Hear a sample of
-courtesy of
Sun Entertainment, Inc.



Unbeknownst to most fans, Charlie Rich played a big roll in rock 'n roll history.

Not unlike another rocker named Elvis, Charlie grew up in a close-knit family in a small town deep in the Deep South not so very far from Memphis. He was raised on a healthy dose of equal parts gospel (courtesy of parents and church) and blues (courtesy of Charlie’s individual tastes) and a pinch of country, the perfect musical foundation in the 1930s and 40s for first generation rockers.

Music was a constant, powerful force in Charlie’s life throughout his adolescence and during his days in the Air Force. Early on he set aside the guitar, his first instrument, and the saxophone that was not capable of conveying the complex rhythms and emotions so important to Charlie. Instead, he concentrated on his pumping piano.

Having settled back down in Arkansas after his military stint was up, Charlie played clubs around Memphis by night after farming 500 acres all day. In a story sufficiently famous to bear repeating, Charlie’s wife, Margaret Ann, made a decision that would change the course of their lives: "I knew 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 babysitter, 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."

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