A recent email from my brother...You know much about him? Well, in a nutshell, he's pretty mindblowing. When he showed up at Sun Records in ‘57, he was groomed to be Elvis’s replacement. Unfortunately, he had too much talent and variety to channel properly and he got lost in the mix. He could write and play gospel, jazz, swing, country, and rockabilly, yet was marketed poorly time and again. By the late 60s he hooked up with producer Billy Sherrill, the Phil Spector-like producer who was creating the Countrypolitan sound with artists like Tammy Wynette. The first couple of LPs Rich and Sherrill did together didn’t sell well—tho they did well critically (Rich may be rock’s first “critic’s darling”)--and by 1971 he was playing airport bars, going nowhere. Music journalist Peter Guralnick profiled him during this period, in a book of essays called “Feel Like Going Home.”
Shortly thereafter, Rich did “Behind Closed Doors” and finally became an overnite sensation. Shortly before he died in 1991, he recorded his final LP, “Pictures and Portraits,” which Guralnick produced (they remained friends over those 20 years). Rich, inspired by the book that in part helped revive his career, wrote a song called “Feel Like Going Home.” Here’s his demo, which is breathtaking. It’s full of grunts and chair squeaks and it’s just Charlie and his piano. Wow.
I’m so glad my boy Harry Mose will grow up in a home where this beautiful music will play loud and clear.
Listen / Download:
Feel Like Going Home - Charlie Rich