Subject: Re: Dylan/Charlie Rich From: Peter Stone Brown
Date: Sun, 23 Jan 2000 10:08:35 -0500 Anthony Frazer wrote: > I've been really getting into a lot of Charlie Rich lately. On the back > of one of the albums I've been listening to I found the following quote: > > " Bob Dylan has said more than once that Charlie Rich is one of his > favourites - both as a songwriter and as a musician." > > Can anyone shed any light on this? Did Dylan actually make comments to > this effect? Absolutely. He mentioned Rich quite possibly in the '69 Rolling Stone inteview with Jann Wenner. I just tried to look it up but the version in the "Rolling Stone Interviews" book is cut. But it was quite possibly before then, in fact as early as '66. Of course Rich, though not that well known had been around since the '50s, occasionally scoring hits such as "Mohair Sam," until he finally broke big in the '70s with "Behind Closed Doors" and "Most Beautiful Girl." Unfortunately, "Most Beautiful Girl," probably his biggest hit was not representative of what he really did. He was an incredibly tough, funky singer, though he could also be very smooth, but he was much more into R&B and jazz than his Nashville recordings revealed. He was also a brilliant piano player. Check out his early stuff on Sun and especially if you can find it, "The Complete Smash Sessions" on Polygram. For his '70s stuff on Epic (the big hits) produced by Billy Sherril, the best album (actually before he broke big) is "The Best of Charlie Rich," with the fairly intense "July the 12th 1939." Rich's final recording "Pictures and Paintings" on Sire was probably the album he always wanted to make, a jazz and gospel-based album that made no concessions to any music biz trend. I've always felt that "Nashville Skyline" in both Dylan's voice and in songs such as "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You" and "Lay Lady Lay" were heavily influenced by Charlie Rich. Of course the 1960 "Karen Wallace" tapes show that Dylan sang in that voice much earlier.