular Tuesday night sessions were a source of musical sustenance for the players, although it wasn't until 1992 that the music from these informal jams finally coalesced into Rich's final CD. The critically acclaimed CD "Pictures And Paintings" appeared on the Sire label in 1992.

Charlie Rich saw Elvis Presley alive in the elevator of the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium before a football game in 1976. Charlie Rich composed "I'm Comin' Home", which Elvis Presley recorded in 1961. Charlie Rich died on July 25, 1995. The official cause of death was a pulmonary embolism - a blood clot in the long. Charlie and Margaret Ann had just driven to see their son Allan perform in a casino in Mississippi.

The unavoidable truth is that if Charlie Rich had won the Arkansas State Lottery, he would probably never have written or recorded most of the music in his Sun recordings. That piano at 706 Union was always miked, and that mike was attached to a tape recorder that seemingly had no OFF button.

Five years earlier, Sam Phillips was so strapped for funds he had found it necessary to recycle tape. Elvis Presley's sessions were recorded on top of blues tracks by Doctor Isiah Ross. God only knows who or what was recorded on top of priceless Elvis outtakes. By the time Charlie hit the scene, the gods of pop music had smiled on Sun Records and tape was in good supply. Thankfully, Charlie Rich filled a lot of it.

Charlie Rich began recording career at the legendary Sun label in Memphis, recording for Sam Phillips. Without question, Rich's earliest work is his most interesting. It is also the rawest, least disciplined and most revealing. Rich was never more prolific as a songwriter than during his formative years at Sun. There is nothing in his later career - that spanned more than three decades - that wasn't foreshadowed in some manner at Sun.

During his Sun days (roughly 1958-1962), Charlie took his first halting (and awkward) steps toward rock and roll. He got better at it very quickly and his wonderfully expressive Presleyish voice often carried the day on material like ''Big Man'' and ''Lonely Weekends''. He also made his first claims on the title of ''White Soul Singer Extraordinary''. You can hear it on the undubbed versions of ''It's Too Late'' or ''Apple Blossom Time'' or ''Time And Again'' is you choose to sample Charlie's music more deeply (e.g. BCD 16152). During this period, Charlie was also pressed into service as a country music writer, often appearing as composer of Johnny Cash titles as that singer wound down his affiliation with Sun in 1958. Cash was saving all his new material for a fresh start at Columbia Records and was only too glad to meet his contractual obligations at Sun by recording Charlie Rich sons. Charlie willingly provided them, stretching himself in the process.

Side 1 Contains
Lonely Weekends
The Ballad Of Billy Joe
Big Man
Rock And Roll Party
Unchained Melody
Right Behind You Baby
Break Up
C.C. Rider
Original Sun Recordings

Side 2 Contains
It's Too Late
You Are Gonna Be Waiting
Who Will The Next Fool Be
Midnight blues
I Need Your Love
Sittin' And Thinkin'
Original Sun Recordings

For Biographies of Artists See: > The Sun Biographies <
Charlie Rich's Sun recordings can be heard on his playlist from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <


1976 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30112 mono

Charlie Rich was born on December 14, 1934 in Golt, Arkansas and grew up with an interest in music that developed through his school, University and Air Force days until by 1954 he had his own jazz combo on the AAF station he was posted to in Oklahoma. His recording career began in 1958 after he had left the forces to be a farmer in West Memphis.

This album contains both sides of eight of Charlie's original Sun and Phillips International label recordings, including his first record, ''Whirlwind'' and his first number one hot, ''Lonely Weekends''. His style has altered little today: these recordings are the original Charlie Rich.

When he traveled to West Memphis in 1955 to farm and hustle piano playing job, Charlie Rich was twenty-one. A farm boy in search of fame, or at least somewhere to play piano. ''I used to play the sax'' he recalls somewhat ruefully, ''but there was more demand for piano players, I guess''. Fred Cook, manager of radio WREC in Memphis, Tennessee states that, ''Charlie Rich was one of the best jazz piano players I ever saw. He used to play at the Plantation Club and he made a big hit among the jazz fraternity in this town''.

But it was while he was playing to audiences in local bars and beer joints that Rich first became involved in other forms of music. He had grown up with country music and blues, and generally there was a greater audience for country than for anything else. It was at this time that Charlie first started to write lyrics. His liking for jazz standards was mixed with country influences and some rockabilly, and ultimately this led to his evolving a style of songwriting and performing that is unmistakably his own.

Through the first half of 1958, Rich was increasingly adapting to the various styles of mid-South country and rock and roll music, and gaining session work first with the local Memphis label, Sun, and then briefly with the Judd label. His first attempts at writing commercial rock and rollers were rather plastic and derivative, such as ''Rock 'N' Roll Party'' and ''Popcorn Polly'', but on the credit side his jazzy piano became increasingly suffused with the gutsy elements of blues, country and rock. By the time of his first hit record in 1960 he had evolved a style that was to remain with him through the sixties and into the present.

