© August 23, 1960 Phillips International (LP) 33rpm PI LP-1970 mono
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. A product of Phillips International Corporation, 639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee. Litho in U.S.A.
The most frequently recurring criticism of rock and roll is that this type of music has encouraged no-talent singers who have had little to offer the public in the way of musical ability.
Whether or not this generalization has any basis in fact - we can say truthfully that in the case of Charlie Rich, the statement is 100% false. Charlie is a triple-threat artist who can be taken seriously as a singer, as a pianist, and as a songwriter.
Charlie began his musical education during his childhood. Though "Rich" does not describe
the financial status of Charlie's family - the new singing star was born during the depression on a farm in Arkansas - his parents were eager for him to develop his natural talent, and he began taking piano lessons at the age of seven. At age 14, he began
playing piano and sax for a local dance band. He continued with the music lessons until his graduation from high school, after which he entered the Air Force.
Assigned to Special Services, Charlie played in an Air Force band and formed a vocal group which was much in demand not only for engagements on the base, but also at civilian affairs.
However, the group split up, and Charlie, upon being discharged, returned to Arkansas. Though he kind of hankered for a career in show business, he listened to the advice of friends and family who urged him to be morepractical and stick to something he knew
about - farming.
Well - as a famer Charlie Rich turned out to
be a pretty good piano player. He got some bookings in Memphis on the week-ends, and finally moved uptown enough to be heart by a talent scout for Phillips International Records. Though Charlie's medium had been primarily jazz piano with a little singing thrown
in for variety, the A & R department at Phillips International suggested he try singing some rock and roll.
Charlie's first record turned out amazingly well. It was "Whirlwind" and this number was a big hit in a few scattered markets like St. Louis and Memphis. The first record to climb high in the national charts,
however, was "Lonely Weekends," a tune which Charlie penned himself. Two of his other original rock an roll tunes, "Breakup" and "Rebound" were written especially for and recorded by other artists, but are sung on this album as they've never been sung before.
The originality of Charlie Rich's approach is heard on "School Days," the same old
tune you sang when you were a kid - but Charlie's arrangement is so fresh that it sounds like a new song. This type of styling - an interpretation with a bluesy feel - is also noted on "Apple Blossom Time".
Charlie's feeling for the blues, in fact, is phenomenal for a white man. That low-down, earthy feeling is conveyed on "C. C.
Rider" and "Juanita," and Charlie Rich's stylings stack up favorably beside the classing recordings of these numbers cut by the late Chuck Willis.
Versatility is characteristic of Rich, and if you don't believe it, listen to the tender ballad, "Stay," another of Charlie's compositions. Then, for contrast, listen to him swing out
in a semi-jazz vein, with "Come Back."
Before Charlie went out
on his first extensive tour of record hops and TV dance parties, we at Phillips International were a little worried about the reception he would receive. In contrast to some of the current crop of recording idols, Charlie is a man's man type. He's 6'2"
and has a muscular, athletic build. He has a firm jawline, ruggedly handsome features, and black hair that is streaked with grey. You might say he's the strong, silent type, but the fact is - he's just plain shy. How were the teenagers going to like this?
We knew everything was cool when a torrent of fan mail came pouring in even before Charlie had completed the tour.
Charlie Rich has laid the foundations for a stable career through years of preparation. He has studied music thoroughly, from the standpoint of a singer and an instrumentalist, a writer and an arranger. He is
no flash in the pan. In fact, he's only getting started. We predict that this LP, the first released by Phillips International's Charlie Rich, will become a collector's item as time reveals more and more of the talent of this many-faceted entertainer.
- Barbara Barnes
Side 1: Contains
5 - C C Rider
6 - Come Back
Original Sun Recordings
Side 2: Contains
2 - Apple Blossom Time
3 - Breakup
4 - That's How Much I Love You
6 - Juanita
Original Sun Recordings
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©