Charlie Rich: The Silver Fox With A Big Country Sound

Charlie Rich i i

Country singer Charlie Rich was known as "The Silver Fox" because of his silver hair. Associated Press hide caption

itoggle caption Associated Press
Charlie Rich

Country singer Charlie Rich was known as "The Silver Fox" because of his silver hair.

Associated Press

Charlie Rich was one of country music's biggest stars in the 1970s, with hits like "Behind Closed Doors" and "The Most Beautiful Girl." Rich got his start in the 1950s as a session pianist for Sun Records, the label that launched Elvis Presley's career. In the '60s, he had a novelty hit in "Mohair Sam," but there were many lean years in that decade.

The '70s, however, brought Rich fame. He was one of the originators of a style that became known as "countrypolitan" because of its slick orchestral arrangements and backup singers. In 1992, Rich spoke to Fresh Air host Terry Gross after he recorded an album titled Pictures and Paintings, which showcased him without the customary big production values.

Rich died in 1995 at age 62.

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