Rich earned around forty one dollars per three hour recording session as a pianist with Sun, and this was doubled when he began recording as the featured artist with the Sun subsidiary, Phillips International, in the fall of 1958. The first two singles were Sun sound rockers, while he also developed a liking for a more relaxed, personal style: bar room ballads, full of suffering and remorse and hangovers, but without the excess of sentimentally of much country music. With the success of ''Lonely Weekends'', he formed a touring band but he did not take too happily to this and he preferred the circuit of smaller clubs where he could perform in more intimate style. Songs like ''Easy Money'' and ''Midnite Blues'' came from such inspirational occasions. Between recording and performing, Rich was becoming increasingly in demand as a session arranger, pianist and songwriter. He wrote hits for Sun notaries Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis even for Elvis.

Many of Charlie's early recording were made at the legendary Sun Records studio at Union Avenue, Memphis, but the majority of his records were recorded at Sun's Madison Avenue and Nashville Studios and it was through 1961 and 1962 working in the latter that he struck a happy relationship with producer Billy Sherrill. Sam Phillips, the owner of Sun and Phillips International, had hitherto always emphasised Rich's undeniable vocal similarity to Elvis Presley and this was certainly partly responsible for the success of ''Lonely Weekends'', but Sherrill concentrated on developing a new style. With sympathetic backings supplied by Scotty Moore, Kelso Herston, Boots Randolph and Floyd Cramer, Rich was allowed to interpret his own brooding, bluesy country ballads and understated uptempo songs. Recordings like ''Who Will The Next Fool Be'' and ''Sittin' And Thinkin''' were perhaps among the least country sides recorded in Nashville at the time, but they capture perfectly the Charlie Rich mood.

Rich left Memphis toward the end of 1962, and although he has occasionally had great successes throughout the succeeding years, the sixteen titles included here are regarded as his most important stylistically; they were the original Charlie Rich.

First pressing. Compilation and liner noted by Martin Hawkins (co-author of ''Catalyst – The Sun Records Story'' by Escott/Hawkins. Cover design by Bernard Higton.

Side 1 Contains
1.1 - Whirlwind
1.2 - Philadelphia Baby
1.3 - Rebound
1.4 - Big Man
1.5 - Lone Weekends
1.6 - Everything I Do Is Wrong
1.7 - Sad News
1.8 - Red Man
Original Sun Recordings

Side 2 Contains
2.1 - Who Will The Next Fool Be
2.2 - Caught In The Middle
2.3 - Easy Money
2.4 - Midnite Blues
2.5 - Sittin' And Thinkin'
2.6 - Finally Found Out
2.7 - There's Another Place I Can't Go
2.8 - I Need Your Love
Original Sun Recordings

For Biographies of Artists See: > The Sun Biographies <
Charlie Rich's Sun recordings can be heard on his playlist from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <


1985 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CDX 10 mono

This 39 song double-album collects together all the original singles Charlie Rich made for Phillips International in Memphis, Tennessee between 1957 and 1962. It also includes the most outstanding demos and unissued takes from that period. It contains 20 original tracks, 4 titles later issued on albums, 4 alternate takes, 11 previously unissued titles. Compiled and liner notes by Martin Hawkins and Hank Davis.

Side 1 Contains The Original Hits
1.1 - Whirlwind
1.2 - Philadelphia Baby
1.3 - Rebound
1.4 - Big Man
1.5 - Lonely Weekends
1.6 - Everything I Do Os Wrong
1.7 - Schooldays
1.8 - Gonna Be Waitin'
1.9 - On My Knees
Original Sun Recordings

Side 2 Contains The Original Hits
2.1 - Who Will The Next Fool Be
2.2 - Caught In The Middle
2.3 - It's Too Late
2.4 - Just A Little Bit Sweet
2.5 - Midnight Blues
2.6 - Easy Money
2.7 - Sittin' And Thinkin'
2.8 - I Finally Found Outstanding
2.9 - I Need Your Love
2.10 - There's Another Place I Can't Go
Original Sun Recordings

Side 3 Contains Midnight Demos
3.1 - Little Woman Friend Of Mine
3.2 - Ain't It A Shame
3.3 - Everything I Do Is Wrong (2)
3.4 - Thanks A Lot
3.5 - You Never Know About Love
3.6 - My Baby Done Left Me
3.7 - There Won't Be Anymore
3.8 - Juicehead Baby
3.9 - Everyday
Original Sun Recordings

Side 4 Contains Midnight Demos
4.1 - You Made A Hit
4.2 - Now Everybody Knows
4.3 - Baby I Need You
4.4 - Stop Thief
4.5 - It Hurt Me So
4.6 - Two Many Tears
4.7 - Ways Of A Woman In Love
4.8 - Sittin' And Thinkin'
4.9 - Popcorn Polly
Original Sun Recording

For Biographies of Artists See: > The Sun Biographies <
Charlie Rich's Sun recordings can be heard on his playlist from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <


1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16152 mono digital

3 Compact disc boxed set, LP-sized. Blue label with geographic distortions, a subdued blue map of the world (with most of Europe and all of Asia conspicuously missing). Phillips International logo on top of the label that reads: Sam C. Phillips International Corp. and is printed between the red-white-blue pennant. The fine print on the bottom of the label restricted its reach to New York, Memphis and Hollywood. The most in-depth look at Charlie Rich's earliest recordings for Sun reveals a startling talent only hinted-at in previous reissues and greatest hits. More than 90 recordings, many of them previously unissued. Some recordings are in stereo for the first time, some are remixed to remove the choral overdubs. CD 1 includes all 31 originally issued Sun/Phillips singles and LP tracks. CD 2 features 29 unissued, fully-realized Phillips recordings, including alternate takes. CD 3 includes 33 rare or previously unissued demo's.

Disc 1 Contains
1.1 - Whirlwind (Undubbed Version)
1.2 - Philadelphia
1.3 - Big Man
1.4 - Rebound
1.5 - Everything I Do Is Wrong
1.6 - Lonely Weekends (Master)
1.7 - School Days (Undubbed)
1.8 - Gonna Be Waitin'
1.9 - Stay
1.10 - On My Knees
1.11 - Who Will The Next Fool Be
1.12 - Caught In The Middle
1.13 - It's Too Late (Undubbed)
1.14 - Just A Little Bit Sweet
1.15 - Midnite Blues
1.16 - Easy Money
1.17 - Sittin' And Thinkin'
1.18 - Finally Found Out
1.19 - There's A Another Place I Can't Go
1.20 - I Need Your Love
1.21 - Red Man
1.22 - Juanita
1.23 - Break Up
1.24 - That's How Much I Love You
1.25 - Apple Blossom Time
1.26 - C.C. Rider
1.27 - Come Back (Undubbed)
1.28 - Sad News (Instrumental)
1.29 - Whirlwind (Mono)
1.30 - It's Too Late (Mono)
1.31 - School Days (Mono)
Original Sun Recordings

Disc 2 Contains
2.1 - Rebound (Intro)
2.2 - Rebound - 1
2.3 - Time And Again
2.4 - Stop Thief
2.5 - Lonely Hurt Within
2.6 - Big Man (Alternate Take)
2.7 - Stay
2.8 - Goodbye Mary Ann
2.9 - My Heart Cries For You
2.10 - Unchained Melody
2.11 - Lonely Weekends
2.12 - Sail Away
2.13 - My Baby Done Left Me
2.14 - That's Rich
2.15 - Everything I Do Is Wrong (Alternate Take)
2.16 - Too Many Years
2.17 - Rebound - 2
2.18 - I've Lost My Heart To You
2.19 - What's My Name
2.20 - You Made A Hit
2.21 - Stay
2.22 - Now Everybody Knows
2.23 - Jeannie With The Light Brown Hair
2.24 - Everyday
2.25 - Popcorn Polly
2.26 - Cloud Nine
2.27 - Gentle As A Lamb
2.28 - The Wedding Is Over
2.29 - I Need Your Love (Alternate Take)
2.30 - Lonely Weekends (Alternate Take)
Original Sun Recordings

Disc 3 Contains
3.1 - Little Woman Friend Of Mine (Intro)
3.2 - Little Woman Friends Of Mine
3.3 - Ain't It A Shame
3.4 - Stop Fakin' Your Love (Alternate Take)
3.5 - It Hurt Me So
3.6 - Juicehead Baby
3.7 - The Loneliest Days
3.8 - Baby I Need You
3.9 - I Said Baby
3.10 - Give In
3.11 - There Won't Be Anymore
3.12 - Charlie's Boogie
3.13 - Every Day
3.14 - Yes Ma'Am
3.15 - Don't Put No Headstone On My Grave
3.16 - My Baby Done Left Me
3.17 - Sail Away
3.18 - Graveyardville (Instrumental)
3.19 - Time's A-Wasting
3.20 - I Love No One But You
3.21 - The Ways Of A Woman In Love
3.22 - Deep Freeze
3.23 - How Blue Can You Be
3.24 - Blue Suede Shoes
3.25 - Sittin' And Thinkin'
3.26 - Untitled Instrumental
3.27 - Thanks A Lot
3.28 - Right Behind You Baby
3.29 - Baby I Need You
3.30 - Oh Lonely Days
3.31 - Life Is A Flower
3.32 - Portrait Of My Love
3.33 - I'm Making Plans
3.34 - Donna Lee
Original Sun Recordings

For Biographies of Artists See: > The Sun Biographies <
Charlie Rich's Sun recordings can be heard on his playlist from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <


1977 Sunnyvale Records (LP) 33rpm 9330-902 mono

The Sun Story of the Sun Record label of Memphis, Tennessee is the story of rock and roll music. It is the story of how one man, label boss Sam C. Phillips, was able to create a legend out of the sound he discovered by putting together the music of black blues and white country music. The Sun label was formed in 1952, and Sam Phillips had been in the recording business less than two years. in that time, though, he learned that what the young people of the world wanted to hear was rhythm music and he knew that the rhythm of his own unknown black artists could provide the basis for a new sound in popular music.

In three years, between 1954 and 1956, Sam Phillips realized his dream by discovering many of the legendary performers in the music industry; first Elvis Presley, then Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison and Jerry Lee Lewis. Finally, in 1958, he also introduced the listening public to Charlie Rich, the latest superstar to emerge from a career begun in Memphis, Tennessee during the 1950s.

The Sun label lasted for seventeen years under its original owner, Sam Phillips, and in that time it climbed from a one-man operation to a million dollar enterprise and then declined again during the 1960s when new forms of music took over. The music recorded by Sun was varied, including country, blues, rhythm and blues, rock and roll and soul, and all the successful artists from Memphis owe much to the existence of the Sun label.

But what really made the name of Sun was Rockabilly - a new music made by young white country singers who used a black beat. And they not only appealed to Southerners in the USA, they were good enough to carry their music all around the world and to present the universal language, rock music.

Charlie Rich is the newest superstar of country and country-pop music. He was the last of the six major stars to be found by the Sun label, although his records were in fact issued on the sister label, Phillips International. When he took ''Lonely Weekends'' to the top of the American popular charts in 1960, he seemed set for the great international success that he has only achieved during the past two years.

His style then was much the same as now, for Charlie Rich is one of the few truly original stylists in popular music, Why should he change when his own unique style includes to many different parts? It includes a large jazz influence which makes him different from the rest of the Sun artists. But it also includes country, blues and rock influences which give the Charlie Rich sound much of it's strenght.

Charlie Rich was born some fifty miles north of Memphis at Colt in Arkansas on 14 December 1934, and he loved much of his early life on a cotton farm. Most of the Sun country and rockabilly artists came from this type of background, but although Charlie showed an interest in music it was at first mainly the jazz of Stan Kenton and then Dave Brubeck. He went to high school and later University and during this time he learned to play piano and saxophone, and his interest in music was encouraged by his wife, singer and songwriter Margaret Ann.

Charlie Rich first became involved with the Sun label as a songwriter and session musician in 1957 and 1958, and he helped write Johnny Cash's hit, ''The Ways Of A Woman In Love'', which was just the first of many hits he wrote for other people. His piano playing who helped to make hits for others.

In late 1958, Sam Phillips gave Charlie his first chance as a solo artist, and he made some fine rock and roll songs like ''Breakup'', and ''Rebound'' which were modelled on the style of Jerry Lee Lewis. During 1959, though, Rich was allowed to give expression to his jazz influences and he came up with an entirely new sound to ''Lonely Weekends''. His success at this time was slowed by the fact that he sounded vocally rather like Elvis Presley, but his praising of a song was entirely different and his real influence on popular music has only recently been fully realized.

The timeless, original style of Charlie Rich is brilliance shown on this album, through the bluesy ''Sittin' And Thinkin'' and ''Midnight Blues'' to the raunchy ''Goodbye Mary Ann'' and ''Baby I Need You'' to the softly styled ''That's How Much I Love You''.

Charlie Rich wrote most of these songs, and in his writing as much as in his singing and playing he provided as important element in the immortal ''Sun Sound''.

- Martin Hawkins

Side 1: Contains
1.1 - Lonely Weekends
1.2 - Sittin' And Thinkin'
1.3 - Gentle As A Lamb
1.4 - Midnight Blues
1.5 - Goodbye Mary Ann
1.6 - Breakup
Original Sun Recordings

Side 2: Contains
2.1 - C.C. Rider
2.2 - Rebound
2.3 - My Baby Done Left Me
2.4 - Big Man
2.5 - That's How Much I Love You
2.6 - Baby I Need You
Original Sun Recordings

For Biographies of Artists See: > The Sun Biographies <
Charlie Rich's Sun recordings can be heard on his playlist from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <

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